The Structure of Academic Essays

When you are writing an academic essay you are basically transforming a set of ideas that are consistent and make sense into an argument that you intend to put forward. Being linear in nature or, in other words presenting a single idea at a single time they must be arranged in a fashion that makes the most sense to a particular reader. When an essay has been structured well the reader’s logic is well attended to.


The focus of essays is in a way indicative of the structure it adheres to. It determines the information that must be known to readers and the order in which it is important for them to be received. So, the structure of your essay is as a matter of necessity, unique and is decided by the primary claim made by you. Certain types of essays have guidelines but there is a lack of any set formula.

The questions that are to be answered

An essay conveys several kinds of information which are contained in specialized and distinct parts of a particular essay. Even essays that are brief in length are able to perform varied types of operations like making an introduction of an argument, making an analysis of the data at hand, consider arguments that may be used to counter the ones made before and finally concluding the essay. The parts of the essay other than the conclusion and the introduction occur in no particular locations. To cite an example, arguments that counter a thesis may be contained in one of the multiple paragraphs or as a section on its own as part of the inception of an essay or even before it is poised to end.

You will be benefitted by perceiving essays as a series of questions that the reader has in mind regarding the thesis put forward by you through your thesis. In case your readers do not have any questions chances are, it is a mere observation of facts and not a claim which may be argued. The basic questions may be summed up as:

  • What?

What is the first question that usually comes first in the mind of the reader? What evidence do you have to support the claim that you are making? This part deals with these questions and is usually located at the beginning of an essay if not right after the introduction.

  • How?

The next question that strikes the mind of the reader is likely to be whether the thesis holds ground for all of the cases. In this section one addresses the complicated questions related to how’s as asked by readers of the essay.

  • Why?

The last question you want to answer is the “why?” This question deals with the broader implications as presented by your thesis. In answering this question the essay makes an explanation of the significance that it has. The best place to present this is at the end of the essay. In case this is not included in an essay, readers will have an unfinished feeling and might even feel that your essay is pointless.

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