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Academic Essay Structure Rules With Examples

What Should Essay Structure Represent?

The structure of an essay will always depend on your subject and essay type because an argumentative essay will never look the same way as a creative writing paper or compare-and-contrast assignment. Still, a classic academic essay template must include three vital parts:

  • Introduction with a thesis statement where you must present your subject with a strong hook sentence and brief background of some problem or an issue. Your thesis statement should be either one or two sentences.
  • Three to five body paragraphs. This is where your main arguments and facts must be provided. Support each statement with at least one piece of evidence and connect things to your thesis.
  • Conclusion. Sum up your main arguments and re-state your thesis by explaining what has been achieved and why it's important.

The Types of an Essay Structure

Before you study various essay structure template examples provided below, always check twice with your grading rubric and the writing style in case of doubts. It means that even when you have to compose an argumentative essay, there will be certain differences between MLA, Chicago, or Harvard styles that must be used for certain types of citations or block quotes.

Reflective Essay Structure

This is where you must provide reflection and analysis on a certain topic. This type of writing is often approached by nursing students when they talk about some experience or reflect on what has been read. The structure and important elements are as follows:

Introduction

  1. Hook the sentence with a statement or a piece of evidence. What happened and what did you do about it?
  2. Analytical sentence.
  3. Background information regarding the setting and circumstances.

Body Section

  1. Present your storyline and interpret what experience has given you and how exactly. Are you the learner? How do you understand the issue?
  2. Evaluate the events and talk about your experience. Share some analysis.

Conclusion

  1. What will you do with what you have learned? How will you achieve success?
  2. Provide brief summary of the facts and the moral lesson.
  3. Include some reflection or ask your readers a question.

Example:

I personally believe that Green Energy is more than a loud concept that we always see in the news. It's a global change that we should pursue as we are changing our cultural perceptions as well.

Researching my course materials, I understood that Geology always goes along with Sociology and even Politics as people must know the truth and be able to make certain decisions.

As a major in Geology, I plan to pursue social media platforms as a way to deliver the message and help people learn more about Green Energy initiatives .

Compare and Contrast Essay Structure

This essay type requires the creation of two columns (both in writing and not) where you compare and contrast certain things as a way to find similarities and differences. The structure should include 7 vital paragraphs:

  1. Introduction where you talk about your subject and discuss why it matters.
  2. Methodology is where you explain what kind of methods and criteria you shall use to compare and contrast.
  3. Basic Samples Information must provide information about what samples data you are using.
  4. Comparison paragraph 1
  5. Comparison paragraph 2
  6. Similarities & Differences with analytical information and statistics.
  7. Conclusion should sum up what you have learned and offer analysis as to why it is so.

Example:

Comparing television to Hollywood is not always right as there are major cultural differences that make us understand that we are watching a film or an American action movie. In this essay, we shall take movies from the 90s and compare their cultural differences that help to see the country of origin.

Choosing movie X as an example represents a great sample of the countryside where the Welsh and Scottish influences come together despite the frequent language barrier.

Choosing movie Y as the portrayal of the American South, we see Georgia's countryside where everyone speaks the same language but many different cultures have come together.

Summing things up, we can see that both American and cultures strive for a multicultural dialogue where the main differences relate to the pace of life and availability of information that influences...

Argumentative Essay Structure

An argumentative essay must use thesis statement writing as the main argument that follows a certain idea with proof. As one of the most challenging essay types, it's also the most frequent. Your essay structure should include these parts:

  1. Introduction where you explain the problem you are researching.
  2. Thesis Statement, which represents your main claim.
  3. Body Paragraph 1. It should start with your main proof.
  4. Body Paragraph 2. Here is where you provide statistical data and surveys.
  5. Body Paragraph 3. Your weakest argument may go here as you prepare your audience for the alternative opinions.
  6. Counter-arguments Paragraph. Explore counter-arguments by offering references.
  7. Conclusion. Make suggestions for further research and re-state your thesis.

Example:

The problem of teenage violence is often related to video games, yet it's not entirely so because video games also reflect the violence that one sees in our society. It makes it essential to explore the supply-and-demand field to determine why certain video games become available sooner and what subjects are explored by the developers.

Exploring video games like "Call of Duty", one can see it as a way to let the stress go. What's not often mentioned is the way how young people also work on their cognitive skills.

