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Structure of an Essay

Student's Assignment Help 08/19/2019 418 Views

The structure of an essay is prepared on the basis of essay type that is given for writing. There are so many types of essays and we can only give them proper structure based on their types. For example, the structure of short essay differs from that of a long essay. At the same time format of the essay like APA or MLA format is also considered while writing an essay in its format and structure.

One cannot follow the same pattern and structure for writing the thesis statement of argumentative essay and persuasive essay etc. Here is an in-depth account of different types of essays and how they should be written in a unique way by following the structure, pattern, and format. The structure of both short and long essays can be understood by the essay writers here along with the citation of the resources as well.

The basic structure and parts of a standard essay

There are different types of essays and their structure is based on their type while writing an essay. But still, there is a common structure that is included in every essay type and known as a typical essay structure. The parts that are included in this standard essay format include the Introduction, the main body of the essay and the conclusion. Writing an explanatory, narrative or personal statement essay includes mostly this type of structure.  By understanding this common structure of an essay writing you can write all other types of essays in the best structure as well.  So have a look at the different parts of a typical essay structure given here.


The introduction of the essay should be written by keeping the target audience in mind and must be interesting. The introduction is an opening paragraph of any short essay and must give an account to the readers about the writer’s motive for the essay. The introduction must be innovative to hook the readers towards the next part of your essay. Introduce the readers about the topic of the essay at a glance so that they can easily grab the things that are mentioned in the main body and conclusion. The following table will help you to differentiate between best essay introductions to that of the worst introduction of essay writing.

Best Essay introductionWorst essay introduction
1. The background of the topic gets cleared to the readers.No introduction is given about the main highlights of the essay topic.
2. Always written in a precise and brief way by covering crucial points.Usually, longer than required and important things are not mentioned.
3.No repetition of the points.Things are explained again and again repeatedly.
4. The introduction is always catchy and deals with interesting aspects of the topic.The reader mostly fails to connect with the context of the introduction.
5. Motifs of writing an essay are cleared to the readers.No idea is gathered by the reader about the essay goal on the given topic.

Main body

The main body of the essay can be further divided into several parts and every part of the essay deals with a particular point or argument. The essay must not be presented in a way that things appear insignificant by explaining them in an improper order. First, prepare a vague idea about the points that you are going to discuss in the essay and only then move further towards writing the essay. Here is a step by step guide for writing different parts of an essay body.

Part-1:  First, try to figure out the main arguments that you are going to discuss in your essay and talk about them in the opening paragraph of your essay’s main body. You need to set a background of the essay in this part so that solutions for these arguments could be discussed later. Make aware your readers about the current issues that you are dealing with the help of given arguments by and by. This could be done based on the interests of your readers only. SO it is very crucial to know the target audience for whom you are writing the given essay.

Part-2: Frame some research-based solutions which are not general statements and examples must be given to justify your solutions. The research must be based on the ground realities so that it can reflect in your essay solutions. The real ideas and suggestions to tackle the conditions must be provided to the readers by keeping the arguments of the essay in mind. The solutions that are given in the essay must word towards the thesis statement and its development and should not be written in the wilderness. Writing unrelated and irrelevant things without research can increase the length of your essay but not its authenticity to give an extra inch for the readers.

Part-3:  Writing the final part of your main essay body the essay writer is supposed to give an overall account of the essay at a glance. It is just like the penultimate conclusion of the essay that is given for the main body of the essay and not for the entire essay. You need to be very much keen while solving the main problems associated with the topic of the essay. That is how the essay can be written with grace and authenticity as well. Always think of explaining the things in the essay in a given order and it should not be having a poor presentation of the arguments and related solutions. That is how an essay can be taken to success with an appropriate structure.


The essay conclusion is the part where you are supposed to write your thesis again and then justify them with your main essay. The examples can be put on a parallel scale by comparing them to the thesis of the essay or its motif for which the essay is written.

Good conclusion for an essayPoints included in bad essay conclusion
1.Talk about the thesis statement and its justification.No reference is given for the hypothesis of the essay in bad conclusion.
2.Examples from the main body of the essay are given to substantiate the thesis statement.The thesis statement is not substantiated in the poor essay conclusion.
3.The new examples and arguments are never added to the essay conclusion part to justify the thesis.A bad essay conclusion may comprise of new arguments in the conclusion.
4.Essay conclusion of best quality is always brief and to the point.Some people beat around the bushes in essay conclusion to degrade its quality.
5.An open ending of the essay, in conclusion, is like an icing on the cake.It is very hard to expect an open ending in a bad essay conclusion.

The difference in the short and long essay structure

There are two types of essays that are written based on their length that is long five-paragraph essays that are divided into five parts. At the same time short or summary essays are also written when the word count is lesser as compared to the long essays. The structure of both types of essays is different from some common similarities as well. For example, the short essays are structured in the same manner as that of a standard typical essay which includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion in the way of three-layered essay outline.

