How to Structure Your College Essay?

Some people think writing essays is important only for creative writers, who connected their career with pen and paper. Good writing is an illustration of our reflective mind. But all students should have an aspiration to improve their writing abilities, as it is also required in college.

If you know the content of your essay is informative and clear and can`t find the problem, the solution is to know how to properly structure the information. To convey your thoughts to the reader, the essay must have a clear and well-thought-out structure. The most important thing in an essay is a thesis that sets the direction of all work. There are a lot of rules and tips that will be helpful for you during the writing of the essay.

Specify the Essay Type

Usually, all essays consist of the main parts: an introduction that introduces the reader to the topic; the main part in which the topic is revealed; conclusion, which summarizes all that has been said. However, there is a division in the types of essays, like capstone, or narrative, that require a different structure.

For example, in some university essays the thesis must go first, then 3-4 paragraphs of the main text, supporting the thesis, and the conclusion in which you sum up your observation.

If you write an argumentative essay and you need to compare two points of view, you can consider one point of view in one paragraph and then compare it with another in the next paragraph. You can also compare and contrast everything in one paragraph, and so on for each item. You can include the quotations of famous people in the examples that support your idea.

You should arrange the information on the papers in chronological order, especially if it is an essay on a historical topic. This will be useful if the chronology confirms your opinion or if you tell a story.

If in an essay you need to convince the reader of something, you can use one of the following schemes:

  1. The essay begins with a thesis, and the rest of the text provides arguments.
  2. Firstly, are presented arguments that bring the reader to the thesis. In this case, the thesis is presented as the correct and only possible point of view.
  3. Comparing the pros and cons of the chosen topic, different views on the topic are described, and at the end, a conclusion is made.

What are Other Rules to Make my Essay Better?

There are a lot of other general rules about writing an essay.

●     Read the text of the task carefully

If you have been given a topic for the essay, read the text twice. It is important to understand the requirements of the teacher. Ask questions about anything, for example, classification, you don’t understand. It is better to make sure that you understand everything correctly than to spend valuable time on unnecessary work.

●     Set yourself a task

The structure of the essay depends on the task. Usually, the essence of the task is described in the text of the task. Pay attention to the following words: “describe”, “analyze”, “compare”. Each word will help you understand how to write the essay.

●     Think of your reader

If you study at a school or university, your audience will be your teacher. However, it is also important to think about who you are addressing, especially if your audience is not described in the task.

Are you writing a report for a school newspaper? School students will be your audience. However, if you make a project for a local newspaper, your readers will be all citizens.

Get Started as Soon as Possible

You should not postpone the writing of the essay to the last moment. The sooner you get to work, the easier it will be for you to write an essay. Give yourself enough time to study all the parts of the essay.

●     Write a thesis

The thesis should be your personal supervision. This can be a strong statement, an interpretation of a particular work or event, or any other statement that does not reflect a well-known truth or summarize what is said in another work.

The thesis will be the reference point of your work. It will let your readers know what the essay is about.

The thesis should reflect one of the possible points of view – other people may disagree with it.

This may scare you, but it is important to remember that a good thesis should be such that it can be argued with. Otherwise, you will just talk about what everyone agrees with and what is not worth spending time on.

Include the main ideas in the thesis. For example, your work is devoted to finding similarities between two literary works. In the thesis, describe the main points in general phrases.

Think about whether you can answer the question “So what?”. A good thesis should explain why you consider the topic important. If your friend says “So what?” In response to your thesis, will you be able to answer him?

Study the Required Information and Do Research If Necessary

It is impossible to start structuring if you do not yet know what to write about. If you do not have enough information, find the sources you need before you start.

If you have the opportunity to talk to a librarian, do so. The librarian will help you find verified sources of information and guide you in the right direction. You can read the biography, interview, carrier path of the author if needed.

●     Write down all the ideas you have

Often novice writers make the mistake of trying to write an essay plan by omitting the brainstorming stage. You probably won’t succeed because you just don’t know what you’re going to write about. Try a couple of brainstorming tricks to decide on a topic.

Try to write everything that comes to your mind. No need to stop or correct yourself. Just write down for a while (say, 15 minutes) everything that comes to mind when you think about this topic.

Write down the key idea, circle it and write around other thoughts related to this topic. Find connections between them and combine them.

Try to consider the chosen topic from 6 positions: describe, compare, find the association, analyze, apply, decide, “for” you or “against”.

  • Return to the thesis

After studying the materials and brainstorming, you may form a new perspective on the topic. Return to the thesis and make the necessary changes.

If at first, your topic was very broad, now you can narrow it down. Too broad a topic is difficult to reveal even in a dissertation, so try to choose a narrower topic. This will allow you to make a specific plan.

Finally, you can find some free essay samples online. The sample will help you to understand the structure visually.


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