How to Write a Linguistics Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing guide
Posted on January 22, 2019

What Is a Linguistics Essay?

First of all, an essay writer should establish the main principles of the academic paper for Linguistics. A writer has two variants of the situation development. First, one is familiar with the concepts because of involvement in the field, and an essay is one of the many similar assignments in a Linguistics class. Second, it is necessary to understand that college student is a fledgling writer that is not only new to the date of the investigation but to the sphere of academic writing as well. The type does not matter, Linguistics essay needs a certain level of education and understanding.

As Linguistics is a precise science, the essay should be centered on the accurate facts and involvement of the specific terminology of the discipline. Further, such an essay may concentrate on various branches of the field such as phonology, phonetics, vocabulary studies, grammar, syntax, translation, and many others. Also, as the type of academic writing is an essay, it may not involve research with finding evidence and proofing the specific findings. In fact, in contact with research papers. Linguistics essay writing can be in the form of discussion, reflection, a summary of a particular work or a small investigation of the specific phonological phenomena. Finally, the writer should be ready that some branches of Linguistics such as phonetics, require the unique font for expression of transcription symbols, for instance, and the presence of such is essential for this type of paper.

Before the Writing

There are specific pre-writing tips for any essay. First, it is needed to establish a plan for the writing as an outline with making the flow of the paper more natural. In fact, the mentioned plan requires such elements as deciding the primary audience of the essay, arguments, possible questions for consideration and discussion, and the number of sources for the argumentation support. Moreover, all the aspects mentioned above help to set the mood for the linguistics essay and convey the specific opinion.

Also, the writer should remember the nature of linguistics, and as was mentioned before, it is precise. Thus, such an essay would have to include a theoretical framework along with ordinary academic writing to convey more professional look for future writing. In addition, linguistics is the science that may demonstrate certain phenomena with the help of specific symbols that do not have representation in the ordinary set of the alphabet of the English languages. Further, the writer can show the work of some of the linguistic features in the appendices after the paper or integrate those (with the help of tables) in the middle of the article after the explanation and evidence.

Topic Choice

As was mentioned before, there is a particular division of Linguistics on the subdisciplines. Thus, the choice of topics opens an array of different variants for an essay. In fact, if there is a necessity to summarize some work, it is possible to discuss the development of some phenomena throughout history or own reflection of the opinion of the specific linguistic trait and choose an area of Linguistics first. It is evident that text should be about a particular area of investigation. Among the spheres of Linguistics are phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and other side directions. Further, the topics should be specific and do not generalize the research theme.
Here are some examples of the topics to learn how to construct a comprehensive title:

  • Investigation of the Accents’ Differences in the English Language;
  • Compounding as the Modern Strategy for Extension of the Vocabulary;
  • Comparison of Old, Middle, and Modern Periods of Development of the English Language;
  • Hypotheses of Languages Evolution;
  • Effects of Dialects and Accents on the Perception of a Non-native Speaker;
  • The Contrast of British and American Slang;
  • Phonological Features of English Slang;
  • The Use of Complex Predicate Constructions;
  • Linguistics Theories Describing the Purpose of Communication;
  • The Combination of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication;
  • Influence of French and Latin Borrowings on Enriching the English Lexicon.

Also, it is important to include examples of poorly constructed topics to demonstrate the general type of titles that should be avoided:

  • Why is Linguistics important?
  • What is a Noun?
  • Why Slang Exists?
  • Phonetics as a Branch of Linguistics

Planning and Outlining

As was mentioned before, a student has to consider some essential elements of every essay before starting the actual writing. First of all, a writer must establish the primary arguments of the paper or the point of view that one should prove or present evidence for. Also, the essay question is the second essential phenomenon that needs the answer in the flow of the paper. Further, keep in mind that the structure of the documents is the factor that helps to concentrate the attention of the potential audience and ensure that a reader receives author’s point of view and understand the evidence.

Furthermore, the essential elements for consideration are the establishment of the mentioned audience. Thus, if an essay is designed for peers and fellow linguistics, there will be no problems in keeping the natural vocabulary of the paper. However, if the article is for the evaluation, an author will have to elevate the skills of the academic presentation regarding the enriching the lexicon of the document with the linguistics terminology. Moreover, the credible sources and reliable evidence will be the determinant factors for professors to leave the high mark for such linguistics assignment. Finally, after consideration of the points above, the approximate outline for the essay would look like this:

  • Decide what the purpose audience is;
  • Establish primary arguments, evidence, and essay question;
  • Find credible sources to ensure the trustworthiness of the research;
  • Outline the structure of the paper;
  • Proofread after writing.

