• Key Differences

Know the Differences & Comparisons

Difference Between Article and Essay

article vs essay

An article is nothing but a piece of writing commonly found in newspapers or websites which contain fact-based information on a specific topic. It is published with the aim of making the reader aware of something and keeping them up to date.

An essay is a literary work, which often discusses ideas, experiences and concepts in a clear and coherent way. It reflects the author’s personal view, knowledge and research on a specific topic.

Content: Article Vs Essay

Comparison chart.

Basis for ComparisonArticleEssay
MeaningAn article refers to a written piece of information, usually appears in newspaper, magazine, encyclopedias and website.An essay is a piece of literary work, wherein a particular issue or topic is analysed and discussed.
ToneConversationalEducational and Analytical
Headings and SubheadingsYesNo
ReaderAlways written with a specific objective and reader group in mind.Not written with a specific reader group in mind.
Backed byPhotographs, charts and reports.Not required
Citation and ReferenceNot RequiredRequired

Definition of Article

An ‘article’ can be described as any form of written information which is produced either in a printed or electronic form, in newspaper, magazine, journal or website. It aims at spreading news, results of surveys, academic analysis or debates.

An article targets a large group of people, in order to fascinate the readers and engage them. Hence, it should be such that to retain the interest of the readers.

It discusses stories, reports and describes news, present balanced argument, express opinion, provides facts, offers advice, compares and contrast etc. in a formal or informal manner, depending upon the type of audience.

For writing an article one needs to perform a thorough research on the matter, so as to provide original and authentic information to the readers.

Components of Article

  • Title : An article contains a noticeable title which should be intriguing and should not be very long and descriptive. However, it should be such that which suggests the theme or issue of the information provided.
  • Introduction : The introduction part must clearly define the topic, by giving a brief overview of the situation or event.
  • Body : An introduction is followed by the main body which presents the complete information or news, in an elaborative way, to let the reader know about the exact situation.
  • Conclusion : The article ends with a conclusion, which sums up the entire topic with a recommendation or comment.

Definition of Essay

An essay is just a formal and comprehensive piece of literature, in which a particular topic is discussed thoroughly. It usually highlights the writer’s outlook, knowledge and experiences on that particular topic. It is a short literary work, which elucidates, argues and analyzes a specific topic.

The word essay is originated from the Latin term ‘exagium’ which means ‘presentation of a case’. Hence, writing an essay means to state the reasons or causes of something, or why something should be done or should be the case, which validates a particular viewpoint, analysis, experience, stories, facts or interpretation.

An essay is written with the intent to convince or inform the reader about something. Further, for writing an essay one needs to have good knowledge of the subject to explain the concept, thoroughly. If not so, the writer will end up repeating the same points again and again.

Components of the Essay

  • Title : It should be a succinct statement of the proposition.
  • Introduction : The introduction section of the essay, should be so interesting which instantly grabs the attention of the reader and makes them read the essay further. Hence, one can start with a quote to make it more thought-provoking.
  • Body : In the main body of the essay, evidence or reasons in support of the writer’s ideas or arguments are provided. One should make sure that there is a sync in the paragraphs of the main body, as well as they,  should maintain a logical flow.
  • Conclusion : In this part, the writer wraps up all the points in a summarized and simplified manner.

Key Differences Between Article and Essay

Upcoming points will discuss the difference between article and essay:

  • An article refers to a written work, published in newspapers, journals, website, magazines etc, containing news or information, in a specific format. On the other hand, an essay is a continuous piece of writing, written with the aim of convincing the reader with the argument or merely informing the reader about the fact.
  • An article is objective in the sense that it is based on facts and evidence, and simply describes the topic or narrate the event. As against, an essay is subjective, because it is based on fact or research-based opinion or outlook of a person on a specific topic. It analyses, argues and criticizes the topic.
  • The tone used in an article is conversational, so as to make the article easy to understand and also keeping the interest of the reader intact. On the contrary, an essay uses educational and analytical tone.
  • An article may contain headings, which makes it attractive and readable. In contrast, an essay does not have any headings, sections or bullet points, however, it is a coherent and organized form of writing.
  • An article is always written with a definite objective, which is to inform or make the readers aware of something. Further, it is written to cater to a specific niche of audience. Conversely, an essay is written in response to a particular assertion or question. Moreover, it is not written with a specific group of readers in mind.
  • An article is often supported by photographs, charts, statistics, graphs and tables. As opposed, an essay is not supported by any photographs, charts, or graphs.
  • Citations and references are a must in case of an essay, whereas there is no such requirement in case of an article.

By and large, an article is meant to inform the reader about something, through news, featured stories, product descriptions, reports, etc. On the flip side, an essay offers an analysis of a particular topic, while reflecting a detailed account of a person’s view on it.

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abstract vs introduction

Anna H. Smith says

November 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Great! Thank you for explaining the difference between an article and an academic essay so eloquently. Your information is so detailed and very helpful. it’s very educative, Thanks for sharing.

Sunita Singh says

December 12, 2020 at 7:11 am

Thank you! That’s quite helpful.

Saba Zia says

March 8, 2021 at 12:33 am

Great job!! Thank u for sharing this explanation and detailed difference between essay and article. It is really helpful.

Khushi Chaudhary says

February 7, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Thank you so much! It is really very easy to understand & helpful for my test.

Dury Frizza says

July 25, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing such a clear and easily understood explanation!!!!.

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The Difference Between an Article and an Essay

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In composition studies , an article is a short work of nonfiction that typically appears in a magazine or newspaper or on a website. Unlike essays , which often highlight the subjective impressions of the author (or narrator ), articles are commonly written from an objective point of view . Articles include news items, feature stories, reports , profiles , instructions, product descriptions, and other informative pieces of writing.

What Sets Articles Apart From Essays

Though both articles and essays are types of nonfiction writing, they differ in many ways. Here are some features and qualities of articles that differentiate them from essays.

Subject and Theme in Articles

"A useful exercise is to look at some good articles and name the broader subject and the particular aspect each treats. You will find that the subject always deals with a partial aspect examined from some viewpoint; it is never a crammed condensation of the whole.

"...Observe that there are two essential elements of an article: subject and theme . The subject is what the article is about: the issue, event, or person it deals with. (Again, an article must cover only an aspect of a whole.) The theme is what the author wants to say about the subject—what he brings to the subject." (Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers , ed. by Robert Mayhew. Plume, 2001)

"An article is not everything that's true. It's every important thing that's true." (Gary Provost, Beyond Style: Mastering the Finer Points of Writing . Writer's Digest Books, 1988)

Article Structure

"There are five ways to structure your article . They are:

- The inverted pyramid - The double helix - The chronological double-helix - The chronological report - The storytelling model

Think about how you read a newspaper: you scan the captions and then read the first paragraph or two to get the gist of the article and then read further if you want to know more of the details. That's the inverted pyramid style of writing used by journalists, in which what's important comes first. The double-helix also presents facts in order of importance but it alternates between two separate sets of information. For example, suppose you are writing an article about the two national political conventions. You'll first present Fact 1 about the Democratic convention, then Fact 2 about the Republicans, then Fact 2 about the Democrats, Fact 2 about the Republicans, and so on. The chronological double-helix begins like the double helix but once the important facts from each set of information have been presented, it then goes off to relay the events in chronological order...

"The chronological report is the most straightforward structure to follow since it is written in the order in which the events occurred. The final structure is the storytelling model, which utilizes some of the techniques of fiction writing, so you would want to bring the reader into the story right away even if it means beginning in the middle or even near the end and then filling in the facts as the story unfolds." (Richard D. Bank, The Everything Guide to Writing Nonfiction . Adams Media, 2010)

Opening Sentence of an Article

"The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn't induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn't induce him to continue to the third sentence, it's equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until he is hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit, the ' lead .'" (William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction , 7th ed. HarperCollins, 2006)

Articles and Media

"More and more, article content written for printed media is also appearing on digital devices (often as an edited version of a longer article) for readers who have short attention spans due to time constraints or their device's small screen. As a result, digital publishers are seeking audio versions of content that is significantly condensed and written in conversational style. Often, content writers must now submit their articles with the understanding they will appear in several media formats." (Roger W. Nielsen, Writing Content: Mastering Magazine and Online Writing . R.W. Nielsen, 2009)

Writer's Voice in Articles and Essays

"Given the confusion of genre minglings and overlaps, what finally distinguishes an essay from an article may just be the author's gumption, the extent to which personal voice , vision, and style are the prime movers and shapers, even though the authorial 'I' may be only a remote energy, nowhere visible but everywhere present. ('We commonly do not remember,' Thoreau wrote in the opening paragraphs of Walden , 'that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking.')" (Justin Kaplan, quoted by Robert Atwan in The Best American Essays, College Edition , 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, 1998)

  • How to Write a Good Descriptive Paragraph
  • How to Find the Main Idea
  • What Is a Novel? Definition and Characteristics
  • What Is the Inverted Pyramid Method of Organization?
  • How to Write a News Article That's Effective
  • What Are the Different Types and Characteristics of Essays?
  • Periodical Essay Definition and Examples
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • Definition and Examples of Paragraphing in Essays
  • Constructing News Stories with the Inverted Pyramid
  • What Is a Synopsis and How Do You Write One?
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Writing News Stories for the Web
  • An Introduction to Literary Nonfiction
  • Paragraph Length in Compositions and Reports
  • What Is Literary Journalism?

essay about article

How to Write an Essay

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Essay Writing Fundamentals

How to prepare to write an essay, how to edit an essay, how to share and publish your essays, how to get essay writing help, how to find essay writing inspiration, resources for teaching essay writing.

