The purpose of essay writing

Individual modules are usually assessed through examinations and coursework. This coursework frequently takes the form of an essay.

An academic essay demonstrates both your knowledge of a topic and your skills related to academic writing.

When writing essays you should be able to:

  • interpret the question
  • explain your understanding of the subject and relevant issues
  • demonstrate analytical and evaluation skills by presenting different viewpoints and developing logical arguments
  • present evidence to back your opinions citing relevant sources
  • show that you are familiar with academic writing conventions and terminology appropriate to the subject.

Prior to writing your essay you should check any departmental guidelines and note any assessment criteria included.