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Is a creative essay an academic writing? 10 November, 2021   

Academic style isn’t about individuality or expressing emotions, which is why people typically consider it the opposite of creative writing. However, the word “essay” doesn’t seem to combine well with something that unleashes your imagination and self-expression. Nevertheless, you may well get an assignment to write this kind of text in college where everything seems to be focused on research. So, does it make creative papers rigorous and strict? To find out, let’s look at what exactly both styles demand, and see where the truth lies. Can we say that creative essays are academic despite the freedom they presuppose? Read on to receive an answer!

What exactly makes academic writing formal and strict?

There’s hardly a prestigious company that will accept the worker who didn’t get the higher education, which implies creating many formal and strictly structured papers. Although an essay isn’t the only possible written assignment type, everything starts with it. Perhaps that’s because even the name of this format comes from French, where “essayer” means “to try.” It’s really about attempting to develop and prove a single argument (thesis), which is why it’s one of the best starting points. Still, the standards are pretty strict.

  • Structure. Any essay should have an introduction, main body, and a conclusion. Your custom argument needs to fit into the introduction’s final sentence and be restated at the beginning of the conclusion. At first, following these requirements doesn’t seem to come cheap, because they appear to constrain the thoughts of the writer, only allowing one idea to be important. Of course, there can be more than one facet to a single thought, but finding the strongest argument is never easy.

  • Vocabulary. They say you can’t buy education, only the means to obtain it. Nevertheless, even knowing as many words as possible isn’t enough to write academically since you need to understand exactly what phrases to avoid. You'll need an excellent command of English to get your point across without phrasal verbs, contractions, tautology, and other things that are unacceptable for a scientific text. Students often struggle to accept these limitations and say that it’s impossible to write a work their teacher will like.

  • Format. Academic writing requires references, in-text citations, footnotes, and other details that some people call purely bureaucratic. In fact, formatting styles are there to make the texts easy to follow and give writers the possibility to quote their sources without plagiarism. However, even an expert can easily make a mistake in the bibliography, and nobody will blame them since numerous criteria can change and vary.

What makes creative essay writing different?

Technically, nobody gets scientific texts for free—hard work and stress are the price to pay. Although creative works require significant efforts as well, they have different standards. You'll have to remember these points while writing your paper. 

  • It's about your individuality and experiences. The point you're making shouldn't be based on laboratory investigations or impersonal facts like in academic writing. You’ll have to tell a story that might be about learning how to order food online, researching different companies to get your first job, or falling in love for the first time. A personalized approach is sure to help you get a creative essay right.

  • Descriptions, anecdotes, and metaphors are allowed. Unlike academic papers, creative essays need literary tools to make your idea persuasive. It’s better to treat the future reader or listener as a customer, making your text the best product possible. Try to write the essay you would want to read yourself if you were looking for information on its topic.

  • You can cite scientific sources, but it's not obligatory. The opinions from experts can surely make you sound more professional, but it’s important not to overdo it. It’s essential not to retell someone’s research but to express yourself. After all, that’s what creativity is about. 

It might get too hard to see if your text corresponds to all the requirements, especially when they’re numerous. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or relatives for reviews or send the draft to your teacher if it’s possible. Referring to a trustworthy website is also a good idea. For example, you can use an online essay service like and get a custom-written paper professionally tailored to your needs so you’ll just have to follow the example.

Can rigor and personality work together?

It's clear now that the answer is yes! Granted, it might make the writing process even more challenging, but students throughout the UK and the USA regularly face this issue, so here are some recommendations based on the most common mistakes. 

  1. You still need a clear structure. All essays have introductions, body parts, and conclusions, no matter if they tell about elaborate business models or an unusual revelation about the human mind that you got while using delivery services and speaking to the driver. If you want to receive a top mark, you’ll need to organize your thoughts.

  2. You don't just tell about your life but explain what it means in a broader context. Although personality is what makes a creative essay, you should remember that it’s about proving the point that appeals to your readers. Connecting your original thought to how people live and creating a useful takeaway are vital steps.

  3. Like all other submissions, your creative essay has to follow the needed format. Your professor is there to teach you how to write texts that combine quality with standards, and formatting remains crucial even if you don't cite anything. That’s why the title page, numeration, and headers will still accompany a creative essay.

Bottom line

So, can we say that a creative essay is also an academic assignment? Definitely! Somehow, it combines strict structure with a personal message created from scratch and writing this kind of text can turn out far trickier than you expect. Luckily, assistance can come in the form of a review from your classmate or through a professional service. In any case, getting the task to write a creative essay is a good experience, since this type of paper offers as much freedom as you can get during your studies.

academy writing

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