How can I write an essay: learning the basic structure and format?
The basics of an essay are really very simple. It’s in the research and the strength of your writing skills that great essays are written, because they all use the same structure. Think about the last essay you’ve read, whether in this class or another. There was an overall connectedness that brought all the subtopics and ideas together, right? That’s easy to replicate if you know how to do it. This article will discuss the ways you can structure your essay for success, and everything you need to know about formatting.
Basic Essay Formats
The most common format, and the one you’ll probably use the most, looks like this:
Talking about the topic, pulls reader in with quote or question, introduces subtopics that will come up in the rest of the essay
This is the longest part of your essay, and should contain the bulk of your research and references. When you’re working on the first draft, this will also take you the longest to write. You need to back up your statements with good sources, further discuss the main topic and related issues, and make your teacher believe you know enough to write about it.
Lastly, a conclusion sums up everything you’ve said before. All you need to do is think of one sentence for your introduction, and one for each body argument, and then put them in order. Leave the reader with some kind of question to think about, or a quote that makes them wonder about it even after they’re done reading.
Structuring Before You Write
It’s a good idea to get down the basic structure or format while you’re still in the brainstorming and researching stage. This makes it much easier to write after you’ve done all the other work. Most students don’t like outlining or planning their essays, but if you want that great format to work for you, it’s a good idea to make time for this. You’ll need to have your notes ready, the instructions or guidelines from your teacher, and any other materials related to this assignment. Think about your topic a lot during this time, and what else you can do to improve it as you edit your essay. It’s important to not hand it in as soon as you’re done, because all writing can be better with editing.