So how to structure an essay correctly? Which format should be observed?
Writing essays is not a whim of professors; it is an essential part of the academic study process. Accordingly, there are particular requirements for the format and structure, which students have to observe. Moreover, professors also write essays, and they are keen to receive essays from students of the same high level as their own works.
And a common mistake, which students make, is that they don’t take this task seriously enough. They don’t elaborate on the structure well or don't fully understand what is required from them. As a result, an essay suffers from negligence and can’t be awarded a high mark, even if the idea behind is good.
First of all, let’s define what the purpose of an essay is. An essay should cover an idea by means of logical points, which are supported by facts and evidence or proof.
Let's assume that you need to ask the permission of your parents to go to the party with friends. Portray in your mind as you approach them and start talking. It seems, your mind creates a logical structure for your speech by default. You understand that your conversation may be effective to fail. To avoid the latter, you present your arguments in logic order.
First, you try to prove that you deserve this. So, you could say that you’ve done the homework and cleaned up the mess in your room. By doing this, you provide evidence of your good behavior, which is worth praising. Most likely, you will also summarize why this party is important for you, and how it will motivate you for the future.
Now, look around, it is basically the template for your essay. Thus, an essay must always consist of 3 main parts: introductory paragraph, three or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Further, in this article, you will find even more instructions and techniques on how to structure an essay properly. You will learn how to introduce a point and provide a bottom line, as well as how to outline your body paragraphs efficiently.
A good beginning is half the battle
Of course, every part of your essay is important, but a good introduction is crucial for your writing to be successful. It is like the first impression when you meet with somebody – you are either charmed or disappointed. As a result, you are eager about the next meeting or avoid one.
And it is a secret to no one that professors start evaluating your writing from the very beginning. Maybe they are not sure about the mark yet, but the impression of it will remain flat. A few of them can wait for the end to deliver a verdict, as usually, a few sentences are enough to understand how good (or bad) the work is.
Pursue to create an introduction, which shows clear goals of your writing or addresses the subject of your research. Indicate briefly core points that will be reviewed. The task here is to present your writing as a logical and step-by-step elaborated thinking process. However, avoid filling in details for each point from the start – for that, you will have separate paragraphs in the main body. It might be a good idea, though, to mention shortly the opposite side of your argument to inform the readers about the existence of different attitudes towards the issue.
Your introduction may be compared to a teaser trailer, with the help of which the readers grasp the subject and get a hint of how you are going to support it or contradict it.
Here's an example for you:
Your task: The aim of the Gothic novel is to contradict standards of morality and social norms.
This is the way a successful introduction will look like:
It is obvious that lots of Gothic novels show as standards of morality and social norms are often violated. It is done by representing acts of indecency performed by religious figures, bringing a focus on sexuality, etc. Nevertheless, there is the other side of the coin displayed in this genre, too, like interest in mysticism, mocking some social behavior and so on. In this essay, we will discover which goals prevail in Gothic novels, indeed, by addressing to some text examples of the genre.
Read this introduction again.
Is there a hint about the essay topic? Can you trace the point? What do you expect to be next? What can you say about the size of the introduction? Now imagine that it is shorter. – Even without reading it, you may assume that it doesn’t introduce the topic well. It is because readers expect a specific volume by default. It doesn’t mean, though, that you should deliberately increase the introduction, just make it consistent.
Usually, the introduction is one paragraph long, even in bigger essays. However, sometimes you may need two.
Working on essay body
The body comes after the introductory paragraph. It is the biggest part of your essay. Standard essays have three body paragraphs, long essays – more.
Every paragraph introduces a new point connected to the subject. If we return to the previous example about “asking parents’ permission,” the reasons which you provide to let you go to the party should all start from a new paragraph with some development.
Similar to the essay structure, paragraphs have an introductory sentence, which is basically one of your points, development, and a bottom line or a transitional sentence, serving as a shift to another paragraph with a new point. A good idea will be to remind you about your essay topic in one of the paragraphs – it helps to trace a cause-and-effect link.
Example of an introductory sentence for a body paragraph: One of the techniques used to show a contradiction with standards of morality in Gothic novels is displaying women characters.
All the following sentences will just walk the talk by supplying details and examples. Avoid sentences irrelevant to the core point, shown in the introductory sentence. If we refer to our example with “the party” again, you can realize that while describing your merits, you don’t skip from one argument to another. Instead, you provide them consistently. The same holds for paragraphs – each one is about a separate idea.
Finishing your essay
The last paragraph of your essay is called a conclusion. Sometimes it can consist of more than 1paragraph for long essays.
The purpose of the conclusion is to bottom-line the main aspects of your writing and lead to a final solution or decision regarding the arguments described. It happens that a conclusion may serve as a bridge between your current essay and a future deeper research.
Remember that in conclusion, nothing new should be stated – you just rehearse what has already been mentioned above. You might remind the topic to show that it’s been covered thoroughly or refer to the key point to prove your message again.
Find below a sample of the conclusion:
Thus, even though all elements of Gothic novels tend to contradict standards of morality and social norms, a huge part of writing focuses on mystic phenomena, which refer to deceitfulness and inequity in society. This implies that, in reality, the goal of Gothic novels is to criticize people and talk sense into them.
Now it seems clearer how to structure an essay. However, do you know what the first step to achieving this structure is? Of course, there are many approaches – some people have a so-called roadmap in their heads with clear outlines for the future essay. For others, the witting essay is a challenge.
In this case, you can resort to writing the body first, as you now your points. And when the main information stream is ready, it is easier to proceed with the introduction and conclusion.
However, if this writing assignment is not your forte, or it’s just not the right time for it, do yourself a favor and receive support from our writing team. Our experts will help you with the essay outline to simplify a problem. Alternatively, you can order a complete essay worthy of the highest score.