How to structure an essay
Writing a great essay is all about having a clear and logical structure. However, many people struggle with organizing their thoughts and ideas in a way that is both coherent and easy to follow. If you’re one of them, don’t worry!
In this blog post, we’ll share with you some tried-and-tested tips on how to structure your essay effectively.
Basic essay structure
Example of an introduction part
The improvement of the health sector has unleashed the bitter truth that was long considered as normal in the previous ages; smoking. Although smoking was seen as cool in the 19th and 20th centuries, the developments of today’s technology have already revealed its drastic negative consequences on the human body. In this direction, this paper analyzes whether electronic cigarettes are a better alternative than traditional cigarette smoking.
ImportantDon't forget to write an engaging introduction that grabs your reader's attention and make them read more.
2. Body paragraphs
The body is right after the introduction, and is where you expand on analyses and arguments. This is also where you gradually support your thesis statement.
Example of a body paragraph
ImportantDon’t forget to deal with only one main point in each paragraph.
Conclusion is the part where the ideas reach a definite point. It usually is a single paragraph and the last paragraph of your essay.
Example of a conclusion part
Although electronic cigarettes may still contain certain addictive chemicals, traditional cigarettes result in much more chemical substances which have drastic consequences for the human body in the long run. Also, electronic cigarettes are better alternatives than traditional cigarette smoking because they do not smell as bad as traditional ones as they do not contain chemicals such as carbon monoxide and benzene. After all, although both should not be suggested, electronic cigarettes are better alternatives in terms of the human body and health.
Compare and contrast structure
The compare and contrast essay structure is commonly used in various types of essays, including compare and contrast essays, argumentative essays, cause and effect essays, and descriptive essays. It is a versatile tool that helps writers analyze and understand complex ideas and concepts.
A compare and contrast essay structure can be used in two ways.
1. Alternating method
With this method, each paragraph compares your topics side-by-side from a certain point. Each of your paragraphs is defined by the points of comparison.
Look at the example below.
Alternating method example
Alternating essay outline sample
2. Block method
With the block method, you cover each topic separately at once, so that the topics are spread in multiple paragraphs.
For example, you can write two paragraphs about your first topic, then two paragraphs about your second topic, and make comparisons with the first.
Example below illustrates more on the block method.
Block method example
Block method outline sample
Chronological (cause and effect) structure
A chronological or cause-and-effect structure is another method for organizing an essay. It presents events or ideas in the order they occurred or developed over time. It is commonly used in historical, biographical, narrative, and science/technology writing.”
In other words, use this if you are going to talk about a series of events in your essay, you discuss the events in the order in which they occurred.
Chronological essay structure example
Chronological essay outline sample
- Summarize the events
- Mention the importance of the Harlem Renaissance
Problems, methods, and solutions structure
The problems, methods, and solutions structure is commonly used in scientific research, business case studies, environmental and social issue essays. It’s a useful framework for presenting and solving problems by identifying the problem, outlining the methods used, and presenting the solution or solutions.
Start by explaining a problem first, and find ways to solve it as you go. Finally, analyze the problem by discussing whether the methods are suitable for the solution.
Problems, methods and solution essay structure example
Make use of signposting to show structure
Signposting is a technique that can help you clarify the structure of your essay and guide your reader through your argument. By using signposting, you make it clear how your essay is organized and how your ideas are connected.
There’re some ways to use signposting to clarify your structure, which are essay overview and transitions.
What is an essay overview?
An essay overview is a brief summary of your essay that can help to signpost the structure of your essay for your reader.
By providing an overview of your essay at the beginning, you can help your reader to understand how your essay is structured and how your ideas are connected.
Essay overview example
Podcasts are now widely available across different digital platforms across the globe. Understandably, the rise and emergence of technological assets helped a lot to this trend. They are not only a media option for some, but also a source of inspiration for many in different fields, especially justice and law.
Transitions are essential for creating coherence in an essay’s structure. They connect ideas and help readers follow the argument by showing how different parts of the essay fit together.
To write a good essay, you can use transition words and phrases to connect different ideas, along with transition sentences that guide the reader through the text and move them to the next topic.
Transition words example
the fact that immigrants have less access to public services such as healthcare creates another social problem, which makes them try to rest or cure themselves instead of going to a hospital when they get sick for the reason that they have to pay money to the hospital. you can not use public services for free makes them more inefficient, both psychologically and physically.
Transition sentences connect paragraphs or sections of an essay and create a smooth flow of ideas. They signal to the reader how the argument is progressing and use transitional words and phrases to show relationships between ideas. Effective use of transition sentences can help create a well-organized and cohesive essay structure.
By following the basic guidelines outlined in this article, you can create a well-structured essay that is not only easy to read but also engaging and persuasive. Remember, good structure is the backbone of a successful essay.