If your library has a directory in the reference section called Essay and General Literature Index , which was begun in 1990 and is published every two years by . Wilson, you can use it to help locate places to submit your essays by looking up subject headings. For instance, if you look up “trees,” you will find some listings about essays concerning trees in publications you might not have heard of such as American Forests . The Reader”s Guide to Periodical Literature , also published by . Wilson, is in every library”s reference section. Here, too, you can use a subject head. However, it is hard to tell an essay from an article by this index”s descriptions.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.