essay-help   Essay Structure Guide for Students

The following guidelines have been adopted in order to enhance your knowledge regarding essay structure. Some people work best when they produce an essay structure beforehand, while some skip the structure part and let their ideas flow in writing. They impose some sort of structure in later stages of writing. But even in that case, they must be clear at the onset in which direction their essay is going. However, if you are new to essay writing, you might find it useful to follow the suggested stages in a methodical way.

There is no ‘standard’ essay structure, but there is an ideal model for essay structure that includes head–body–tail. When you are saying something you have to start somewhere, explain the matter and sum it up at the end.

  • Introduction

An introduction is a pre-cap of your essay that tells your readers what is going to happen in your essay. You should not treat your essay as a mystery or detective novel; you better tell your readers what you are going to discuss in your essay paragraphs. Your introduction should also consist of the main points in the same order you are going to raise in the body paragraphs. This is not the place for placing any argument or supportive evidence.

  • Main body

The main body paragraphs consume most of the word count (one-third of the whole). This is the place where you develop each point the way you mentioned in the introduction. The points you make should be supported by relevant evidence picked out from authentic sources.

  • Conclusion

Conclusion should summarize what you have found out, discovered and concluded. It should always relate back to the introduction and the main body in order to remind the readers what you have been trying to prove or say through essay writing. Readers should get the satisfaction of utilizing their time in a perfect manner.

How to structure an essay

More important than the basic structure is what all elements go in each of the three sections.

Section 1 - Introduction (150-200 words)

Essay Prompt: (Say for example) To what extent math is more reliable than other areas of knowledge?

Thesis statement: While evaluating math as a discipline, math is not necessarily more reliable compared to natural science and ethics. However, we witness that knowledge is different in different fields.

Roadmap for readers: A sentence that tell your readers how you are going to explore the essay question. This will be easy for your readers to know what to look for. For example, mathematics can be seen as more reliable option because it uses reasons. Natural science can be less reliable because it relies on observation and ethics can be less reliable because it is related to the norms of society.

Main body (within 400 words)

Claim: A claim reflects your argument about the essay question.

‘Mathematics can be reliable as it uses pure logics.’

Explain: Elaborate and clarify your claim.
‘Mathematics is axiomatic and independent of subjective experience.’

Example: A real life example should be used to clarify and support your claim. Examples should have personal touch, be specific and real. You could start the sentence by stating,
‘In mathematics, we see that the inside angles of a triangle, in Euclidian space, sum up to 180 degrees.’
Counter claim: Argue against your claim mentioned above.
‘However, it is possible to come to different conclusion.’
Example: A real-life example supports your counter claim.
‘It is not possible to showcase that the interior angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees in Euclidian space. This cannot be proved with other system such as spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry.’

Link to essay question: Conclude this paragraph with simpler thoughts of yours.
‘It is therefore clear that mathematics is a reliable option but often it shows something to be true with one certain system.’

Section 3 - Conclusion

Implications and significance: The significance of the subject one could understand after reading this essay.

Perspective: Describe another view that is someway different from you.

Sum up the argument: Restate the thesis statement in other words, this time in brief.

A model essay structure

Introduction

  • Arouse readers’ interest
  • Set the scene
  • Define or explain key terms
  • Give a brief outline of how you will deal with each issue and in which order

Main body

Paragraph 1 – First issue

  • The first sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph
  • Other sentences develop the topic
  • Incorporate relevant examples, quotations, references and evidence

Paragraph 2 and other paragraph depending on the subject or topic

The first sentence of each paragraph must link back to the last sentence of the previous paragraph.

Conclusion

  • Summarize everything together
  • State general conclusion in your words
  • In the last sentence, sum up everything linking back to the essay question
  • Discuss what the essay has failed to do – limitations
  • Suggest further questions of your own.

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Essay structure checklist

Here we describe what you should not forget to involve in your essay structure. Before handing in your essay, check to ensure you have included all these following factors in your essay structure. These elements can make or break things for you.

Introduction

  • Adjustment of the question
  • Thesis statement
  • Outline of the main points (Point A, Point B, Point C)

Body

Develop each point in each separate paragraph.
Point A – Paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence
  • Support evidence and examples
  • Concluding sentence (optional)

Point B – Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence
  • Support evidence and examples
  • Concluding sentence (optional)

Point C – Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence
  • Support evidence and examples
  • Concluding sentence (optional)

Keep going like this until you run out of points.

Conclusion

Essay structure template.

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