What is the best way to structure an essay?

What is the best way to structure an essay?

The ability to write a good essay is an important skill necessary in school and college years. Knowing how to structure an essay will make you score additional points with the professor who has been teaching you the discipline. The purpose of essay writing is to put in words the student’s own thoughts about a particular issue. It is the subjective view an individual may have on a historical, philosophical, literary, biographical or critical nature. Following is a basic essay structure:

  • Thesis: This is a clear statement as to what has to be proven. It is the essence of the problem at hand. This forms the introduction of the essay and should be short.
  • Argument: This is the paragraph where a student will have to prove the thesis. He may use self-analysis to study the issue at hand. He will also have to use analytical tools, concepts and known surmises to prove the point.
  • Conclusion: The last paragraph should surmise the author’s view of the subject. It should be presented in a way so that it appears as a logical conclusion. It should prove the thesis.

Writing an essay is not so easy and it is important that the student gets the structure right before starting to write. A clear understanding of the subject at hand and a self-analytic perspective are important pre-requisites. There are quite a few websites on the internet that will help students learn about proper essay structure to suit school and college requirements.

Essay structure

Writing an essay requires a lot of knowledge. The writer should have vast information about the topic he is writing on but the basic knowledge that he has to possess is about essay structure. Every essay should have a basic structure that never changes – an introduction followed by a body and ending with a conclusion. But there are several elements within each of these categories that a writer has to master. Let us try to explain to you the basic structure that your essay must follow and in the process become an ideal one.

Why is it important to have a proper structure

Essays can be of different types – narrative, discursive or academic. Even dissertation writing must follow a structure. Whatever be the type of the essay the core structure remains the same which makes it easier for the writer to construct a well structured essay. The structure also helps him to maintain the logical flow of the essay.

Basic elements of a structure of an essay

Any essay should have three distinct parts, an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The basic essay structure requires an introduction in which the student will introduce the topic to the readers. In the body he will present his views with the help of data and facts he has collected. In the conclusion he will review the content and provide summary of a few of the points.

Each of these elements must possess certain properties and we will now discuss those in details.

Argumentative essay with Infographic

The introduction

Generally the introduction is written in one single paragraph and is a short one. It should be deductive in nature as it explains the topic and prepares the readers to adopt a particular view in the subsequent body of the essay. An introduction necessarily initiates the topic of the essay and provides some background information on the topic. It explains the technique the writer adopts to reach out to the readers. It also contains a thesis statement that states writer’s point of view strongly.

The body

The body forms a major element of an essay structure. It is divided into several paragraphs with each paragraph dealing with a separate point.

The number of paragraphs included in the body part depends on the author and the way he builds his arguments. The paragraphs should be linked logically so that the reader can easily reach a conclusion.

The conclusion

The conclusion is a vital element of all types of essays – be it discursive essays or academic essays. It is usually written in one single paragraph and sums up the arguments the writer has put forward. It highlights the main points of the essay to prove the thesis statement.

Why Are Essay Structures So Important to Essay Writing?

Now many people reading the above heading may look at it and, shaking their head and think, ‘What a stupid question!’ I know I did too because the answer is surely obvious, isn’t it? Well, that’s what I thought for many years for the simple reason that I believed (like I am sure that many of you do) that there was no way that you could expect to write ‘good’ essays in practice if you did not also have ‘good’ essay structures in place that showed a clear line from the first thought that you wrote on the screen/page in front of you until the very last thing that you put in your conclusion. And yet, despite this simple reasoning, I never cease to be amazed at the sheer number of essay papers I have seen with little or no effective structuring to them and this is so obviously to their detriment because otherwise good ideas can all too easily be lost within a poor structure. Therefore, when it comes to producing any essay I would advise you to always look to have the following word in mind when writing your essay - ‘PLANNING’.

When thinking of your essay structures, however, we would also advise you to look to first ‘group’ ideas together at the planning stage. For example, if you are writing an essay about the ‘Nazi Party’s hold over Germany’ you may group ideas in the following way -

  • Economic
  • Social
  • Political
  • Propaganda

At the same time, however, you need to show an appreciation of any ‘crossover’ between areas because. for example, some issues like the ‘Jewish Question’ may relate to all four areas of division used for the ‘grouping’ of ideas. This is because, by way of illustration, it may be economic and social due to the fact that the Nazi Party played on the idea that Jewish people were not German citizens and were taking jobs away from those who were so that they were detracting from Germany’s national economy. Moreover, it was also a polical and propaganda issue because the Nazi Party blamed the Jewish people for a lot of the problems that the country was experiencing as a whole. Therefore, there is a need to think carefully about the way in which you express your ideas in practice since it is also important to make sure that you express your ideas clearly in concise precise sentences that are pointed and clear in what they are saying.