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Essay Structure – Format, Layout & Outline With Examples

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At the heart of every essay lies a structured framework that ensures the conveyance of ideas in a coherent and logical manner. The essay structure is the backbone of academic writing , guiding readers through the essay. A well-structured essay helps convey information seamlessly and enhances the reader’s comprehension of the topic. This article will delve into the essential components of essay structure and will answer frequently asked questions about essay structure.


  • 1 Essay structure in a nutshell
  • 2 Definition: Essay structure
  • 3 Parts of the essay structure
  • 4 Essay structure examples
  • 5 Different types

Essay structure in a nutshell

An essay structure is the organized way in which the writer’s ideas are presented in writing, ensuring that the reader can follow and understand the main points easily. Think of it like a skeleton that holds and shapes the content of the essay. The parts every essay includes are the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Definition: Essay structure

Essay structure has a lot to do with the way you have presented your thoughts and logic in an academic essay . For instance, you want to ensure that you present one idea at a time, and then support them with facts to convince your readers. A good essay structure should also use an active voice and conclude with thoughts that are focused on summarizing the aforementioned ideas. Furthermore, in the concluding paragraph, let your readers know your ground based on the subject.

To write a strong essay, you need to come up with coherent ideas and use them to create a striking argument. Your essay structure should be one that lures the reader into following what you have to say closely. In this bit, we have shared valuable tips to help you learn and use the right essay structure in your next creative writing.

Imagine you’re telling a friend a story.

  • Beginning (introduction) : You set the scene. “Hey, I want to tell you about the time I went camping.”
  • Middle (body) : You give the main details and events. “First, we set up the tent. Then, at night, we heard a strange noise…”
  • End (conclusion) : You wrap up the story. “So, it turned out to be just a squirrel! But it was a memorable trip.”

The structure of nearly every single essay is simply like this:

  • Introduction : Introduce your topic.
  • Body : Explain the main points and details.
  • Conclusion : Sum up everything you’ve said.

That’s the basic essay structure!


Parts of the essay structure

As mentioned above, the essential parts of a strong essay include the introduction, body, and conclusion. Below you will find a quick overview of the basic structure of an essay along with the content of each part.


To give your essay a good introduction, you want to make it broad, but be careful not to go too broad. Moreover, this is the part in which you should share some background information related to the topic. However, you want to be careful not to start your argument just yet. Toward the end of your introduction, drop a thesis statement . This is also called the topic sentence and the most important part of your basic essay structure. Some writers also prefer throwing their thesis in the last sentence, but that relies greatly on your style of writing.

The body is the term used to refer to the paragraphs that come after the introduction but before the conclusion of the essay structure. A well-structured essay should feature multiple academic body paragraphs and include transition words . However, the overall length of the body of your academic essay is determined by the number of ideas you have to share. The details you use to back up your thoughts also have an impact on the overall length of the body of the essay structure. Make sure that you present one idea after the other, and then support them with substantial facts to convince your readers.

Your conclusion might look a bit similar to the introductory paragraph of the essay structure. In this section, make sure to restate your thesis because your readers might have lost it while reading the body. Furthermore, in the conclusion, you need to create a summary of the main points your essay touches. Do not forget to remind the readers of what you think about the entire subject in discussion of the essay structure.

Number of paragraphs

The number of paragraphs in an essay largely depends on the essay’s length, complexity, and specific requirements set by the instructor or the assignment. There is no set requirement for college essays. However, there are some general guidelines.

  • Short essays: 500 words or fewer
  • Standard college essays: 1,000 to 1,500 words
  • Long essays: 1,500 words and above

Note: Be sure to use transition words when writing your paragraphs to enhance the flow and readability of your academic essay.

Essay structure examples

Several methods exist for organizing information in an essay. Typically, your assignment will specify the style to adopt. If uncertain about the appropriate approach, it’s wise to consult your instructor. However, these are all solid essay structures. In the following, you will learn about the basics of essay structure along with templates for essays.

Chronological essay structure

A chronological essay structure is an organization method where a series of events or steps are presented in the order they occurred in time, from the earliest to the latest or vice versa. It’s particularly useful for recounting events, like historical events, narrating stories, or detailing processes.

Note: It’s crucial to provide clear transitions and explanations, so the reader can easily follow the progression and understand the significance of each step or event.

  • Introduction 1.1 Hook 1.2 Background 1.3 Thesis statement
  • Body 2.1 First Event (the earliest in time) 2.1.1 Discussion 2.1.2 Consequences 2.2 Second Event 2.2.1 Discussion 2.2.2 Consequences
  • Conclusion 3.1 Recap 3.2 Significance or impact of the topic 3.3 Closing statement (concluding thoughts or perspectives)

Topic: The development of personal computers over time.

  • Introduction 1.1 Hook: From massive room-sized machines to sleek devices that fit in our pockets, personal computers have undergone a radical transformation in just a few decades.” 1.2 Background: Brief history of early computing devices and their initial applications. 1.3 Thesis statement: “The evolution of personal computers, from their inception to the present, has not only revolutionized technology but also drastically altered our daily lives.”
  • Body 2.1 First Event (the earliest in time):** Introduction of the first personal computer. 2.1.1 Discussion: Description of the first personal computer, its creators, its design, capabilities, and its reception by the public. 2.1.2 Consequences: How the introduction of this computer paved the way for future technological developments and impacted industries. 2.2 Second Event: The graphical user interface (GUI) and the mouse. 2.2.1 Discussion: Origin of GUI, its integration into personal computers, and the invention of the mouse. 2.2.2 Consequences: The transformation of user experience, making computing more accessible and user-friendly, sparking wider adoption.
  • Conclusion 3.1 Recap: A brief overview of the main events discussed in the essay. 3.2 Significance: Reflection on how the evolution of personal computers has affected work, education, communication, and entertainment. 3.3 Closing statement: “As we witness the relentless march of technological progress, it’s vital to appreciate the humble beginnings of personal computers and recognize their profound influence on modern society.”

Problems methods solution essay structure

A problems methods solution essay structure is designed to identify an issue, present a method to address it, and then propose potential solutions. This format is particularly effective for topics that involve challenges or issues that need addressing.

  • Introduction 1.1 Introducing the problem 1.2 Background 1.3 Description of solution approach
  • Problem 2.1 Precise definition 2.2 Causes 2.3 Effects
  • Method 3.1 Previous approaches to the problem 3.2 New approach and why it’s better
  • Solution 4.1 Application of the new method to the problem 4.2 Solution after doing so
  • Conclusion 5.1 Effectiveness of solution 5.2 Description of implications 5.3 Closing statement

Topic: Plastic pollution in the oceans.

  • Introduction 1.1 Problem: “Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is an escalating crisis.” 1.2 Background: Overview of the scale of plastic waste dumped into the ocean annually and its sources 1.3 Description: “By employing innovative waste management and biodegradable alternatives, we may start to reverse this tidal wave of pollution.”
  • Problem 2.1 Definition: “Plastic pollution refers to the accumulation of discarded plastic products in marine environments, leading to habitat destruction and harm to marine life.” 2.2 Causes: Indiscriminate disposal of plastic, lack of recycling initiatives, single-use plastic products, and ineffective waste management systems. 2.3 Effects: Entanglement and ingestion by marine animals, disruption of marine ecosystems, microplastics entering the human food chain.
  • Method 3.1 Previous approaches: Use of ocean cleanup projects, awareness campaigns, and certain bans on plastic items. 3.2 New approach: “Promoting the mass adoption of biodegradable plastics and enhancing global waste management infrastructure, offering a more holistic and sustainable solution.”
  • Solution 4.1 Launch of global initiatives promoting the use of biodegradable plastics, incentives for industries to adopt better waste practices, and establishment of international waste management standards. 4.2 Significant reduction in new plastic waste entering oceans, gradual cleanup of existing pollutants, and restoration of marine ecosystems.
  • Conclusion 5.1 Effectiveness: “Early results from regions that have adopted these methods show a 40% reduction in marine plastic waste.” 5.2 Implications: Healthier marine ecosystems, safeguarded marine species, reduced health risks for humans, and a model for addressing other environmental challenges. 5.3 Closing statement: “The battle against oceanic plastic pollution, while daunting, showcases humanity’s capacity to innovate and protect our blue planet.”

Compare-and-contrast essay structure

A compare-and-contrast essay structure is designed to evaluate the similarities and differences between two subjects. This can be a literary analysis essay that compares two texts, but it can also be an argumentative essay that compares the strengths of arguments. This structure helps readers understand and analyze the two subjects in relation to one another.

There are two primary methods of the compare-and-contrast essay structure for organizing a compare-and-contrast essay: the block method and the point-by-point method . The choice of structure often depends on the complexity of the subjects, the length of the essay, and the writer’s preference.

Point-by-point method

In this method of the essay structure, you alternate between points about the first subject and comparable points about the second subject. For example, if comparing cats and dogs, you might discuss the fur of cats, then the fur of dogs, followed by the temperament of cats, then the temperament of dogs, and so on.

