When students are at the university many of the essays that a student write is to examine is he/she has understood the lesson or the topic taught in the lecture rooms and the scope of the reading of the student. As Chandler (1995) explains, such types of essays are not meant to be descriptive only, but are best known as research or term paper. This short academic paper discusses how to write an academic essay.The topic of the essayBefore you start writing any essay you should careful read the topic you have been asked to write about. If need be, underline any specific key words within the topic (Andersson and Beveridge, (2007). This should be the centre of the essay you are going to write. Keep referring back to the topic as you write to ensure that you are not straying from the main aspects of the topic.Reading for the essaySelect your reading material with extreme care, what you are going to read already shows the lecturer if you were attentive and understood the course or not. Normally a lecturer has some specific books as well as articles that he/she considers to be important for his/her unit, these materials are normally listed down in the reference section. These books and articles are the best for you to read. As Turley (2000) observes, supposing that you read materials that have not been recommended by the lecturer, there is a risk that you may be reading an isolated standpoint instead of the universal consensus.You can easily get these materials from the university library that normally has academic books and articles that you may require. Though you can also use the local library, you may not find specific useful academic material. When reading check that whatever you are reading you understand it well. Another source that a student can obtain information is through the web, a lot of current information is available on the web. Though you need to be careful in what you read from the web (Turley, 2000).Writing the essayAfter you have read enough material to answer the main issues of the topic, the next step is closing the books and putting down the main points of the essay question. If you are able to clearly do this, then it implies that you will be ready to begin writing the essay. But, if you find this hard, then you would not have understood well what you read, as such you need to re-read again before going back to writing.Start writing the say by stating the main points as subheading, try recalling what you read without opening the books and write what you have understood in relation to the subheading that of the essay. When writing the essay, assume that you are trying to explain to someone who does not understand anything about your essay topic. Therefore, the points out to be informative and offer some explanation about the essay topic you are writing. Writing without referring to the books indicates that you understood what you the material that you read and also lets you to focus on your argument undoubtedly. When writing the essay, write using your own words, all these aspects are important since it indicates to the lecturer that you as student understands the material and what you have written.Academic essay should have real facts, information as well as evidence that support the facts you have stated. A lot of the evidence that you have to state will be found through the research that you will undertake. It is important to note the scholars as footnotes so as to support your findings. Include three or four footnotes as proof to support the argument you are putting across.Step twoThe next step is developing each of the main points that you have outlined. Probably, you need to refer back to your books and re-read to gather certain information regarding these main points. Once more, try not to copy directly from the books. Keep focused on the topic of the essay and do not be swayed by some points that are not directly touching the essay.After competing this, possibly you will now be having a skeleton of the essay, that has three or our main heading with two or three paragraphs for each main points. At this point it is vital to ensure that the essay is logical and each point connects well with the entire argument.Step threeAt this point you should now be set to write the introduction as well as the conclusion. The two are related. The introduction gives a brief explanation of the essay topic and outlines the way you are going to write your essay. Possibly you will explain your main points in the introduction. Your conclusion gives the summary of what you have written regarding your essay topic.First draftAt this stage, the essay should be having a final shape. Ensure that the essay is correctly presented. Also, ensure that the essay has followed the stipulated writing style; this will include checking the footnotes and the bibliography to make sure that they are correctly written. Another important aspect to check is the length of your essay, supposing it is too long, check if there are unnecessary words that you have used, which needs to be deleted. Your aim should be clarity and concise. The essay should not have long fancy sentences, instead let your sentences be short and to the point. Check your spelling using the spell check available in the word processing program to eliminate any spelling errors (Watson, 1987).Final draftAfter you have checked and you are satisfied with it, read the essay aloud to ensure that you have written it well and it is flowing in logical manner. You should give your essay to somebody else to read it and check for any errors (Pirie, 1985). Make any corrections that may come up before handing your essay to your lecturer.Completed essayNow that the essay is complete, ensure that you have a saved soft copy on the computer, print the copy, staple it and submit your essay.Conclusion: Check listAs Corrigan (1998) reminds us, before handing in the essay just ensure that you have followed the following important points:Did you careful read and understood the question?Did you complete reading your materials and critically reviewed them?Does the introduction you have written set the stage by presenting a context, outline and background?Have you managed to elaborate and give supporting evidence for your argument?Is your conclusion restating the argument and the thesis of your essay?You have used the correct academic writing style?After completing the essay, have you edited and checked spelling and grammar errors?Have you submitted your essay on time and using the stipulated format?Do you have a copy of what you have submitted? (Corrigan, 1998)Writing an academic essay is not this simple, but if you follow all the steps that have discussed, then you will have headway when writing your next academic essay.