Session 4

Academic Writing 6 – Essay structure

Welcome back to Academic Writing – the course with the tools and knowledge to help you become a top-class writer. This time we're looking at a fundamental aspect of writing academic assignments: essay structure.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 16

  • 0 / 11
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 2
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 3
    Activity 3

Activity 2

Essay structure

Structure your writing in a logical way

The main body of your essay needs to be logically organised. Take a look at this assignment title from an education management course: 'Compare the structure of undergraduate degrees in the UK and British and US universities'.

Two ways to organise a comparison essay

There are two main ways to organise a 'comparison' essay. For this assignment, in a 'horizontal' organisational pattern, each section would compare an aspect of the UK education system with the same aspect of the US system. A 'vertical' pattern would deal with all the features of the UK system in one section, and all the same features of the US system, in the same order, in another section.

Try the activity

To do

Read Plans 1 and 2 for the university comparison essay and decide if they are logical or not. You can check your answers – in an activity – later on this page.

Plan 1

  • US – undergrads take 4 years (more flexibility; more expensive); UK – undergrads take 3 years (except courses that include work experience etc.)
  • US – undergrads can apply as 'undecided', and choose 'major' later; UK – undergrads must choose subject when they apply
  • US – no undergrad degrees in Law or Medicine (postgraduate only); UK – Law and Medicine available as undergraduate degrees

Plan 2

  • US – undergrads can apply as 'undecided', and choose 'major' later; UK – Law and Medicine available as undergraduate degrees
  • US – undergrads take 4 years (more flexibility; more expensive); US – no undergrad degrees in Law or Medicine (postgraduate only)
  • UK – undergrads must choose subject when they apply; UK – undergrads take 3 years (except courses that include work experience etc)

Which plan is most logical?

2 Questions

Sort the plans – are they logical or not?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Which plan is most logical?

2 Questions

Sort the plans – are they logical or not?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Next

We've looked at introductions and essay structure, so it's time to end with the ending: go to the next activity to find out how to write a convincing conclusion.

Session Vocabulary

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