How to Properly Structure an Essay

structure of a paper

Writing an essay is not such a difficult thing. If a writer knows how to structure an essay, he or she will not have any difficulty in churning out and organizing ideas. The essay’s structure is pretty basic and it comprises the introduction, main body, and conclusion. The essay structure is a powerful organizing tool for writers as well as a comprehensive reading tool for the essay’s readers.

The introduction identifies the primary issue and it justifies and explains the analysis methods to be implemented. The introduction also assesses the available evidence’s quality. The main body is where the evidence is examined and presented and the arguments are presented to be refuted or supported. The conclusion is where the writer sums up his or her ideas and draws the threads together.


It should include:

  • Commenting on the essay’s topic or title.
  • Explaining or defining any ambiguous or difficult terms in the title.
  • Stating the aspects that the writer intends to cover and why.

The intro must be in one paragraph or about 5 percent of the essay’s total length.


The main body has to develop the theme or argument. Moreover, each of the main points must be supported with illustrations and examples. The materials must be broken down by paragraphs and one paragraph must discuss one aspect of the topic.

A paragraph can:

  • Develop a certain issue.
  • Raise a certain theme.

On how to structure an essay, one can develop the essay from one paragraph to the next one by using common words that link each paragraph.

  • Negative and Positive Aspects: A writer can contrast the negative and positive aspects of a certain topic. One may discuss the negative aspects in one paragraph and the positive ones in another.
  • Cause and Effect: A writer may discuss the cause in a particular paragraph and the effect in another one. Through this, one is drawing a conclusion or expressing a relationship.
  • Events’ Sequence: The writer can indicate the next or previous step to the discussed event.
  • Illustration: The writer can give an example or portray what he or she is talking about.
  • Extension: One can extend a thought, give more examples, and add to the argument’s weight.


The conclusion may repeat the ideas in the introduction and the conclusion must:

  • Summarize the essential ideas.
  • Give answers to any specific questions that were asked. One’s answer may be tentative.
  • Derive a conclusion from the argument.
  • Discuss broader implications.

Being a very important part in the process of how to structure an essay, the conclusion should be about 7 to 8 percent of the essay’s total length. One may also check the essay for errors. This is important.