  • Body 2.1 First point of comparison 2.1.1 Subject 1 2.1.2 Subject 2 2.2 Second point of comparison 2.2.1 Subject 1 2.2.2 Subject 2
  • Conclusion 3.1 Summary of arguments (synthesis) 3.2 Relevance of topic 3.3 Closing statement

The topics “traditional schooling” (subject 1) and “online learning” (subject 2) will be compared and contrasted.

  • Introduction 1.1 Hook: “In the age of technology, the blackboard, and chalk classroom finds itself competing with screens and keyboards.” 1.2 Background: Brief overview of the rise of online learning platforms and their increasing popularity recently. 1.3 Thesis statement: “While both traditional schooling and online learning offer unique educational experiences, they differ significantly in terms of interaction, flexibility, and learning environment.”
  • Body 2.1 First point of comparison: Interaction 2.1.1 Traditional schooling: Emphasizes face-to-face interactions, providing students immediate feedback and promoting social skills through group activities. 2.1.2 Online learning: Relies mostly on digital communication, which might delay feedback but also offers a wider network of international peers. 2.2 Second point of comparison: Flexibility 2.2.1 Traditional schooling: Generally follows a fixed schedule, with set times for classes, which might not cater to everyone’s personal schedule. 2.2.2 Online learning: Often allows for a self-paced learning experience, offering students the flexibility to learn at their preferred times.
  • Conclusion 3.1 Synthesis: Both traditional schooling and online learning have their merits, with the former offering a rich interactive experience and the latter granting unparalleled flexibility. 3.2 Relevance: In today’s evolving educational landscape, understanding the pros and cons of both learning methods is vital for educators, parents, and students alike. 3.3 Closing statement: “As the future of education unfolds, the blend of traditional and online methods might just be the key to fostering a holistic learning experience.”

Block method

In the block method of the essay structure, you discuss one subject in its entirety before moving on to the second subject. Using the same example, you’d first discuss cats (fur, temperament, care, etc.) and then move on to discuss dogs.

  • Body 2.1 First subject 2.1.1 Point 1 2.1.2 Point 2 2.2 Second subject 2.2.1 Point 1 (compare) 2.2.2 Point 2 (compare)
  • Conclusion 3.1 Summary of arguments (synthesis) 3.2 Importance of topic 3.3 Closing statement

The topics “living in the city” (subject 1) and “living in the countryside” (subject 2) will be compared and contrasted.

  • Introduction 1.1 Hook: “The hustle and bustle of city streets versus the serenity of open fields—where does one truly find peace?” 1.2 Background: A brief description of urban and rural living and the age-old debate about which is better. 1.3 Thesis statement: “City life and countryside living present contrasting lifestyles, each with its unique benefits and challenges.”
  • Body 2.1 First subject: Living in the city 2.1.1 Point 1: Cities offer a plethora of services, entertainment venues, shopping malls, and healthcare facilities right at one’s doorstep. 2.1.2 Point 2: City life is often characterized by its bustling nature, with people always on the move and a never-ending list of things to do. 2.2 Second subject: Living in the countryside 2.2.1 Point 1 (compare): While the countryside might lack some modern facilities, it offers residents a close connection to nature, with fresh air and open spaces. 2.2.2 Point 2 (compare): The countryside provides an escape from the rush of urban areas, with its calm, laid-back lifestyle and fewer distractions.
  • Conclusion 3.1 Synthesis: While city life offers modern conveniences and a dynamic environment, the countryside provides tranquility and a deep connection with nature. 3.2 Importance: The decision between city and countryside living can significantly impact one’s quality of life, mental health, and overall well-being. 3.3 Closing statement: “Whether amidst skyscrapers or wheat fields, true contentment lies in finding a balance between modern comforts and nature’s embrace.”

Different types

There are different types of essays. While they could take different formats, the structure remains the same. Your essay, despite its nature, must have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Other details might come in, but they should not interfere with the recommended basic essay structure.

Narrative essay

In the narrative essay , the writers communicate to the readers while sharing a real-life experience. Though this might sound straightforward, the students are usually challenged to tell a story about themselves.

Descriptive essay

A descriptive essay is more of painting a picture. It has a close relationship with the narrative essay. In this case, the writers are expected to use words to create clear, descriptive images.

Expository essay

An expository essay is an informative piece that mainly presents a well-balanced analysis of a given topic. In this case, the writer is expected to use facts, examples, and statistics to define a topic.

Persuasive essay

Persuasive essays are a tool used by writers to convince readers to agree with their perspective. Facts and logic must be used strategically in this case.

Argumentative essay

An argumentative essay is a type of writing where the author takes a stance on a particular issue and provides evidence and reasoning to support that position. The main goal is to persuade the reader to agree with the writer’s viewpoint.

What is the basic essay structure?

The general essay structure contains three main parts. These include the introduction, body, and conclusion. Using this format, you can easily write and ensure that your academic essay is perfectly organized. With this basic academic essay structure in mind, you should stick to the topic to guide your ideas and their sequence.

Why is the essay structure important?

The basic essay structure is not only crucial to the writer but also to the readers. It helps them comprehend the logic and flow of your thoughts as a writer. The main intention of the academic essay should be clearly stated in the essay introduction . The readers should get detailed information about the topic in the body of the academic essay. Summarize everything and share your thoughts with your readers in the concluding paragraph.

What are the different types of essay structures?

There are four main types of essay structures . However, the structure stays the same for the most part:

  • Expository essays, descriptive essays and narrative essays
  • Argumentative essay or persuasive essay
  • Compare and contrast essays
  • Analysis, or cause and effect essay structures

Each one of these essays will still have an introduction, followed by body paragraphs with a conclusion at the end.

How does an essay structure look at university?

While you learn about the five-paragraph essay in high school, an essay in university is a tad bit more complicated. You should always create an essay outline before you begin writing. The outline also helps you to come up with elaborate arguments. At a minimum, your essay structure should include the three main parts, namely, introduction, body, and conclusion.

How many sentences should you have in each paragraph?

There is no specification for the number of sentences you should have in each of your paragraphs. For neatness and readability, make sure that each paragraph has a maximum of four sentences. You need to ensure that every paragraph is long enough to cover everything, but also short enough to be interesting.

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Essay structure is the overall organization of ideas in writing. It is a framework that helps students to sort out their ideas and express them clearly. A clear essay structure is essential to ensure a logical flow of arguments, which in turn, makes it easier for readers to follow the discussion.

Understanding how to structure an essay is crucial to communicate your arguments effectively. In this article, we'll guide you through various essay structure examples and offer practical tips to help you structure your essay effortlessly.

By having a good grasp of essay structure, you can improve your writing by creating essays that are both organized and captivating, leaving a lasting impact on your readers.


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A structure of an essay serves as a roadmap that directs how ideas are arranged and communicated within all parts of an essay to convey a message or argument in a clear, effective manner.

In essence, an essay structure definition refers to your writing plan that generally consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion.

An introduction establishes the tone and purpose of your writing. It includes a thesis statement, which is the central idea to be explored.

The body presents evidence, analysis, and supporting details to back up the thesis statement.

Finally, the conclusion provides a summary of key points by offering a fresh perspective on the thesis presented throughout the essay.

Making sure that each section of your work is well-organized and flows smoothly is essential in creating an effective structure.

The goal of essay structure is to organize and present ideas consistently. A clear and systematic essay writing structure ensures that ideas are communicated in a straightforward and engaging manner.

This holds readers’ attention and persuades them toward the intended message. Ultimately, a strong structure of an essay elevates the quality of writing by promoting clarity, conciseness, and coherence.

Basic structure of an essay comprises three parts:

The introduction sets the stage by providing an opening statement, background information, and a thesis statement, which serves as the central argument or key point.

The body of an essay consists of multiple paragraphs that present supporting ideas or arguments, each backed up by evidence and analysis to strengthen your viewpoint.

Finally, in an essay basic structure, the conclusion summarizes main points, providing a unique outlook on your thesis statement.

These 3 parts of an essay are crucial for creating an effective work, therefore all of them will be described below.

The introduction is the first part of an essay structure designed to introduce the topic by grabbing readers’ attention. The main purpose of an introduction is to: 

Your thesis statement is where you present your central argument or key ideas. It must be concise, engaging, as well as, give readers an idea of what to expect in the essay.

Introduction is essential for creating a strong first impression by setting the stage for a successful essay. It should be in proportion to the essay length , with longer papers needing more detailed introductions.

>> Read more: How to Start an Essay Introduction

A thesis statement is a key argument or primary concept that an essay is built upon. It is typically presented in the introduction of an essay structure and serves as a roadmap for the rest of your writing.

A proper structure of a good essay requires a strong, concise thesis statement because it helps to stay focused and organized while presenting a clear argument to a reader. 

It is important to ensure that the thesis statement is relevant, specific, and debatable to make an essay more engaging.

