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What is a documented essay?

What is a documented essay?

Documented essay

What is a documented essay? A documented essay is an essay based on evidence-based information from books, journals, theories, or articles. This is the documented essay meaning. When writing a documented essay, you should present facts about the essay’s topic. This article focuses on how to write a documented essay.

Writing a documented essay requires you to come up with a strong thesis statement and then conduct in-depth research to come up with facts that support the thesis statement. You should also give your interpretation of the evidence-based information. When writing the essay assignment paper, avoid giving your perception of the topic, and give evidence-based information about the topic regardless of how you feel about it.

Writing a documented essay

Below is how to write a documented essay:

  1. Read and understand the instructions

Once you have been assigned a documented essay assignment, you should read and understand all the given instructions. The instructions could include the various documents required to use in your essay, the writing format, and the word count. Always adhere to all the given instructions.

  1. Choose a good topic

You may be assigned the topic or you are required to choose it. It’s important to choose a topic that is coherent and precise. A wide topic may result in dispersed studies and weaker arguments. Always choose a topic that you understand and can compose a good essay about it.

  1. Conduct an in-depth research

You should conduct in-depth research for your documented essay. If you are not assigned specific documents to use in your essay, conduct research from various academic materials. Use books, theories, journals, or articles to generate evidence-based information for your essay.

  1. Write a strong thesis statement

The thesis statement shows what your essay will entail. You should come up with a strong thesis to show your essay’s main idea. By reading the thesis statement, the reader should be able to comprehend what your essay will talk about.

  1. Write an outline

Writing a documented essay outline helps you plan for your essay. In the outline, you should note down the key points of the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Once you begin writing the documented essay, you should use the outline as a guide.

  1. Write the introduction

You should write an interesting introduction that catches the reader’s attention. Begin with a hook then give background information on the essay’s topic. Complete the introduction with a strong thesis statement that describes the essay’s main argument.

  1. Write the body paragraphs

The body paragraphs provide information that supports the thesis statement. Each paragraph should have a unique key point that supports the thesis. You should use proper transition words such as therefore, however, or additionally to transition from one paragraph to the next.

Similar to writing an illustration essay, when writing a documented essay you should write well-structured paragraphs. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the key point. Then write the middle sentences that give evidence-based information and your analysis of the key point. Complete the paragraph with a concluding sentence that gives an overview of the whole paragraph.

  1. Write the conclusion

The conclusion is the summary of the entire documented essay hence you should not bring new information to it. You should rephrase the thesis statement and give a summary of the key points. Complete the conclusion with a closing statement or a call to action if necessary.

  1. List the references

After completing the essay, you should list all the sources that you cited in your essay. You should write the references following the essay’s writing format.

  1. Proofread the essay

After completing the essay, you should proofread it severally to remove any punctuation or grammar errors. You should also run it on Grammarly to remove any missed errors. Edit and submit your documented essay.

Using the documented essay format above, you will be able to compose a well-structured documented essay. For more understanding of how to structure your documented essay, you can research various documented essay examples. You should always ensure that your documented essay is well-organized and has a proper flow of information.

Document-based essay format

Document-based essay format employs a methodical process that includes reviewing historical materials to construct a convincing argument. Below is the document-based essay format:

1. Introduction

  • Put the topic in context by giving background information about the historical era, event, or theme.
  • Describe the essay prompt or question that your essay will cover
  • Write the thesis statement describing the essay’s main argument

2. Analysis of the documents

You should analyze the given documents in the body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should have a particular document or a group of documents. Below is how to structure each body paragraph:

a) Introduce the document

  • Introduce the document you will be describing in the paragraph
  • Give relevant details regarding the document’s author and its context

b) Analysis of the document’s content

  • Provide an overview of the document’s key contents
  • Select important phrases or passages that support your argument

c) Analysis of the document’s context

  • Describe the historical background of the document’s creation.
  • Discuss the document’s broader relevance in the context of the historical narrative

d) Relation to the thesis

  • Describe how the document supports or refutes your thesis statement
  • Demonstrate how the document supports your main argument

e) Transition

  • Provide a proper transition from one document or point to the next

3. Document synthesis

  • After describing each document separately, combine your findings to get a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  • Note any common themes or patterns in the documents
  • Describe how the documents’ overall contributions to your argument

4. Alternative viewpoints

  • Describe any alternative viewpoints of counterarguments
  • Describe why your analysis of the documents is more solid and compelling

5. Conclusion

  • Rephrase the thesis statement
  • Give an overview of key points and the supporting details from the documents
  • Provide a comprehensive analysis of the topic’s historical relevance

Using the format above, you will be able to compose a document-based essay. For more comprehension of how to write a document-based essay, you can check various documented essay samples. Always ensure you analyze all the given documents when writing a document-based essay.

Tips for writing a documented essay

Below are tips for writing a documented essay:

  1. Plan your essay

Planning the essay is easier once you have the required material. Arrange the quotes and arguments in a logical and structured manner in the essay’s outline. Once you begin writing the essay, you should use the outline as a point of reference.

  1. Properly cite your essay

You should properly cite all the sources used in your essay. When writing the citations, you should use the required writing format. This could be APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, and Turabian writing format. After completing the essay, you should write the references where you list all the sources used in the essay.

  1. Avoid plagiarism

When writing a documented essay, you should write original work based on various documents. You should avoid copy-pasting directly from the document. You should rephrase the evidence-based information and cite the source where you got it from.

  1. Write a well-organized essay

When writing a documented essay, you should properly organize your ideas from the introduction through the body to the conclusion. Use proper transition words to transition from one paragraph to the next. Always ensure your essay has a continuous flow of information.

  1. Proofread your essay

Always ensure you proofread and revise the first draft. Proofreading helps you to remove any errors and also to check if your essay is well-structured. You should not assume that your essay is correctly written without proofreading it.

Documented essay topics

When writing a documented essay, you may be required to choose a topic, similar to when writing an exploratory essay you are required to choose an exploratory essay topic. You should brainstorm various documented essay ideas and choose the one you are interested in. Below are documented essay topics:

  1. Effects of global warming
  2. Benefits of vaccination
  3. Mental effects of bullying
  4. Advantages and disadvantages of online learning
  5. Effects of terrorism on businesses
  6. Cognitive development in children
  7. Strategies to curb cyberbullying
  8. Effective ways of reducing plastics in the environment
  9. Causes and prevention techniques of obesity
  10. Impacts of artificial intelligence in the modern society

Documented argument essay topics

  1. Should social media platforms be banned?
  2. Should the government provide free healthcare services to all?
  3. Should small businesses pay tax?
  4. Is eating fast food the main cause of obesity?
  5. Should the government offer free college education?
  6. Do daily exercises improve mental health?
  7. Are there any benefits of having children?
  8. Does the education system prepare students for life after school?
  9. Should children go to school five days a week?
  10. Should everyone practice intermittent fasting?


Writing a documented essay requires you to give fact-based information about a certain topic. You can use this article as a guide for your documented essay. If you have been assigned a documented essay and you are looking for writing help, you are at the right place. We provide affordable essay-writing services. Use our essay writing services today and get a well-written documented essay.

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