How to structure an essay

If writing an essay sounds intimidating to you, think of it as a chance to get your writing skills up to speed. Since almost all exams have an essay assignment, this is a skill you’ll definitely need. How many pages is 500 word essay? 300 word essay how many pages? You will have to find the answers to all these questions.

Essay Structure

Yes, the essay is certainly a creative process, but it’s important to stick to a clear structure when writing it on the exam. The final grade for the written portion may depend on it. Also, knowing what to write for what will definitely make your job easier. Time will be strictly limited on the exam, and there’s no time to think about where best to start essay usa and what to finish it with. 

Let’s see what the basic structure of an essay can be:

  • introduction;
  • the main part;
  • conclusion.

Introduction: What to write in this part of the essay

Typically, the introduction is the first paragraph of the essay. This is where you first talk about the topic and may even give a brief overview of the entire essay. The introduction should not be long, about 4-6 lines is enough. The introduction is an important part of the essay. Already from the first paragraph, you need to show your creativity to interest and hold the reader’s attention. Besides, the examiners will definitely appreciate it.

There are several classic strategies on how to start an essay: 

  • first, you can begin with a famous quote or proverb;
  • second, you can immediately give a definition of the term that you are going to talk about next;
  • another way is to start with a question that will attract attention and interest you to read further.

How to write the main part of an essay correctly

This is the longest and most informative part of the essay: here you share with the reader your thoughts, arguments and examples that support your thesis statement. But you don’t need to stretch it into many pages. How to write a 4 page essay in 2 hours? This is the question you should be concerned about.

Make an outline

Before you write – make a list of the ideas you want to cover and come up with a plan of what’s going to follow. This will help you understand how each part of the essay should relate to the other parts, and make the text more logical. However, the outline can be changed while you’re writing if necessary. Working on the structure of the essay begins before you start writing the text itself, and lasts even after you finish writing the draft. If you get an idea for something else in the essay while writing a certain section, take a few minutes to add it to your outline or make little notes in it.

Write a draft to put your main ideas on paper

Of course, there’s no time for drafts on the exam, but while you’re just learning how to write an essay, you can use it. The purpose of a draft is to turn your main ideas into text, add arguments and details to those arguments, and get the overall picture of the essay. 

Start writing with whatever you want

You don’t have to start writing a draft with an introduction. Start with what you think is easiest, quickest, or what you like best. It could be the first paragraph, an argument, or some particular paragraph in the essay. Write one paragraph and then build up the structure of the essay around it. Another option is to start with the most difficult and then spend minimal effort on the simpler parts of the essay.

Work on the principle: one idea, one paragraph

There should be only one idea in each paragraph. You can add evidence, explanations, and arguments to it. At the beginning of each paragraph, write a key sentence. Then refine and expand on that sentence. When you think you’ve said everything you want to say, move on to a new paragraph.

Don’t be afraid to change the structure in the middle of the essay

While writing your essay, you may feel that some of your ideas or points don’t really fit or don’t make much sense. Don’t be afraid to discard them, even if it’s the middle of the essay. Remove them from the main outline and replace them with more relevant ones.

Don’t remove anything from your essay permanently

If you start to dislike a section or even an entire essay, you don’t have to delete it all at once! If something really doesn’t fit, copy it and leave it in a separate document. It might come in handy later or inspire another thought that fits your text better. 

Forget perfectionism

When you’re writing a draft, it’s important not to get distracted by small details. Put your main ideas on paper first, and refine them later. If you’re not happy with a word, sentence, or argument, mark it down in your draft and come back to it later.

What to pay attention to in the conclusion

The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It, like the introduction, is short – a few sentences. You should also consider how to make the essay shorter.

A good conclusion in an essay:

  • brings the reader back to the thesis statement;
  • ties together the main thoughts and ideas;
  • shows the reader why the topic is important.