Always begin an essay with an introduction, but be careful not to write too much too soon, an introduction is usually between five and six good, relevant sentences. Though of course write more if you feel more is needed!
Introduce the topic of your essay (which could be done by simply rephrasing the title/essay question) and briefly outline the points you wish to raise.
Be careful not to include any concluding remarks, leave comments unbiased and open-ended.
Split the main body of your essay into clear paragraphs. One relevant point to answering your essay question per paragraph.
Each paragraph should essentially have a couple of sentences explaining your point, and then some factual knowledge included, to back up what you have written so far and to prove that you have done some research and know what you are writing about!
Try to make a link back to the essay title/question. This shows the marker that you are giving a good answer and also keeps the question clear in your own mind. (it is so easy miss out on marks by writing down everything you know on the subject when it isn't actually relevant to answering the question.)
As you become more confident in essay writing, you can get more marks by making brief links between points. Briefly mention in one sentence how one point you are considering in your essay influences/affects another point.
You should aim to have three or four paragraphs for the main body of your essay.
A very important aspect to an essay is a conclusion.
If you are running out of time when writing an essay in say an exam, it would be better to cut out some of the maybe less relevant points you wish to make, and make sure you get a good conclusion written.
Try to keep your conclusion as concise as possible. Mention each of the points raised in the main body of the essay and highlight the similarities and contrasts between them.
Make your own judgment on which point you believe is the most important/relevant to the question and which you believe is the least important/relevant and then explain why!
By doing this you have shown that you have researched different points to the question, shown factual knowledge and then come to your own conclusion.
Just be careful not to write anything new that you haven't mentioned in your essay in the conclusion!
To download a copy of "How to Structure an Essay" please click here.
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