Finally, the structure of the essay needs to meet specific parameters as well. First of all, the number of paragraphs should be equal with the one of supporting claims for the primary arguments plus introduction with the conclusion. Also, do not forget about the existence of such standards such as topic sentences, the quantity of text for one paragraph, and the place of citations in the text.

The Structure

Any Linguistics essay should meet particular requirements. First of all, the composition should start with the introduction where the writer must mention the primary arguments, purpose, audience, and end it with a debatable thesis statement that a paper can prove with evidence and research. Second, the main body consists of supportive claims and every paragraph should have topic sentences, evidence, and final thoughts. Finally, the conclusion is the ending part where a writer restates thesis and the main points of the whole essay along with providing the base for the further discussion or considerations of an issue for future studies. Thus, if a student misses one detail from the conventional structure of the academic essay, the one cannot be considered the comprehensive one; that can result in the loss of points for the final mark.


The introduction is the essential part of every essay because it is the first paragraph that a reader sees. Thus, the relevance of opening takes the first place for a writer because it can attract the attention for further reading and avert it at the same time. The poorly constructed introductory paragraph without the proper attention-getter will discourage the primary audience of the document from evaluating the future content and believing the evidence for the essay arguments.

Further, the introduction guides a reader through the course of the paper with the help of a few sentences in the beginning. In fact, the keywords in the starting paragraph help to focus the attention of the potential audience on the most critical issues of the writing. For instance, the introduction may include the aspects that convey the purpose of one or another language phenomenon of demonstrating the fundamental factor of the science.

As the example of what not to do, a student should remember not to include in the introduction the statements that have no actual connection to the topic of the paper. The sole purpose of such sentences is to fill the gap and help the writer to meet the necessary word count. Also, general ideas disrupt the whole attitude of a reader towards the further content because the audience involved in the actual science of Linguistics does not need answers to questions why it is important and about the definitions of some phenomena.

Thesis Statement: Hot Tips from Our Experts

The place for the proper thesis statement is the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. Also, the thesis demonstrates the essence of the essay and shows a reader the mini-outline for further writing. Thus, it is understandable after the mentioned arguments, that the mission of a thesis statement is the most crucial one in the most critical part of the paper. Further, the proper thesis needs to be narrow such as the topic and debatable for getting the attention of the audience. The debatable opinion is the one that may be controversial that forces the audience to read further. Further, there are examples of poorly constructed thesis statements that only show the simplicity of the further essay and revolve the attention:

  • Linguistics is important because it investigates that languages people speak;
  • Slang will be the future language;
  • Periods of English language development have differences and similarities.

In contrast, the following examples represent the thesis statements that can grab the attention and boost the further discussion:

  • The investigation of accents helps to understand the origins of the sources that inspire the process of the language evolution.
  • The difference between the American and English slang starts in the Middle period of language development with the help of noun and verb transformations.

Body Paragraphs

The primary aspects of the construction of a body paragraph were mentioned above. The inclusion of such elements as topic sentences, evidence, and a conclusion is obligatory for meeting the academic standards and conveying the logical flow of ideas. Also, the number of paragraphs is determined by one of the supporting points because it would improve the readability of the whole paper. Moreover, the writer should remember the four-full-lines-and-three-sentences standard that every academic paper requires. Finally, do not put the sentences with citations in the beginning and end of the paragraphs because the one cannot start or end with evidence from the sources.


The primary mission of the last paragraph is to summarize the main points of the whole paper. Thus, the conclusion should include, a restatement of the thesis, summary of the supporting points, and the claims that may hint on the future research or implementation of some idea from the document in the actual science field. Finally, do not include any new information in the concluding paragraph as it hurts the finalizing of the essay.


Many sources can help in the construction of the essay as the gild of investigation is broad and does not lack relevant evidence. In fact, the Internet has plenty of databases with journal articles, independent studies, and books that can help prove a point in the writing. Some of the mentioned bases of knowledge are specialized websites such as:

Some sources do not have the linguistics specialization, but still they can assist in the search for the credible and relevant information and those are:


The most popular formats that will suffice for the linguistics essay are MLA and APA. The Purdue Owl website is the credible source that has guidelines for the proper citation and referencing in those formats.


Several ways can help to proofread the final paper. First of all, it is possible to ask someone to comment on the logic of the paper’s flow. Also, several websites on the Internet assists with this types of service. Grammarly can help fix the grammar, punctuation, and style mistakes and Small SEO Tools can check the document for any possible facts of plagiarism.

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