Academic Writing Skills: Preparing an Essay 

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This essay will explain how to interpret two different essay titles to develop a good academic written essay. An essay plan for one of the titles will be further investigated to show understanding on how to correctly structure an essay and plan for a logical and concise response. The outline of academic integrity such as plagiarism and the consequences of malpractice will be defined.

It is important to look at instructional and key words relating to the particular topic within the essay title. Deconstructing and dissecting an essay title is helpful to understand the aim. To succeed in a good academic argument all perspectives need to be taken into consideration with evidence supporting different opinions. When finding sources, investigating their effectiveness and reliability to ensure that they are credible, for example, is it peer reviewed and in date? 

The first wants a discussion; a reasoned investigation should occur as to why academic skills with a Nursing training programme are important. It is crucial that evidence is given and all perspectives are taken into consideration for a good conclusion to be met. The subject found in the title is ‘nursing training programme,’ therefore an explanation is required as to why academic writing is important within this field. Taking into consideration assessments, care plans and communication between other healthcare professionals, and finding evidence to support these arguments.

The second title expects a critical assessment, including a description supported with evidence for if plagiarism can or cannot be monitored. This needs to be a descriptive essay with consideration of all arguments, finished with a personal opinion. The subject of this essay title is ‘plagiarism’ and how adequately monitored it is. Sources should be projected as evidence for different perspectives. As this essay title wants an assessment, it should be a persuasive response. Another important phrase used in the title is, ‘digital age,’ this period occurred in the 1970’s with the introduction of more technology and is still ongoing. Reasons for and against why the internet and other forms of technology are proving more difficult to monitor plagiarism should be included. This should be evidenced with sources.

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Being able to develop an essay plan is beneficial for an academically structed and concise response. The essay title we will dissect into a plan is; ‘Critically assess the view that plagiarism in the digital age cannot be adequately monitored.’ In order to achieve a good academic response a point should be made followed by evidence to support. Repeat this, but with a perspective in differ to the one previously made. It is advised that an essay should include a five part structure. Throughout the essay, understanding of the topic should be shown, to achieve this creating a brainstorm is beneficial, “A mind map is a visual way of planning out ideas.”. It should be in a logical, formal and concise manner. The evidence included must be referenced with in text citations and a bibliography at the end of the essay. A good flow is paramount to engage the reader, ensuring each point in relevant to the essay title.

Deconstructing the essay title, underlining process and content words in different colours will help achieve this. Using a dictionary here is beneficial to brainstorm ideas from the underlined words.  The introduction is paragraph one and should include what you are going to discuss and why, relaying it back to the title. Give an outlook that there is more than one perspective to this topic and an investigation will take place throughout the essay.

Paragraph two, three and four are the main body of the essay. Key points should be included throughout and supporting evidence with in text citations, followed by a conclusion to move onto the next point. The second paragraph should start with why plagiarism in the digital age cannot be actively monitored. Support this argument with credible sources from books or journals, which have been peer approved and are ‘in date.’ Paragraph three, is an objection to the initial point made. Explore reasons why plagiarism is adequately monitored. 

This shows that you are assessing more than one perspective. The use of sources here are important to support this in differ argument. The fourth paragraph should relay back to the objection made. Relate it to the argument in the essay title and evidence further. Creating your own synthesis of the information examined is paragraph five. This will cover the criticise phrase in the essay title. Explain a personal opinion and support this with evidence.

The conclusion is the final paragraph. Relate this back to the essay title whilst summarising what has been investigated briefly, including the main arguments and reiterating a personal opinion on whether plagiarism is or is not adequately monitored.

The definition of academic integrity is honesty throughout one’s work. The most common academic dishonesty is plagiarism. It is not uncommon for students in higher education to commit this, “Current Trends and Prospects raises our collective level of awareness about the current state of academic integrity at universities globally.”. There are a variety of different types of plagiarism, one being direct plagiarism. This is where one copies word for word from another’s work, without attempting to attribute or acknowledge the original writer. Self - plagiarism is also an offence; where you resubmit parts or the whole of your own work. Another example is mosaic plagiarism; when a student takes quotes or phrases from another’s work without using quotation marks, and/or when synonyms are used to change words but the original structure stays.

If malpractice is committed it can lead to consequences especially in university settings, “Any form of unfair means is treated as a serious academic offence and action may be taken under the Discipline Regulations.” ( Thus supports that further action can be taken such as work ungraded, failure of examinations, expulsion and in serious cases courts can interfere. Referencing is crucial to avoid plagiarism.   

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