Essays, short prose compositions on a particular theme or topic, are the bread and butter of academic life. You write them in class, for homework, and on standardized tests to show what you know. Unlike other kinds of academic writing (like the research paper) and creative writing (like short stories and poems), essays allow you to develop your original thoughts on a prompt or question. Essays come in many varieties: they can be expository (fleshing out an idea or claim), descriptive, (explaining a person, place, or thing), narrative (relating a personal experience), or persuasive (attempting to win over a reader). This guide is a collection of dozens of links about academic essay writing that we have researched, categorized, and annotated in order to help you improve your essay writing. 

Essays are different from other forms of writing; in turn, there are different kinds of essays. This section contains general resources for getting to know the essay and its variants. These resources introduce and define the essay as a genre, and will teach you what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab

One of the most trusted academic writing sites, Purdue OWL provides a concise introduction to the four most common types of academic essays.

"The Essay: History and Definition" (ThoughtCo)

This snappy article from ThoughtCo talks about the origins of the essay and different kinds of essays you might be asked to write. 

"What Is An Essay?" Video Lecture (Coursera)

The University of California at Irvine's free video lecture, available on Coursera, tells  you everything you need to know about the essay.

Wikipedia Article on the "Essay"

Wikipedia's article on the essay is comprehensive, providing both English-language and global perspectives on the essay form. Learn about the essay's history, forms, and styles.

"Understanding College and Academic Writing" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This list of common academic writing assignments (including types of essay prompts) will help you know what to expect from essay-based assessments.

Before you start writing your essay, you need to figure out who you're writing for (audience), what you're writing about (topic/theme), and what you're going to say (argument and thesis). This section contains links to handouts, chapters, videos and more to help you prepare to write an essay.

How to Identify Your Audience

"Audience" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This handout provides questions you can ask yourself to determine the audience for an academic writing assignment. It also suggests strategies for fitting your paper to your intended audience.

"Purpose, Audience, Tone, and Content" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

This extensive book chapter from Writing for Success , available online through Minnesota Libraries Publishing, is followed by exercises to try out your new pre-writing skills.

"Determining Audience" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This guide from a community college's writing center shows you how to know your audience, and how to incorporate that knowledge in your thesis statement.

"Know Your Audience" ( Paper Rater Blog)

This short blog post uses examples to show how implied audiences for essays differ. It reminds you to think of your instructor as an observer, who will know only the information you pass along.

How to Choose a Theme or Topic

"Research Tutorial: Developing Your Topic" (YouTube)

Take a look at this short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to understand the basics of developing a writing topic.

"How to Choose a Paper Topic" (WikiHow)

This simple, step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through choosing a paper topic. It starts with a detailed description of brainstorming and ends with strategies to refine your broad topic.

"How to Read an Assignment: Moving From Assignment to Topic" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Did your teacher give you a prompt or other instructions? This guide helps you understand the relationship between an essay assignment and your essay's topic.

"Guidelines for Choosing a Topic" (CliffsNotes)

This study guide from CliffsNotes both discusses how to choose a topic and makes a useful distinction between "topic" and "thesis."

How to Come Up with an Argument

"Argument" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

Not sure what "argument" means in the context of academic writing? This page from the University of North Carolina is a good place to start.

"The Essay Guide: Finding an Argument" (Study Hub)

This handout explains why it's important to have an argument when beginning your essay, and provides tools to help you choose a viable argument.

"Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument" (University of Iowa)

This page from the University of Iowa's Writing Center contains exercises through which you can develop and refine your argument and thesis statement.

"Developing a Thesis" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page from Harvard's Writing Center collates some helpful dos and don'ts of argumentative writing, from steps in constructing a thesis to avoiding vague and confrontational thesis statements.

"Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

This page offers concrete suggestions for each stage of the essay writing process, from topic selection to drafting and editing. 

How to Outline your Essay

"Outlines" (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via YouTube)

This short video tutorial from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows how to group your ideas into paragraphs or sections to begin the outlining process.

"Essay Outline" (Univ. of Washington Tacoma)

This two-page handout by a university professor simply defines the parts of an essay and then organizes them into an example outline.

"Types of Outlines and Samples" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL gives examples of diverse outline strategies on this page, including the alphanumeric, full sentence, and decimal styles. 

"Outlining" (Harvard College Writing Center)

Once you have an argument, according to this handout, there are only three steps in the outline process: generalizing, ordering, and putting it all together. Then you're ready to write!

"Writing Essays" (Plymouth Univ.)

This packet, part of Plymouth University's Learning Development series, contains descriptions and diagrams relating to the outlining process.

"How to Write A Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure" (Criticalthinkingtutorials.com via YouTube)

This longer video tutorial gives an overview of how to structure your essay in order to support your argument or thesis. It is part of a longer course on academic writing hosted on Udemy.

Now that you've chosen and refined your topic and created an outline, use these resources to complete the writing process. Most essays contain introductions (which articulate your thesis statement), body paragraphs, and conclusions. Transitions facilitate the flow from one paragraph to the next so that support for your thesis builds throughout the essay. Sources and citations show where you got the evidence to support your thesis, which ensures that you avoid plagiarism. 

How to Write an Introduction

"Introductions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page identifies the role of the introduction in any successful paper, suggests strategies for writing introductions, and warns against less effective introductions.

"How to Write A Good Introduction" (Michigan State Writing Center)

Beginning with the most common missteps in writing introductions, this guide condenses the essentials of introduction composition into seven points.

"The Introductory Paragraph" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming focuses on ways to grab your reader's attention at the beginning of your essay.

"Introductions and Conclusions" (Univ. of Toronto)

This guide from the University of Toronto gives advice that applies to writing both introductions and conclusions, including dos and don'ts.

"How to Write Better Essays: No One Does Introductions Properly" ( The Guardian )

This news article interviews UK professors on student essay writing; they point to introductions as the area that needs the most improvement.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

"Writing an Effective Thesis Statement" (YouTube)

This short, simple video tutorial from a college composition instructor at Tulsa Community College explains what a thesis statement is and what it does. 

"Thesis Statement: Four Steps to a Great Essay" (YouTube)

This fantastic tutorial walks you through drafting a thesis, using an essay prompt on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter as an example.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) walks you through coming up with, writing, and editing a thesis statement. It invites you think of your statement as a "working thesis" that can change.

"How to Write a Thesis Statement" (Univ. of Indiana Bloomington)

Ask yourself the questions on this page, part of Indiana Bloomington's Writing Tutorial Services, when you're writing and refining your thesis statement.

"Writing Tips: Thesis Statements" (Univ. of Illinois Center for Writing Studies)

This page gives plentiful examples of good to great thesis statements, and offers questions to ask yourself when formulating a thesis statement.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

"Body Paragraph" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course introduces you to the components of a body paragraph. These include the topic sentence, information, evidence, and analysis.

"Strong Body Paragraphs" (Washington Univ.)

This handout from Washington's Writing and Research Center offers in-depth descriptions of the parts of a successful body paragraph.

"Guide to Paragraph Structure" (Deakin Univ.)

This handout is notable for color-coding example body paragraphs to help you identify the functions various sentences perform.

"Writing Body Paragraphs" (Univ. of Minnesota Libraries)

The exercises in this section of Writing for Success  will help you practice writing good body paragraphs. It includes guidance on selecting primary support for your thesis.

"The Writing Process—Body Paragraphs" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

The information and exercises on this page will familiarize you with outlining and writing body paragraphs, and includes links to more information on topic sentences and transitions.

"The Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post discusses body paragraphs in the context of one of the most common academic essay types in secondary schools.

How to Use Transitions

"Transitions" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains what a transition is, and how to know if you need to improve your transitions.

"Using Transitions Effectively" (Washington Univ.)

This handout defines transitions, offers tips for using them, and contains a useful list of common transitional words and phrases grouped by function.

"Transitions" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

This page compares paragraphs without transitions to paragraphs with transitions, and in doing so shows how important these connective words and phrases are.

"Transitions in Academic Essays" (Scribbr)

This page lists four techniques that will help you make sure your reader follows your train of thought, including grouping similar information and using transition words.

"Transitions" (El Paso Community College)

This handout shows example transitions within paragraphs for context, and explains how transitions improve your essay's flow and voice.

