7 Things You Need To Remember About Essay Structure

These work no matter what type of essay you are writing

  1. Planning & structure. This may sound basic but if you spend time on your planning it makes the process of structuring your essay a lot easier.
    • Answering the question. Many students fail right from the start because they did not read the question properly. No matter how easy the work sounds read it several times.
    • Generating ideas.. Once you feel that you know exactly what is required of you, then brainstorm the ideas that you have. Then look at how your ideas can flow.
  2. Beginnings: The way that you introduce your work will influence whether the reader feels that they are drawn to read your work or not.
    • Get some attention: Start with a brief anecdote; an appropriate joke; a quote or a statement of why you are drawn to the topic.
    • Look at examples: If you are not sure of how to start your work then take some inspiration for tactics that other writers have used, look at books and articles.
  3. Introduction: This is the part of your work that sets the scene for the whole of your essay. If you get this part right the rest of the structure should follow.
    • What to include in the Introduction: Remember that the introduction should be the taster. Give a brief outline of what the reader should expect.
    • What to leave out of the Introduction. Don't overload your reader at this point. Stick to the main points that you will be covering.
  4. Main. This should be divided up into the two or three major points that you have chosen to focus on. Try to keep to the plan rather than confuse your reader.
    • Treat each topic as a mini essay. Each topic area should have its own introduction, main part and discussion/conclusion. The introduction and conclusion may be brief.
    • Logical progression. Make sure that the topics follow a logical progression of ideas, rather than jumping from one unrelated subject area to another.
  5. Conclusion/ Discussion: This is your opportunity to summarise the arguments or points that you have put forward in the main section of your essay.
    • Draw the point together: Don't assume that the reader will be bring together all of the issues that you have covered, Guide them trough the process.
    • Comment: The topic area has obviously interest you so add your own spin on the topic, make sure that it is supported by evidence.
  6. Acknowledge sources: For some essays it may not be appropriate to include a reference section, but let your reader know where you have accessed supporting evidence.
    • Evidence: Was it a news story? An article in a journal? Is your work based on a subject area that has a personal interest?
    • Inspiration: Were there any particular sources that inspired your focus in this essay? Do you think that they can be inspirational to others?
  7. Making changes: Once you have written your first draft then go back and critically read through your work. Ideally get someone else to read it as well.
    • Editing: Remember that if you make a change in one part of your essay you may need to make other changes, especially in the context of the use of tenses and verbs.
    • Proofreading: When you think you have finished then go back and proofread from the beginning again.