English Language
Essay Structure

Essay Structure

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How to Effectively Structure an Essay for Improved Readability

Having a well-organized structure is essential when writing an essay. It allows for clear presentation of ideas and helps to effectively organize your thoughts. In this article, we will discuss the various types of essays and offer valuable tips on how to structure them for maximum impact and readability.

Different Types of Essay Structures

The structure of an essay may vary depending on its type and purpose, particularly in the main body. Let's delve into the structure of various essays, including traditional and reflective ones.

Traditional Essays

An academic essay is a concise piece of writing that focuses on developing ideas and arguments through analysis, interpretation, and evidence. There are several traditional essay styles, such as argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. However, for the purpose of this article, we will primarily focus on argumentative and expository essays as they are the most commonly used.

Argumentative Essay Structure

An argumentative essay aims to strengthen and develop an argument by analyzing and interpreting evidence. It is typically written in the third person (he/she/they) and is designed to persuade the reader to support a particular side of the argument. For instance, Fairclough (2011) conducted a study and found evidence of language being used to manipulate consumers in advertisements.

The standard structure of an argumentative essay includes several paragraphs arguing for and against a specific topic. This allows for the portrayal of different perspectives and showcases your ability to form your own opinion. The main body should ideally have at least three paragraphs, depending on the word count. This type of essay is often assigned as a final project or coursework, as it assesses your research skills and ability to present a strong argument.

Expository Essay Structure

Similar to an argumentative essay, an expository essay focuses on presenting an unbiased argument in the third person. However, it is usually shorter and requires less research and preparation. The main body should consist of paragraphs that delve into different aspects of the topic. This type of essay is often assigned as in-class writing or as a timed exercise.

A prime example of expository writing is a newspaper article, where each paragraph examines a specific aspect of the topic and relies on factual information.

Essay Structure Example

Both argumentative and expository essays should contain three essential elements:

  • Introduction
  • Main body
  • Conclusion

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

Essay Introduction Structure

The introduction is the opening paragraph that states the purpose and main objectives of your essay. A compelling hook can capture the reader's attention and introduce the topic. Providing background information gives the reader a better understanding of the topic. Lastly, a brief outline of the main points sets the tone for the rest of the essay.

While not all essay introductions will include these exact elements, this is just one example of how it could be structured.

Essay Introduction Example

Blue: Hook

Pink: Background information

Green: Essay brief and outline of main points

Did you know that roughly 1.35 billion people around the world speak English?

This statistic not only highlights the widespread use of the language, but also its impact on culture, communication, and education. In this essay, we will explore the different types of essay structures and provide useful tips on how to effectively structure your essay for improved readability.

The Importance of English as a Global Language in Politics and Economics

The English language has become increasingly influential in political and economic communication on a global scale. Its widespread usage has led to it being recognized as a lingua franca, or a universal language. This study aims to analyze the process of language globalization and examine the positive impact of English on global communication and language acquisition. Additionally, it will consider the potential for further development in learning through the use of English in the future.

Structure of the Main Body

The main body of an essay plays a crucial role in expanding on ideas and arguments. It allows for critical thinking, analysis, and interpretation of information, showcasing a deep understanding of the topic. One recommended structure for the main body is the PEE paragraph structure, which stands for point, evidence, and explain.This format is frequently utilized in academic essays.

PEE Paragraph Structure:

When writing an essay on the effects of social media on teenagers' communication, a PEE (Point-Evidence-Explanation) paragraph can be constructed in the following manner:

  • Point: Teenagers' communication skills are negatively impacted by social media.
  • Evidence: Research has shown that social media usage leads to a decrease in communication skills, causing face-to-face interactions to feel disconnected. It also promotes laziness and conveys insincere emotions.
  • Explanation: Due to the lack of emotional connection, teens can also be hurtful and spiteful online, leading to negative effects on others' well-being.

Essay Conclusion Format

A conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay that summarizes the main points and provides closure. A well-structured conclusion should include the following elements:

  1. Restate the main topic/thesis of the essay.
  2. Summarize the main points discussed in the essay.
  3. Suggest a recommendation, improvement, or question for future research, leaving the reader with something to think about.

Sample Essay Conclusion:

In conclusion, the use of social media has a negative impact on teenagers' communication. It can lead to a decline in communication skills, making face-to-face interactions feel distant. It also promotes laziness and insincerity in emotional expression. Additionally, the lack of emotional connection can result in hurtful and spiteful behavior online, negatively affecting others. It is worth considering if social media will continue to hinder young people's communication abilities in the future.

Reflective Essay Structure

A reflective essay is a type of personal essay that explores individual experiences. Unlike argumentative or expository essays, it is typically written in the first person and focuses on personal thoughts and emotions rather than presenting an objective view. While a reflective essay follows the standard structure of an academic essay, it places more emphasis on personal experience.

Think of a reflective essay as a personal diary entry, where you reflect on a specific experience and critically evaluate its impact.


The introduction of a reflective essay should give a brief overview of the experience being discussed. For instance, "As a part of my research, I observed 15 casual conversations between pairs of individuals, including 5 all-male conversations, 5 all-female conversations, and 5 mixed-gender conversations. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in the use of fillers between males and females in same-gender and mixed-gender conversations. My inspiration for this study stemmed from Deborah Tannen's gender theory, which suggests that women tend to communicate indirectly compared to men."

Main Body:

The main body of a reflective essay should delve deeper into the personal experience and the author's thoughts and feelings towards it. It should include honest reflections on the experience and its impact. Some points to consider may include:

  • What lessons did you take away from the experience?
  • How did the experience affect you, positively or negatively?
  • What went well during the experience?
  • What could have been improved?


The conclusion should summarize the main points of the experience and reflect on the author's thoughts and feelings towards it. Consider how things could have been different if the experience were to be repeated.

By following this structure, a reflective essay can effectively convey personal experiences and insights.

Essay Structure - Key Points to Remember

An academic essay is a concise and analytical piece of writing that presents and develops ideas or arguments through interpretation, analysis, and evidence. It is crucial to consider various perspectives, including the author's personal experience, when writing a reflective essay. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does my personal experience tie into the broader societal context?

Improving Essay Readability: Acknowledging Diverse Perspectives and Structuring Your Writing

When writing an essay, it is essential to consider alternative viewpoints and understand that everyone has a unique perspective on the topic at hand.

While there are limitations to what we can fully comprehend, being open to differing interpretations can enhance the quality of our writing.

Essay Structure Overview

Starting with an introduction, an essay should provide a brief overview of the subject and outline the main points that will be addressed.

The basic structure of an essay typically includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion.

How to Begin an Essay?

An effective introduction for an essay usually follows this structure:

  • An attention-grabbing opening to engage the reader
  • Background information to provide context
  • A concise statement introducing the essay's purpose or topic

Structuring Your Essay

The structure of an academic essay may vary, but it usually consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Example of an Introduction Structure

Here is an example of how an introduction for an essay may be structured:

  1. An interesting anecdote or fact to capture the reader's attention
  2. Background information to provide context
  3. A clear statement of the essay's topic or purpose

Example of a Conclusion Structure

A conclusion for an essay could follow this structure:

  1. A restatement of the main point or purpose of the essay
  2. A summary of the key points discussed
  3. A suggestion or recommendation for further research or consideration

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