All content in your essay must directly relate to your thesis statement. Every paragraph should contribute to your overall argument as well as reinforce your central idea. Extraneous information has the potential to distract your reader or undermine the impact of your essay. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that each section is closely linked to your thesis.

Body paragraphs are critical to a good essay structure as they provide the main section where you present your argument or analysis. 

To create an effective body paragraph, it's crucial to begin with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea or argument. The paragraph must include supporting evidence, analysis, along with explanations that add weight to the topic sentence. 

An effective body paragraph should not only be well-organized but also transition seamlessly to next paragraph. Here’s what a basic body paragraph structure should include: 

Effective essay body paragraphs should also:

While writing an essay structure, you should remember that body paragraphs are critical for developing a strong and persuasive rough draft .

Arranging your arguments in an essay requires strategic progression starting from the simplest claim to the most complex one. This means starting with the most basic, straightforward points and gradually building up to more intricate and complicated arguments. By doing this, you can guide your reader through your thought process by presenting a logical and coherent argument.

Conclusion marks the end of an essay with a summary of main points and a restatement of a thesis presented earlier.

It is a critical part in the structure of an essay as it offers closure to argument and strengthens the significance of main idea presented. Furthermore, a carefully crafted conclusion should make a strong impact on a reader by providing insights or recommendations for future research.

Your conclusion should be brief and concise. Avoid introducing new ideas or evidence that may distract from your main argument. 

Wrapping up, a conclusion is a vital component among essay parts, which summarizes all central ideas together with arguments while delivering a powerful final message to readers. You may use our Paraphrase Tool if you need to rephrase a sentence or a whole section quickly. 

>> Read more: How to Write a Conclusion For an Essay

Essay structures refer to different organizational patterns used in writing an essay. Here are some of the most common types of  an essay structure used to convey ideas and arguments effectively:

Each essay structure has its characteristics and is suitable for specific types of essays. 

Choosing the right structure can help you convey your ideas to readers.

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The chronological essay structure arranges essay parts in order of time, presenting information in a sequence it occurred. It is often used when writing about historical events or recounting personal experiences. A chronological approach is common in expository writing or narrative essay .

A template for this type of essay layout usually includes an introduction that sets the context and explains an essay's purpose. The body paragraphs then follow a logical order reflecting the chronology of all discussed events.

When using this structure type, it is essential to ensure that all events are presented logically.

Overall, the chronological essay structure is an effective way of presenting information in a clear, organized manner.

Chronological Essay Structure Template

Chronological Structure of an Essay Example

The compare and contrast essay structure is an organization technique that seeks to clarify both similarities and differences among two or more subjects.

This essay structure can be used for analyzing different types of literature, historical events, or scientific phenomena.

There are primarily two ways to organize a compare and contrast essay :

The alternating method  involves discussing similarities and differences between two subjects in a structured and concise pattern. Each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect of comparison and contrast. For example, a paragraph may discuss a parallel between two subjects, while the following paragraph may discuss a difference. 

The block method involves discussing one subject's similarities and differences before moving on to the next. 

Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages.  Therefore, your choice of method depends on the specific purpose of your writing as well as your preference.

The alternating essay structure is a method of organizing an essay where you compare two or more topics by alternating between them in each paragraph.

Each paragraph discusses a specific aspect or point of comparison/contrast between two topics. 

The alternating structure is useful for presenting a balanced argument by highlighting both similarities and differences between two topics being compared. 

This method helps to keep readers engaged. It allows a clear and organized presentation of ideas.

Alternating Essay Structure Template

Alternating Essay Structure Example

The block essay structure is an effective way to organize the structure for an essay.

It presents information about a particular topic in a single block, with each block containing an individual discussion point.

This structure is ideal for comparing and contrasting two topics, making it easier for readers to understand their differences and similarities. Discussing one topic in detail before moving on to the next, or alternating between them throughout, creates a clear as well as dynamic structure.

Block Essay Structure Template

Example of a Block Essay Structure

The problems-methods-solutions essay structure helps writers organize their thoughts into a cohesive essay. 

This format is designed to break down a problem and solution essay into three sections, each focusing on a specific element.

The first section is where you outline all issues or challenges being addressed. The second section is where you discuss various approaches or methods to address these problems. In your final section, present a solution or series of solutions to the problems identified in the Problems section. 

Using this structure, you can present a clear and concise argument while providing a well-reasoned solution.

Problems-Methods-Solutions Structure Template

Problems-Methods-Solutions Structure Example

Signposting is the process of using clear and concise language to guide readers through the structure of an essay. It will help you to structure your essay effectively by clarifying key points, arguments, and transitions between different parts of an essay. 

By using signposting, you can make your works more organized and easy to follow. Signposting also ensures that your piece has a clear structure and helps readers to understand your thought process.

An overview serves as a summary or outline of all key points covered in your academic writing. As a part of the structure of essay writing it functions as a roadmap for readers to follow along with the structure and progression of your piece.

When starting to write an essay, it is essential to provide an overview of the structure.

An overview allows readers to understand the purpose and scope of an essay and the key arguments and evidence that will be presented. Mostly it is written in present tense.

Essay Overview Example

Transition words play a vital role in creating a coherent and well-structured essay, seamlessly linking different parts of the essay together by ensuring a smooth and logical flow of ideas. 

Transition words can also create a logical structure within an essay, guiding readers through the argument and making your overall message clearer.

Here is a list of some common transition words:

By using transition words effectively, you can improve the clarity and coherence of your writing, making it easier for readers to follow and understand their ideas.

Here are a few actionable tips that will help you organize your writing.

This essay structure checklist ensures that your essay is well-organized, easy to follow, and effectively communicates your main argument.

How an essay should look is an essential aspect of effective essay writing. Different structures and methods can organize an essay logically and coherently. In addition, using an example of essay structure can help to easily create a well-structured essay.

Understanding the structure of writing an essay is essential for creating a well-organized and coherent piece of writing.Using tips and an example for essay structure, you can enhance your writing skills and produce a clear and concise essay. 

Your next steps will involve creating an outline for an essay and composing your own piece. Make sure to check our blog on how to write an essay to complete this assignment with ease.

  •  Introduction
  • Hook your audience
  • Provide background information
  • Establish the tone and focus
  • Introduce a thesis statement.
  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Smooth transitions.
  • Use strong, varied sentence structures
  • Avoid repetition
  • Include proper citations to support the evidence presented.
  • Chronological
  • Cause and effect
  • Compare and contrast
  • Problem-solution.
  • Context and background information
  • Purpose and thesis statement
  • Event or situation in chronological order
  • Supporting evidence or details
  • Next event or situation in chronological order
  • Summarize key points
  • Final reflection or insight
  • A brief overview of internet and its importance
  • Thesis statement: This essay will explore the history of internet, from its origins to its current state.
  • Early stages of internet, including its development by the US government
  • ARPANET and email development
  • Emergence of the World Wide Web as a platform for information sharing
  • Development of HTML and launch of the first web browser
  • Current state of internet, including its widespread use together with impact on society
  • The rise of social media and mobile technology
  • Recap of the history of internet and its significance
  • Discussion of potential future developments along with their implications
  • Alternating method
  • Block method.
  • Hook statement
  • Brief background information
  • Thesis statement
  • Significance
  • Restate thesis statement
  • Summarize all main points
  • Concluding thoughts or future implications
  • Hook and background information about living in a city and living in a rural area
  • Thesis statement: While both living in a city and living in a rural area have their advantages and disadvantages, the best choice for an individual depends on their lifestyle preferences and needs.
  • City offers a better access to essential services
  • Living in a rural area offers a quieter, more natural environment
  • Cities offer more job opportunities
  • Rural areas often have fewer but may offer opportunities in agriculture or natural resource industries
  • Living in a city offers more diverse leisure and entertainment options
  • Rural area offers more opportunities for outdoor activities and connection to nature
  • The decision to live in a city or rural area depends on an individual's personal preferences and needs
  • As technology advances and remote work becomes more common, the traditional city vs. rural divide may become less stark
  • A brief overview of a topic
  • Main idea and analysis
  • Contrasting idea and analysis
  • Summarize key points for Subject 1
  • Summarize key points for Subject 2
  • Final thoughts and call to action
  • The food we eat has a profound impact on our health and well-being
  • Thesis statement: While fast food is a convenient and quick option, healthy eating is essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases.
  • Appeal of fast food as a quick option and variety
  • Low nutritional value
  • Perceived low cost of fast food
  • Hidden costs in terms of health consequences
  • Has all essential nutrients for good health
  • Lower availability of healthy food options in low-income areas
  • The cost is higher
  • Better option in the long run
  • While fast food is convenient and quick, it can be detrimental to our health, and it is important to make informed choices about our diets
  • By making a conscious effort to choose healthy food options, we can take control of our health and lead happier, more fulfilling lives
  • Briefly introduce the problem/topic
  • Identify the problems related to your topic
  • Use supporting evidence, examples, statistics
  • Discuss main methods or approaches used before to address the problems
  • Discuss the potential solutions or approaches
  • Summarize all main points of your essay
  • Restate your thesis statement
  • Provide final thoughts or recommendations
  • Briefly introduce the problem of climate change
  • Causes and effects of climate change
  • Thesis statement: This essay will examine the problems related to climate change, the methods used to address the issue, along with potential solutions to mitigate its effects.
  • Rising temperatures, sea-level rise, as well as extreme weather events
  • IPCC reports or NASA data
  • Kyoto Protocol, carbon taxes, and renewable energy development
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of these methods
  • Transitioning to renewable energy sources, implementing carbon capture and storage technologies, and adopting sustainable land use practices
  • Statistics on the impact of implementing proposed solutions
  • Importance and urgency of addressing climate change
  • Need for collective action and policy changes to address the issue
  • Additionally
  • Furthermore
  • In addition
  • To structure your essay in a simple and effective manner, start by understanding the three parts of an essay: introduction, body, and conclusion. Each part of essay writing serves a specific purpose and can help you organize your ideas.
  • Consider different structures of an essay, like the chronological, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and problem-solution, to choose the best fit for your topic.
  • Utilize an essay template to keep your writing structured and focused. This can include templates for each part of the essay, such as an introduction template, body paragraph template, and a conclusion template.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to connect different structures of an essay along with all parts of your writing, such as "however," "in addition," and "furthermore." This will help to create a cohesive flow of ideas throughout your essay.
  • Keep your language clear and concise, avoiding unnecessary jargon or complicated phrasing. This can help to ensure that your writing is accessible and effective.
  • Finally, review and revise your essay for clarity and coherence, paying close attention to different parts of essay writing and the structures of an essay. This will help to ensure that your essay is well-organized and effectively communicates your ideas.
  • checkbox The introduction includes a clear thesis statement that presents my essay's main argument.
  • checkbox The body paragraphs are organized logically and follow a clear and consistent structure.
  • checkbox There is a topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph that relates to the thesis statement.
  • checkbox The body paragraphs provide supporting evidence and examples to back up the main argument.
  • checkbox There are clear and smooth transitions between each paragraph and section.
  • checkbox The conclusion summarizes all main points of my essay and restates the thesis in a meaningful way.
  • checkbox I have proofread my essay to ensure it is free of grammar and spelling errors.
  • checkbox I have followed the essay structure format as my professor or instructor requires.
  • checkbox I have used an essay framework or template to help me organize my thoughts and ideas.
  • checkbox I have received feedback from peers, tutors, or instructors and made necessary revisions.

