Sesión 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.

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Do you want excellent essay structure?

It's not always easy to know where to begin with an academic essay – that's why understanding the structure of written assignments is so important. Scroll down to try our activities and you'll be well on the way to writing well-structured essays!


Get the introduction right

Getting your essay structure right starts with a well-thought-out introduction – but what should you include?

To do

Read this guide to the structure of an essay introduction and fill each gap with a word from this list: question / interest / argue / answer / after / essay / structure / will / analyse / exactly / disagree / signposting

Writing an effective essay introduction: a brief guide.
Good introductions to essays in the British academic context often have a four-part structure:

Introduction part 1: background statement
This is a general statement, to introduce the topic of the essay and to ______ the reader.

Introduction part 2: focus on the question
Every ______ is an answer to a question. Here, your task is to convince the reader that your essay ______ – and its answer – really is important or interesting. One useful way to do this is to show that academics ______ about the answer to the question.

Introduction part 3: thesis statement
In the thesis statement, you tell the reader clearly and directly what your ______ to the essay question will be. The thesis statement often uses phrases like, "This essay will ______ that…".

Introduction part 4: signposting
In the last part of your introduction, you should explain the ______ of your essay to your reader. We call this 'signposting'. In this part of the introduction, we often see phrases such as, "Firstly, this essay ______ examine…", "The second section will consider…", "Finally, I will ______…", and so on.

As you can see, in order to write the thesis statement and the ______ correctly, you need to know ______ what you are going to say in your essay, and how you are going to say it. For this reason, many successful essay writers prefer to write the introduction ______ they have written the main body of the essay.

Getting the introduction right

11 Questions

Read the tips on getting your assignment introduction right and fill the gaps with the correct words

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Now the introduction is sorted, it's time to take a look at structuring your essays well. Go to the next activity to find out more!

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