Correct Essay Structure
The word “essay” historically dates back to the Latin word exagium, which means “balancing.” The French meaning can be literally translated as a trial, an experience, an attempt, or a sketch.
Essays are prosaic compositions of a little size made in any format. They express individual impressions and opinions on a certain matter or occasion and definitely not pretend to have a defining or exhaustive interpretation of the subject.
Features of Essays:
- The occurrence of a specific topic or question. The work dedicated to the analysis of many problems cannot be made in this genre.
- The expression of individual considerations and opinions on a certain matter or occasion. It is not supposed to provide an exhaustive interpretation of the theme.
- As a rule, it supposes a new and subjective meaning about something. It might be of a historical-biographical, philosophical, literary-critical, journalistic, scientific-popular, or completely fictional character.
- The content shows the author’s personality, their thoughts, worldview, and feelings.
The composing of an essay is very useful because it gives students a chance to learn how to state their thoughts specifically and correctly, structure information, apply the main concepts, identify causative relationships, demonstrate the skills using appropriate examples, and argue their conclusions. College applicants, for example, often have to compose an essay on the topic: “My future career.” Such topics allow the admission commission to easily evaluate the features of your thinking, creativity, enthusiasm, and general potential. The best way to prepare a good paper is to write it directly and frankly. If you are not giving facts, your composition might be considered unnatural.
Plans and Essay Structure
Essay structure is defined by the instructions:
- The author’s thoughts on the matter are presented in a brief theses
- The idea must be proved by the evidence, so the arguments follow the thesis
Arguments are events, facts, various phenomena from a social life, experience, scientific evidence, opinions of scientists, and so on. It is best if you can provide a couple of arguments to support each of your thesises because one argument might look unconvincing while three arguments can overstrain the composition implemented in the genre that is focused on conciseness and imagery.
Thus, the essay acquires a ring structure (the quantity of theses and arguments depends on the topic, the chosen plan, and the logic of the development of thought):
- Thesis and arguments
- Thesis and arguments
- Thesis and arguments
Things to Take into Account
When composing an essay, it’s also significant to take into account the following clauses:
- Entry and summary have to be focused on the issue (it should be presented in the entry it, however, the position of the author should be summarized in the conclusion).
- It is significant to select paragraphs and red lines, and establish a logical connection between paragraphs. This way the wholeness of the essay is achieved.
- Presentation style: emotionality, expressiveness, and artistic quality. Specialists believe that the proper effect is provided by sentences that are short, simple, and with diverse intonation. The writing style also reflects the personality of the person, so this also should be kept in mind.
Characteristics of an Essay
The common characteristics include:
- Small size of the essay structure. Of course, there are no strict rules. However, the essay should be from three to seven pages.
- A specific theme and its emphatically subjective interpretation. The subject is always concrete. It cannot contain many themes or ideas and reflect only one position and thought. Essays should develop the theme. They are the answer to one question.
- Free composition is an important feature of the essay. The researchers note that essays don’t tolerate any formal framework. They are often composed contrary to the laws of logic and subject to arbitrary associations.
- Ease of narration. The author has to establish a confidential style of communication with the reader. If you wish your audience to understand you, you need to avoid deliberately complicated, unclear, and overly stringent constructions. A good essay can be written only by those who are fluent in the subject, see it from various angles, and are ready to show the reader a multifaceted view of the phenomenon.
- Inclination to paradoxes. The essay is designed to surprise the reader. This, in the opinion of many researchers, is its compulsory characteristic. The starting point for reflection is often an aphoristic, vivid statement, or a paradoxical definition that literally confronts indisputable but mutually exclusive statements, characteristics, and theses.
- Internal semantic unity. Perhaps this is one of the paradoxes of the genre. Even though essays are written in a free format and focused on subjectivity, they at the same time have an internal semantic unity, i.e., the consistency of key theses and statements, internal harmony of arguments and associations, and the consistency of the judgments in which the personal position of the author is expressed.
- Focus on an informal language. At the same time, it is necessary to avoid the use of slang, template phrases, shortening of words, and a too frivolous tone.
It is important to determine the topic, the desired size, and objectives of each paragraph.
Initiate with the basic idea or an interesting phrase. The assignment is to immediately grab the attention of the reader. Here, you can use a comparative allegory when an unforeseen fact or event is connected with the main topic.
Rules for Composing an Essay
The main rule states that the header must always be present.
The internal essay structure can be random. Since this is a small form of a written work, it is not necessary to repeat the conclusions at the end. They might be included in the main text or in the title.
Argumentation can precede the assertion of the problem, which can coincide with the final conclusion.
Unlike the abstract, which is addressed to any reader, the essay is addressed to the certain reader – a person who knows represents what will be discussed in the work. This allows the author to concentrate on revealing something new one and not clutter up the presentation with official details.
Main Mistakes in Writing Essays
Unlike tests, essays don’t imply a multiple-choice format (when you are offered several answers). Composition is not restricted in time so you can rewrite it many times and ask other people to read it. Use all the opportunities and attempt avoiding common errors.
- A not thorough inspection. You cannot limit yourself to just checking the spelling. Re-read and ensure that there are no ambiguous expressions, unclear sentences, etc.
- Tedious forewords and lack of details. Too often, an interesting paper becomes a bad one because it enumerates many statements without providing any examples. Its features are ordinary clichés: the importance of hard work and perseverance, learning from mistakes, and so on.
- Prolixity. Essays are restricted to a certain quantity of words so you have to intelligently use this size. Sometimes, it means giving up some ideas or details, especially if you have already mentioned them somewhere else, or have nothing to do with the case. These things only divert the attention of the reader and outweigh the main topic.
- Long phrases. Some students think that the longer the sentences, the better. However, long phrases do not yet prove the author’s correctness. Brief sentences often have a greater effect. It is best when long phrases alternate with the short ones. Attempt reading what you have written aloud. If you are catching your breath while reading, break the paragraph into smaller parts. When you are done writing, do the following exercise. Assign each letter to every paragraph in your essay: either S (short), M (medium), or L (long). S should be less than 10 words, M is less than 20 words, and L is 20 words or longer. It is best if the sequence of the letters is the following: M S M L M S.
- Do not overstress the paper. When composing, discard phrases from encyclopedias. Incorrect use of such words draws the attention of the reader away and diminishes the value of your work.
Avoiding such common mistakes, you can interest the admission committee.
Checking the Essay
Great value in writing an essay is the checking of its first version. When writing a draft, your main task is to develop an argument, refine the basic ideas, and arrange them in a strict sequence, accompanying them with illustrative materials or auxiliary data, etc. After writing the first draft of your essay, let it rest for a day or two, and then you can go back to work to check and improve it.