What Is an Essay Structure?

Essay structure purpose, basic essay structure: main parts of an essay, introduction , thesis statement, body paragraphs, essay structure types, chronological essay structure, compare and contrast structure, alternating essay structure, block essay structure, problems-methods-solutions structure , signposting to clarify essay structure, overview of an essay, transition words, essay structure writing tips, essay structure checklist, bottom line on essay structure writing.

Essay Structure Basics

This essay examines the global impact of local wars, exploring their causes and key examples. It discusses how these conflicts can have far-reaching economic, political, and social consequences. It concludes by suggesting steps to mitigate their impact by preventing escalation into larger global conflicts. Also, it highlights the importance of understanding the connections between seemingly isolated conflicts and the broader international context.

Note that this is a general template and can be adapted to fit a specific topic.

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Essay Writing

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The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.

This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres, also known as the modes of discourse, have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these genres and students’ need to understand and produce these types of essays. We hope these resources will help.

The essay is a commonly assigned form of writing that every student will encounter while in academia. Therefore, it is wise for the student to become capable and comfortable with this type of writing early on in her training.

Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres.

Before delving into its various genres, let’s begin with a basic definition of the essay.

What is an essay?

Though the word essay has come to be understood as a type of writing in Modern English, its origins provide us with some useful insights. The word comes into the English language through the French influence on Middle English; tracing it back further, we find that the French form of the word comes from the Latin verb exigere , which means "to examine, test, or (literally) to drive out." Through the excavation of this ancient word, we are able to unearth the essence of the academic essay: to encourage students to test or examine their ideas concerning a particular topic.

Essays are shorter pieces of writing that often require the student to hone a number of skills such as close reading, analysis, comparison and contrast, persuasion, conciseness, clarity, and exposition. As is evidenced by this list of attributes, there is much to be gained by the student who strives to succeed at essay writing.

The purpose of an essay is to encourage students to develop ideas and concepts in their writing with the direction of little more than their own thoughts (it may be helpful to view the essay as the converse of a research paper). Therefore, essays are (by nature) concise and require clarity in purpose and direction. This means that there is no room for the student’s thoughts to wander or stray from his or her purpose; the writing must be deliberate and interesting.

This handout should help students become familiar and comfortable with the process of essay composition through the introduction of some common essay genres.

This handout includes a brief introduction to the following genres of essay writing:

  • Expository essays
  • Descriptive essays
  • Narrative essays
  • Argumentative (Persuasive) essays

What is an Essay?

10 May, 2020

11 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

Well, beyond a jumble of words usually around 2,000 words or so - what is an essay, exactly? Whether you’re taking English, sociology, history, biology, art, or a speech class, it’s likely you’ll have to write an essay or two. So how is an essay different than a research paper or a review? Let’s find out!

What is an essay

Defining the Term – What is an Essay?

The essay is a written piece that is designed to present an idea, propose an argument, express the emotion or initiate debate. It is a tool that is used to present writer’s ideas in a non-fictional way. Multiple applications of this type of writing go way beyond, providing political manifestos and art criticism as well as personal observations and reflections of the author.

what is an essay

An essay can be as short as 500 words, it can also be 5000 words or more.  However, most essays fall somewhere around 1000 to 3000 words ; this word range provides the writer enough space to thoroughly develop an argument and work to convince the reader of the author’s perspective regarding a particular issue.  The topics of essays are boundless: they can range from the best form of government to the benefits of eating peppermint leaves daily. As a professional provider of custom writing, our service has helped thousands of customers to turn in essays in various forms and disciplines.

Origins of the Essay

Over the course of more than six centuries essays were used to question assumptions, argue trivial opinions and to initiate global discussions. Let’s have a closer look into historical progress and various applications of this literary phenomenon to find out exactly what it is.

Today’s modern word “essay” can trace its roots back to the French “essayer” which translates closely to mean “to attempt” .  This is an apt name for this writing form because the essay’s ultimate purpose is to attempt to convince the audience of something.  An essay’s topic can range broadly and include everything from the best of Shakespeare’s plays to the joys of April.

The essay comes in many shapes and sizes; it can focus on a personal experience or a purely academic exploration of a topic.  Essays are classified as a subjective writing form because while they include expository elements, they can rely on personal narratives to support the writer’s viewpoint.  The essay genre includes a diverse array of academic writings ranging from literary criticism to meditations on the natural world.  Most typically, the essay exists as a shorter writing form; essays are rarely the length of a novel.  However, several historic examples, such as John Locke’s seminal work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” just shows that a well-organized essay can be as long as a novel.

The Essay in Literature

The essay enjoys a long and renowned history in literature.  They first began gaining in popularity in the early 16 th century, and their popularity has continued today both with original writers and ghost writers.  Many readers prefer this short form in which the writer seems to speak directly to the reader, presenting a particular claim and working to defend it through a variety of means.  Not sure if you’ve ever read a great essay? You wouldn’t believe how many pieces of literature are actually nothing less than essays, or evolved into more complex structures from the essay. Check out this list of literary favorites:

  • The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  • Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
  • High-Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now and Never by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau

Pretty much as long as writers have had something to say, they’ve created essays to communicate their viewpoint on pretty much any topic you can think of!

Top essays in literature

The Essay in Academics

Not only are students required to read a variety of essays during their academic education, but they will likely be required to write several different kinds of essays throughout their scholastic career.  Don’t love to write?  Then consider working with a ghost essay writer !  While all essays require an introduction, body paragraphs in support of the argumentative thesis statement, and a conclusion, academic essays can take several different formats in the way they approach a topic.  Common essays required in high school, college, and post-graduate classes include:

Five paragraph essay

This is the most common type of a formal essay. The type of paper that students are usually exposed to when they first hear about the concept of the essay itself. It follows easy outline structure – an opening introduction paragraph; three body paragraphs to expand the thesis; and conclusion to sum it up.

Argumentative essay

These essays are commonly assigned to explore a controversial issue.  The goal is to identify the major positions on either side and work to support the side the writer agrees with while refuting the opposing side’s potential arguments.

Compare and Contrast essay

This essay compares two items, such as two poems, and works to identify similarities and differences, discussing the strength and weaknesses of each.  This essay can focus on more than just two items, however.  The point of this essay is to reveal new connections the reader may not have considered previously.

