Smart College Essay Structure for Successful Students 


Modern college or university students should handle many writing tasks every day. Academic writing skill is what all students need to get good grades. You may have many innovative thoughts that may bring you a Nobel Prize. Your insights may not result in high grades if you fail to present them in a well-structured paper. You have learnt all the materials; now it is time to learn all the peculiar features of a college essay structure. If you fail to communicate your ideas in a clear way, they can lose their value. An may save the situation because it involves professional writers completing papers, however, you can learn about the essay structure and handle assignments well enough on your own.

Is good structure needed in an essay? Yes, it is. It is important both for the writer and the reader as well. While composing essays, students can make practice and improve their writing skills. If they master them, they can get down to working on more complicated pieces of writing. There are three parts in every essay: an introduction with an obligatory thesis statement, body paragraphs with topic sentences in each of them, and a conclusion to summarize the whole text.

Are all essays the same? Not really. Professors give various essay tasks: narrative, expository, argumentative, and descriptive. They also provide a set of instructions: style, length, content, and structure. So, every essay turns into a unique piece of writing. One of the requirements for the essay structure is to include the key idea in the first introductory paragraphs. Then, the arguments and sub-points appear in the body of the essay. The average number of paragraphs is four, but there are no universal rules about that. The length of the paper determines how many paragraphs are there. The main idea from the introduction is repeated in the last paragraphs of the conclusion.



When developing your main points, you should consider the interests of your readers. They should not find it complicated to get through your arguments. So, introducing the words that do not confuse the readers is the genuine way to be a good writer. If you use such words as although, because, since, however, on the other hand, alternatively and others, you can develop the arguments in a logical way. Also, you may draw the readers’ attention with ease.

Which introduction is a winning one? It should set the aims of your writing. You should be clear in referring to the subject you plan to address in your paper. After you have stated what you are working on, you should mention one or two key points that you will present in the body. You should do that in brief as all you have to do is to hint about your main arguments. You should show that your thoughts are coherent and logical.

You may decide to go into some of your points in depth, but it is not a smart approach to handling an introduction. Later on in your writing, you may have a separate paragraph for every of your ideas. If your task is to choose one of the alternatives, you should present a brief account of both positions first. Then you have to explore them in detail in the body paragraphs. Your essay introduction is like a small picture of the whole paper. So, the readers understand which essay subject you have taken and how you either support or reject it.


There are three main goals to achieve with an essay introduction:

  1. Setting the scene
  2. Letting the readers know about important things
  3. Informing the readers about the prospects of the work

Paragraphs of the main body

The main body cannot be structured as one long piece of writing. Instead, you need to divide the entire text into paragraphs. Each part deals with a new aspect every time. There should always be a clear connection built between each paragraph. Even the most effective writers sometimes face a challenge of connecting the paragraphs. There is no universal method to do that, but if you focus on clarity in your concise paragraphs, you may succeed.

Try to devote every paragraph to a single idea, but consider that it is ok to have a few sub-points in it. The most important thing is not to make your readers confused. You have a number of claims, and paragraphs of the body should include statistics, research, vivid examples, and in-text citations from other studies. So, you get a topic sentence and then give a solid back-up to your idea with analysis and facts. You can take both primary and secondary sources for the evidence you need.

  1. Paragraphs: Your paper has an overall theme evident throughout the text. Also, each paragraph has its own main idea that is closely related to the overall leading one. These core claims are supported with carefully chosen evidence. You should mind proper referencing and principles of proper college essay structure.
  2. Essay sections: It is important to structure the paper in a proper way. You can also add the sub-headings if it contains more than 2,000 words. You may present the theoretical background first and then reflect on the application of this theory into practice.
  3. Flow and links: You have a number of sections in your work and now your task is to create links between the ideas and paragraphs. A smooth flow and proper connections between the paragraphs let the readers enjoy learning your ideas. If the paper is lengthy and the word count is about 2,000 – 3,000 words, you can add short introductions to every section. You can either keep them in your final paper or delete them at the stage of revision.


There is a strong connection between the introduction and conclusion of your paper. You should not treat your final paragraphs as a reflection of the first ones. In your introduction, you have a thesis statement which you should avoid repeating in the conclusion. You have to reiterate it in a more creative manner. All writing experts recommend keeping a neutral tone in the body paragraphs. The text should be written in an analytical style and in the third person. As for the conclusion, it should cover your viewpoints and ideas on the subject.

It is common to write not more than one paragraph as a conclusion. There is no need to include all the details here as your task is to summarize the key parts of the paper with an emphasis on the main idea. You may insert a memorable fact into the conclusion to ensure that the readers are interested in what you have told them.


Flaws in essay writing  

One of the common troubles with college papers is a “walk-through” in the structure. Professors also refer to it as a description or summary. Such papers do not develop their own structure; instead, they borrow the structure from one of the sources. Another issue is that students do not develop an argumentative thesis; instead, they have descriptive theses, which are incorrect. The signs of problems with the essay structure are such paragraph openers as first, then, next, or finally. It is an indication of a chronological approach to the text. Such listing words as in addition, also, or one more show that it is a simple list which may lack analysis.

Have you ever painted your house? You know how you have been scraping, cleaning, sanding it and doing dozens of other minor things, which should be done one by one. The quality of your final work depends on how well you have prepared for it. Writing academic papers is similar to this work. Proper revision is a must before editing. Read your text critically and only after that start checking your writing for typos and mistakes. Can your reader follow your ideas easily? Are there any weaknesses in the essay argument? Only after doing that, can you ask, “Is my phrasing nice?” If you have done high-quality brainstorming, drafting, prewriting, editing, and revising, your paper is brilliant.