Structure Of And Essay

Essay planning and structure

It is really important to plan your essay before you begin writing. Planning will save you time later. It is also essential that you have a starting point to plan from, even if it is in a very rough form.

The obvious place to start is at the assignment question itself. From the question you can develop your answer in the form of a thesis statement. From there you can decide what your essay's subtopics will be and what you want to say about them. After you have a basic idea of what you want to talk about, you can begin to write the essay.

However, when writing an essay, it can also be difficult to come up with a point of view early on. Therefore, instead of developing a thesis statement first, you may choose to read up on the assignment question and make notes on relevant concepts, theories, and studies. Once you have these notes and can develop a summary of the issues, it should be much easier to write a thesis statement.

For more information on analysing the assignment question and planning your essay, see planning assignments.

Essay structure

All essays share the same basic structure, although they may differ in content and style. The essence of an essay is an opinion, expressed as a thesis statement or proposition, and a logical sequence of arguments and information organised in support of the proposition.

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Last updated on 26 October, 2012

How is an essay structured?

In order for your essay to be convincing and make sense, it needs to be presented inside a well structured piece of writing. How do you do this within the framework of an essay's general structure of Introduction,Body, Conclusion? Firstly, you need to be clear about what elements you should include within these three sections of an essay. The table below outlines these elements.

Introduction General statement or orientation to topic
Thesis statement
Brief summary of the main topics/arguments/points made in the essay
Body paragraphs
  1. Topic sentence A
    1. supporting sentence
    2. supporting sentence
    3. supporting sentence
  • Topic sentence B
    1. supporting sentence
    2. supporting sentence
    3. supporting sentence
  • Topic sentence C
    1. supporting sentence
    2. supporting sentence
    3. supporting sentence

  • These sentences support, expand or explain the point made in the topic sentence
    ConclusionRestatement or summary of the main points made in the body paragraphs and a final comment (if appropriate)

    You also need to be clear about the function of each of these essay sections.




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