There’s no doubt you’ve heard your professors talk about the importance of having good essay structure. Most of us breeze through the essay structure portion of our syllabuses and write our assignments without giving it a second thought. But what does essay structure actually mean? This article will walk you through the key points of essay structure and help you to start writing better essays.

Going with the Flow

When you plan your essays, you must keep in mind its flow. Your words and sentences should work together in a way that signals to the reader that the ideas you are conveying are related. A good way to test if the flow of your essay is in good shape is to read it out loud. If your essay sounds natural and mirrors the way you would expect a person to speak if they were giving a formal speech, then your essay probably flows well. On the other hand, if your essay sounds awkward and choppy, then its flow could probably use some work. The key is to use each other your sentences to play off of and strengthen subsequent sentences. Adding phrases like therefore, for instance, thus, and in addition to connect your ideas is a good place to start.

Putting it all Together

It’s a good idea to create an essay map to organize your thoughts before putting pen to paper. An essay map allows you to create a step by step guide for writing your essay and will take the guesswork out of writing. Starting with your introduction, write down the points you would like to get across in each paragraph and in what order you would like to bring forth those points. The order in which you lay out your ideas should make logical sense. Think of writing your essay like telling a story; the points you use early in your essay should introduce your topic while points introduced later should drive your thesis home.

Writing Your Conclusion

Maintaining good essay structure is as important at the end of your essay as it is at the beginning. The conclusion of your essay is your chance to wrap all of your arguments up in a neat little bow. Your conclusion should be structured aroundsummarizing all your essay’s key points in the order they appear in your body paragraphs. Once you’ve summarized, you can add in a final critique here and there and begin reiterating how all your points work together to support your thesis. Remember, this is your last chance to make an impact with your audience so make whatever you say in your conclusion count.

Things to Remember

The most importantthing to remember about essay structure is that your essay must make sense. An essay should not function as a random collection of facts but as a detailed, eloquent story that works to support your thesis. IF you remember this and think of your supporting arguments as building blocks to a structure, you’ll have the tools you need to write some excellently structured essays.