7 Tips for Students on Essay Structure

An essay is a creative piece of writing which is usually based on your own reasoning. Therefore, interrogative sentences, personal remarks, and a parallel method of connecting sentences are typically used in it. This type of academic paper aims to develop students’ creative thinking skills, as well as help them formulate their ideas, process information, establish a causal relationship, and illustrate concepts.

An essay is characterized by a specific topic or issue, personal perception of the problem, relatively small size, inner semantic unity, emotional speech, and strict composition.

Requirements for an Essay

As far as the formal rules for creating an essay are concerned, there are only two of them – the title and the length. To be able to comply with them, you should read assignment requirements. An essay topic should always be very precise and unambiguous. This type of academic paper may not contain many topics and ideas.

The author should express only one opinion and support it with arguments. Thus, it is highly recommended to use short and clearly formulated sentences. You should only add information that is necessary for the disclosure of your position or idea. Therefore, your essay should provide an answer to one question.

There are no strict rules regarding essay length. A typical essay is three to seven pages long, e.g. Harvard Business School will require you to write a two-page paper. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time and effort on it, you may order custom essay writings from real professionals.

The structure requirements aren’t very restrictive, and you can even enjoy some creative freedom in this respect. However, the more freedom you get, the more responsibility you have to take. In fact, having that much freedom requires students to carefully consider the structure of their future essay.

Essay Outline

Any text needs a plan, and an essay is no exception. First, you should come up with a topic, determine the paper length and goals of each paragraph. Come up with a rough copy of an outline on a separate sheet of paper. An outline is a skeleton of your work, onto which you should put some flesh. Your outline should summarize the content of your paper and organize it in an easy-to-understand and coherent way.

Start writing your paper by creating the main body. You can add an introduction and conclusion later on — after you make sure that your essay is logical and easy to read. Having a detailed outline lets you put your essay in order easily.

Useful Tips on Essay Structure

Any text, be it an article, story or essay, should have a distinct structure. When writing an essay, you should keep in mind consider the following:


  1. The requirements determine an essay’s structure. Usually, a five-paragraph structure, i.e., one that includes an introduction, three argumentative parts, and a conclusion, is more preferable. Thus, your essay will have a ring structure in which the number of thesis statements and arguments depends on the topic, plan, and logical flow.


  1. Both the introduction and conclusion should get the reader to focus on the main issue. You should raise the problem in the first part and summarize your opinion in the final paragraph. The introduction should briefly describe the topic and justify your choice of it. You should also formulate the main question to which you are going to give an answer.


  1. The introduction should contain a sentence which interprets the main topic or paraphrases the main idea. You can also include statements of famous people, popular expressions, proverbs or sayings. You can begin an essay with a rhetorical question or exclamation relevant to the topic.


  1. The body of the paper should provide an answer to the question posed. The first paragraph should contain a thesis statement, evidence, and preliminary conclusion, which partly answers the main question. In the second paragraph, you need to express your point of view and prove it. However, do not try to substitute your assessment with the retelling of sources.


  1. The author’s thoughts on the issue are presented in the form of a brief thesis statement, while each idea should be supported with evidence. Therefore, a  thesis statement should be followed by arguments. A thesis statement is a judgment that should be proved. Arguments may comprise known facts, social life phenomena, events, life experience, scientific evidence, other people’s opinions, etc.


  1. Each of the paragraphs should have only one statement and relevant evidence, supported by illustrative material. Consequently, while adding an argument to a paragraph, you should keep in mind the central idea it is based on. Make sure that there’s a logical connection between the paragraphs.


  1. In conclusion, you should summarize the ideas expressed in the main body paragraphs. It should contain an answer to the question you raised or substantiate the point of view you expressed. Findings presented in the conclusion should not be far-fetched and taken from nowhere. You should only state information that will get the reader to reach the conclusion you need.


We hope our recommendations and tips will be useful to you and let you write a perfect essay!


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X