Top Tips on Common Essay Structure

Essay Structure

In essay writing, students can face many forms of essay writing and the chosen structure depends on the assigned research question. Students should be very careful with instructions, where they can find teacher’s expectations in terms of essay structure. We would like to present the most popular five-paragraph essay structure, which college and university students encounter very often in different classes. Moreover, non-native speakers who have to pass different tests like TOEFL, CAE, IELTS, etc. will be requested to compose an essay according to those requirements.

If you read our writing guideline till the end, you will see that it will be much easier to develop ideas and organize them around a clear essay structure. Our writing rules are simple, but they allow new writers comprehend what essay writing expects.


The most common essay form includes three parts only

The first paragraph states what you want to say in the paper. The second part – explains what you are saying. The last part restates what you have already discussed. These three elements are the backbone of essay writing.


There are many rules pertaining to the way you should compose an introduction. However, here are the basic guidelines that will allow you to compose a well-structured and clear introductory paragraph:

  • The writer should tell how he/she understands the research question. If you were given the topic and you do not know how to interpret it or what should be addressed, you will never manage to compose a good introduction. If you misinterpret the major parts of assignment, you will never get a good grade. Thus, do not be afraid to contact your teacher and ask to clarify what exactly should be addressed.
  • Every introductory paragraph should be like a short outline of the whole paper. You must provide some general ideas about the topic, how you will explore it, and what your major arguments will be with the help of deductive reasoning.
  • Always pay close attention to the opening sentences. Your task is to engage the reader into discussion. Introduction should always include vivid vocabulary and imaginative words that will impress the reader and make him/her read the next paper sections.
  • Pay attention to the length of your introduction. Always check professor’s instructions to know how many words the whole essay should include and use a 1/5 formula for your introduction. If you have to write an extensive essay, you can dedicate 2-3 paragraphs to introduce the topic.
  • Thesis statement. This sentence is the most valuable in the whole paper. It guides the reader into your argumentation and gives a hint about the possible essay structure.

Main Body Paragraphs

According to a 5-paragraph structure, this section should contain 3 paragraphs. Every paragraph can discuss only one argument. However, please make sure that your arguments clearly relate to the assigned topic. Every argument should be connected with the previous one.

All main body paragraphs should include a topic sentence in the beginning. It should reflect a thesis statement and explain the significance of your argumentation. Moreover, there is a need to provide 1-2 examples and their explanations to make the reading cognitive and interesting.

Main body paragraphs should have a clear essay structure. Usually writers present the most powerful arguments in the end of discussion. The last sentence of should be like a small summary of what has been discussed in the paragraph.


This essay part is all about summarizing what has been presented before. You should not present any new arguments. The reader should have a clear understanding how you explained the topic and why you made such conclusion. A concluding paragraph should restate the thesis statement and your topic sentences, but with different words.

The length of conclusion should be approximately the same as introduction. There is no need to provide additional explanation of your major arguments. If you will focus on the abovementioned essay structure, you will definitely succeed in writing because instructors appreciate if students are able to follow writing rules. The more you practice, the higher chances are to get excellent grades for any essay.

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