"Make Your Paragraphs Flow to Improve Writing" (ThoughtCo)

This blog post, another from academic advisor and college enrollment counselor Grace Fleming, talks about transitions and other strategies to improve your essay's overall flow.

"Transition Words" (smartwords.org)

This handy word bank will help you find transition words when you're feeling stuck. It's grouped by the transition's function, whether that is to show agreement, opposition, condition, or consequence.

How to Write a Conclusion

"Parts of An Essay: Conclusions" (Brightstorm)

This module of a free online course explains how to conclude an academic essay. It suggests thinking about the "3Rs": return to hook, restate your thesis, and relate to the reader.

"Essay Conclusions" (Univ. of Maryland University College)

This overview of the academic essay conclusion contains helpful examples and links to further resources for writing good conclusions.

"How to End An Essay" (WikiHow)

This step-by-step guide (with pictures!) by an English Ph.D. walks you through writing a conclusion, from brainstorming to ending with a flourish.

"Ending the Essay: Conclusions" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This page collates useful strategies for writing an effective conclusion, and reminds you to "close the discussion without closing it off" to further conversation.

How to Include Sources and Citations

"Research and Citation Resources" (Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab)

Purdue OWL streamlines information about the three most common referencing styles (MLA, Chicago, and APA) and provides examples of how to cite different resources in each system.

EasyBib: Free Bibliography Generator

This online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. Be sure to select your resource type before clicking the "cite it" button.


Like EasyBib, this online tool allows you to input information about your source and automatically generate citations in any style. 

Modern Language Association Handbook (MLA)

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of MLA referencing rules. Order through the link above, or check to see if your library has a copy.

Chicago Manual of Style

Here, you'll find the definitive and up-to-date record of Chicago referencing rules. You can take a look at the table of contents, then choose to subscribe or start a free trial.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

"What is Plagiarism?" (plagiarism.org)

This nonprofit website contains numerous resources for identifying and avoiding plagiarism, and reminds you that even common activities like copying images from another website to your own site may constitute plagiarism.

"Plagiarism" (University of Oxford)

This interactive page from the University of Oxford helps you check for plagiarism in your work, making it clear how to avoid citing another person's work without full acknowledgement.

"Avoiding Plagiarism" (MIT Comparative Media Studies)

This quick guide explains what plagiarism is, what its consequences are, and how to avoid it. It starts by defining three words—quotation, paraphrase, and summary—that all constitute citation.

"Harvard Guide to Using Sources" (Harvard Extension School)

This comprehensive website from Harvard brings together articles, videos, and handouts about referencing, citation, and plagiarism. 

Grammarly contains tons of helpful grammar and writing resources, including a free tool to automatically scan your essay to check for close affinities to published work. 

Noplag is another popular online tool that automatically scans your essay to check for signs of plagiarism. Simply copy and paste your essay into the box and click "start checking."

Once you've written your essay, you'll want to edit (improve content), proofread (check for spelling and grammar mistakes), and finalize your work until you're ready to hand it in. This section brings together tips and resources for navigating the editing process. 

"Writing a First Draft" (Academic Help)

This is an introduction to the drafting process from the site Academic Help, with tips for getting your ideas on paper before editing begins.

"Editing and Proofreading" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page provides general strategies for revising your writing. They've intentionally left seven errors in the handout, to give you practice in spotting them.

"How to Proofread Effectively" (ThoughtCo)

This article from ThoughtCo, along with those linked at the bottom, help describe common mistakes to check for when proofreading.

"7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful" (SmartBlogger)

This blog post emphasizes the importance of powerful, concise language, and reminds you that even your personal writing heroes create clunky first drafts.

"Editing Tips for Effective Writing" (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

On this page from Penn's International Relations department, you'll find tips for effective prose, errors to watch out for, and reminders about formatting.

"Editing the Essay" (Harvard College Writing Center)

This article, the first of two parts, gives you applicable strategies for the editing process. It suggests reading your essay aloud, removing any jargon, and being unafraid to remove even "dazzling" sentences that don't belong.

"Guide to Editing and Proofreading" (Oxford Learning Institute)

This handout from Oxford covers the basics of editing and proofreading, and reminds you that neither task should be rushed. 

In addition to plagiarism-checkers, Grammarly has a plug-in for your web browser that checks your writing for common mistakes.

After you've prepared, written, and edited your essay, you might want to share it outside the classroom. This section alerts you to print and web opportunities to share your essays with the wider world, from online writing communities and blogs to published journals geared toward young writers.

Sharing Your Essays Online

Go Teen Writers

Go Teen Writers is an online community for writers aged 13 - 19. It was founded by Stephanie Morrill, an author of contemporary young adult novels. 

Tumblr is a blogging website where you can share your writing and interact with other writers online. It's easy to add photos, links, audio, and video components.

Writersky provides an online platform for publishing and reading other youth writers' work. Its current content is mostly devoted to fiction.

Publishing Your Essays Online

This teen literary journal publishes in print, on the web, and (more frequently), on a blog. It is committed to ensuring that "teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages."

The Matador Review

This youth writing platform celebrates "alternative," unconventional writing. The link above will take you directly to the site's "submissions" page.

Teen Ink has a website, monthly newsprint magazine, and quarterly poetry magazine promoting the work of young writers.

The largest online reading platform, Wattpad enables you to publish your work and read others' work. Its inline commenting feature allows you to share thoughts as you read along.

Publishing Your Essays in Print

Canvas Teen Literary Journal

This quarterly literary magazine is published for young writers by young writers. They accept many kinds of writing, including essays.

The Claremont Review

This biannual international magazine, first published in 1992, publishes poetry, essays, and short stories from writers aged 13 - 19.

Skipping Stones

This young writers magazine, founded in 1988, celebrates themes relating to ecological and cultural diversity. It publishes poems, photos, articles, and stories.

The Telling Room

This nonprofit writing center based in Maine publishes children's work on their website and in book form. The link above directs you to the site's submissions page.

Essay Contests

Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

This prestigious international writing contest for students in grades 7 - 12 has been committed to "supporting the future of creativity since 1923."

Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest

An annual essay contest on the theme of journalism and media, the Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest awards scholarships up to $1,000.

National YoungArts Foundation

Here, you'll find information on a government-sponsored writing competition for writers aged 15 - 18. The foundation welcomes submissions of creative nonfiction, novels, scripts, poetry, short story and spoken word.

Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

With prompts on a different literary work each year, this competition from Signet Classics awards college scholarships up to $1,000.

"The Ultimate Guide to High School Essay Contests" (CollegeVine)

See this handy guide from CollegeVine for a list of more competitions you can enter with your academic essay, from the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards to the National High School Essay Contest by the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Whether you're struggling to write academic essays or you think you're a pro, there are workshops and online tools that can help you become an even better writer. Even the most seasoned writers encounter writer's block, so be proactive and look through our curated list of resources to combat this common frustration.

Online Essay-writing Classes and Workshops

"Getting Started with Essay Writing" (Coursera)

Coursera offers lots of free, high-quality online classes taught by college professors. Here's one example, taught by instructors from the University of California Irvine.

"Writing and English" (Brightstorm)

Brightstorm's free video lectures are easy to navigate by topic. This unit on the parts of an essay features content on the essay hook, thesis, supporting evidence, and more.

"How to Write an Essay" (EdX)

EdX is another open online university course website with several two- to five-week courses on the essay. This one is geared toward English language learners.

Writer's Digest University

This renowned writers' website offers online workshops and interactive tutorials. The courses offered cover everything from how to get started through how to get published.


Signing up for this online writer's community gives you access to helpful resources as well as an international community of writers.

How to Overcome Writer's Block

"Symptoms and Cures for Writer's Block" (Purdue OWL)

Purdue OWL offers a list of signs you might have writer's block, along with ways to overcome it. Consider trying out some "invention strategies" or ways to curb writing anxiety.

"Overcoming Writer's Block: Three Tips" ( The Guardian )

These tips, geared toward academic writing specifically, are practical and effective. The authors advocate setting realistic goals, creating dedicated writing time, and participating in social writing.

"Writing Tips: Strategies for Overcoming Writer's Block" (Univ. of Illinois)

This page from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Center for Writing Studies acquaints you with strategies that do and do not work to overcome writer's block.

"Writer's Block" (Univ. of Toronto)

Ask yourself the questions on this page; if the answer is "yes," try out some of the article's strategies. Each question is accompanied by at least two possible solutions.

If you have essays to write but are short on ideas, this section's links to prompts, example student essays, and celebrated essays by professional writers might help. You'll find writing prompts from a variety of sources, student essays to inspire you, and a number of essay writing collections.

Essay Writing Prompts

"50 Argumentative Essay Topics" (ThoughtCo)

Take a look at this list and the others ThoughtCo has curated for different kinds of essays. As the author notes, "a number of these topics are controversial and that's the point."

