How to Structure an Essay: Essay Structure Guide
Writing an Essay
Writing may come easy to some people. They’d probably need a spark or thread to hold onto and the next thing you know their words are just spilling on the paper. On the other hand, it might not be as easy for other people. For instance, despite having an idea at the back of their minds. They might not be able to string together the right words that would get them going. Getting the hang of the right flow is of utmost importance. That is why when writing an essay, many people ignore the essay structure that they ought to pay attention to.
Sure you know all about the 3 main parts of essay structuring which are introduction, main body and conclusion, but there’s more to an essay structure than just these 3 parts. This type of essay writing would feature your typical essay structure. However, nowadays more advanced structures are followed. You see, you need to develop an understanding regarding how to prepare and present your entire essay so that not only it’s readable but also comprehensive so that your point does not get lost somewhere in the middle. In order to do that, one must focus on structuring out their argument in the most appropriate manner and that needs planning.
How to structure an essay
There are a number of things you have to cover in an essay which is why it’s understandable if you end up making a mess in the hurry of jotting down everything. If your points or arguments are all over the place, no reader would be able to make head or tail out of it which will not bode well for you. As your points need to be comprehensive, precise and delivered effectively for them to weigh in on the reader. For this purpose, structuring your essay is extremely crucial and vital. If you’re able to get the gist of essay structures through various examples then it’s all well and good. However, if you’re not then you’d have a bit more studying to do. For that you can refer to various websites that may provide you guidance or you can stay here and read this blog until the very end. Before you know it, you’ll be hit with inspiration and start working on your own.
Importance of writing an essay plan
We believe that a good essay structure gets penned after thoroughly studying the research material as well as drawing up a plan that would allow you to streamline your thoughts. If you don’t believe us just think about it this way before going away on a long weekend, surely you plan everything out, take every abnormality into account and counter it. If not, perhaps, you ought to, it leads to less headaches and gives room to prompt reactions, resulting in plans not going outright bust. For instance, if you have your kids along for the ride on the road trip, you’re likely to take into account that you guys would need to make stops so that they can use the restrooms right? Similarly, this is why, an essay structuring gets done as well for you to know what needs to be ticked off at what point. Therefore, writing an essay plan plays a crucial role.
Write out an Essay Plan
Sure you might think essay writing is a piece of cake and essay plans are for losers who never know where to start but that’s not the case and we would hate to prove you wrong. You see as much as you might have qualms about essay plans, you can’t deny they’re an exceptional way to keep track. Furthermore, you will be able to learn about academic writing and how to excel at that too. But in order to be perfect at it, you would require a bunch of practice. But in the meanwhile, you can focus on planning your essay structure.
Step by step guide to an essay plan
Now here are a few steps that can help you in writing out an essay plan:
- Study the topic or question you’re presented with.
- Write the topic on top of a page.
- Spend an hour or so, brainstorming on the domain. Don’t look up on Google just yet.
- Mention the thoughts you have in mind, outline the scope and other aspects of the topic and what role they have.
- Draw up a list of possible keywords or phrases that might seem useful or relate to the topic in a way.
- Look up study material from various but reliable sources that can prove beneficial in stating your arguments.
- Address the main points you’ll be talking about in your essay. Refer to the reading list if you were assigned any.
- Make notes of all the relevant content so that you can reference them later on easily.
- Each source must be noted down whether it be a journal, webpage, an article etc.
- Assign the minimum word count for your essay and how many words each section must comprise of. It’s possible that your teacher might’ve already assigned you a word limit, so distribute it among the sections accordingly.
- Keep each the introduction and conclusion to a combined 10% of the essay and focus the rest on your main body.
- Highlight the important points so you may discuss them first and later on tackle the not so important ones.
This essay plan ought to help you write an effective essay structure.
Focusing on the essay format
Following rules is a must, just like focusing on the essay format. Now we know most of you students are not law abiding so you would conveniently bend the rules as per to your liking. We would like to inform you that you may stray from the essay plan however it would be best if you stick to albeit not strictly but at least try to maintain some gist of it. Because you see, to write the best essay structure format, you need to be coherent and your points need to pack a punch otherwise the reader might very well lose interest, leading them to half-heartedly going through your essay or leaving it altogether and you wouldn’t want that to happen would you?
