Strategies for Structuring Essays

Strategies for writing well structured essays
The ability of writing and structuring an essay is one of the most fundamental skills required within an academic environment. However, composing persuasive and sound essays is not an easy task – it requires the ability to thoroughly analyze different perspectives, establish a cohesive argument that makes sense to the reader, and present support for that argument in a straightforward and logical way.

The structure of an essay itself is determined by the focus and scope of its research topic. The research topic dictates which information the writer needs to extrapolate on, and plays a large role in determining how best to express that information to the reader. While there are a variety of guidelines and formats for structuring essays (the classic “hamburger” or five-paragraph essay comes to mind), there is no set method or formula which works better than another. Each essay’s structure is unique to the position being argued.

Traditional essays require different kinds of information to be presented to the reader throughout different sections. However, most essays involve a similar process of writing and follow a consistent format of delivery: the introduction of an argument with a thesis statement that summarizes the essay’s central theme; the analysis of data or sources in subsequent paragraphs involving an issue of discussion relating to the thesis statement; and a conclusion which re-engages with the thesis statement and demonstrates how evidential support and discussion can inform upon its parameters.

Structuring an essay into a well-flowing series of interrelated ideas involves data analysis, abstract thinking, and developing arguments and counter-arguments. One effective method of laying out all information to be discussed is to use an idea map, with different topics branching into each other according to how they relate to or inform upon one another. Other useful tactics include separating sources into various lists based on their contribution to the essay, or creating a rudimentary thesis and highlighting any source material (along with additions from the writer’s own input) which can bolster the topic or position.

At Homework Help USA, we offer a variety of tips and strategies to help students with the trickier aspects of essay creation. These include

establishing themes for argumentative essays

,

summarizing articles and source material

, and

developing strong thesis statements

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