"401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing" ( New York Times )

This list (and the linked lists to persuasive and narrative writing prompts), besides being impressive in length, is put together by actual high school English teachers.

"SAT Sample Essay Prompts" (College Board)

If you're a student in the U.S., your classroom essay prompts are likely modeled on the prompts in U.S. college entrance exams. Take a look at these official examples from the SAT.

"Popular College Application Essay Topics" (Princeton Review)

This page from the Princeton Review dissects recent Common Application essay topics and discusses strategies for answering them.

Example Student Essays

"501 Writing Prompts" (DePaul Univ.)

This nearly 200-page packet, compiled by the LearningExpress Skill Builder in Focus Writing Team, is stuffed with writing prompts, example essays, and commentary.

"Topics in English" (Kibin)

Kibin is a for-pay essay help website, but its example essays (organized by topic) are available for free. You'll find essays on everything from  A Christmas Carol  to perseverance.

"Student Writing Models" (Thoughtful Learning)

Thoughtful Learning, a website that offers a variety of teaching materials, provides sample student essays on various topics and organizes them by grade level.

"Five-Paragraph Essay" (ThoughtCo)

In this blog post by a former professor of English and rhetoric, ThoughtCo brings together examples of five-paragraph essays and commentary on the form.

The Best Essay Writing Collections

The Best American Essays of the Century by Joyce Carol Oates (Amazon)

This collection of American essays spanning the twentieth century was compiled by award winning author and Princeton professor Joyce Carol Oates.

The Best American Essays 2017 by Leslie Jamison (Amazon)

Leslie Jamison, the celebrated author of essay collection  The Empathy Exams , collects recent, high-profile essays into a single volume.

The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate (Amazon)

Documentary writer Phillip Lopate curates this historical overview of the personal essay's development, from the classical era to the present.

The White Album by Joan Didion (Amazon)

This seminal essay collection was authored by one of the most acclaimed personal essayists of all time, American journalist Joan Didion.

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace (Amazon)

Read this famous essay collection by David Foster Wallace, who is known for his experimentation with the essay form. He pushed the boundaries of personal essay, reportage, and political polemic.

"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" (Staff of the The Harvard Crimson )

If you're looking for examples of exceptional college application essays, this volume from Harvard's daily student newspaper is one of the best collections on the market.

Are you an instructor looking for the best resources for teaching essay writing? This section contains resources for developing in-class activities and student homework assignments. You'll find content from both well-known university writing centers and online writing labs.

Essay Writing Classroom Activities for Students

"In-class Writing Exercises" (Univ. of North Carolina Writing Center)

This page lists exercises related to brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and revising. It also contains suggestions for how to implement the suggested exercises.

"Teaching with Writing" (Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing)

Instructions and encouragement for using "freewriting," one-minute papers, logbooks, and other write-to-learn activities in the classroom can be found here.

"Writing Worksheets" (Berkeley Student Learning Center)

Berkeley offers this bank of writing worksheets to use in class. They are nested under headings for "Prewriting," "Revision," "Research Papers" and more.

"Using Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism" (DePaul University)

Use these activities and worksheets from DePaul's Teaching Commons when instructing students on proper academic citation practices.

Essay Writing Homework Activities for Students

"Grammar and Punctuation Exercises" (Aims Online Writing Lab)

These five interactive online activities allow students to practice editing and proofreading. They'll hone their skills in correcting comma splices and run-ons, identifying fragments, using correct pronoun agreement, and comma usage.

"Student Interactives" (Read Write Think)

Read Write Think hosts interactive tools, games, and videos for developing writing skills. They can practice organizing and summarizing, writing poetry, and developing lines of inquiry and analysis.

This free website offers writing and grammar activities for all grade levels. The lessons are designed to be used both for large classes and smaller groups.

"Writing Activities and Lessons for Every Grade" (Education World)

Education World's page on writing activities and lessons links you to more free, online resources for learning how to "W.R.I.T.E.": write, revise, inform, think, and edit.

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Course: college admissions   >   unit 4.

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Writing tips and techniques for your college essay

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Pose a question the reader wants answered

Don't focus exclusively on the past, experiment with the unexpected, don't summarize, want to join the conversation.

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The Difference between an Essay and an Article

Imagine opening your favorite entertainment magazine or your local newspaper and finding a collection of essays. How long, in that case, would the money you spend on magazines and newspapers be considered part of your entertainment budget?

Essay vs. Article

Articles can be informative and not all of them are entertaining. However, it's more likely to find articles in magazines that offer entertainment for readers than an essay.

The most notable difference between an essay and an article is the tone. Essays traditionally are subjective pieces of formal writing that offers an analysis of a specific topic. In other words, an essay writer studies, researches, and forms a factually-based opinion on the topic in order to inform others about their ideas.

An article is traditionally objective instead of subjective. Writing an article doesn't always require that an opinion to be formed and expressed, and there's no requirement that an analysis be offered about the information being presented.

Scroll through a copy of Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, and today's edition of your local newspaper, and you'll get a sense of how articles can be structured in numerous different ways. Some include headings and subheadings along with accompanying photos to paint a picture for the reader to form their own thoughts and opinions about the subject of an article.

Essays, however, have more strict guidelines on structure depending on which type of essay a writer has chosen. Traditionally, readers will see an introductory paragraph that presents a thesis statement, body paragraphs with topic sentences that relate back to and flesh out the thesis, and a conclusion with the author's take on the information presented.

Entertainment Factor

While narrative essays can tell entertaining stories, it is articles that are most often included in magazines and newspapers to keep their subscribers informed and reading.

It's up to the writer of an article what message they want to convey. Sometimes that message is informative and sometimes it's humorous. For an essay writer, it's all about learning as much as possible about a topic, forming an opinion, and describing how they came to that opinion and why.

You're not likely to find essays in entertainment magazines. A person seeking in-depth information on a subject is going to seek out an essay, while a person looking for an entertaining piece of writing that allows them to draw their own conclusions will be more likely to seek out an article.

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  • Difference Between Article And Essay

Difference between Article and Essay

Are an article and an essay the same? Is there something that makes one different from the other? Check out this article to find out.

What is an Article?

An article is a report or content published in a newspaper, magazine, journal or website, either in printed or electronic form. When it comes to articles, a sizable readership is considered. It might be supported by studies, research, data, and other necessary elements. Articles may be slightly brief or lengthy, with a maximum count of 1500 words. It educates the readers on various ideas/concepts and is prepared with a clear aim in mind.

Articles, which can be found in newspapers, journals, encyclopaedias, and now, most commonly, online, inform and keep readers informed about many topics.

What is an Essay?

An essay is a formal, in-depth work of literature that analyses and discusses a specific problem or subject. It refers to a brief piece of content on a specific topic. Students are frequently required to write essays in response to questions or propositions in their academic coursework. It doesn’t target any particular readers.

Through essays, the author or narrator offers unique ideas or opinions on a given subject or question while maintaining an analytical and formal tone.

1. An article is a bit of writing intended to be shared in a magazine, newspaper, or other type of publication. An essay is a composition which belongs to a specific issue, or topic.
2. Articles tend to be objective. Essays tend to be subjective.
3. The purpose of the article is to tell the readers about some prospects, information and concepts. The major goal of the essay is to respond to a query.
4. In an article, we need charts, photographs, statistical data, etc., to create a masterpiece. In the essay, we do not need any reports, charts, or photographs.
5. When it comes to articles, we have to follow a particular heading and subheading format. When it comes to essays, there is no need to follow a heading format.
6. Articles are always long in nature and they should cover at least 1500 words at least. Essays are also longer in nature and the word count may reach up to 3000 words.
7. In an article, the conclusion part is not mandatory. In an essay, the conclusion part is mandatory.

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essay , an analytic , interpretative, or critical literary composition usually much shorter and less systematic and formal than a dissertation or thesis and usually dealing with its subject from a limited and often personal point of view.

Some early treatises—such as those of Cicero on the pleasantness of old age or on the art of “divination,” Seneca on anger or clemency , and Plutarch on the passing of oracles—presage to a certain degree the form and tone of the essay, but not until the late 16th century was the flexible and deliberately nonchalant and versatile form of the essay perfected by the French writer Michel de Montaigne . Choosing the name essai to emphasize that his compositions were attempts or endeavours, a groping toward the expression of his personal thoughts and experiences, Montaigne used the essay as a means of self-discovery. His Essais , published in their final form in 1588, are still considered among the finest of their kind. Later writers who most nearly recall the charm of Montaigne include, in England, Robert Burton , though his whimsicality is more erudite , Sir Thomas Browne , and Laurence Sterne , and in France, with more self-consciousness and pose, André Gide and Jean Cocteau .

essay about article

At the beginning of the 17th century, social manners, the cultivation of politeness, and the training of an accomplished gentleman became the theme of many essayists. This theme was first exploited by the Italian Baldassare Castiglione in his Il libro del cortegiano (1528; The Book of the Courtier ). The influence of the essay and of genres allied to it, such as maxims, portraits, and sketches, proved second to none in molding the behavior of the cultured classes, first in Italy, then in France, and, through French influence, in most of Europe in the 17th century. Among those who pursued this theme was the 17th-century Spanish Jesuit Baltasar Gracián in his essays on the art of worldly wisdom.

