How Should I Structure My Essay

Taking the time to understand proper essay structure is critical to academic success. This is true regardless of how far along you are in your schooling. You'll find it easier to give your essay good structure if you plan it out ahead of time, and put together a comprehensive outline. We've got some essay structure pointers to help get you and your essay going in the right direction.

Why Do I Need To Worry About Essay Structure?

Effectively structuring your essay will make it clear what questions or issues you are planning to address, and how you will go about it. It helps to clarify your ideas, and how they are connected to each other. Good organization makes it far easier for you to engage the reader, and lead them through the points you will be making in a progressive, rational way.

An Example Of Proper Essay Structure

The Introduction

Your opening statements are your opportunity to grab your reader's interest and immediately draw them into the arguments you will be setting forth in your essay. If you are writing a narrative or descriptive essay, now is the time to set the scene. Use vivid images and language to create a picture in the mind's eye.

If your essay is an argumentative or cause and effect type essay, you will want to carefully and definitively lay out the arguments that you will be making over the course of your paper. Your introduction will include a thesis. This will be a precise, and concise position statement. The following body paragraphs will provide evidence that supports your ideas or findings.

Your Body/Supporting Paragraphs

Your opening paragraph will have outlined the points and evidence that you will use to back up your thesis. Each of your supporting paragraphs will concentrate on one of the points that you are using to prove or defend your position. In a narrative or descriptive composition, you will take the reader through your story, one body paragraph at a time.

The number of body paragraphs that your essay will contain will depend on the length, and instructions set out by your instructor. “Five paragraph” essays are very common. Three body paragraphs will be introduced by one opening paragraph, and a concluding one that wraps the composition up.

Your Conclusion

This is where you bring it all together. Summarize the arguments, or main themes of your essay and draw your conclusions. Finish with a bang! Leave no doubt in your instructor's mind that your paper is the best, and most convincing, that they have read all day.


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