How to Structure an Essay
  • 2-minute read
  • 5th January 2014

How to Structure an Essay

When writing an essay, you can break it down into five basic parts. These are:

  1. Title
  2. Introduction
  3. Main body
  4. Conclusion
  5. References or bibliography

We will now provide a brief explanation of each of these sections.

1. Title

An essay title should reflect the argument you are going to put forward. Try to make it informative and memorable.

2. Introduction

The introduction should state the topic of the essay, the purpose of writing it, and the main aspects of the topic that you will cover.

3. Main Body

The main body is the largest part of any essay. It is also where you put forward and discuss each point of your argument. It is also important to support each point with examples, quotations, data, and/or logical arguments.

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How much (and what) you need to write here will depend on the kind of essay you’re writing. For shorter essays, this might be a single section or a series of subheadings. For longer pieces, like a dissertation or thesis, you might need to break it up into separate chapters.

4. Conclusion

In the conclusion, give a clear and succinct summary of the points explored in the main body of your essay. You should try to communicate how each point contributes to your argument as a whole, but do not introduce any new material in the conclusion. Ideally, the conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader.

5. References

This is a list of the sources used to produce your essay. Always check which referencing style your institution uses; one of the most commonly used referencing styles is Harvard.

Proofed can help you make sure your essays are correctly spelled and grammatically clear. We can also provide feedback on structure and style.

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