Conventions of the academic essay may vary from discipline to discipline, but every essay needs a clear structure that presents a set of ideas logically in an order which makes the most sense to the audience. Outlining the structure for an essay can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing process, so in this article, we give you some useful recommendations on how to establish a clear structure for your piece of writing when creating an outline. Besides, you can find more info here.
Generic Essay Structures
An effective essay structure should support your argument, following the reader’s logic. That’s why, first of all, you need to decide what you will argue in your essay and how to present and back up your argument. You need to come up with a strong and highly specific thesis statement, which is the main point you want to make, using the best evidence. Your thesis statement will dictate what information the readers need to know. It will determine the order in which this information should be presented to your audience to make it understandable. That’s why every essay structure is unique because it should be relevant to the main claim you are going to make.
There is no set formula for structuring an essay, but there are some generic structures that can help you decide how to present an effective argument to support your specific claim. For example, you may organize your ideas in a thematic, comparative, chronological order, or structure the argument by the context. You can use these structures as starting points, but if you need to present complex ideas, you may want to create a more complicated structure. For example, you may build your essay using a comparative structure and break it down by context or organize your argument chronologically and break it down by comparisons according to the elements included in the title. Besides, you may want to establish specific microstructures for presenting the particular elements of your argument, such as examples, theory, evidence, debates, case studies, and more.
Parts of Essay Structure
The structure of the argument plays an important role in convincing your readers to accept your point of view. You have to set the stage, proving a context and think about a logical organization when revealing your evidence. The most common approach in argumentative essays is to use the deductive pattern when organizing the ideas in a paragraph and the entire paper. You should start with a generalization and then provide the support for it.
All essays include a lot of information which is located in different parts. You need to introduce your argument, analyze data, offer counterarguments, and conclude your piece of writing.
- All essays need an introduction that presents the topic and the thesis statement and outlines the order in which you are going to present your argument.
- The conclusion wraps up everything you have said, evaluates the main points, and highlights the most important aspects.
- The body of an essay has to address the title and present the argument in a logical order, fulfilling the promises you made in the introduction and supporting the message conveyed in the conclusions.
The central part of your paper has to contain different content such as ideas, relevant examples and evidence, explanations, and references. It should be written in an appropriate academic style, be engaging for your audience, clear, and concise.
Keep in mind that introductions and conclusions have fixed places in all types of papers, but other parts of an argument don’t. For example, you may include the background information in the introduction and provide it at the beginning of the relevant specific analytical section. You may present counter arguments within a paragraph, at the beginning of your essay, before the conclusion or as a separate section.
In general, your essay sections should answer a series of questions your readers may ask when encountering the claim you make in the thesis statement – “what?”, “how?” and “why?” To answer these questions, you must examine your evidence, discuss counterarguments, and speak about the implications of the thesis statement. You should present the material anticipating what your audience wants to know, creating a narrative, and using transitions to help your readers follow your logic.