All You Need to Know About Essay Structure: Tips for Students
Essay structure is among the things that are essential for every student, regardless of their specialization. The ability to structure the paper also presupposes the ability to create logical connections, develop thoughts in a comprehensible manner, and properly order ideas. That is why we decided to prepare a short guide on the way you on essay construction.
What Is the Structure of the Essay
The paper structure presupposes the presence of different parts of the text. Each part has its form and purpose, so they serve the unity and coherence of your writing. The basic essay usually contains three parts:
Of course, texts may vary, and such papers as two-paragraph or 100-word essays cannot contain all three parts clearly separated. In such a case, some parts are merged: for instance, there is no introduction; instead, it is connected with a body paragraph. However, more often there are more than three parts in the text, especially when it comes to research papers.
Basic Essay Parts
Let’s now learn a little more about the above-mentioned parts of the text.
This part usually serves two purposes: raise the interest of an audience and highlight the general idea. Additional tasks may be added to this part, such as providing a background or causing emotions. Introduction often has the form of an inverted triangle: it starts with the most general topic and narrows down with each sentence. In the end, there should be a thesis statement that describes your main idea and provides major arguments. More info on introduction here.
An essay should have at least one body paragraph, which develops your idea, adding more details to it. The body paragraph also has its structure: it starts with a topic sentence, continues with arguments and examples, and ends with a concluding sentence. Hence, each paragraph should have at least 3-4 sentences.
Essays usually have more than one body paragraph. In basic texts, each paragraph corresponds to a specific idea or argument. However, when you are working on larger texts, several paragraphs can develop one idea: the structure of such paragraphs will be also different. Check our full guide on writing body paragraphs.
A conclusion summarizes everything that was written before in a laconic way. It mentions major arguments and general ideas. Depending on the type of essay, it can also call to action or make a prediction. However, you cannot add anything new to this paragraph. Therefore, there should be no in-text citations or new arguments here.
How to Structure an Essay
If you already understand the theoretical frame of essay structuring, let’s go ahead and check a step-by-step instruction on how to order paragraphs in the essay.
- Start with a thesis statement: be sure to develop your thesis statement before writing the rest of the paper. You should know exactly what idea you want to deliver to your audience.
- Write down each of your arguments. They will form the basis of your body paragraphs.
- Take one argument and write a topic sentence with it: describe this argument and show how it relates to your topic.
- Back up your argument with credible facts and sources.
- Summarize what you wrote in a concluding sentence.
- Repeat with the rest of the arguments.
- Now let’s write a conclusion. Start with an attention grabber or general information.
- Add some context.
- Write a “bridge” between the start of your paper and the thesis statement: create a transitional sentence that will connect these parts of the introduction.
- Now it’s time for a conclusion. Summarize your text in 1-2 sentences.
- Add what you think should be highlighted.
- Answer “so what?” question.
- Don’t forget to proofread your paper and ensure its coherence.
Of course, this is not the only algorithm to use when working on your essay. Some students may feel it easier to start from the introduction and write all the text chronologically, while others end their writing process by completing the introduction. However, it’s essential to start your writing from the thesis statement — the rest may be adjusted.