Essay Structure Types

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During your student days, either as part of the application for a seminar or a competition (prize competition), you need to write essays on various topics. It is good to know that there are certain rules when writing an essay, and it is advisable to follow them if you want to achieve success by writing an essay.

What is an essay?

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An essay is a type of discussion open to literature or science. It presents the acquired knowledge and analyzes and interprets it. Interpretation exposes concepts, phenomena, and notions in time and space. Interpretation is based on description and discussion. The name “essay” comes from the French word “essai”, which means “examination”. An essay is a prose form of written expression, which has a shorter form. The goal is to express the personal opinion of the author, based on research, information, and conclusions on a particular topic.

The topics of essays are most often literary, journalistic, and scientific, but they can also be inspired by the everyday life and experience of the author. The purpose is to bring closer to the reader the understanding and attitudes of the author on a given topic. An essay is usually in the form of a report, short story, or poem in prose, and often as an article or discussion. It is almost certain that you will write one essay while studying.

The essay structure types may vary depending on the category of work. Nevertheless, we can draft a basic essay structure. It consists of:

  • Title Page
  • Outline
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Main Body
  • Conclusion
  • References

Helpful Tips for All Essay Structure Types

In order to create a nice flow throughout the essay, the writing should be to-the-point, clear, and logically interconnected. Therefore, using the concluding sentence to inter-connect the paragraph is an excellent method. One can also use transitional words and phrases to achieve this. Always remember that each section must echo the narrator’s voice; otherwise, it’s as good as plagiarism. It may also indicate a lack of research or study of credible sources.

Now let’s have a look at what each part of the essay should include. For more information on essay structure types, see the respective article.

The Title Page

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Every paper will have specific requirements regarding its title page. For instance, if we look at different types like APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago/Turabian, and other paper formats, there will be a specific title page. Hence, as a writer, one must always keep in mind the consulting rules to determine whether there will be a title page or not at all.

The Outline

It serves as the root of an essay structure. Some of the formats use outlines to present the overall essay structure. Therefore, there are various types of them. However, the primary purpose of outlines is to help the readers navigate smoothly between the papers.

The Abstract Essay Structure

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Most of the scientific papers generally include an abstract page. However, some APA style formatting works are of around 1000+ words and feature a conceptual essay structure. These types of pages often provide a brief overview of everything written in an academic paper.

The abstract structure usually has around 150 words, but it carries a purpose statement and an overview of all the major issues present in the academic paper. Another aim of it is also attracting the reader’s attention. Most of the time, they end with a “keywords” field in which the writers identify all the essential terms used in the paper.

The Introduction

Usually, the introduction must cover about 10% of the paper’s word count. Generally, the introduction contains a perfect hook to attract the readers’ attention and raise their interest. Also, an introduction often includes a brief preview of all the main points.
Lastly, the introduction must also end with a thesis statement. Usually, the thesis statement is one long sentence representing a direct answer to all the assignment questions. It supports the primary evidence — usually, there is no citation in the introduction.

The Main Body

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For the main body, the students generally need to write one paragraph to express one idea. First, you need to start a particular topic with a sentence that summarizes the idea typically. After that, one must include supporting ideas, explanations, and arguments that vindicates the research. Such sentences must carry in-text citation in them. It is better to use the in-text citations in the part where students wish to present the evidence.

You must always remember that the main body must have at least four sentences in one paragraph. These four sentences generally include the introductory sentence, in-text citation along with the evidence, a little explanation about the citation, and a concluding sentence. Also, the length is critical as well since you have to maintain the academic writing standards. To make things easier to understand, students must use three evidence sentences per paragraph to maintain a delicate balance.

The Main Body usually covers 80% of the paper and is an expansion of a thesis statement. Here is an example of the main body for a typical 5-paragraph essay structure (introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion):

  • Introduction with a thesis statement.
  • Main Body (3 sections).
  • First body paragraph (follow a Sandwich Rule):
  • Topic/Introductory Sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation/Analysis of the evidence
  • Transition sentence
  • Second body paragraph (follow a Sandwich Rule):
  • Topic/Introductory Sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation/Analysis of the evidence
  • Transition sentence.
  • Third body paragraph (follow a Sandwich Rule):
  • Topic/Introductory Sentence.
  • Evidence
  • Explanation/Analysis of the evidence
  • Concluding Sentence
  • Conclusion
  • References

The Conclusion

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The conclusion usually tends to cover 10% of all the words in the paper. It must restate the thesis statements, form a summary of the arguments, and prove their effectiveness in answering the original questions. You must not include new information here.

The References

Lastly, an essay features a page for the acknowledgments and appendix. References are usually the last thing a writer includes. But they must abide by the general formatting rules to be truly useful.

Advice: Take care of details

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After you have written a conclusion, you may think you have finished your essay, but that is still not true. Before the work is done, you must pay attention to all the details. Check the schedule of your paragraphs. Make sure that the strongest arguments are the first and last paragraph in the body, while the others come in the middle. Also, make sure that your position is completely defended and consider whether you can add something more important.

Different essays must have different formats, and you must double-check the instructions to make sure your essay is in the required format. Finally, review what you wrote. Read your paper and see if it makes sense. Make sure the sentences are meaningfully connected, that the story flows smoothly, and add phrases to help connect thoughts or ideas. Make sure the citations in your essay are properly marked and be sure to cite the source of those citations. Then, pay attention to spelling mistakes and grammar.


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