Essay Structure

The essay structure varies depending on the type of work. However, the general outline of the essay structure is as follows:
-Title Page
-Main Body

Title Page as an Essay Structure’s Unit

Each paper format has its rule regarding the title page. For example, there will a be separate title page for APA, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian paper formats. Therefore, make sure to consult formatting rules to understand will there be a title page or not or check instructions from your professor.

Outline – Roots of Essay Structure

Some types of papers might also have outlines to present the overall essay structure of the paper. Hence, there are different types of outlines, but they are written with a sole purpose to help the reader navigate the work. Also, some essay outline might be used in the same way as abstract, which is to attract the reader.

Essay Structure


Scientific papers all have an abstract page. However, some works in APA style formatting that are 1000+ words in length require abstract page in the essay structure. The reason is that the work is long enough to read while reading an abstract should be enough to understand if the work worth the time. Therefore, such a page provides a brief overview of everything written in the paper.

An abstract is usually around 150 words, has a purpose statement, provides an overview of major issues raised within the paper, serves the purpose to catch the reader’s attention. The abstract always ends with a “Keywords” field where the writer has to identify major terms used in the paper. Usually, such keywords include the topic of the paper or signal phrase that is the most important in it.

Introduction’s Importance in Essay Structure

The introduction has to be about 10 % of the paper’s word count. The introduction has to have the attention Getter or a hook with a goal to interest the reader. If it is a serious work, your hook will be the explanation of why the chosen topic is of great importance. Further on, the introduction has to have a preview of the main points. You have to talk about all the aspects that are highlighted in the essay in brief. A good way to do it would be the preview of your main points highlighted in the body of your essay.

Finally, the introduction part has to end with a thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually only the one sentence long, represents a direct answer to the assignment question, or response to the assignment topic, describes the position of the writer, summarizes main evidence, and appears in the last sentence of the introduction. Also, you should never confuse the Thesis Statement with the Purpose Statement. Additionally, there is, usually, no citation in the introduction.

Main Body’s Role in Essay Structure

As a rule, in the main body of the essay structure, you should write one paragraph for one idea. Also, each paragraph has to have a topic sentence that summarizes such an idea. Furthermore, within the paragraph, the writer has to support such an idea by adding on explanations, evidence, research, examples, and more. Sentences with such information are considered as your evidence sentences and must have an in-text citation in them. Do not use citations in the first sentences of your paragraphs as your first sentence has to summarize everything you are going to talk about within the paragraph. Do not end your paragraph with citation as your last sentence has to be a transition to the next paragraph or provide final thoughts on the paragraph’s idea. The best idea would be to incorporate them in the part when you give evidence.

Structure of the Main Body

Additionally, the main body must have no less than 4 sentences in one paragraph. 4 sentences will include the introductory sentence, evidence with citation, explanation sentence of why citation is needed, concluding the sentence. Hence, 4 sentences are a minimum for a paragraph in the main body. On the other side, the length is important too as paragraphs have to be at least 4 lines in length, according to academic writing standards. You may have up to 3 evidence sentences per paragraph (no less than 1, no more than 3!). Zero evidence will make the paragraph pointless (unless it is an introduction or conclusion) while too many citations will make the paragraph filled with cited text, destroying the sense of the presence of the author’s own voice.

The Flow of the Main Body

As always, the writing has to be concise and clear while sentences within a paragraph have to be logically connected. Paragraphs are organized in a logical sequence with a link to each other. Hence, the concluding sentence would be the best way to link paragraphs to each other. Additionally, links between arguments in paragraphs and ideas within the essay structure can be achieved by using transitional words and phrases. It should be noted that all paragraphs have to have writer’s voice within because, if it is not, this aspect will be considered as a form of plagiarism as it means that you have done zero research and spent no time reading your sources. To have your own voice, read your sources, and you will understand that you need more sentences for explanation giving a couple specific evidence here and there to increase the credibility of your voice, not to mute it.

General Information for Main Body

The Main Body is about 80 % of the paper while all of this content expands on the thesis statement. Here is the example of the main body for a typical 5-paragraph essay structure (introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion):
1st body paragraph (follow Sandwich Rule):
Topic/Introductory Sentence.
Explanation/ Analysis of the evidence.
Transition sentence.
2nd body paragraph (follow a Sandwich Rule):
Topic/Introductory Sentence.
Explanation/ Analysis of the evidence.
Transition sentence.
3rd body paragraph (follow a Sandwich Rule):
Topic/Introductory Sentence.
Explanation/ Analysis of the evidence.
Concluding Sentence.


The conclusion is about 10 % of the paper and has to restate the thesis statement, summarize your arguments and evidence, and show how they answer the original question. Hence, zero new information can be present in conclusion.

References as the Last Thing in Essay Structure

While there are sometimes acknowledgment and appendix pages in the academic work, references are usually the last thing you see in the essay. However, the formatting of all references has to be done according to general formatting rules. For more Information, check paper formats covered by

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