Old Pueblo Academy

What Is The Typical Structure Of An Essay?

It’s a good idea to understand traditional essay structure. While you’ll likely learn to depart from it in order to add emphasis or to achieve different communicative effects in your writing, you’ll be more effective as a writer if you have a strong command of the basic structure first.


The most important part of the essay’s structure is the thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the topic of the essay, and in crafting it, you will determine much of the essay’s remaining structure and content. This part of the essay is not present in just one place, but woven throughout the essay. It is, however, explicitly stated in the introduction.


The introduction of the essay prepares your reader for the rest of your content. It is the first time they’ll come into contact with your thesis, and it will also prepare them to understand the context in which it will be discussed and provide them with any preparatory background information necessary. It will also provide them with a brief outline of the points you will use to support your thesis in the body of the paper.

Body of the Essay

The body of the essay is where you defend your thesis. It will consist of several paragraphs and/or sections, which will each be dedicated to one point which supports your thesis. You’ll incorporate whatever research or concepts you’ve gathered to support your thesis and present them in the body of the essay.


The conclusion of your essay parallels the introduction, except instead of opening up the topic it brings your topic to a close. You’ll use the conclusion to wrap up any loose ends, summarize the points listed thus far, and to restate your thesis. You’ll review the supporting points you used in the body paragraphs, and then conclude your essay on a strong note.

Structure Tips:

Make a detailed outline which includes each section of your essay before you begin writing, including the main idea for each paragraph. Make brief notes on the supporting points which you’ll use in each paragraph, as well as the main sources you’ll cite. This will save you a great deal of time when you’re ready to write your initial rough draft. Although it’s possible to have a well structured essay without an outline, it typically requires more extensive editing of the rough draft.