Definition essay

This essay has a sole purpose – defining a term or a concept in as much detail as possible. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not quite. The most important part of the process is picking up the word. Before zooming it up under the microscope, make sure to choose something roomy so you can define it under multiple angles. The definition essay outline will reflect those angles and scopes.

Descriptive essay

Perhaps the most fun to write, this essay focuses on describing its subject using all five of the senses.  The writer aims to fully describe the topic; for example, a descriptive essay could aim to describe the ocean to someone who’s never seen it or the job of a teacher.  Descriptive essays rely heavily on detail and the paragraphs can be organized by sense.

Illustration essay

The purpose of this essay is to describe an idea, occasion or a concept with the help of clear and vocal examples. “Illustration” itself is handled in the body paragraphs section. Each of the statements, presented in the essay needs to be supported with several examples. Illustration essay helps the author to connect with his audience by breaking the barriers with real-life examples – clear and indisputable.

Informative Essay

Being one the basic essay types, the informative essay is as easy as it sounds from a technical standpoint. High school is where students usually encounter with informative essay first time. The purpose of this paper is to describe an idea, concept or any other abstract subject with the help of proper research and a generous amount of storytelling.

Narrative essay

This type of essay focuses on describing a certain event or experience, most often chronologically.  It could be a historic event or an ordinary day or month in a regular person’s life. Narrative essay proclaims a free approach to writing it, therefore it does not always require conventional attributes, like the outline. The narrative itself typically unfolds through a personal lens, and is thus considered to be a subjective form of writing.

Persuasive essay

The purpose of the persuasive essay is to provide the audience with a 360-view on the concept idea or certain topic – to persuade the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint. The viewpoints can range widely from why visiting the dentist is important to why dogs make the best pets to why blue is the best color.  Strong, persuasive language is a defining characteristic of this essay type.

Types of essays

The Essay in Art

Several other artistic mediums have adopted the essay as a means of communicating with their audience.  In the visual arts, such as painting or sculpting, the rough sketches of the final product are sometimes deemed essays.  Likewise, directors may opt to create a film essay which is similar to a documentary in that it offers a personal reflection on a relevant issue.  Finally, photographers often create photographic essays in which they use a series of photographs to tell a story, similar to a narrative or a descriptive essay.

Drawing the line – question answered

“What is an Essay?” is quite a polarizing question. On one hand, it can easily be answered in a couple of words. On the other, it is surely the most profound and self-established type of content there ever was. Going back through the history of the last five-six centuries helps us understand where did it come from and how it is being applied ever since.

If you must write an essay, follow these five important steps to works towards earning the “A” you want:

  • Understand and review the kind of essay you must write
  • Brainstorm your argument
  • Find research from reliable sources to support your perspective
  • Cite all sources parenthetically within the paper and on the Works Cited page
  • Follow all grammatical rules

Generally speaking, when you must write any type of essay, start sooner rather than later!  Don’t procrastinate – give yourself time to develop your perspective and work on crafting a unique and original approach to the topic.  Remember: it’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes (or three) look over your essay before handing in the final draft to your teacher or professor.  Don’t trust your fellow classmates?  Consider hiring an editor or a ghostwriter to help out!

If you are still unsure on whether you can cope with your task – you are in the right place to get help. HandMadeWriting is the perfect answer to the question “Who can write my essay?”

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A Complete Essay Guide: Types, Parts, Structures

Table of Contents

An essay is more than just a long jumble of words. It is a piece of writing that can present an idea, express emotion, inform readers on a topic, propose an argument, and so on.

The functions of an essay are seemingly endless, and they can cover a wide variety of topics. When writing an essay, it can help to know the different  parts of an essay paper , its types, and its structures. And that’s what we’ll be discussing in this article.

This is the ultimate guide to getting to know essays more deeply. Get ready to be an expert on all things essay by the time you’re through this article!

What is an Essay?

Before anything else, let’s formally define what an essay is.

Essays are short pieces of writing revolving around a particular topic or subject. They not only provide information about the subject, but they can also convey the opinions and thoughts of the author.

In many cases, an essay is used as an examination in an academic sense to determine a student’s understanding of a specific subject. They are also widely written in different styles and forms to suit other purposes. We’ll talk more about those in the later sections.

Four Main Types of Essays

Narrative essays.

You can think of a narrative essay as similar to telling a story. These essays can be anecdotal, experiential, or personal. It allows the author to express themselves creatively and engagingly.

This type of essay can cover a broad range of topics, but they are generally focused on the author’s personal experience or observations. 

Descriptive essays

Descriptive essays paint a picture in the reader’s mind using exact words, vivid language, and active verbs. Descriptive essays are best when describing a place, event, or people. This can be closely similar to a narrative essay.

Expository essays

This type of essay is a well-balanced analysis of a given topic. The writer must use facts, examples, and statistics to define a topic. Expository essays are generally most useful for readers new to a particular area of study.

Argumentative essays

Argumentative essays present evidence-based arguments to the reader. It must be accompanied by a strong thesis statement or a clearly defined position on your topic.

Using evidence (such as quotations) and analysis, you want to convince the reader to agree with your argument or at least consider it.

Parts of an Essay Paper

An essay is mainly composed of three parts, regardless of the type. These parts of an essay paper are the:  Introduction ,  Body , and  Conclusion . Each of these serves a different role in creating a coherent piece .


The introduction is the first part of your essay. It covers the purpose of your article and includes the thesis statement, main argument, and background information on the topic. This should compel the reader to want to read the rest of your writing.

Your thesis statement, which is the statement of your main point, should be placed near the end of your introduction. It should then be followed by a transitional sentence leading to the essay’s body.

After your introduction, you will discuss your topic more thoroughly in your essay. Essay bodies are often composed of three paragraphs. And each of them ties back to the thesis statement in your introduction. They should also smoothly transition from one section to the next.

Here’s a look at the function of each paragraph:

First Body Paragraph

  • Presents the strongest argument that supports the thesis statement in your introduction.
  • Gives specific examples that relate to the point you are arguing in the paragraph
  • Transitions into the second argument in the second paragraph

Second Body Paragraph

  • Presents your second most compelling argument in favor of your thesis statement
  • Uses different examples to support this argument
  • Concludes with a transitional sentence.

Third Body Paragraph

  • Presents your weakest argument along with several examples to strengthen it
  • Ends with a concluding statement that lets the reader know it’s your final central point

No essay is complete without a firm conclusion. You need to restate the thesis statement in this paragraph, but it should not duplicate it. It summarizes the three major points you addressed in each paragraph.

Conclusions should provide a clear signal that the essay has ended. They may also remind you of your main findings and conclusions throughout the essay.

Different Essay Structures

An essay structure is an outline for organizing and preparing your writing. When writing an essay, the structure helps guide what information goes into each section and how to manage it.

Compare and contrast structure.

For an essay that contains two or more primary subjects, it’s best to use the compare-and-contrast structure. You can either compare subjects side by side in every paragraph. Or you can compare and contrast them separately in multiple paragraphs.

Chronological structure

A chronological essay is also known as a cause-and-effect structure, and it’s one of the most common ways to organize essays. It discusses a point, event, or research as you go. This is particularly helpful for essays that focus on history or a series of events.

Problems, methods, and solutions structure

The Problems, methods, and solutions essay structure have a lot of value to offer. They focus on specific issues, whether theoretical or practical.

In this format, you discuss a theory or method to resolve a problem. You then analyze the issue using the described method to see if a solution occurs. For theoretical problems, you may propose a solution, or you may present your own research.

Signposting to clarify the structure

Although more common, a signposting essay structure is equally effective. It follows a step-by-step guideline, with a signposting paragraph at the bottom of the paper to clarify details of the entire paper. This structure gives the reader an overview of what is to come within your essay.

An essay requires careful thought and ample evidence to support your main points . And there are many types and structures that you can utilize.

By learning the different parts of an essay paper, you’ll be able to create a more comprehensive paper. You’ll also be able to provide more precise, higher-quality content that will capture the reader’s attention.

A Complete Essay Guide: Types, Parts, Structures

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Types of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Different Essay Types

When it comes to academic writing, essays are one of the most common assignments you will encounter. Essays are a way for you to showcase your understanding of a particular topic, and they come in various forms. Each type of essay has its unique characteristics, and it is essential to understand the differences between them to produce a well-written piece. In this article, we will explore the different types of essays you may encounter in your academic journey.

Types of Essays: Your Ultimate Guide to Essay Writing

Types of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Different Essay Types

Understanding Essays

Definition of essay.

An essay is a piece of writing that presents an argument or a point of view on a particular topic. It is a formal piece of writing that is usually written in the third person and is structured into paragraphs. Essays can be written on a variety of topics, ranging from literature to science, and can be of different lengths. They are often used in academic settings to assess a student’s understanding of a particular subject.

Purpose of Essay

The purpose of an essay is to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view. Essays can be used to argue for or against a particular position, to explain a concept, or to analyze a text. The writer must provide evidence to support their argument and must use persuasive language to convince the reader of their position.