Keener political awareness in the 18th century, the age of Enlightenment , made the essay an all-important vehicle for the criticism of society and religion. Because of its flexibility, its brevity , and its potential both for ambiguity and for allusions to current events and conditions, it was an ideal tool for philosophical reformers. The Federalist Papers in America and the tracts of the French Revolutionaries are among the countless examples of attempts during this period to improve the human condition through the essay.

The genre also became the favoured tool of traditionalists of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Edmund Burke and Samuel Taylor Coleridge , who looked to the short, provocative essay as the most potent means of educating the masses. Essays such as Paul Elmer More’s long series of Shelburne Essays (published between 1904 and 1935), T.S. Eliot ’s After Strange Gods (1934) and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948), and others that attempted to reinterpret and redefine culture , established the genre as the most fitting to express the genteel tradition at odds with the democracy of the new world.

Whereas in several countries the essay became the chosen vehicle of literary and social criticism, in other countries the genre became semipolitical, earnestly nationalistic, and often polemical, playful, or bitter. Essayists such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Willa Cather wrote with grace on several lighter subjects, and many writers—including Virginia Woolf , Edmund Wilson , and Charles du Bos —mastered the essay as a form of literary criticism .

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How to Analyze an Article to Write an Essay

Strong essay writing and research skills are important for success in high school and college. One common type of essay is an article analysis essay. Its purpose is to evaluate the ideas or arguments presented in the article. Usually these essays are comprised of an introduction, at least three supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. Every essay should have a well-stated thesis that tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper as well as solid research to support the thesis.

Research and Notes

Read the article and take notes with your essay in mind. Even if you have read the article once already, read through it again to take notes. Highlight meaningful passages while looking for connections and think critically about what you are reading. Document your responses in the margins or on a blank sheet of paper.

Investigate other sources to support your essay's main points and to gather ideas. Formal responses have been written about many academic articles. They may have ideas that you can use to get a deeper understanding of the article you are writing about. Visit your library or use an online academic database to find references.

Analyze the arguments that you have gathered. Think through each perspective logically, looking for strengths and weaknesses. Form your own opinions about the topic.

Write one concise sentence, or thesis statement, that summarizes your thinking. This sentence should state the point of the essay. Keep in mind that, although the thesis statement is written first, it should be revisited at the end of the writing process to make any necessary changes.

Compose at least three main points that back up your thesis. These points will eventually become topic sentences and will begin each supporting paragraph in your essay.

Find at least one quote that backs up each point that you have. The quote might be one you found in your research or it could be from the article itself. Be sure to write down the source of each quote so that you can reference it in the essay.

Write and Edit

Write an introduction to the essay. Include relevant information about the article that came up in your research. Lead into the thesis statement, which is usually the last sentence of the paragraph.

Use the topic sentences you created to form three supporting paragraphs. Each topic sentence should act as a foundation for the rest of the paragraph and should summarize each paragraph's content.

Construct a final concluding paragraph that restates your main points in a new way. This paragraph does not have to be long and is sometimes only a few sentences in length.

Edit your essay and ask someone else to review it as well. Read through your essay, checking for errors and flaws in logic. It is best if a friend reads it over also to give advice and to catch any mistakes that were missed.

  • If you are truly stumped and cannot think of what to write about, make an appointment with your professor or teacher to discuss the article. Use the discussion to brainstorm ideas.

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Julia Klaus has been a writer and copy editor for three years. She has edited books including "Top Dollar Plumber" by Sid Southerland and is contributer to eHow. Klaus has experience writing web copy and training manuals and has a Bachelor of Arts in English as well as a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Portland.

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The 50 best short articles & essays to read for students, the capital t truth by david foster wallace, this is the life by annie dillard, things we think we know by chuck klosterman, why does it feel like everyone has more money than you by jen doll, phoning it in by stanley bing, the fringe benefits of failure, and the importance of imagination by j.k. rowling, 50 more articles about life, love and relationships, crazy love by steven pinker, no labels, no drama, right by jordana narin, the limits of friendship by maria konnikova, 50 more articles about love and relationships, words and writing, writing, briefly by paul graham, write like a mofo by cheryl strayed, 20 more articles about writing, the same river twice by david quammen, you can't kill the rooster by david sedaris, scars by david owen, 100 more short memoirs, a brief history of forever by tavi gevinson, school for girls by jasmin aviva sandelson, 50 more articles about growing up, why we play by eva holland, why sports are for losers by matt taibbi, 50 more articles about sports, keep your identity small by paul graham, the muggle problem by ross douthat, 75 more articles about politics, notes of a native son by james baldwin, a letter to my nephew by james baldwin, a place where we are everything by roxane gay, 30 more articles about race, what no one else will tell you about feminism by lindy west, bad feminist by roxane gay, 10 more articles about feminism, holy water by joan didion, how to disagree by paul graham, so what if mountain dew can melt mice by chuck klosterman, 150 great articles and essays.

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Writing Effective Journal Essay Introductions

By  James Phelan and Faye Halpern

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Authors and editors in the humanities know that journals are more likely to accept scholarly essays with strong introductions and that such essays are more likely to influence academic conversations. Yet from our experiences as journal editors and authors, we also know that writers often struggle with introductions.

That’s understandably so: not only is a lot riding on an essay’s introduction, but it also needs to accomplish multiple rhetorical tasks efficiently. And while everyone knows the general purpose of the introduction -- to state the essay's thesis -- many people have trouble determining how best to get to that statement. In this article, our thesis is threefold. First, there are many effective strategies for building up to that statement. Second, underlying these strategies is a smaller set of common purposes. And finally, working with an awareness of both the first and second principles is a sound way to write strong introductions.

Strategies and Purposes

Here is an illustrative list of strategies, neither comprehensive nor mutually exclusive.

The Problem-Solution Strategy. You start by identifying a problem and unpacking its key dimensions and then propose your solution in the thesis statement or statements. (You no doubt recognize that we have just used this strategy.) For another example, see Catherine Gallagher, “ The Rise of Fictionality .”

The Question-Answer Strategy. You interweave descriptions of noteworthy phenomena and questions that they raise; you then propose answers in your thesis statement or statements. Some examples include Peter J. Rabinowitz’s “ Truth in Fiction: A Re-Examination of Audiences ” and Sarah Iles Johnston’s " The Greek Mythic Storyworld ."

The Revision of Received Wisdom Strategy. You begin by respectfully setting out a plausible and generally accepted view about the essay's central issue; you then point out flaws in this view and formulate an alternative view in your thesis statement or statements. Examples are Gerald Graff’s “ Why How We Read Trumps What We Read ” and John Hardwig’s “ The Role of Trust in Knowledge .”

The Bold Pronouncement Strategy. You announce an especially arresting thesis in your opening sentence or sentences. You then proceed to provide the relevant context for that thesis. For examples, see Brian McHale, “ Beginning to Think About Narrative in Poetry ” and Susan Wolf, “ Moral Saints .”

The Storytelling Strategy. You use an anecdote that illustrates salient aspects of the essay's central issue and then link the anecdote to your thesis about that issue. This strategy is often combined with one of the others, especially No. 1 and No. 2. Examples are Miriam Schoenfield’s “ Permission to Believe: Why Permissivism Is True and What It Tells Us About Irrelevant Influences on Belief ” and Jane Tompkins’s “ Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Politics of Literary History .”

These strategies are ultimately means to accomplish three interrelated rhetorical purposes of strong introductions. All three are concerned with your readers, but the second also pays attention to your dialogic partners: the other scholars whose work you engage. Those three purposes are to:

  • Immediately garner your audience’s interest. You and your readers know that problems beg for solutions, questions for answers. Revising received wisdom promises your audience something fresh and even perhaps contrarian. Making bold pronouncements invites your audience to see whether you can back them up. Telling stories asks your audience to engage in their instabilities and complications and to look for their resolution in your thesis and its supporting arguments.
  • Situate yourself in the relevant scholarly conversations. Introductions aren’t the place for extensive reviews of previous scholarship, but they are the place for combining attention to issues raised by earlier commentators with giving your writing an argumentative edge. Questions, problems, revisions, pronouncements and storytelling in the service of argument -- all these rhetorical acts arise from the intersection between your distinctive take on your object of study and the takes of previous commentators. Consequently, regardless of your particular strategies, your introduction should orient your audience to the general intervention your essay wants to make in the scholarly conversation. Are you intervening by saying “yes and,” “yes but,” “no” or some combination of those responses?
  • Help provide what Gordon Harvey calls a “motive,” which underlies and drives your argument. To put it another way, the strategies push you toward answering the “So what?” question. A strong introduction will signal to your readers that you’re aware of what’s at stake in your argument and why it matters. Although you can work with problems, questions, revisions, pronouncements and storytelling without addressing the “So what?” question, you are more likely to address it, at least implicitly, by pursuing the first two purposes. By pursuing all three, you are more likely not only to have your essay accepted but also to have it make a difference in your field.

