This guide will help you to structure and write your essays more effectively. Once you have decided the content and key arguments of your essay, you need to plan your essay structure.

The ‘classic’ essay structure is:

  • Introduction;
  • Main Body;
  • Conclusion.


This should briefly introduce the main themes of your essay, as well as outlining your key argument(s). Use key words and phrases from the essay title to make sure that your introduction is relevant and accurate in relation to the rest of your essay. Don’t just use the introduction as a ‘dumping ground’
for information, and don’t waffle on.

Main Body

This is where you develop the main themes of your essay, and introduce evidence and examples to support your points. Make sure that you support your points with evidence, quotes and statistics as appropriate, and that the examples are relevant. Ask yourself if the evidence that you are providing helps to answer the question; if it does not, then leave it out! Don’t forget to reference any sources or quotes that you have used (usually in brackets afterwards). Structure your essay so that it shows a logical progression through your ideas. More often than not, you will need to write a balanced essay:

A Balanced Essay

Quite often, there are a number of different views or opinions on a given topic. You will need to demonstrate an awareness of these conflicting views in your essay. This is called showing balance.
The ‘classic’ method of showing balance is to start by outlining the point of view that you broadly agree with, and introduce supporting evidence / quotes / statistics etc. as appropriate. This can take a number of paragraphs if required. Then consider the other points of view in turn, again backing them up with evidence / quotes / statistics etc.


This is where you bring your ideas together and distill the key points of the essay. Make sure that your conclusion refers back to the essay title, and that you are directly answering the question set. When concluding a balanced essay, you would demonstrate again which side of the argument you would support, and give your reasons why.

A Plagiarism Warning!

Make sure that your work is 100% your own. If you have copied the work from another author (such as another student, or the Internet), then this is classed as plagiarism, and this is treated very seriously by schools and colleges.

Don’t risk getting caught – DON’T PLAGIARISE!