The Structure of an Essay




You are often assigned with a specific title. If you are free to choose your own title,  your title should reflect the thesis or central claim of your essay.



Begin with a statement about the general topic and proceed to your particular thesis and approach to it. This structure will orient your reader. Avoid giving a summary of what is to follow. Summaries are best left to conclusions.



The middle section of the essay should be divided into carefully connected paragraphs. Avoid overly long or short paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one major point, and must be related logically and grammatically to the preceding and following ones. Use connecting words (such as: however, therefore, in addition, nevertheless) to ensure logical transitions between points and paragraphs. Make sure that the argument progresses in a manner that is both coherent and convincing.



Since the argument has built up to your strongest point, your conclusion should begin with what your argument proved - your thesis. A brief and reworded summary of your main points could follow for emphasis, but a plodding repetition should be avoided.