As you write your essay ask yourself the following questions:
Here are some links from Language and Learning Online for academic writing.
Evidence of research:
It is important in academic writing to develop your own style. While it must conform to certain standards, your own style is individual and, to some extent, creative. In many ways, developing a style is difficult. As William Strunk writes (1979): "There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no infliexible rule by which the young writer may shape his/her course (66)". Consider your style in everything you write; from short answers in exams, to class presentations to longer pieces of writing. While sticking to the boundaries of academic writing, experiment with different styles.
Strunk, W. & White, E.B., (1979) "The elements of style" 3rd Edition, MacMillian Publishing: London