On the contrary long essays also include thesis statement and bibliography apart from the three parts that are included in a typical essay. For example essays like personal narrative essays, descriptive essays, explanatory essays, and process essays are mostly written in the three-layered essay format. On the contrary cause and effect essays, contrast essays and critical essays, etc. are written in five-paragraph essay structure in the majority of cases.

Long Essay structureShort Essay structure
1.Include a thesis statement, introduction, main body, conclusion, and bibliography in the parts of the essayShort essays comprise of an introduction, main body and conclusion only. The word limit assigned for such essays does not allow the writer to go beyond that radius.
2.Long five-paragraph essays have lengthy essay introduction as compared to short essay and given in-depth detail about the essay topic and information about previous research on a given topic.The introduction is written in brief within minimum possible word count by covering all crucial points and not in-depth detail about the topic.
3.Long essays the main body is vast and divided into multiple parts each part dealing with individual argument and aspect of the topic.The essay body is short essays that can also be subdivided into further parts but they are comparatively short in length.
4. The conclusion of the long essay is written by giving proper detail about the examples and justification points used in the essay.Owing to the short length of the essay conclusion also remains to the point where the thesis statement is justified in minimum words.
5. Bibliography of the essay is very important in a long essay structure.The majority of the short essays are not having a bibliography to cite the resources of research as there is not much research included in short essays.
6. Essay writers need to be attentive and sure about the MLA and APA citation in a long essay for a bibliography of the essay.No need to cite bibliography and thus MLA and APA guidelines are not required to learn for short essays.

How to write a thesis statement for a five-paragraph essay?

So far you are clear about the writing of the introduction, main body and conclusion of an essay but the thesis statement plays a crucial role in essay writing of long essays. It is important to know about how to write a thesis statement for an argumentative essay, persuasive essay, and critical essay, etc. Here is a step by step guide for writing a thesis statement of an essay with example.

Thesis statement writing tips:

  1. Try to make it short and meaningful without including unimportant points about the essay in it.
  2. The thesis statement of the essay must relate to the main context in the essay upon which the research is being done.
  3. The scope of contradiction between the thesis statement and essay arguments should be negligible.
  4. A thesis statement must not end on the interrogative sign and must be affirmed.
  5. A good thesis statement is always one or two lines in its length and not more than it.
  6. The thesis statement of an essay should be written by keeping the essay type in mind so that the authenticity of the statement becomes high.
  • Thesis statement example- Cause and effect essay: The malaria is caused by improper hygiene and cleanliness in the locality which leads to a number of high death count through malaria.
  • Thesis statement example – persuasive essay: The homeschooling should be promoted to enhance the education available to children from remote areas by providing cheap internet connections in remote areas of the world.
  • Thesis statement example- compare and contrast essay-: The inclusive education is not playing a good role to set the equality in educational institutions and previous special education institutes should be continued to give education to the differently abed students.

Step by step guide for a bibliography of essay

Plagiarism is like an offence for academic writing work and so is the case with essay writing as well. The improper citation of the resources used for the essay research also gives rise to the plagiarism issues. Sometimes people are not aware of the MLA and APA citation and its guidelines for writing the bibliography and that is how they manage to commit plagiarism in their essay unknowingly.

That is why a few examples are given here to cite the resources in the bibliography of the essay in MLA and APA format below. You will be able to understand the difference between MLA and APA format of citation by going through the following examples easily. A single mistake in the bibliography while citing your resources of research can cost you with a poor grade of the essay. So be very careful while writing your bibliography of the essay.

  • Citation in MLA format:  Citing an essay research resource in MLA format requires the name of the book, author, printing press and year of publication, etc. Here are some examples of MLA citations to write the bibliography of an essay easily.
  1. Conrad, Joseph. The heart of darkness. United Kingdom: Blackwood’s Magazine, 1902. Print.
  2. Faulkner, William. The sound and the fury. United States: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1929. Print.
  3. Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield. United Kingdom: Barbury and Evans, 1950. Print.
  • Citation of resources in APA format:  Citation of a book or article in APA format is similar to that of MLA format in many aspects but not same. If you want to write the resources used for research in the essay bibliography in APA format then go through the following examples of APA citation and its format.
  1. Conrad, Joseph (1902). The heart of darkness. The United Kingdom. Blackwood’s magazine.
  2. William, Faulkner (1929). The sound and the fury. The United States. Jonathan cape and Harrison smith.
  3. Dickens, Charles (1950). David Copperfield. The United Kingdom. Barbury and Evans.

This is how the citation in MLA and APA format can be done easily while writing the bibliography of a single space of double space typed essays.

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