Those who oppose video games believe that there should be strict age restrictions, yet such initiatives are rarely followed as most youngsters play with their older siblings.

In conclusion, we can see that further research is long due because we either see followers of the video games culture or those that oppose it due to the lack of knowledge about each product.

Comparative Essay Structure

Unlike a typical compare-and-contrast essay, the composition of a comparative essay will require a deeper analysis where comparison starts by exploring more specific issues. For example, you can talk about a certain model of Jaguar and Rolls Royce or compare two political personalities.

Your structure:

  1. Introduction where you explain why your comparison is important.
  2. Thesis Statement should reflect on what you compare and why.
  3. 3-5 Body Paragraphs. This is where you talk about one aspect first, then discuss the other one, and continue with the comparison itself.
  4. Conclusion is where you should sum up what you have learned and provide your personal take on things.

Example:

Comparing William Shakespeare's writing to William Blake's is a challenging idea because we have different linguistics and rhyme patterns, yet this task is important because there are different temporal aspects that explain how people saw the world.

William Shakespeare uses drama to reflect on what has been important not only to him but to society as well.

Blake's style is romantic and he always focuses on figurative language and cryptic messages that are not so common in Shakespeare's style.

Both Shakespeare and Blake often explored the fragile nature of life and death, which provides commonalities.

Exploring the heritage of the culture, the use of comparative writing helps to see the evolution and understand how things have taken place.

Persuasive Essay Structure

The purpose is to use a special tone and persuade your readers as you explain the problem and provide clear evidence. The structure should include these elements:

  1. Introduction. Provide a hook sentence that inspires your audience. Define the problem and provide a thesis statement.
  2. Body Paragraph 1. Reasoning fact with example.
  3. Body Paragraph 2. Supporting fact with statistical data.
  4. Body Paragraph 3. Explaining fact that provides a real-life example with a brief analysis.
  5. Conclusion. This is where you should provide a brief summary of the vital facts and explain the benefits of your position. The final sentence should be the call to action.

Example:

The role of scouting for youngsters is more important than ever during these turbulent times when Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing have kept us at home. As the scout leaders have helped our children to find home activities and learn, one should provide even more support for this legendary movement.

The parents should become more involved not only in basic financial part but also in activities as well as it will help to establish an important emotional bond with the children.

Setting the topic for each year will help to explore subjects like recycling, bullying, personal safety, and multiculturalism.

One should become a promoter of a healthy lifestyle and the high moral values that represent our society.

Discursive Essay Structure

This is where you must use an analytical or discursive tone. You can use this type of essay writing in debates. The structure will usually look this way but may differ:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Argument Point 1 with your evidence.
  3. Argument Point 2 with statistical information.
  4. Argument Point 3 through the lens of your course.
  5. Opposing Arguments Paragraph. Alternate opinions section.
  6. Conclusion where you sum up certain facts.

Example:

People have mixed opinions when it comes to the use of Instagram and young people. Some believe that there is content that cannot be controlled, while others believe that Instagram helps youngsters achieve success and become strong leaders.

One of the strongest arguments in favor of Instagram is the culture of influencing and making friends.

On the other hand, there is bullying and the use of illegal practices to attack youngsters.

In my opinion, the use of Instagram has both positive and negative sides because it always depends on a person and the youngster's link with the family.

Summing things up, one should implement better security measures to make Instagram safe for everyone regardless of their age.

Make sure that your essay structure example is not overfilled with citations and has not only the academic writing structure issued by a certain essay type but also contains logic and bridging sentences that make things easier to understand. The purpose is to connect your main arguments with a thesis statement by setting the same tone throughout your essay writing!

Essay Structure Tips

When you are composing your essay and learning how to structure an essay, the most important is to come up with an outline and use the notes that help you determine what parts should belong to your introduction and what arguments must be placed first to increase the readability of your essay. Here are some helpful tips that you must use:

  • Introduce your topic by focusing on your target audience. If something must be explained in greater detail, do it.
  • Use transitions between body paragraphs to increase readability.
  • Use only one idea per body paragraph.
  • Implement topic sentences that follow the "an introduction - your statement - evidence - analysis" template.
  • Don't introduce any new ideas in your conclusion paragraph.
  • Your introduction and conclusion sections should be about 10% each of the main word count.
  • Always double-check your grading rubric to ensure that you follow the university essay structure that has been provided.

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