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How to develop an academic assignment

An academic paper must be separated into four key sections:

1. Introduction
2. Main Body
3. Conclusion
4. Reference list

Note that, you should not use any subtitles in your essays like the words Introduction or Main Body.
This must be done only when writing a research paper where the length is much greater than it is for
an essay. For example, in research writing, you will begin with the abstract and so you need to write the
word Abstract as a subtitle and then move on with the Literature Review and so on. However, an essay
should designate which part it is (Introduction, conclusion etc.) only by the way you will form your
paragraphs and the points you will cover in each one. Keep in mind that, introduction and conclusion
paragraphs must be shorter in length compared to your body paragraphs.

1. Introduction

In an introduction you need to present the topic of your assignment; briefly state the structure of your
assignment and the arguments you are going to discuss in the main body. The introduction assists the
reader to understand what the assignment is going to be about and prompts the reader to continue
reading.

Something important to remember, is that the aim of your essay or how it will conclude must be
incorporated subtly in your introduction. You must guide your reader about the outcome of your essay
and not point it out clearly in order to motivate them to keep reading. Your essay must be appealing to
the reader and a bit mysterious as to how it will progress. If the introduction is not interesting or it is
confusing, then the reader will not have any incentive to read the rest of the paper.

The introduction is usually the last part of the paper the students complete. That is because the
students as they move onto the main body, they tend to make amendments. Once the students complete
the amendments in the main body and write the conclusion, then they will be able to write the
introduction with no further corrections. This is a time saving strategy for students.

Start by writing the assignment from the main body, move to the conclusion and then go back to the
beginning of the paper and write the introduction.
2. Main Body

The main body of the assignment is where you gather, structure and evaluate the information for your
assignment.

1. First thing to do is to gather and evaluate the information related to your topic.
2. You need to formulate your arguments correctly, cohesively and structurally.

For an assignment to be comprehensive, objective and valid, you always need to present both sides of
the argument. (For instance: On one side of the argument …. on the other side of the argument)

You need to discuss and evaluate each argument and present real life examples and sources in order to
validate your arguments.

The correct way of writing a paragraph/analyzing an argument is to follow the PEE principle on the
paragraph/arguments.

P= Point (You need to stress your point. For instance; mobile phones are better than landlines).

E= Evidence (You need to support your point by providing some evidence. For instance, mobile phones
on average are less costly and easier to move around. For instance; An example of this is, This is
demonstrated as, The evidence of this.) Sources that relate to your topic and further enhances the point
you stated. Sources could be from BBC News; Financial Times; The Economist; New York Times.

E=Explanation (You need to explain your evidence in more detail and how it relates/proves your
points).

To be able to present real life examples you need to keep up with the world news; read online official
newspapers and watch the news on the TV.

Keeping up to date with the news, the students are able to practice their critical thinking skills and state
their own perspective on the topic after discussing and analyzing the main arguments.
In order for your assignment to be critically analytical you must also evaluate your own perspectives on
the selected topic.

Note: all paragraphs in the assignment must have the same or approximate length; as well as;
paraphrasing and citing all of your resources both in the main body and introduction.

3. Conclusion

A conclusion is a summary of your assignment. You should never add any new information or analyze
your arguments. In a conclusion, you should not include citations or quotes.

4. Reference list

The reference list is obligatory in every assignment as it validates your research. The reference list
must be put in the correct format and appropriate order according to the suggested referencing style.