CONSISTENTLY RANKED AS one of the top few universities in the world year after year, the elite and prestigious Harvard University is well known for producing the best and brightest students the world over.
Providing us with an outside glimpse into the education and level of support experienced by students at the school, the Harvard College Writing Center of the university's faculty of arts and sciences makes a whole host of writing resources publicly available online, comprising guides for student essays, course-based advice and further help for writing across various other disciplines.
Over the course of time, the institution has produced countless notable graduates, including U.S. president Barack Obama, founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, and theoretical physicist and activist Michio Kaku, to mention a few.
The Main Takeaway
In a series of in-depth and detailed guides, Harvard's Strategies for Essay Writing resource aims to provide concise advice on some fundamental elements of academic writing, ranging from how to read an assignment all the way to editing your essay.
Obstacles and Difficulties
Writing an academic essay, and specifically coming up with a structure for it, can be a challenging task not only for students new to it, but even also for graduate students who've written countless ones. The task at hand could seem overwhelming from the outset, if you don't first try to break it down into smaller, more digestible parts.
Using an Outline
Harvard University recommends using outlining as part of your preparation for writing your academic essay, as it helps you iron out your thoughts beforehand, making the writing and editing processes much easier down the line.
By categorising and grouping your points into the the few main headings which will form your essay, you can start to bring a semblance of order to the thoughts you're trying to express. Next, these should be arranged into a sequence that makes narrative sense, bringing the reader through a chronology of ideas that not only feels natural to absorb, but also adds to the arguments you're making.
Now, to this skeleton of an essay that you have, you can then selectively insert each part of your original researched ideas and points, filling up the piece and helping it start to take form. From there, you can move on to further writing and editing, and before you know it, you're almost done with an essay you can be very proud of.