Essay Structure: How to Structure an Essay Step-by-Step

Writing a good essay is not as easy as you may think while it requires certain knowledge, skills, and, of course, some practice. Following the proper essay structure is essential, if you want to get your highest grade. So, if you are not sure about your essay writing skills, welcome to our guide for both newbies and pros that will help you write an outstanding and excellent essay.

No matter what your academic level or year is, you will face such an assignment as essay writing. And, unfortunately, lots of students struggle with that task. If you are one of them, you can follow this tips and trick and become like our smart essay writers who can create a brilliant paper within a matter of time.

What is the basic structure of an essay? – This is the question every student asks and below, you will find the answer to it as well as to many other essay writing questions.

Structure of an Essay: What Is It and Why Is It So Important?

Before going to its structure, let’s find out what is an essay. An essay is a piece of writing containing the main argument and some evidence to support it. You can use any claim or idea as your argument and whatever you will use depends already on the type of the essay.

Let’s assume that you want to get a promotion at work. What will you do for that? You will go to your boss and start with the argument – getting a promotion. But after that, you will need to give your viewpoint on that argument and the reasons for which you want to get it. If you want your request to be effective, you should turn your logic on and put everything into order.

And the first thing you are sure about is you deserve that promotion. Why? Probably, because you are a hard-working employee, a team-leader, well-organized, diligent, etc. In other words, you provide arguments to prove your viewpoint.

The same is with your essay. The first thing you provide is your argument. And after that, you will support your argument with different evidence in a logical order so your reader or target audience would understand and get it properly.

An essay structure format is usually standard and it includes the following components:

  • Introduction (1 paragraph);
  • body paragraphs (usually, 3 of them, sometimes more);
  • conclusion (1 paragraph).

How to Write an Essay Structure?

In order to have a correct essay structure, you should keep in mind all the main parts of an essay and follow all the tricks we have provided below. We have gathered essay writing structure tips and describe each of the steps for your convenience. Just follow them and you will be able to write an excellent essay of your own.

Define Your Focus

Any essay has its focus and its structure and the flow of the sentences will depend on it. So if you want to have a good structure of essay, you should first select your focus, i.e. the claim you are going to discuss in your essay. Think of its length as well.

What? How? Why?

These three questions should be answered by you right after you defined your focus. No matter how long your essay is, it should be well-structured and logic, i.e. having an introduction, main parts, and a conclusion. There is nothing difficult in writing the first and the last parts; however, you may struggle a lot with the body paragraphs.

So to make your paper look properly, you should answer these three questions.

  • What? – What you are going to show in your essay and what evidence you will use to maintain your viewpoint.
  • How? – How you will offer your arguments and counterarguments and how the main data will affect your claims.
  • Why? – Why is your essay important for the reader and why does he/she want to read it?

The body paragraphs are the core of your paper, so in order to make your essay layout effective, you should have a very good outline.

Create an Outline

It’s much easier to write an essay when you have an outline or, in other words, a plan. Once you conducted your research, you can start working on your outline and add there everything you have found in the process of it.

You should check the sequence of your thoughts and see whether the information, data, and evidence gathered are enough to convince your reader. Of course, you should not forget about stating your thesis statement here. To do it, you should say why your idea is important in one or two sentences.


What are the Five Parts of an Essay?

Once you have defined your focus, created an outline and wrote a thesis statement, you can start writing your essay. It is important not to neglect all those steps while they are crucial for your success.

In the process of writing, stick to the following essay structure:

  • Introduction. We recommend starting to work on your introduction after finishing other parts of your essay. In this part, you should introduce your topic and do not forget to make it as eye-catching as possible. The thesis statement will be provided here, as well. It should be interesting enough to make your reader wish to keep reading the next part;
  • three-body paragraphs. As a rule, students need to write a five-paragraph paper, so you will need to write three body paragraphs. Of course, if your professor requires a different number of paragraphs, then there will be more than three body paragraphs.

Your main body is the core of your paper and it should be written in proper order. The reader should not be confused with the order of your work, so make everything logic. Thus, each of your paragraphs should contain a new subject, topic, or idea. Every argument needs evidence to support it. You can use facts, data, life examples, etc. as your evidence. Needless to say, this part should not be boring, too;

  • conclusion. This is the final, fifth paragraph of your essay. This part doesn’t have to include or present any new topics, arguments, or ideas. It only summarizes everything said in the previous parts. This is the last paragraph read by your audience, so it should remain a good track in the mind of each reader. For that reason, it should be as eye-catching, as the introduction.

You should think well on your conclusion in order not spoil the overall impression on your paper. Don’t forget to include citations and references after your conclusion. Proper citation is essential to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

Tips for Writing a Good Essay Structure

Academic writing requires certain skills, practice, and, of course, time. So our very first tip is not to procrastinate and start writing your essay as early as possible. But if, for some reason, you didn’t do it and now are in a hurry, follow the tips below:

  • Phones off. When you do not have enough time, it is better not to distract and turn everything off to focus on your paper;
  • switch on your typing skills. Writing on a paper is a time-consuming process, so if you are a fast “typer”, use these skills or better even dictate your essay. It will allow you to improve all the mistakes easier and quicker;
  • don’t forget about the guidelines. If your professor provided you with the guidelines, keep them in front of you and follow them strictly;
  • take a short break to proofread it. Now as your paper is written, take a break. Ideally, we recommend having rest for 24 hours and get back to your paper and look at it with a fresh view. But since you are in a hurry, leave it at least for one hour and then get back to it.

But if you still are not sure about having enough time or knowledge to create a great paper and get the highest grade, SmartEssay recommends using the help of professional writers. You can always buy an essay from an expert at a reasonable price!


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