How to Write an Essay: Essay Structure


  • It must create first impression of the paper;
  • It must contain the hook (some point which will be developed further);
  • It must contain background information;
  • It must have a thesis statement;
  • It must be concise but specific

Ways to Start an Introduction

  • With a question
  • With an interesting, little-known fact
  • With a meaningful quote
  • With a shocking story

Thesis Statement

In a typical essay, the first sentence (curtain sentence) leads into two or three sentences that provide details about your subject. All of these sentences build up to your thesis statement.

The thesis statement is a sentence or two in the text that contain the focus of the essay and tell the reader what the essay is going to be about. The entirety of the paper hangs on that sentence.

But its function is to be informative and direct.

Ways to Give Background Information

  • Provide statistics
  • Give historical information
  • Explain why the topic is important
  • Explain causes and effects
  • Use a quote from a prominent figure that relates to your topic

Main Body

  • Each paragraph should have one idea
  • Each paragraph should be important
  • Each paragraph should connect with the preceding and following paragraph
  • Topic sentence, assertion, example, explanation, significance


  • Reminds but does not repeat main points
  • Shows what was written was important
  • Has an afterthought


  • Covers all key points, with one sentence each if possible
  • Don’t use the same words and phrases as before: readers need to see them from a different angle
  • Look at the thesis statement and check the conclusion after it is written to see if it matches
Showing Importance
  • You must have a “because” element
  • Uses effective language that will make your readers have an emotional response
  • Don’t be passive — keep strong with assertions
  • Could be a question, a vivid image of what is to come, or a statement someone could ponder over for a long time
  • In purely technical essays, like ones that are laboratory studies, you don’t need them
  • Don’t add new information in the conclusion

Prof. Angela


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