The basics of essay structure
As mentioned earlier, a correct essay structure comprises of 3 parts i.e., introduction, main body and conclusions. You might have a premature idea about what gets discussed in each of these sections however we would still like to enforce the idea so that there are no doubts in your mind. Hopefully, along the way, we will be addressing any probable questions that may arise from your side.
Planning your essay structure
Your essay structure starts with an introduction where you introduce your topic or the question which is the basis for your entire essay. Keep in mind your introduction will set the mood for the rest of your essay so you have to keep it intriguing and attention grabbing for the reader. Along with that it should also provide a little bit of background on your topic, ending with a thesis statement.
The main body is where you put forth all your main points and analysis. Do make sure that you present sufficient examples that back your point of view. We would recommend you to discuss one main point per paragraph and to begin each paragraph with a topic sentence so that the reader gets a gist of what the paragraph will be discussing. Another pointer that will be useful for you is to address the simplest argument first and then move onto more complex ones.
Coming towards the conclusion, it should be able to neatly wrap up all the points that you mentioned and also tie it with your thesis statement. Most students while writing their essays often forget to do that.
This should help you revise all everything you know about essay structures.
Types of essay structures
Now let’s have a look at the different approaches which you can opt for your essay layout. These are basically just organizational templates that are used mostly for essays. You do not need to adhere to them strictly, however, be mindful of them as they may help you.
This type of essay structure is also referred to as cause-and-effect essay structure. This type of approach is pretty straightforward as you have to follow along the timeline according to which the events took place. While structuring an essay based on chronological order, you mention an event and then another after which you discuss how the two might be related. A chronological approach is suitable for documenting events or a series of incidents. For instance, you might be talking about ‘Effects of Nuclear Disasters’ so you might mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki after which you can refer to the Chernobyl incident.
Your paragraph structure could consist of an incident followed by its consequences and so on, for each paragraph. In conclusion, you can give a summary of the results and talk about the importance of the topic. Lastly, deliver a strong closing statement to pack it up.
For dealing with an essay that’s dabbling with two or more domains at the same time. You may use the compare and contrast structure. Remember back in middle school when you used to draw up two columns to compare two different things? Consider this approach an advanced version of that. For instance, the structure of an essay comparing Android to Apple and which one company pays more attention towards its customer service. You can even use this approach for slightly similar technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
There are two main ways through which you can implement this compare and contrast approach:
An academic essay structure based on this method would involve discussing all the aspects of a domain in a single go, of course, dedicating a paragraph to each aspect and then following the similar format for the other domain or subject while comparing with the first subject. The conclusion would consist of an ending note on both the subjects. You should also include why you chose these two subjects specifically and the importance of your decision. Provide a conclusive end to the entire argument.
You may be confused on how to structure an essay of this type however, allow us to tell you all about it. Firstly, the introduction would be like any other essay. In this essay structure’s main body, you’d be doing a compare and contrast between your two subjects by dealing with each point one by one instead of tackling one subject entirely unlike the Block method mentioned above. Here you will be focusing on the comparison points instead of the subjects themselves. Of course, the conclusion would be the same as the one you wrote for the same approach as above.
Problem, Methods, Solution Structure
As the name suggests, this type of academics structure is used for writing scientific research papers. These types of essays deal with a problem and eventually how to resolve the said problem. The methodology followed for the problem solution is talked about in great lengths. Your introduction will consist of the problem statement. A bit of background and your approach to the matter as to provide a solution.
A paragraph or two will be dedicated to address each: the problem, its importance, the method, how it will be tackling the issue in depth and the results from the methodology applied which will be your solution. In conclusion, feel free to address the effectiveness of your solution and any associated implications.
Starting an essay
Now even after all this you’re still confused. Feel free to look up how to write an essay plan and we won’t judge you for it as we can understand how each individual possesses a different understanding level. We can only impart knowledge, it is entirely up to you to grasp it and implement it. No matter how many sources you take help from for improving your essay writing and essay structuring.