Writing essays is a major part of academic life but, while many students have great ideas and understand concepts well, they lose marks due to a lack structure. So how do you structure academic writing? What is the best essay format?
Follow this simple guide on how to structure an essay by clearly introudcing your topic, presenting your ideas and concluding your argument. Your essays can be dramatically improved immediately simply by using a good essay structure.
How to start an essay
Always begin an essay by claerly outlining the the aims of the essay and how it addresses the title of the work. Try goal is to try to give the marker an overview of your argument, to show that your line-of-thinking is logical and coherent. It is also important to show that you have understood and considered the question. Don’t go too in-depth into any of your points – that is what the rest of the essay is for.
Paragraph Structure in essay writing
Start a new paragraph, or even sub-heading, for each major new idea within your essay which will avoid the problem of mixing or muddling up your ideas. Each paragraph should start with a clear statement of how it’s going to address an element of the essay’s topic/title. This also helps you, by forcing you to stay on track and not digress away from the subject.
The rest of the paragraph should present your argument clearly and concisely and not introduce any other issues that should be dealt with alone. Also, try to avoid the habit of over-explaining. If you are clear with what you say the first time, you won’t need to clarify.
How to finish your essay
There’s little point to an essay if it does not reach a considered conclusion. It would just be a rambling exploration otherwise. Your conclusion should present the major arguments and evaluate how important each is in influencing the subject matter. Choose one as the most important and say why you think it has the most influence.
Don’t introduce any new concepts in the conclusion. If something is important enough to be mentioned here, then it is important enough to have been dealt with properly in the main essay body. The conclusion should be the natural culmination of the essay above only.
Final essay structure top tip:
To check that your essay is well structured, try to explain to someone else the topic and the way you propose to deal with in your essay, in less than 60 seconds.
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