Basic essay writing structure

So, let’s consider a basic essay-writing structure and when I say ‘essay’ writing, I mean most assignments you’ll be doing have a structure which looks something like this and I’ve divided this part into the sections of the writing and their function.

The first section is an introductory section. Now everything you write at the University will have carry with it, will have a word count and you’re expected to write within plus or minus ten percent of that word count. The introduction has around five percent of the word count. It has two functions, the first of which is to set the context of the paper, to position the essay for the reader.

And the second is to state the thesis or the position, your position, in relation to the topic, and it’ll have some type of expression at the end of the introductionwhich says something like ‘this paper examines’, ‘this paper looks at’, ‘this paper proposes that’. The second part is the body or the main part is the body it takes ninety percent of the word count. This is always divided into paragraphs. The paragraphs make up the sections and the sections follow the structure proposed in your initial thesis in the introduction.

So, if you’re saying this essay examines A, B and C, they are the sectional- that is the sectional order of your paper. Now, those sections will be divided into paragraphs.

The final part of the paper will be your concluding section, again, carries about 5% of the word count expectation, and in this part you need to wrap up briefly summarise what you’ve written about and, importantly, you offer some type of conclusion about what the paper, what you’ve come to, what you now know don’t just stop it at the summary. Going back to the idea of the word count, let’s look at an example of a paper with 2,000 words. If we think about the five percent requirement for the introduction we’re looking at about a hundred words, if I just distribute the rest of the words amongst these three sections we might see it might look something like this.

That first section being only 300 would would imply that it’s somewhat of a descriptive section maybe with definitions of terms, so a tip … where you have analytical sectionsthey are worth or they carry more of the word countthan descriptive sections.So parts which are describing what the topic is, it defines some key terms, those parts of the paper will be less substantive than the parts were you engage with the ideas, the analysis. Another tip, at this stage write your intro and your conclusion last. Write the body parts first, write the intro and conclusion parts last. They’ll make more sense to you then. What you’re trying to achieve is a sense of a narrative thread through the paper which is gained by a logical sequenceand a logical structure and paragraphs which seem to make sense following each other in the way that I’ve described.