Applying the Strategies

In practical terms, the main challenge of writing effective introductions is finding the sweet spot in which you properly balance your presentation of others’ work with your own ideas. We have two main suggestions for hitting that spot. The first involves a general approach to the challenge, and the second builds on it with more specific advice.

First, think of your introduction as needing both “a hook and an I,” a precept that becomes clearer when you think of introductions that have only one of those components. The “all hook and no I” introduction has paragraph upon paragraph (or even page upon page) describing how other scholars have viewed the issue the article addresses with little indication of how the author’s thesis fits into this conversation. Conversely, “the no hook and all I” introduction immediately launches into the author’s argument without establishing the current scholarly conversation that makes it meaningful.

This advice about avoiding the no hook and all I introduction may initially seem to run counter to the bold-pronouncement strategy we outlined above, but a closer look reveals that it is a distinctive variation, a “first I and then hook” progression. The strategy involves moving from your arresting assertion to the context that sharpens its stakes. At the same time, this possible objection helps clarify the situations in which it makes sense to employ the bold-pronouncement strategy: those in which readers of the journal will immediately recognize the striking quality of the thesis, the ways it seeks to take the scholarly conversation in a substantially new direction.

Why might authors go for just the hook or just the I? You might opt for the all-hook intro because you want to demonstrate up front your mastery of a body of relevant scholarship. A noble rationale, but one that often has the unfortunate effect of suggesting to readers that you are so immersed in that scholarship that you haven’t figured out your own point of view.

You might opt for the all-I intro because you want to give your readers credit for knowing a lot about the relevant scholarly conversation rather than rehearsing points you believe they are already familiar with. Another honorable justification, but one that often has the unfortunate effect of suggesting that you are actually not familiar with what other scholars have said.

We also want to note that using the hook and an I approach is ultimately less a matter of sheer quantity -- X number of sentences or paragraphs to others, and Y number to your ideas -- than of argumentative quality. Good introductions do not just repeat what other scholars have said; they analyze it and find an opening in it for their contribution.

Effective uses of the hook and an I can create that opening in numerous ways: they can point to significant aspects of your object or objects of study that previous work has overlooked; they can indicate how previous work explains some phenomena well but others less well; they can point to unrecognized but valuable implications or extensions of previous work; or they can begin to make the case that previous work needs to be corrected. The list could go on, but the key point is that you want to make your audience see the same opening you do and pique their interest in how you propose to fill it.


This approach to introductions has ripple effects on the larger activity of writing an effective essay.

Introductions and abstracts. We often find that authors use their first paragraphs for their abstracts. We do not recommend this tactic, because, as we have discussed in a related article , introductions and abstracts have different purposes. As we say, abstracts are spoilers not teasers, because they give your audience a condensed version of your whole article: what your claim is, why it matters and how you will conduct your argument for it. Introductions, by contrast, are teasers that soon stop teasing. The tease comes with the hook, the construction of the opening for your argument, and ends with the full expression of the I, the articulation of your thesis statement or statements.

Order of composition. We have all heard the advice that one should write the introduction last. But as with most rhetorical matters, one size does not fit all. “Intro last” can be good advice when you’re writing an argument with many moving parts, and you need to write in some detail about all the parts before you are ready to craft your hook and I. “Intro first” can be good advice when you recognize that you need to do for yourself the kinds of things that we’re recommending your introduction needs to do for your reader. Beginning to write by constructing the opening you want to fill and how you want to fill it can be a productive way to guide your whole argument.

Two-way traffic between the introduction and the rest of the argument can also be an effective strategy. In such cases, the draft of the introduction guides the conduct of the argument, and then the details and directions of the argument lead you to revise that draft. And so on for as many rounds as you need to make everything as clear and compelling as possible.

Choosing a strategy. As for the issue of how to choose among viable strategies, again we say that there’s no one right answer. In other words, for most scholarly arguments more than one strategy can be adopted in the service of a strong introduction. Thus, you can try out different strategies in order to decide which one will be most likely to help you to convince your audience of the significance of your answer to the “So what?” question.

Introductions are often difficult to write. Some of the difficulty comes with the territory: writing an effective introduction requires you to have a thorough grasp of your own argument and why it matters for your audience. But we hope we can lessen that difficulty: our ideas about the underlying purposes of introductions and about the various ways to achieve those purposes aim to show you that good introductions are neither random nor mysterious. There are principles and patterns to follow, even if there’s no magic formula. We hope that your work with those principles and patterns can help you construct introductions that both you and your readers will regard as strong and appealing.

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It


The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Tressie McMillan Cottom

Whoever the Democratic Candidate Is, Americans Have Already Lost

A black and white photograph of the Capitol dome and the Peace monument.

By Tressie McMillan Cottom

Opinion Columnist

I watched the debate from a pub in Ireland. A man sitting next to me pegged me for a Yank. “Sorry about all that — screwed no matter what you do,” he said before the final minutes of the debate ended. I nodded, accepting his sympathies for my condition as an American during a week when it has been hard to be an American.

It is only when I am not in America that I feel my American-ness. From the moment that blue passport cover places me in a different line at customs, my citizenship speaks louder than my race, gender or religion. Maybe I had to watch that debate from outside of the U.S. to fully appreciate what was happening to us, Americans.

A survey of the political commentariat shows a consensus forming: Joe Biden is fighting the final rounds of a match that the refs won’t call but probably should. Usually, after reading all of the news and polls, I turn to the everyday political discourse, which often diverges from that of the professional political watchers. What should scare Biden loyalists is that this time, the two agree. Even the most die-hard Democratic voters can see Biden’s decline for what it is — an opening for Donald Trump to win his second presidential term.

A few days after that disastrous debate , the Supreme Court finally weighed in on presidential immunity. There is no other way to read its decision than as a signal that whoever owns the Republican Party also owns the power to break the law. Whether he wins or loses, Trump owns the G.O.P., lock, stock and barrel. I’m not sure the country has fully accepted what that means.

When the Supreme Court decision was announced I had moved on to Greece. Again, it felt like a portentous place to be as the United States moved closer to an autocracy than it has been since perhaps Reconstruction. Greece prides itself as the birthplace of deliberative democracy. As you walk through the ancient ruins, the biggest ideas to transform human society don’t look very big. The buildings where they were debated are crumbling. Modern development dwarfs what were once massive structures to Western ideology. Despite standing for more than 2,000 years, these relics of early democracy feel fragile.

Americans don’t build monuments as well made as the ancient Greeks built. The idea has always been that our democratic ideas are the real monuments. The statues and artifice of political memory should never be stronger than those ideas. Sometimes we have made our monuments cheaply , as if to say that having perfected the means of democracy — if not its platonic ideal — we don’t need to bother with strong foundations and materials.

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The Assassination Hypothetical Isn’t Even the Scariest Part of the Supreme Court Immunity Ruling

The Supreme Court’s decision on presidential immunity is a catastrophe for American constitutional order.

Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion holds—for the first time in U.S. history—that presidents have immunity from criminal prosecution that ordinary citizens do not. Roberts then divides presidential conduct into three, wholly new classes: exercises of “core constitutional powers,” “official act[s],” and “unofficial acts.” Exercises of “core” presidential powers garner “absolute immunity” from prosecution. “Official acts” are “presumptively” immune. “Unofficial acts” enjoy no immunity.

No part of this structure is grounded in the text or original understanding of the Constitution. Roberts testily dismisses as unconvincing the powerful textual and founding-era evidence in Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent (laid out in even greater detail in this amicus brief , of which I am a signatory). But tellingly, he and the other five avowed originalists who signed on to the majority opinion don’t even try to construct an originalist rationale of their own.

When originalists simply ignore everything done, said, and understood by those who wrote and ratified the Constitution, you know you are reading an exercise in power, not principle.

But even exercises in unprincipled judicial power sometimes produce sensible results. This one does not.

Analysis of the first portion of the court’s immunity structure—exercises of “core” presidential powers now made absolutely immune from prosecution—illustrates the bankruptcy of the whole.

The court offers no definition of core presidential powers . The idea seems to be that core powers are those the Constitution grants exclusively to the president and over which Congress and the courts exercise no authority at all. Given the tiny number of powers expressly granted by Article 2 to the president alone—the pardon power, the commander-in-chief power, the power to nominate (though not to confirm) judges and certain federal officials, and one or two others—this category should be so small as to be inconsequential. But, undaunted by its originalist commitments, the majority blithely adds several others, notably the power to dismiss presidential appointees and the power of prosecutorial discretion to investigate and prosecute crime, and leaves the door open for further expansion.

Consider the court’s discussion of three of the powers it deems core—pardoning, removal of executive officials, and prosecutorial discretion.

