How to design a questionnaire

The academic writing sandwich- EXPLAINED

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(Last updated on: 19/04/2022)

What is the academic writing sandwich and how can this help you to do better in your work? In this short article I have it all covered- read on to learn how to improve your academic writing and get better grades…

What is the academic writing sandwich?

Sandwiches have three key parts – the first piece of bread, the filling and the final piece of bread. You can also think about paragraphs as having three key parts – the topic sentence, the evidence and the commentary. The academic writing sandwich can help you to write clear, concise paragraphs that are appropriate for your level of academic studies.

The academic writing sandwich

The first layer of the academic writing sandwich- bread

The ‘first piece of bread’ in a paragraph is the topic sentence. This sentence tells the reader what your paragraph is going to be about and how it links to the paragraph before it.

Take a look at this example of a topic sentence: ‘Another disadvantage of smoking is the negative impact it can have on health. For example, according to the World Health Organisation (2014), nearly 6 million people die each year from smoking-related diseases such as coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Studies also show that many people do not know about the serious health problems that smoking can cause, which makes it even more dangerous (WHO, 2014). These negative effects of smoking on health and the lack of awareness among many smokers mean that finding ways of helping people to quit is very important.

It may seem like a short sentence, but it tells us so much!

The word another shows that it is adding to the previous paragraph.

The phrase disadvantage of smoking shows that the paragraph will be describing a negative impact of smoking.

And the use of the word health shows that the focus of the paragraph will be people’s health- with this topic sentence, the reader knows what to expect in the paragraph.

The second layer of the academic writing sandwich-filling

Now we have our first piece of bread, let’s think about our filling.

In a paragraph, the best fillings are examples and evidence (academic sources).

Lets take a look at this example- ‘Another disadvantage of smoking is the negative impact it can have on health. For example, according to the World Health Organisation (2014), nearly 6 million people die each year from smoking-related diseases such as coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Studies also show that many people do not know about the serious health problems that smoking can cause, which makes it even more dangerous (WHO, 2014). These negative effects of smoking on health and the lack of awareness among many smokers mean that finding ways of helping people to quit is very important.

The filling sentences in a paragraph sandwich add detail and they help support what you say in your topic sentence. Adding lots of examples, quotes and facts will help make your paragraph even better – just like lots of fillings make a great sandwich!

The third layer of the academic writing sandwich-bread

The final piece of bread in the academic writing sandwich is also known as the commentary. The commentary aims to answer the question “why is this important?” – you need to explain why the previous sentences are relevant to the topic you’re discussing in your report.

The commentary sentence normally starts with a word like ‘this’ or ‘these’, to show the link with the filling of the sandwich paragraph. Look at our paragraph example commentary. ‘Another disadvantage of smoking is the negative impact it can have on health. For example, according to the World Health Organisation (2014), nearly 6 million people die each year from smoking-related diseases such as coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Studies also show that many people do not know about the serious health problems that smoking can cause, which makes it even more dangerous (WHO, 2014). These negative effects of smoking on health and the lack of awareness among many smokers mean that finding ways of helping people to quit is very important.

You can see that the final part of this paragraph demonstrates why this in formation is helpful.

The academic writing sandwich- further reading

If you enjoyed learning about the academic writing sandwich, I am sure that you will enjoy these articles too-

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