There are four main types of essays: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type of essay has its own unique characteristics and is written for a different purpose. Understanding the different types of essays is essential for writing a successful essay.

Types of Essays

Narrative essay.

A narrative essay is a type of essay that tells a story. It is often written in the first person point of view, and it can be either fictional or non-fictional. This type of essay allows you to express yourself in a creative and personal way.

When writing a narrative essay, it is important to have a clear and concise thesis statement that sets the tone for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement should be specific and should reflect the main point of the essay. It should also be interesting and engaging to the reader.

One of the key elements of a successful narrative essay is the use of vivid and descriptive language. This helps to create a clear picture in the reader’s mind and makes the story more engaging. Additionally, it is important to use dialogue to bring the characters to life and to show their emotions and personalities.

Another important aspect of a narrative essay is the structure. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and the events should be presented in chronological order. This helps the reader to follow the story and understand the sequence of events.

Descriptive Essay

In a descriptive essay, you are required to describe something, such as an event, a person, a place, a situation, or an object. The primary objective of a descriptive essay is to provide a detailed and vivid description of the topic. By using sensory details, such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, you can create a picture in the reader’s mind and make them feel as if they are experiencing the topic themselves.

When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to choose a topic that you are familiar with and have a personal connection to. This will help you to convey your emotions and feelings effectively and make your essay more engaging and interesting to the reader.

To write a successful descriptive essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that you are passionate about and have a personal connection to.
  • Brainstorm and create an outline of your essay, including the main points you want to cover and the sensory details you will use.
  • Use sensory details to create a vivid and engaging picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Use figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, to add depth and complexity to your descriptions.
  • Use transitions to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow of information.
  • Revise and edit your essay to ensure that it is well-structured, organized, and error-free.

Expository Essay

An expository essay is a type of academic writing that aims to explain, describe, or inform the reader about a particular subject. This type of essay is based on facts, evidence, and examples, and it does not require the writer’s personal opinion or feelings. Expository essays can be written in various styles, including compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem and solution.

Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay is a type of expository writing that involves comparing and contrasting two or more subjects. This type of essay aims to provide the reader with a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. To write a successful compare and contrast essay, you need to identify the similarities and differences between the subjects, organize your ideas, and provide supporting evidence.

Cause and Effect Essay

A cause and effect essay is a type of expository writing that explores the causes and consequences of a particular event, situation, or phenomenon. This type of essay aims to explain the reasons behind a particular occurrence and its effects on individuals, society, or the environment. To write a successful cause and effect essay, you need to identify the causes and effects of the subject, organize your ideas, and provide supporting evidence.

Problem and Solution Essay

A problem and solution essay is a type of expository writing that focuses on a particular problem and proposes a solution to it. This type of essay aims to inform the reader about a particular issue and provide a viable solution to it. To write a successful problem and solution essay, you need to identify the problem, explain its causes, propose a solution, and provide supporting evidence.

Persuasive Essay

A persuasive essay is a type of academic writing that aims to persuade the reader to accept the writer’s point of view. In this type of essay, the writer presents their argument and supports it with evidence and reasoning to convince the reader to take action or believe in a particular idea.

To write a persuasive essay, you must first choose a topic that you are passionate about and can argue convincingly. Then, you need to research the topic thoroughly and gather evidence to support your argument. You should also consider the opposing viewpoint and address it in your essay to strengthen your argument.

The structure of a persuasive essay is similar to that of other types of essays. It consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should grab the reader’s attention and clearly state your thesis statement. The body paragraphs should present your argument and evidence, and the conclusion should summarize your argument and restate your thesis statement.

To make your persuasive essay more effective, you can use various persuasive writing strategies, such as appealing to the reader’s emotions, using rhetorical questions, and using vivid language. You can also use statistics, facts, and examples to support your argument and make it more convincing.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that requires you to present a well-researched and evidence-based argument on a particular topic. The aim of this essay is to convince the reader of your stance on the topic by using logical reasoning and factual evidence.

To write an effective argumentative essay, it is important to have a clear and concise thesis statement that presents your position on the topic. This statement should be supported by strong evidence, such as quotations, statistics, and expert opinions. It is also important to consider and address potential counterarguments to your position.

One key aspect of an argumentative essay is the use of logical fallacies. These are errors in reasoning that can weaken your argument and make it less convincing. Some common logical fallacies include ad hominem attacks, false dichotomies, and straw man arguments. It is important to avoid these fallacies and instead rely on sound reasoning and evidence to support your argument.

When writing an argumentative essay, it is also important to consider your audience. Your tone and language should be appropriate for your intended audience, and you should anticipate and address any potential objections or concerns they may have about your argument.

Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that involves breaking down a complex topic or idea into smaller parts to examine it thoroughly. The purpose of this essay is to provide a detailed analysis of a particular subject and to present an argument based on the evidence gathered during the research.

When writing an analytical essay, it is crucial to have a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The thesis statement should be specific and concise, and it should be supported by evidence from primary and secondary sources.

To write an effective analytical essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that interests you and that you can research thoroughly.
  • Conduct research to gather relevant information and evidence to support your thesis statement.
  • Create an outline to organize your ideas and arguments.
  • Write an introduction that provides background information on the topic and presents your thesis statement.
  • Develop body paragraphs that provide evidence to support your thesis statement.
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis statement.

When writing an analytical essay, it is important to focus on the analysis rather than just summarizing the information. You should critically evaluate the evidence and present your own interpretation of the data.

Critical Essay

A critical essay is a type of academic writing that involves analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating a text. In a critical essay, you must make a claim about how particular ideas or themes are conveyed in a text, and then support that claim with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources.

To write a successful critical essay, you must first read the text carefully and take notes on its main ideas and themes. You should also consider the author’s purpose and audience, as well as any historical or cultural context that may be relevant to the text.

When writing your critical essay, you should follow a clear and logical structure. Begin with an introduction that provides background information on the text and your thesis statement. In the body of your essay, you should provide evidence to support your thesis, using quotes and examples from the text as well as other sources.

It is important to be critical in your analysis, examining the text in detail and considering its strengths and weaknesses. You should also consider alternative interpretations and counterarguments, and address them in your essay.

Reflective Essay

A reflective essay is a type of academic essay that requires you to analyze and interpret an academic text, such as an essay, a book, or an article. Unlike a personal experience essay, a reflective essay involves critical thinking and evaluation of the material.

In a reflective essay, you are expected to reflect on your own learning and experiences related to the material. This type of essay requires you to think deeply about the material and analyze how it relates to your own experiences and knowledge.

To write a successful reflective essay, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a topic that is relevant to the material you are reflecting on.
  • Analyze the material and identify key themes and concepts.
  • Reflect on your own experiences and knowledge related to the material.
  • Evaluate and analyze the material and your own experiences to draw conclusions and insights.
  • Write a clear and concise essay that effectively communicates your reflections and insights.

Remember that a reflective essay is not just a summary of the material, but rather an analysis and evaluation of it. Use examples and evidence to support your reflections and insights, and be sure to use proper citation and referencing to acknowledge the sources of your information.

Personal Essay

A personal essay is a type of essay that involves telling a story about yourself, your experiences, or your feelings. It is often written in the first person point of view and can be a powerful way to share your unique perspective with others.

Personal essays can be used for a variety of purposes, such as college admissions, scholarship applications, or simply to share your thoughts and experiences with a wider audience. They can cover a wide range of topics, from personal struggles and triumphs to reflections on important life events.

When writing a personal essay, it is important to keep in mind that you are telling a story. This means that you should focus on creating a narrative that is engaging and compelling for your readers. You should also be honest and authentic in your writing, sharing your true thoughts and feelings with your audience.

To make your personal essay even more effective, consider incorporating descriptive language, vivid imagery, and sensory details. This can help bring your story to life and make it more memorable for your readers.

Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that requires you to combine information from multiple sources to create a cohesive argument. This type of essay is often used in academic writing and requires you to analyze, interpret, and evaluate information from various sources to support your thesis statement.

There are two main types of synthesis essays: explanatory and argumentative. An explanatory synthesis essay aims to explain a particular topic or issue by using different sources to provide a comprehensive overview. On the other hand, an argumentative synthesis essay requires you to take a stance on a particular issue and use evidence from multiple sources to support your argument.

When writing a synthesis essay, it is important to carefully analyze and interpret each source to ensure that the information you are using is relevant and accurate. You should also consider the credibility of each source and evaluate the author’s bias or perspective.

To effectively write a synthesis essay, you should follow a clear structure that includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a clear thesis statement. The body paragraphs should each focus on a specific aspect of the topic and provide evidence from multiple sources to support your argument. The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement.

Review Essay

A review essay is a type of academic writing that involves analyzing and evaluating a piece of work, such as a book, movie, or article. This type of essay requires you to provide a critical assessment of the work, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. A successful review essay should provide the reader with a clear understanding of the work being reviewed and your opinion of it.

