Writing an academic essay on COVID-19 is no different than writing a general-topic academic essay. However, the only difference is that this is a topic that has to do with an ongoing pandemic. Research is continuously being conducted and existing ones being modified based on new data.
That poses a challenge to writing an essay on COVID-19 regarding what material to refer to, which study to highlight, etc. But hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will have a clearer idea about where to start, how to best approach this sort of topic and what to include (or not include) to make your COVID-19 academic essay stand from others’.
Following is a step-by-step procedure that you might want to stick to before crafting the perfect COVID-19 essay.
The first important factor determining what kind of reading you’ll be doing for your academic essay is the topic. Observe the topic you’ve been assigned closely. Identify any verbs mentioned, and if not, what does the case generally ask you to do? Does it require you to ‘analyze,’ ‘evaluate,’ ‘list,’ ‘compare and contrast’? The action it requires you to take shall guide the type of reading and the sources for reading you should turn to.
Based on the kind of essay assigned to you (evaluate, list, analyze, etc.), you can start your reading. Now the main question you need to answer is, where to start from? For writing academic essays, you can refer to the following types of sources:
However, since you’ll be reading for COVID-19—a current pandemic—you won’t find many published books.
This goes for all sorts of writing, too. Now that you’ve broken down your topic and gathered background information, brainstorm. An excellent method to do so is to make thought bubbles: draw a bubble in the center of a page, with lines jutting out of it in every direction and pointing to a different element. As elements, write down all the things you’ll be addressing in your essay.
For instance, if it’s an informative essay, your brainstorming would result in something that looks like this:
Now that you’ve listed all the issues your essay will discuss, it’s time to organize them all—from most to least essential or significant to a minor—in a logical format. This will be your essay outline. You must stick to it to ensure maximum coherence between points as well as paragraphs.
…and so on.
Deciding on an essay structure isn’t the same as crafting an outline. Be careful not to confuse the two. An outline is just that, an outline. But a structure is how you intend to follow that outline. So, your academic essay on COVID-19 should follow a structure based on:
After listing down the things you will be discussing in your essay, it’s essential to note down how many words you’ll be devoting to each section, the length of paragraphs, and the like. It’s never a good thing to exceed the given essay word limit. Be brief where necessary, and explain where necessary.
Sticking to a predetermined format for an essay on COVID-19—a topic on which new and detailed research and data are continuously being released—will ensure:
Now that you have all the information and blueprint for your essay on COVID-19, you can start writing it.
There are other things to keep in mind, too, before starting your academic essay on COVID-19. The most important ones are being discussed next.
If you include data that is bound to change, such as a lab test result that hasn’t been released yet, mention as such in your essay. You can also reference it accordingly, so the reader, when accessing that source, knows this. This is how you keep your heads up-to-date.
So, suppose you want to communicate something as diverse and dynamic as COVID-19 and its ongoing effects on the world. In that case, it’s a good idea to stick to the 7 C’s of communication. They are: clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete and courteous.
Admissions officers in colleges and universities generally require you to tell them something about yourself that makes you unique. Therefore, in the statement of purpose, students include typically personal experiences.
Currently, there are mixed feelings about whether to include experiences related to COVID-19 in your college essays. One side of the debate argues it’s a good idea to have, for instance, an experience that proves your resilience in these pandemic-stricken times. That can potentially increase your chances of being selected.
Others argue that since everyone is somehow affected by COVID-19, it won’t make your statement stand out to include experiences everyone shares right now. There is no reliable source, as of yet, to claim whether it’s a good idea to write a wholly COVID-19 essay as your college essay.
However, if it turns out that it is, you’ll have this guide to help you!
With the pandemic affecting everything, universities and colleges have taken a new initiative to include a new section called COVID-19 essay in Common App.
Not just Common App, but The Coalition App has also included this prompt. Both aim to allow applying students room to share their COVID-19 experience. However, this isn’t a COVID-19 academic essay but just a space to share personal experiences related to the pandemic.
There are snippets of students’ essays on infectious disease prevention for COVID-19 you can use to get an idea about the general tone and language of such an essay topic. These snippets have been retrieved from essays that were published nationally.
You can also go through some sample COVID-19 and global economy dissertation topics.
The Health and Human Rights Journal published an academic essay on COVID-19 that can serve as the best example for you.
Writing an academic essay on COVID-19 can be pretty challenging, mainly since more and more data is being gathered by the minute. Putting personal problems and stress caused by the pandemic aside, an essay on COVID-19 is like any other essay, except that this topic is of a current situation.
Following a few basic steps to organize and list research gathered about the pandemic can help you craft the perfect essay. Aside from the differences mentioned above, stick to all other rules for different types of writing. Keep it relevant, reliable and free of personal bias.
Whether it’s a term project or for your college application, you can even submit your essay in international COVID-19 essay contests.
Think your piece qualifies for submission? Don’t hesitate and enter the contest! Who knows, it might even get published in a reputable journal where it can benefit thousands of readers.