Roberts treats the award of pardons as the paradigm of a core presidential power for which presidents have absolute immunity.

But his understanding of the pardon power is just wrong. It is true that presidents can grant pardons to whomever they wish. And, as I have argued elsewhere , presidential pardons once issued cannot be voided or modified by Congress or the courts. In other words, as to the person pardoned , the exercise of the president’s power is irrevocable and absolute. But that the president has the power to issue nonvoidable pardons does not in the slightest imply that he can issue them for any reason whatever with no consequence to himself .

To hold otherwise is to say that presidents can openly offer pardons as quid pro quo exchanges for monetary bribes, political contributions, tenders of business concessions for themselves, or offers of employment to friends and relatives. For centuries, the British crown filled royal coffers by openly selling pardons . Roberts’ opinion offers no barrier to a return to those glorious days of yore.

Likewise, his opinion necessarily implies that presidents can use pardons to protect themselves from criminal liability (even in the limited class of cases the court has left open for prosecution), impeachment, or any other unpleasantness.

In 1974 the House Judiciary Committee approved an article of impeachment against Richard Nixon for obstruction of justice, based in part on Nixon’s “dangling” offers of pardon to his Watergate co-conspirators in order to persuade them not to talk. At the time, few apart from Nixon’s most die-hard defenders would seriously have suggested that this conduct was not both impeachable and indictable. Indeed, the consensus on the issue was surely one of the reasons Gerald Ford felt it necessary to pardon Nixon.

Much has been made of the fact that, under Roberts’ opinion, a president who ordered the military to assassinate a political rival would enjoy at least presumptive immunity for their official acts. But this lurid hypothetical, though an accurate description of Roberts’ new rule, can too easily be dismissed as paranoid hyperventilation. Far more troubling is that Roberts’ construct of presumptive presidential immunity for all official acts plus absolute presidential immunity for any pardon grant opens the door to a regime of impunity for presidentially sanctioned crime and oppression by the entire executive branch.

Following an offer from the president’s son of a lucrative private-sector job, the head of the National Park Service illegally grants the president’s family and favored political supporters control of all lodging and concessions in the parks. Son and NPS head—pardoned.

In response to pressure from the chair of the president’s national political party, the head of the Bureau of Land Management adopts a policy that only companies headed by presidential donors will receive oil leases on federal land. Party chair and BLM chief—pardoned.

Border Patrol officers, at the president’s direction, set up mass open-air detention camps for undocumented immigrants in which the inhabitants are provided insufficient food and only tarps for shelter, are given no medical care and no access to courts to contest the legality of their detention, and are beaten senseless if they protest. Pardoned.

National Guardsmen, ordered by the president to peaceful demonstrations against administration policies and told to “rough ’em up,” maim, and kill protesters. Pardoned.

In every such case, the president who ordered, sanctioned, or benefited from the crime would enjoy at least presumptive immunity under the court’s new rules for any official acts taken in conjunction with the criminal act. His family, political allies, and criminal subordinates would receive the complete immunity afforded by a pardon. And the president would have absolute immunity for pardoning his relatives and minions. Impunity from the law is the defining feature of autocracies and kleptocracies around the world. The Supreme Court just welcomed impunity to America.

Even worse than the court’s treatment of pardons is its holding that the president’s authority to remove subordinate officials and control over the Justice Department’s exercise of discretion to investigate or prosecute crime are core powers enjoying absolute immunity.

In the present case, the court applies this ruling to excise from Jack Smith’s indictment allegations that Trump asked the DOJ to pursue sham investigations into supposed election fraud in order to persuade states not to certify Joe Biden’s win and threatened to dismiss the acting attorney general if he did not go along with it.

This result is bad enough, but the implications of the court’s new rule are terrifying. A president now enjoys “absolute immunity” if he orders the Justice Department to undertake a program of factually meritless investigations and prosecutions of his political enemies, even if he expressly avows that the purpose is retribution for past political opposition and a desire to hamstring his party’s opponents for the future . (Remember: DOJ officials who follow the president’s illegal orders can, under the court’s new rule, be pardoned at no legal risk to the president.)

One can imagine the court’s defenders responding to these hypotheticals by protesting that obviously corrupt and dictatorial exercises of even core powers would surely be prosecutable under appropriately drawn statutes. But in that case, the immunity conferred by Roberts’ taxonomy would not be absolute at all. And he gives no indication that immunity for exercises of “core” powers is in any sense conditional.

Moreover, elsewhere in Roberts’ opinion, he writes that courts trying to determine the immunity category into which presidential conduct falls (core powers, official acts, unofficial acts) may not consider the president’s motives. This is complete madness. In any case of criminal misuse of official power, the distinction between criminal and noncriminal behavior almost invariably rests on why the defendant took official action. A judge who dismisses a criminal case on the ostensible ground of insufficient evidence is merely exercising a core power of the judiciary. But if the evidence shows that the judge did so because they were offered a bribe, their motive renders the act criminal.

If courts may not consider presidential motive in deciding whether an exercise of presidential power is criminal, then the Supreme Court’s supposed distinction between absolute immunity for core powers and presumptive immunity for other official conduct is entirely illusory because the evidence necessary to rebut the presumption becomes inadmissible.

The Framers of the American Constitution understood that a corrupt or demagogic president could wreck the system they were creating. Accordingly, they erected barriers against that eventuality. They gave Congress multiple means of checking presidential authority through legislation. They created impeachment to remove truly bad presidents from office and bar them from returning. And they unmistakably believed that presidents who employed their powers to usurp the constitutional order through criminal conduct could be deterred by the prospect of prosecution in the courts.

For decades, Congress has progressively abdicated its responsibility for checking presidential excess by legislation. In the current moment, the MAGA cult that dominates the congressional Republican Party has raised slavish acceptance of whatever their once and perhaps future president demands to an absolute imperative. In Trump’s previous term, Congress demonstrated that party loyalty has rendered impeachment a nullity. By effectively exempting presidents from any realistic threat of prosecution for criminal abuses of their powers, the Supreme Court has now removed the final obstacle to presidential dictatorship.

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What Is Academic Writing? | Dos and Don’ts for Students

Academic writing is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications. You’ll encounter it in journal articles and books on academic topics, and you’ll be expected to write your essays , research papers , and dissertation in academic style.

Academic writing follows the same writing process as other types of texts, but it has specific conventions in terms of content, structure and style.

Academic writing is… Academic writing is not…

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Table of contents

Types of academic writing, academic writing is…, academic writing is not…, useful tools for academic writing, academic writing checklist.

Academics mostly write texts intended for publication, such as journal articles, reports, books, and chapters in edited collections. For students, the most common types of academic writing assignments are listed below.

Type of academic text Definition
A fairly short, self-contained argument, often using sources from a class in response to a question provided by an instructor.
A more in-depth investigation based on independent research, often in response to a question chosen by the student.
The large final research project undertaken at the end of a degree, usually on a of the student’s choice.
An outline of a potential topic and plan for a future dissertation or research project.
A critical synthesis of existing research on a topic, usually written in order to inform the approach of a new piece of research.
A write-up of the aims, methods, results, and conclusions of a lab experiment.
A list of source references with a short description or evaluation of each source.

Different fields of study have different priorities in terms of the writing they produce. For example, in scientific writing it’s crucial to clearly and accurately report methods and results; in the humanities, the focus is on constructing convincing arguments through the use of textual evidence. However, most academic writing shares certain key principles intended to help convey information as effectively as possible.

Whether your goal is to pass your degree, apply to graduate school , or build an academic career, effective writing is an essential skill.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Formal and unbiased.

Academic writing aims to convey information in an impartial way. The goal is to base arguments on the evidence under consideration, not the author’s preconceptions. All claims should be supported with relevant evidence, not just asserted.

To avoid bias, it’s important to represent the work of other researchers and the results of your own research fairly and accurately. This means clearly outlining your methodology  and being honest about the limitations of your research.

The formal style used in academic writing ensures that research is presented consistently across different texts, so that studies can be objectively assessed and compared with other research.

Because of this, it’s important to strike the right tone with your language choices. Avoid informal language , including slang, contractions , clichés, and conversational phrases:

  • Also , a lot of the findings are a little unreliable.
  • Moreover , many of the findings are somewhat unreliable.

Clear and precise

It’s important to use clear and precise language to ensure that your reader knows exactly what you mean. This means being as specific as possible and avoiding vague language :

  • People have been interested in this thing for a long time .
  • Researchers have been interested in this phenomenon for at least 10 years .

Avoid hedging your claims with words like “perhaps,” as this can give the impression that you lack confidence in your arguments. Reflect on your word choice to ensure it accurately and directly conveys your meaning:

  • This could perhaps suggest that…
  • This suggests that…

Specialist language or jargon is common and often necessary in academic writing, which generally targets an audience of other academics in related fields.

