Ideas On How to Structure an Essay for University

Last Updated: by Tawanna Tarr

The essay is a written format that conveys an idea or a set of ideas with the reasoning that appeals to the reader’s logic. The central function of an academic essay is to present the writer’s ideas and view into a convincing argument that adequately explains their concepts, sufficiently counters the counterarguments that could be raised against the writer’s argument with reasons, and properly explains the significance of the case put forward in the essay.

There are different types of essays depending on its format and style like compare and contrast essays, classification essays, etc. But there are no set guidelines on how to fashion these essays. In the following passages, I will present an overview of ideas that may come in handy to structure your essay.

A serious essay must be written by holding the reader in mind. The principle behind any writing is effective communication of something. Therefore, the claims raised in the essay must come in anticipation of the reasoning and concerns of the reader which will emerge in them while reading. When shifting from one concept to the next, the essay needs to be consistent with proper transitions.

Almost all, if not all, essays are presented in a linear narration. That is, the essay introduces the reader with one idea at a time. The other characteristic feature of all academic essays is its general structure that consists of:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Introduction and conclusion are common to all essays. The opening is of paramount importance to a composition, especially an academic one that will be graded and influence one’s academic performance reports. The introduction presents the first impression of the essay to the reader, and it must induce curiosity in them to keep reading.

The introduction section introduces the argument to the reader and gives a context and idea of the structure and flow the essay will take.

The essay’s body forms the crux of that. In general, most essays adopt a three-part structure in which the argument is initially presented and explained. This includes the statement’s meaning and validity. The author should be vigilant about including the section within a third of the total essay. The piece would otherwise look like an interpretation or an observation.

Once the reader is presented with the statement of the argument, the next section must be a defense of the case against the counterarguments. The argument presented in the beginning will raise questions within the reader; the writer gives their reinforcement of the argument against the anticipated issues. This section provides the validity of the argument.

The following portion is a summary of the meaning of the points and claims contained in the essay. This section must explain the need and importance of the thesis presented by the writer with respect to the field of study. It makes the essay look complete. It is followed by an overview of the arguments in conclusion.