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How to Build a Great Essay in Seven Weeks

Build your academic writing skills as you learn to write a scholarly essay in just a few weeks’ time.

Perhaps you can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 20 turns, but when it comes to writing a graduate school essay, you freeze up. Or maybe you’re a whiz at interaction, enrolled in an MS in Communication degree program, but you become tongue-tied looking at your first academic writing assignment.

These kinds of reactions are common among graduate students encountering various types of academic writing for the first time. But while it may be different from other forms of literary expression to which you’re accustomed, academic writing is a skill you can learn to master.

How to Build a Great Essay in Seven Weeks

What Is Academic Writing?

The Walden University Writing Center tells us that academic or scholarly writing “relies on a set of skills that work to develop and support ideas in an academically sound way.” A thesis may come to mind when you think about academic writing for graduate students, but many forms fall under that umbrella. Research papers, technical reports, and essays are three other examples.

The online course Building an Essay in Graduate Writing I, 1 developed by Laureate Education, is an example of the academic writing help Walden University provides. In this seven-week course, you will build a scholarly essay, adding and refining components each week. After getting launched in Week 1, you’ll move to Week 2’s lesson about all-important outlines. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else,” the late baseball great Yogi Berra once humorously said. You’ll learn to create an outline that sets your direction so that you end up where you intend.

The next step in your essay-building journey comes in Week 3, where you’ll learn how to summarize. Week 4’s theme is “organize,” when you’ll discover a different sort of college MEAL plan, one you’ll use in your writing: main idea, evidence, analysis, and lead out. Week 5 is about adding complexity to your essay and Week 6 is about feedback and revision. Feedback is a valuable tool in the academic writing process. After submitting your essay for review and feedback, you’ll have the opportunity to make suggested changes, revising and taking it to the next level.

The course culminates in Week 7’s lesson: Proofread and Polish. This final step in crafting a scholarly essay is critical and just as important as any other. You’ll learn that proofreading goes beyond giving your paper a once-over for typographical errors. Proofreading can involve reading your essay backward—not as crazy as it sounds—and having someone else review your paper or read it aloud. You’ll receive valuable strategies like these for going deeper to deliver an error-free essay. Finally, you’ll polish your work, removing extraneous words and punching up lackluster phrases to make your essay shine.

Walden University’s Writing Center is one of the powerful student support services available to college degree-seekers at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Editors and writing tutors work with students online, and in person at academic residencies. Services offered include:

  • Advice on the writing process, from concept to final draft
  • Free tutorial services on APA style, grammar, and more
  • One-on-one consultations on course papers
  • Recommendations for additional writing guides and resources

An online research library is another Walden resource that provides robust student support. 4.5 million dissertations, more than 164,000 electronic books, 73,000 journals, and more than 165 databases are at your fingertips in this scholar research library.

As you consider earning a degree online, look for an accredited university that guides and supports you throughout your college education. Walden’s full menu of student support services also includes the Academic Skills Center, offering courses, seminars, and workshops to help you fine-tune your proficiency in your field of academic study. Reading Techniques for Graduate Study and Critical Thinking for Social Change are examples of the courses you may select.

Research support, skills classes, tutors, editors, and an online research library are tools you can use to power your way through your coursework on your journey to a new or enhanced career. Don’t “end up someplace else.” Set your course and choose a college degree that will lead you to your passion. Your future is at your fingertips.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online master’s degree programs along with a variety of graduate certificates. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Walden curriculum source:

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,