Academic writing differs from discipline to discipline. How the writing is structured, and what counts as evidence depends on the discipline or field, such as history, zoology or physics.

Essay Writing Basics

There are some common features of academic essay writing. Essay Writing Basics contains five short videos that explain the core elements of essay writing. They introduce the basics, and give you an idea of the main elements of an essay, including how to respond to an essay question, and how to write a Thesis Statement (the sentence that contains your main point), and Topic Sentences (which start each new paragraph).

The resources below have been developed to help you understand this process. Read them in order to start planning your next assignment.

  1. Assignment Planning Guide (PDF, 606 KB)
  2. Five steps to unpack your assessment (PDF, 248 KB)
  3. How to understand essay task words (PDF, 103 KB)
  4. Building an argument in an essay (PDF, 161 KB)
  5. 10 features of academic writing style (PDF, 108 KB)
  6. Most common words in academic writing - Academic Word List (PDF, 134 KB)

Assignment Guides

We've developed the following downloadable guidelines to assist you with your university assignments.

Library Guides

The JCU Library has a large range of guides to assist you with your academic writing, researching skills, and referencing.

Library Writing Guide

Library Assessment Rubrics Guide

Library InfoSkills Roadtrip

Library Top Tips Video Series

Library Referencing Guide

Library Introduction to using Endnote Software for Referencing

Library EndNote Video Tutorials

Library Guides by Subject Area