However, jargon should be used to make your writing more concise and accurate, not to make it more complicated. A specialist term should be used when:

  • It conveys information more precisely than a comparable non-specialist term.
  • Your reader is likely to be familiar with the term.
  • The term is commonly used by other researchers in your field.

The best way to familiarize yourself with the kind of jargon used in your field is to read papers by other researchers and pay attention to their language.

Focused and well structured

An academic text is not just a collection of ideas about a topic—it needs to have a clear purpose. Start with a relevant research question or thesis statement , and use it to develop a focused argument. Only include information that is relevant to your overall purpose.

A coherent structure is crucial to organize your ideas. Pay attention to structure at three levels: the structure of the whole text, paragraph structure, and sentence structure.

Overall structure and a . .
Paragraph structure when you move onto a new idea. at the start of each paragraph to indicate what it’s about, and make clear between paragraphs.
Sentence structure to express the connections between different ideas within and between sentences. to avoid .

Well sourced

Academic writing uses sources to support its claims. Sources are other texts (or media objects like photographs or films) that the author analyzes or uses as evidence. Many of your sources will be written by other academics; academic writing is collaborative and builds on previous research.

It’s important to consider which sources are credible and appropriate to use in academic writing. For example, citing Wikipedia is typically discouraged. Don’t rely on websites for information; instead, use academic databases and your university library to find credible sources.

You must always cite your sources in academic writing. This means acknowledging whenever you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work by including a citation in the text and a reference list at the end.

APA citation example
In-text citation Elsewhere, it has been argued that the method is “the best currently available” (Smith, 2019, p. 25).
Reference list Smith, J. (2019). (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Norton.

There are many different citation styles with different rules. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago . Make sure to consistently follow whatever style your institution requires. If you don’t cite correctly, you may get in trouble for plagiarism . A good plagiarism checker can help you catch any issues before it’s too late.

You can easily create accurate citations in APA or MLA style using our Citation Generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Correct and consistent

As well as following the rules of grammar, punctuation, and citation, it’s important to consistently apply stylistic conventions regarding:

  • How to write numbers
  • Introducing abbreviations
  • Using verb tenses in different sections
  • Capitalization of terms and headings
  • Spelling and punctuation differences between UK and US English

In some cases there are several acceptable approaches that you can choose between—the most important thing is to apply the same rules consistently and to carefully proofread your text before you submit. If you don’t feel confident in your own proofreading abilities, you can get help from Scribbr’s professional proofreading services or Grammar Checker .

Academic writing generally tries to avoid being too personal. Information about the author may come in at some points—for example in the acknowledgements or in a personal reflection—but for the most part the text should focus on the research itself.

Always avoid addressing the reader directly with the second-person pronoun “you.” Use the impersonal pronoun “one” or an alternate phrasing instead for generalizations:

  • As a teacher, you must treat your students fairly.
  • As a teacher, one must treat one’s students fairly.
  • Teachers must treat their students fairly.

The use of the first-person pronoun “I” used to be similarly discouraged in academic writing, but it is increasingly accepted in many fields. If you’re unsure whether to use the first person, pay attention to conventions in your field or ask your instructor.

When you refer to yourself, it should be for good reason. You can position yourself and describe what you did during the research, but avoid arbitrarily inserting your personal thoughts and feelings:

  • In my opinion…
  • I think that…
  • I like/dislike…
  • I conducted interviews with…
  • I argue that…
  • I hope to achieve…


Many students think their writing isn’t academic unless it’s over-complicated and long-winded. This isn’t a good approach—instead, aim to be as concise and direct as possible.

If a term can be cut or replaced with a more straightforward one without affecting your meaning, it should be. Avoid redundant phrasings in your text, and try replacing phrasal verbs with their one-word equivalents where possible:

  • Interest in this phenomenon carried on in the year 2018 .
  • Interest in this phenomenon continued in 2018 .

Repetition is a part of academic writing—for example, summarizing earlier information in the conclusion—but it’s important to avoid unnecessary repetition. Make sure that none of your sentences are repeating a point you’ve already made in different words.

Emotive and grandiose

An academic text is not the same thing as a literary, journalistic, or marketing text. Though you’re still trying to be persuasive, a lot of techniques from these styles are not appropriate in an academic context. Specifically, you should avoid appeals to emotion and inflated claims.

Though you may be writing about a topic that’s sensitive or important to you, the point of academic writing is to clearly communicate ideas, information, and arguments, not to inspire an emotional response. Avoid using emotive or subjective language :

  • This horrible tragedy was obviously one of the worst catastrophes in construction history.
  • The injury and mortality rates of this accident were among the highest in construction history.

Students are sometimes tempted to make the case for their topic with exaggerated , unsupported claims and flowery language. Stick to specific, grounded arguments that you can support with evidence, and don’t overstate your point:

  • Charles Dickens is the greatest writer of the Victorian period, and his influence on all subsequent literature is enormous.
  • Charles Dickens is one of the best-known writers of the Victorian period and has had a significant influence on the development of the English novel.

There are a a lot of writing tools that will make your writing process faster and easier. We’ll highlight three of them below.

Paraphrasing tool

AI writing tools like ChatGPT and a paraphrasing tool can help you rewrite text so that your ideas are clearer, you don’t repeat yourself, and your writing has a consistent tone.

They can also help you write more clearly about sources without having to quote them directly. Be warned, though: it’s still crucial to give credit to all sources in the right way to prevent plagiarism .

Grammar checker

Writing tools that scan your text for punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. When it detects a mistake the grammar checke r will give instant feedback and suggest corrections. Helping you write clearly and avoid common mistakes .

You can use a summarizer if you want to condense text into its most important and useful ideas. With a summarizer tool, you can make it easier to understand complicated sources. You can also use the tool to make your research question clearer and summarize your main argument.

Use the checklist below to assess whether you have followed the rules of effective academic writing.

  • Checklist: Academic writing

I avoid informal terms and contractions .

I avoid second-person pronouns (“you”).

I avoid emotive or exaggerated language.

I avoid redundant words and phrases.

I avoid unnecessary jargon and define terms where needed.

I present information as precisely and accurately as possible.

I use appropriate transitions to show the connections between my ideas.

My text is logically organized using paragraphs .

Each paragraph is focused on a single idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .

Every part of the text relates to my central thesis or research question .

I support my claims with evidence.

I use the appropriate verb tenses in each section.

I consistently use either UK or US English .

I format numbers consistently.

I cite my sources using a consistent citation style .

Your text follows the most important rules of academic style. Make sure it's perfect with the help of a Scribbr editor!

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Panama papers trial concludes with all defendants acquitted of money laundering.

The founder of the now-shuttered law firm Mossack Fonseca was among those cleared in the long-awaited ruling that took more than two months to come down.

essay about article

Panama’s courts closed out the high-profile Panama Papers trial Friday, with judge Baloisa Marquínez acquitting  all 28 people who faced trial over their alleged role in setting up shell companies used in bribery and corruption scandals in Brazil and Germany.

That included Jurgen Mossack, one of the founders of the now-shuttered law firm Mossack Fonseca that featured prominently in the Panama Papers investigation . The other founder, Ramon Fonseca, died in May before the trial concluded, resulting in the dismissal of the legal action against him.

The 85-hour-long trial took place in April, almost exactly eight years after the Panama Papers investigation was first published, and included a cast of three prosecutors and 18 defense lawyers. The judge heard from 27 witnesses and saw the presentation of more than 50 pieces of evidence, La Prensa reported.

While Marquínez originally had a term of 30 working days to issue a ruling, the Panamanian judicial code allowed her an extra day for every hundred pages on file. A representative of the court told ICIJ more than 300,000 pages were filed — which, in theory, meant the judgment could have taken as much as 23 years, per Panamanian law.

The prosecution had requested the maximum sentence for Jurgen Mossack, the now-deceased Ramón Fonseca Mora, Dick Brauer, Axel Gauster and Hans Joachin Kohlsdorf, as perpetrators of money laundering, La Prensa reported. Fifteen others were charged as primary accomplices and five as secondary accomplices. The prosecution requested an acquittal for three others: Reyna Chong, Itzel Fuentes and Zacgary Lundgren, La Prensa reported.

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The Panama Papers investigation remains one of the largest cross-border journalistic collaborations in history and has become shorthand for financial chicanery and political corruption in the public imagination.

Based on a trove of 11.5 million files leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ, the investigation exposed the offshore financial secrets of world leaders and other powerful public figures, triggering protests, government probes and the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister.

In 2022, both Mossack Fonseca founders — Ramón Fonseca Mora and Jürgen Mossack — were acquitted in a separate Panamanian money laundering case. Both repeatedly denied any involvement in illegal activities.

“While the court did not hold these defendants accountable, the enduring impact of our investigation persists,” Gerard Ryle, ICIJ’s executive director said in a statement. “By revealing hidden truths, as we did in the Panama Papers, we empower the public with information they need to demand accountability and push for reforms.”

  • Contact ICIJ

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