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What is an Academic Essay: Basic Rules and Writer's Suggestions

Where many forms of essays, carry a personal tone to them, an academic essay does not. An academic essay is informal, and objective, it is not person, even though the writer still has to inject their views. In the academic essay, the student wants to present the facts, in an informal and objective perspective. What is being looked for, are three things; what are the facts, why are they facts, and how do they fit together.

  1. Basics
  2. Don’t Be Bland
  3. Keep to the Facts
  4. Express your Views of the Facts


Like was said in the introduction, the academic essay is informal and objective, expressing the facts. Follow the basic rules on essay writing, but keep it serious and focused. Look for the three questions to answer; what are the facts, why are they facts, and how do they fit together. Everything has facts to them, and some have many that are hard to see; which sometimes can make for some very interesting essays. Never limit yourself to the easy seen facts, either focus on the hard to see, or mix them with the obvious facts. Just make sure the introduction, body, and conclusion are well written, and any other step the instructor wants done.

Don’t Be Bland

There used to be a show on TV, called “Dragnet”, one of the most famous lines was; “The facts, just the facts, please.” That is great for police work, but for an academic essay, it will destroy it. Yes, in this style of essay, keeping it informal is important, but at the same time, show interest in the topic. Voice your views on how or why some facts are more important than others, or why they are important to this paper. Give it some life, just not too much.

Keep to the Facts

Never embellish the facts. Facts are interesting on their own, they do not need help. Showing how hidden facts make obvious one work, or bring them to view, but do not overstate them. Stay inside of the boundaries of reality. Staying with the facts, and explaining their importance, functions, and anything else that is relative, is all that is needed.

Express your Views of the Facts

If the student feels they are important, show why, and explain your views, often in third person is best. But yes, do not exclude yourself from the essay, you are part of it, as in any essay. Every essay is a work based on the writer’s views and understandings. Even in an informal essay, the writer still has to be part of it.