Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

3: Essay Structure

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Learning Objectives

    The student will be able to do the following:

    • Write an essay with introductory, supporting, and concluding paragraphs.
    • Formulate a thesis statement.

    • 3.1: Introduction
      This chapter provides guidelines for how to structure college-level compositions, but these guidelines are meant to be used as a starting point for essay and report writing. There are various ways of writing at any level of one’s education or within the professional world. Formats for essays and reports in college change depending on the course, the instructor, and the overriding goals of the assignment. Thus, writers are encouraged to be creative and to find their own writing styles.
    • 3.2: Opening Paragraphs
      An introduction exists as the first paragraph in a 5-page essay, and it serves the following purposes: (1) Establishes reader interest, (2) Introduces the general topic of the essay while establishing the writer’s voice, tone, or attitude, toward the subject and (3) States the thesis that will be supported in the body paragraphs.
    • 3.3: Body Paragraphs
      If the thesis is the roadmap for the essay, then body paragraphs should closely follow that map. The reader should be able to predict what follows an introductory paragraph by simply reading the thesis statement. The body paragraphs present the evidence the reader has gathered to support the overall thesis. Before writers begin to support the thesis within the body paragraphs, they should find information from a variety of sources that support the topic.
    • 3.4: Conclusions

    Thumbnail: Photo by Håkon Sataøen on Unsplash

    This page titled 3: Essay Structure is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams (University of Hawaiʻi OER) .

    • Was this article helpful?