How to Structure an Essay

Essay structure is very important for your ideas to be presented in a clear and persuasive way. It is a set of thoughts organized in an order which have the most sense for a reader. The successful essay has no a particular formula, but main rules of structuring should be followed for getting a better effect.

How to Structure an Essay

Basic essay format includes three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. So, before starting to write an essay, it is necessary to think about the whole idea you intend to present and plan what elements of it you should include in these main sections. Let’s learn more how to write a perfect academic paper and discover the functions of each of three essay part.

Table of Contents

Essay Introduction:

As one said, an introduction is one of the easiest parts of an essay, but there is a few of those who are able to make it properly. The main goal of this section is to present your position/argument on the particular issue. Firstly, you should briefly introduce the topic you highlight. After that, it is necessary to show your general attitude toward it. In other words, it is called a thesis statement.

The thesis should be a short (one sentence) and clear explanation of your point of view. Your introduction is successful if the reader has no misunderstanding about the topic and no doubts about your attitude toward it. In addition, you need to provide the reader with a mini-outline that previews the examples to be used as the support of your position.

The last sentence of the introduction is a bridge to the first sentence of a body paragraph, so be careful while building this connection.

To sum up, the introduction is a three-four sentence paragraph which includes

  • General statement
  • Thesis statement
  • List of the main arguments you will use in the essay.

Essay Body –

The main purpose of this part of an essay is to explain in detail the arguments/examples that support your thesis statement. This section consists of several paragraphs, and each of them is devoted to a particular argument.

In the first body paragraph, it is highly recommended to put the strongest or the most important example. The first sentence of it is a topic sentence which is related to one of the arguments in the mini-outline above. The example you use in this paragraph should also be provided with context. Then it is necessary to explain why this example supports your thesis. The same rules are used for further body paragraphs.

One more important thing is transitional words and phrases you should use to make your essay more connected. For instance, moreover, by contrast, on the other hand. They are the marks that show when one idea begins/ends and lead the reader from one section to another. Also, they are the hallmarks of good writing.

In general, this part of the essay has the following features:

  • it answers the question through a discussion;
  • shows your competence in the topic;
  • offers the evidence/examples which prove your arguments;
  • Uses authoritative quotes.

The end of your Essay:

This part of an essay is the last chance for the writer to emphasize on this or that attitude toward a particular issue. Generally, it is like a second introduction as it has similar features, but is shorter in length (no more than four sentences).

It is important to make a persuasive restatement of the thesis statement in this part. Therefore, it is possible to repeat some words from the introduction. Also, the conclusion should consist of a brief review of the main points from the body paragraphs of the essay.

Transition words like to sum up or in conclusion, will emphasize that this paragraph is the last one. The last sentence should be strong enough like a global statement which signals that the essay is over.

To summarize, the conclusion in an essay:

  • re-state your main points;
  • includes the final broad statement
  • never consists of a new information.

Final Essay Tips:

The first step toward writing a successful essay is to organize your thoughts. Think about your ideas and put everything in your head to paper. Then you are able to see what you already have, what is missed and how to make links between different thoughts.

Identify your audience and use appropriate vocabulary. If you need to write an essay for the scientific community, it is better to use specific terminology. If the audience of your essay is wide masses, then the tone of your writing should be simplified.

You also should to critique your own arguments. Make sure you present your argument in the right context. Also, be sure your argument is not meaningful and send exactly that message you need.

It is better for you to demonstrate that you are competent in the topic and have wide views. So, tell your audience what other influential and competent people think and say about the topic. In an essay, you have a chance to show that you are widely read. But also it is necessary to be attentive while choosing this or that quotation and be sure it matches to the general topic you write on.

An actual question is whether it is allowed to use Wikipedia or samples while writing an essay. The answer is that you can, not as a source of new knowledge, of course, but as a generator of links to more professional websites or books.

Making an impression on the readers is not enough when your syntax and punctuation don’t match with so high level of your thoughts.  So, attentively read for several times your essay. Ask your friends or colleagues to check your writing and consider their remarks as the representatives of the potential audience.

Keep these essay writing tips in mind and have a lot of practicing. You should find your own manner in writing while following a required format at the same time. Your essay should demonstrate not only your competence but a sincere interest in the topic. This is the only way for the writer to keep its reader’s attention from the first till the last word.

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