When writing a review essay, it is important to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Length: A review essay should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. This length allows for a thorough analysis of the text without becoming bogged down in details. Of course, the specific length will vary depending on the nature of the text being reviewed and the desired focus of the essay.
  • Structure: A review essay should follow a clear and logical structure. Start with an introduction that provides some background information on the work being reviewed and your thesis statement. The body of the essay should provide a summary of the work and a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, end with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and provides your final thoughts on the work.
  • Evidence: A successful review essay should be supported by evidence from the work being reviewed. This can include direct quotes or paraphrases, as well as examples that illustrate your points.
  • Critical Thinking: A review essay requires you to engage in critical thinking. This means that you must evaluate the work being reviewed in a thoughtful and analytical manner, considering both its strengths and weaknesses.

Research Essay

When it comes to writing a research essay, you must conduct in-depth independent research and provide analysis, interpretation, and argument based on your findings. This type of essay requires extensive research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition.

To write a successful research essay, you must follow a specific structure. Here are some key components to include:


The introduction should provide a brief overview of your research topic and state your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should clearly state your argument and the main points you will cover in your essay.

Literature Review

The literature review is a critical analysis of the existing research on your topic. It should provide a summary of the relevant literature, identify gaps in the research, and highlight the significance of your study.


The methodology section should describe the methods you used to conduct your research. This may include data collection methods, sample size, and any limitations of your study.

The results section should present your findings in a clear and concise manner. You may use tables, graphs, or other visual aids to help convey your results.

The discussion section should interpret your results and provide a critical analysis of your findings. You should also discuss the implications of your research and how it contributes to the existing literature on your topic.

The conclusion should summarize your main findings and restate your thesis statement. You should also discuss the limitations of your study and suggest avenues for future research.

Report Essay

A report essay is a type of essay that presents and summarizes factual information about a particular topic, event, or issue. The purpose of a report essay is to provide readers with a clear and concise understanding of the subject matter. It is important to note that a report essay is not an opinion piece, but rather a neutral presentation of facts.

When writing a report essay, it is important to follow a structured format. The typical format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and state the purpose of the report. The body should present the facts in a logical and organized manner, using headings and subheadings to help readers navigate the information. The conclusion should summarize the key findings and provide any recommendations or conclusions.

One of the key elements of a report essay is research. It is essential to conduct thorough research on the topic to ensure that the information presented is accurate and reliable. This may involve reviewing academic articles, government reports, and other sources of information. It is also important to cite all sources used in the report essay using a recognized citation style, such as APA or MLA.

Informal Essay

An informal essay, also known as a familiar or personal essay, is a type of essay that is written in a personal tone and style. This type of essay is often written as a reflection or commentary on a personal experience, opinion, or observation. Informal essays are usually shorter than formal essays and are often written in a conversational style.

In an informal essay, you are free to use first-person pronouns and to express your personal opinions and feelings. However, you should still strive to maintain a clear and concise writing style and to support your arguments with evidence and examples.

Informal essays can take many forms, including personal narratives, anecdotes, and reflections on current events or social issues. They can also be humorous or satirical in nature, and may include elements of fiction or creative writing.

When writing an informal essay, it is important to keep your audience in mind and to use language and examples that will be familiar and relatable to them. You should also be aware of your tone and style, and strive to create a voice that is engaging and authentic.

Short Essay

When it comes to writing a short essay, it is essential to convey your thoughts and ideas in a concise and clear manner. Short essays are usually assigned in the range of 250-750 words, and occasionally up to 1,000 words. Therefore, it is important to focus on the most important elements of your topic.

To write a successful short essay, you should start by selecting a topic that is interesting and relevant. Once you have chosen your topic, you should conduct thorough research to gather evidence and support for your argument. This will help you to develop a clear and concise thesis statement.

When writing your short essay, it is important to structure your ideas in a logical and coherent manner. You should start with an introduction that provides background information and a clear thesis statement. The body of your essay should be structured around your main points, with each paragraph focusing on a specific idea or argument. Finally, you should conclude your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis statement.

To make your short essay more engaging and impactful, you may want to consider using bullet points, tables, and other formatting techniques to convey your ideas more clearly. Additionally, you should use strong and clear language, avoiding jargon and unnecessary words.

When it comes to academic writing, a long essay is a common type of assignment that you may encounter. This type of essay typically requires you to conduct extensive research and analysis on a specific topic.

The length of a long essay can vary depending on the assignment requirements, but it is usually longer than a standard essay. In general, a long essay can range from 2,500 to 5,000 words or more.

To write a successful long essay, it is important to have a clear understanding of the topic and to conduct thorough research. This may involve reading academic articles, books, and other sources to gather information and support your arguments.

In addition to research, a long essay should also have a clear and well-structured argument. This may involve outlining your main points and supporting evidence, as well as addressing any counterarguments or potential weaknesses in your argument.

Overall, a long essay requires a significant amount of time and effort to complete. However, by following a clear structure and conducting thorough research, you can produce a well-written and persuasive essay that meets the requirements of your assignment.

Some tips for writing a successful long essay include:

  • Start early to give yourself enough time to research and write
  • Break down the assignment into manageable sections
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Provide sufficient evidence to support your arguments
  • Use proper citation and referencing to avoid plagiarism

Five Paragraph Essay

If you are a student, you have likely been assigned a five-paragraph essay at some point. This type of essay is commonly used in high school and college writing classes. The five-paragraph essay is a structured format that consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The introduction paragraph is where you present your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument that you will discuss in your essay. This paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and provide some background information about the topic. It should also include a clear thesis statement that outlines what you will be discussing in the essay.

The three body paragraphs are where you provide evidence to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single point that supports your thesis. You should use specific examples and evidence to back up your claims. Each paragraph should also include a transition sentence that connects it to the next paragraph.

The conclusion paragraph is where you wrap up your essay and restate your thesis statement. This paragraph should summarize the main points of your essay and leave the reader with a clear understanding of your argument. You should avoid introducing any new information in the conclusion paragraph.

Scholarship Essay

A scholarship essay is a crucial document that can help you secure financial aid for your academic pursuits. It is a written statement that highlights your qualifications, accomplishments, and goals. Scholarship essays are typically required by organizations that offer scholarships to students. The essay is meant to help the organization understand why you are deserving of the scholarship and how it will help you achieve your academic and career goals.

To write an effective scholarship essay, it is important to understand the prompt and the organization offering the scholarship. Many scholarship essay prompts are open-ended, which means that you can write about any topic that is relevant to you. However, it is important to ensure that your essay is aligned with the values and goals of the scholarship organization.

When writing a scholarship essay, it is important to be concise and clear. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that the reader may not understand. Make sure that your essay is well-structured and organized, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Use headings and subheadings to make your essay easy to read and navigate.

To make your scholarship essay stand out, use specific examples and anecdotes that demonstrate your qualifications and accomplishments. Use concrete details and avoid generalizations. Be honest and authentic, and avoid exaggerating or making false claims. Finally, proofread your essay carefully to ensure that it is free of errors and typos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of academic essays?

There are four main types of academic essays: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type has its own unique purpose and structure, and it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to write effectively.

What are the parts of a standard essay?

A standard essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The body should present evidence and support for the thesis statement, and the conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis in a new way.

Can you provide examples of different types of essays?

Sure, here are some examples of each type of essay:

  • Argumentative: An essay that presents a clear argument on a controversial topic, such as gun control or abortion.
  • Expository: An essay that explains or describes a topic, such as how to bake a cake or the history of the Civil War.
  • Narrative: An essay that tells a story, such as a personal experience or a fictional tale.
  • Descriptive: An essay that uses sensory details to paint a picture of a person, place, or thing, such as a description of a sunset or a character in a novel.

How do you write a narrative essay?

To write a narrative essay, you should first choose a topic that is meaningful to you and has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Then, you should use descriptive language and sensory details to bring the story to life for the reader. Finally, you should reflect on the experience and what you learned from it.

What are the four main types of essays?

The four main types of essays are argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type has its own unique purpose and structure, and it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to write effectively.

What are the three parts of the essay format?

The three parts of the essay format are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic and include a thesis statement that outlines the main argument of the essay. The body should present evidence and support for the thesis statement, and the conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis in a new way.

Last Updated on August 31, 2023

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  • How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples

How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

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Table of contents

Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic  and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

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Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

  • Thesis statement
  • First piece of evidence
  • Second piece of evidence
  • Summary/synthesis
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.

  • Importance of the internet
  • Concerns about internet use
  • Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  • Data exploring this effect
  • Analysis indicating it is overstated
  • Students’ reading levels over time
  • Why this data is questionable
  • Video media
  • Interactive media
  • Speed and simplicity of online research
  • Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  • Evidence indicating its ubiquity
  • Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
  • Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
  • Argument that it introduces students to citation
  • Summary of key points
  • Value of digital education for students
  • Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
  • Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  • Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
  • Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
  • Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  • Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
  • Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Link to the Reformation.
  • Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
  • Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
  • Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  • Summarize the history described.
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .

