Fundamental Things You Should Know About The Structure Of An Essay


When you do any kind of academic writing your paper should always have some kind of structure in order to make your ideas and argument coherent and easy for the reader to understand. A paper without structure is really just pages of jumbled phrases or sentences going in every direction. It would make it impossible to read and comprehend. Here are a few fundamental things you should know about the structure of an essay.

The Parts of an Essay

Different types of assignments will require different kinds of information. The parts can be considered to be specialized and should be separated in an outline before you get started with a first draft. Each paragraph should only carry one idea with related evidence kept within.

If you have trouble identifying the different parts of an essay you might try this trick where you ask yourself a series of questions and provide the answers you think a reader would most like to know about. For instance, using “what” “how” and “why,” will help you see your content through your readers eyes.

Your Essay as a Map

A great way to set up your paper is so that it follows the likely logic your reader will have. Think about what your reader needs to know in order to understand what you will be discussing in each paragraph that follows. This keeps your argument in check and will make following your case much easier.

Have a look at some paper or outline examples to learn a bit more about this. A five paragraph format is pretty simple but highly effective. Learn about the different parts and pay attention to the logic they follow. You’ll want to adopt this skill in your own writing.

Spotting Trouble

One of the most common mistakes in high school and in undergraduate writing is called the “walk-through.” This is where a student simply tries to follow the structure of his sources exactly. These kinds of papers usually have descriptive theses instead of ones that present a clear and concise argument.

Look for mistakes in lead or topic sentences. For instance words like “next,” “first,” “then,” or “after” are openers that indicate time and most academic papers aren’t asking for a chronology of events but a well-thought argument on a given topic. These words may come naturally to you but to the trained eye they usually signal that a writer isn’t aware of his mistakes.


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