Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
Feedback Form for WebCT Students: Click icon to the left for a form on which you can record your understanding of this material. (Password protected.) For further reading, we suggest "The Declining Middle," an essay in the Atlantic Monthly by Bob Kuttner. Kuttner's 1983 essay analyzes the effects of various economic changes in American life. (It is interesting to see, now, how much of what he said about these effects has come to be true.) For a lengthy and complex article that defines the causes of homosexuality, read Chandler Burr's "Homosexuality and Biology." Burr's article ( Atlantic , 1997) is also an excellent example of an essay that defines .