The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

  • Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
  • Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
  • Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
  • Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
  • Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  • Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
  • Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  • Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
  • Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  • Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
  • Answer the research question
  • Indicate areas for further study

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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  • Appeal to authority fallacy
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  • Sunk cost fallacy

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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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Guest Essay

It’s Not Easy to Tell People You Have Cancer. As a Doctor, I See It All the Time.

An obscured figure of a woman behind three dense shades of color.

By Daniela J. Lamas

Dr. Lamas, a contributing Opinion writer, is a pulmonary and critical-care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

There is a moment for patients after we deliver the news of a frightening diagnosis, after they have taken in the realities we have laid before them, when they realize that there is one more tremendous hurdle ahead: to share that news with others. Sometimes that feels like the hardest part. How much do they have to disclose? Do they speak in euphemisms or share the harsh realities? It is as though saying a diagnosis aloud finally makes it real.

I found myself thinking about this on Friday, when Catherine, Princess of Wales, made her cancer diagnosis public in a video. She did not share the type of cancer she had or the nature of the abdominal surgery she underwent in January after which the cancer was diagnosed. She spoke broadly of cancer, of the chemotherapy she was now being treated with and of her family. Which was enough for the internet to go wild with rampant speculation — just as it did for so many weeks prior, when people were grasping to explain her disappearance from the public light.

I, too, was curious. There are many medical questions here, some of which we can answer and many of which we cannot. But there is also a bigger question surrounding why we even want to know what kind of cancer Catherine has or how she’s being treated, especially when that lunge for information conflicts with a parent’s desire for privacy and space to tell her children on her own timetable. What is the nature of this very human desire to know these details? And is there a way to turn this instinct for intrigue into something useful?

Catherine is young — 42 years old, the same age as me — and the fact that she has cancer of any kind is terrifying, whatever that cancer might be. Maybe that is one reason I found myself wanting to learn more, even if the medical questions can’t be answered right now. In the hospital, when I care for someone around my age who has been diagnosed with something catastrophic, I often dig into the chart to understand how the story began. Maybe there is a part of me that believes that by knowing these details, I can reassure myself that my patient and I are not so similar after all, that I am not vulnerable. We find ourselves drawn to the realities that we fear.

What we do know is that the Princess of Wales is not alone: Rates of cancer diagnoses in those under 50 are increasing . She is receiving what she referred to as “preventative” chemotherapy, generally termed adjuvant chemotherapy — which means chemo to treat the microscopic metastases that might be present after a curative surgery and to prevent the cancer from recurring .

It is hard enough for patients to share this type of information with anyone outside of friends and family. I don’t think a public figure like Catherine has any duty to share her health status on a world stage, much less owes us any greater degree of specificity or precision in her language. This is her diagnosis. She can frame it however she sees fit.

Maybe there isn’t a responsibility here but instead an opportunity. By making their diagnoses public, celebrities have the ability to destigmatize disease, to raise funds and to make terrifying realities less frightening for the rest of us. I never met my grandmother because she died of breast cancer long before I was born, after a struggle with the disease that was characterized by secrecy and shame. She did not even tell her children until she was close to death. I have to wonder what, if anything, would have been different had she been diagnosed just a few years later, after Betty Ford, the wife of President Gerald Ford, made her breast cancer diagnosis public .

A few years ago, I cared for a patient who had breast cancer and had not told her adolescent sons of her diagnosis, even as she lost her hair and went into the hospital for surgery. She collapsed at a rehab hospital and was brought to our intensive care unit, where she would never wake up again. Her sons sat at her bedside and asked us what had happened. What was wrong with their mother? At first, her husband tried to uphold her wishes, to protect her sons from the knowledge. But it soon became clear that what started as an instinct to protect them was only doing harm.

We told the sons that she had cancer. They had known all along, of course. And now they had been deprived of the chance to tell her that they loved her and that she didn’t need to keep the truth from them. That they would be there with her.

It is not that a public figure announcing her cancer would have shifted my patient’s decision; her instinct toward secrecy was too entrenched. And of course, it is not the responsibility of Catherine or any other public figure to offer health information she is not ready to share, no matter how hungry an insatiable internet might be for information. Perhaps Catherine will tell us more and will become an advocate for cancer research, and maybe that will change minds and increase screening and decrease stigma. Or maybe she will not. Maybe she will try to keep this one thing private, in a life in which so few things are. That would be her right.

Daniela Lamas is a contributing Opinion writer and a pulmonary and critical-care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .


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    Parts of an essay. An impactful, well-structured essay comes down to three important parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion. 1. The introduction sets the stage for your essay and is typically a paragraph long. It should grab the reader's attention and give them a clear idea of what your essay will be about.

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    8 Types of Essays. To decide which essay style best suits your needs as a writer, check out the list below: 1. Expository essay: An expository essay, also known as a definition essay, is the most basic type of essay. Expository essays aim only to explain an idea or define a concept, without making an argument.

  5. Essay Structure ~ Format, Layout & Outline With Examples

    Essay structure in a nutshell. An essay structure is the organized way in which the writer's ideas are presented in writing, ensuring that the reader can follow and understand the main points easily. Think of it like a skeleton that holds and shapes the content of the essay. The parts every essay includes are the introduction, body, and conclusion.

  6. Essay Structure

    Essay Structure. Although essays have different topics and purposes, they all share a similar structure. When we refer to essay structure, we mean the way the essay looks on the page and the specific paragraphs used to create that look. If you look at an essay, you will see that it is made up of several paragraphs.

  7. Essay Structure: Writing Tips, Templates With Examples

    Basic Essay Structure: Main Parts of an Essay Basic structure of an essay comprises three parts: Introduction ; Body ; Conclusion; The introduction sets the stage by providing an opening statement, background information, and a thesis statement, which serves as the central argument or key point.

  8. Essay Writing

    Essay Writing. This resource begins with a general description of essay writing and moves to a discussion of common essay genres students may encounter across the curriculum. The four genres of essays (description, narration, exposition, and argumentation) are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes.

  9. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  10. What Is an Essay Structure? (With 4 Types and Tips)

    4 types of essay structures. Depending on the topic and purpose of your essay, there are several essay structures you can use to present your ideas to your readers, including the following four structures: 1. Compare and contrast structures. For an essay that has two or more primary subjects, consider using the compare and contrast structure.

  11. What is an Essay? Definition, Types and Writing Tips by HandMadeWriting

    The essay is a written piece that is designed to present an idea, propose an argument, express the emotion or initiate debate. It is a tool that is used to present writer's ideas in a non-fictional way. Multiple applications of this type of writing go way beyond, providing political manifestos and art criticism as well as personal ...

  12. A Complete Essay Guide: Types, Parts, Structures

    An essay is mainly composed of three parts, regardless of the type. These parts of an essay paper are the: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Each of these serves a different role in creating a coherent piece. Introduction. The introduction is the first part of your essay. It covers the purpose of your article and includes the thesis statement ...

  13. What Is an Essay? Different Types of Essays with Examples

    Expository Essay. An expository essay is used as a way to look into a problem and therefore compare it and explore it. For the expository essay there is a little bit of storytelling involved but this type of essay goes beyond that. The main idea is that it should explain an idea giving information and explanation.

  14. 8 Types of Essays

    An essay is a highly versatile, non-fictional piece of writing aimed at persuading, informing, or entertaining the reader. It can serve multiple functions, such as taking a stance on topics, disproving widely believed myths, and sharing interesting anecdotes. There are various styles and types of essay writing that can be used to serve specific functions.

  15. Types Of Essays: A Comprehensive Guide To Writing Different Essay Types

    An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that involves breaking down a complex topic or idea into smaller parts to examine it thoroughly. The purpose of this essay is to provide a detailed analysis of a particular subject and to present an argument based on the evidence gathered during the research.

  16. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Examples of essay outlines. Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay. Argumentative essay outline. This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet's impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

  17. 15 Types of Essays (and What You Need To Know About Them)

    Though you're likely not to encounter every single type of essay that exists, sometimes it's necessary to know about them. Learn about 15 different types here. Dictionary ... 5 Main Parts of an Essay: An Easy Guide to a Solid Structure; Background Information Examples for Essays and Papers;

  18. What Is an Essay? Structure, Parts, and Types

    This article covers essay writing basics, including the different essay types (argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive), and their components (introduction, body, and conclusion).

  19. Baltimore Bridge Collapse Creates Upheaval at Largest U.S. Port for Car

    By Peter Eavis and Jenny Gross. March 26, 2024. The Baltimore bridge disaster on Tuesday upended operations at one of the nation's busiest ports, with disruptions likely to be felt for weeks by ...

  20. April 8 Solar Eclipse: Path, Maps and More

    March 25, 2024. On April 8, the moon will slip between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow across a swath of North America: a total solar eclipse. By cosmic coincidence, the moon and the sun ...

  21. Opinion

    Here are some tips. And here's our email: [email protected]. Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, X and Threads. A version of this article ...