Knowing how to structure an essay is crucial if you’re a student at college. An essay isn’t just a loose collection of ideas. It has to be well structured to help the reader follow the logic of your argument. Here is some advice to help you structure your essay.
Make sure you fully understand what’s required
When writing an essay, you must fully understand what you need to do. It will help you to underline key instructional verbs in the essay question, such as ‘compare’ or ‘evaluate.’ Look for any words that limit the scope of the essay. See if you can break the essay question down into different parts. Professional writers at essay writing services will often begin an essay by carefully analyzing the essay question. So in times when you need professional help, you should look for a writer who can provide academic help as per your requirement.
Do some exploratory research
Before you even start trying to plan your essay, you need to do some exploratory research. This helps you to familiarize yourself with the topic and find out what research has already been done. You may be able to identify gaps in the existing research you can cover.
When you search for sources, you need to refine your search to what’s relevant to your topic. Remember to take notes while you research and keep track of where the information comes from. This will save time when it comes to citing sources and referencing.
Make a detailed outline
Creating an outline is a critical part of the process of writing an essay. It will help you to keep on track and prevent you from leaving out any important ideas. Incorporate all your main points in your outline in a structured and logical way. Every paragraph should make a point that reinforces your argument, and paragraphs should flow logically, leading step by step to a conclusion.
Decide on an essay structure
The basic structure of an essay consists of an introduction, the body and a conclusion. However, you can decide on different ways to present the information.
Chronological structure: This is the most commonly used structure where you present events in the order in which they occurred.
Compare and contrast: Comparing and contrasting is a good structure to use for something like literary analysis, where you need to compare different texts. One method is to use each paragraph in the essay to compare and contrast subjects in relation to a specific point. Another method is to write a paragraph about one subject and then about another while drawing comparisons with the first one.
Write a rough draft
When writing your rough draft, keep referring to your outline but allow your ideas to flow. You shouldn’t focus on perfection at this point but on expressing your ideas. A first draft is exactly that – much work will still be needed before you reach your final draft. Many students will ask for essay writing help once they have written a rough draft and need help before submitting a final draft.
Introduction: Your introduction presents your topic and lays out your main argument or thesis. It has to encourage the reader to want to find out more. It can be helpful to write your introduction after the body because you will have more ideas about what to say.
Body: The body of your essay will present your core argument and analysis. When writing the body of your essay, you can make your writing clear and more concise with the following tips.
- Stick to making one point in each paragraph. If you try to fit too much into a paragraph, your argument may suffer.
- Try to avoid impossibly long sentences as they can confuse meaning.
- Use transition words and phrases to help guide a reader through your text. They make it easy for readers to follow a logical path from one paragraph to another.
- Constantly refer to your central argument and support it with relevant information, so you don’t go off track.
Conclusion: Your conclusion will tie together the main points and show why your argument matters. It shouldn’t be longer than a few sentences, and it’s not the place for discussing any new information.
Edit and proofread
Once you have completed your first draft, you need to go through a process of revision to make sure your essay is clear and error-free. At this stage of the process, you may need to reverse the order of certain paragraphs to create a better flow, eliminate unnecessary words and much more. You may spot ways to strengthen your argument with more evidence.
A final word
The above advice should help you to improve your essay structure. Start by fully understanding what you need to do, researching and writing a strong outline. From there, it shouldn’t be that difficult to create your first draft and work on perfecting it.