Essay structures are almost always expansions on logical arguments. This means that any logical argument that can be expressed in can form the skeleton of an essay. It is important to understand the purpose of each paragraph, and many people can see the structure of an essay more easily when each paragraph is broken down into a sentence outline.
Though there are no easy formulas for generating an outline, you can avoid one of the most common pitfalls in student papers by remembering this simple principle: the structure of an essay should not be determined by the structure of its source material. For example, an essay on an historical period should not necessarily follow the chronology of events from that period. Similarly, a well-constructed essay about a literary work does not usually progress in parallel with the plot. Your obligation is to advance your argument, not to reproduce the plot.
The Structure Of An Historical Essay
As an undergraduate student at university, you will probably be expected to do some writing in most of your courses. Even if the course doesn't require you to submit a paper, it may require you to write an essay examination. Therefore, an important part of learning at university includes becoming familiar with the structure of an essay as well as achieving the level of competence in writing expected by university professors. Writing skills are emphasized in assignments at university because writing is an essential tool for communication in the working world; these assignments help you to develop the critical thinking and writing skills that will be important even after graduation.
Add to this the lack of knowledge of the fundamentals of paragraph writing. Writing an essay is a skill that can not be developed overnight. It needs a lot of practice to hone your skills. Developing this habit and knowing the structure of an essay give you a chance to improve your writing skills. Regard the paragraph as the unit of organization for your essay (Strunk and White 15). Paragraphs can be of varying lengths, but they must present a coherent argument unified under a single topic. Paragraphs are hardly ever longer than one page, double-spaced and usually are much shorter. Lengthy paragraphs usually indicate a lack of structure. Identify the main ideas in the paragraph to see if they make more sense as separate topics in separate paragraphs. Shorter paragraphs usually indicate a lack of substance; you don't have enough evidence or analysis to prove your point. Develop your idea or integrate the idea into another paragraph.
The structure of a paragraph parallels the structure of an essay in order as well as content. Both contain a coherent argument, supporting evidence/analysis, and a conclusion. Specifically, the contents of a paragraph are as follows: