Tips For Students On How To Structure An Essay

tips students structure essay writing paper assignments

Shakespeare once said that the pen is mightier than the sword. However, by itself, the pen is not enough to transform a student into a great writer. In fact, students need more than a pen and inspiration to write a good essay. The conventions of a college essay are more rigid than most students think. For college essays online and tips for students how to structure the essay, the Internet is a great source of information. 

Tips For Students On How To Structure An Essay 

Writing an essay involves arranging a logical and meaningful set of ideas and information into an argument. Since typical college essays are linear, they usually expound on one idea at a time in a coherent order. Essentially, to structure a basic essay in a way that makes sense, you need to consider the reader's logic. 

The focus of a basic college or high school essay predicts its structure. It determines the information the reader needs to learn and the order in which he/she will get the information. In other words, the structure of your essay should be unique to the focus or main point you are trying to make. 

Answer Questions 

A typical college essay contains a lot of information, often positioned in different sections or parts of the essay. Whether your essay is short or long, it should do several different things, i.e.: introduce your argument, raise counterarguments, analyze data, and conclude the argument. The introduction and conclusion sections for a typical essay have fixed places. 

Other parts of an essay, however, do not have fixed places. For example, you can locate your counterarguments in a separate section, within a paragraph, before the conclusion, or even as part of the essay's beginning. Background information, such as the definition of the key terms and phrases, summary of your criticism or theory, biographical information, and historical context, should appear between the essay's introduction and the first analytical section. 

In case of any doubts, consider different sections of your essay as answers to a series of questions your readers may ask while reading your thesis. In fact, readers need to have questions; otherwise, your essay may simply be an observation, rather than an arguable claim. The three main questions to anticipate from readers are: 

1. What evidence proves that your observation is true? 
2. How does your argument stand up to a counterargument? 
3. Why does your argument matter to other people besides you? 

Mapping A Basic Essay 

To structure your essay logically, you need to analyze your thesis and anticipate what readers need to learn, and in what order, in order to understand your argument and agree with it as they continue to read. Mapping your essay's ideas and argument through a written narrative is a good way to structure it according to the reader's logic. 

Doing so will provide you with an opening record of your argument or ideas, which will help you remember the reader's need to understand your ideas. Your map should take you through some answers to the fundamental questions of what, why, and how. Fortunately, essay maps are not rigid; rather, they evolve and change depending on your ideas. 

Writing an essay is not as difficult as most students think. Unlike more advanced academic papers, the basic college or high school essay has a standardized structure. Whether it is a class essay, scholarship essay, or even a contest essay, students do not need to dread the task of writing it. Fortunately, while it is a large and important project, students can take certain steps to help break the task into easier and manageable sections.

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