How to Structure an Essay Outline: Pointers for Students

As part of writing the best essay, students ought to master writing the best essay outline structure that will help them throughout the writing process. Sometimes, the teachers might want to review your essay outline structure before they can allow you to continue with the writing process. However, even if they don’t require one, it is always a good move to prepare one for yourself to ease the essay writing process and to make sure you present an essay with all the required details in place.

What is structure in an essay

The essay structure is simply a presentation of ideas in a professional way in the different sections of an essay. When writing an essay, there must be a topic a writer must conduct in-depth research. For a particular topic, the writer must include the following to make a basic structure of an essay:

  • A captivating introduction
  • Well-described body paragraphs explaining different points related to the topic
  • A captivating conclusion to sum up all the context discussed in the essay

Essay structure types

While the general structure of an essay may take the same route of introduction, main body, and conclusion, there are some different variations based on the subject interests and requirements. However, the common structures of essays include the following:

The five-paragraph essay

This is a common structure applied to many essays. It simply involves an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, hence the name five-paragraph essay. 

Comparing and contrasting

While this essay structure may take the same approach as the five-paragraph essay, there will be more paragraphs that help break down the different aspects being compared and contrasted.

The structure of a good essay helps the writer expand the arguments in a given context, which helps the reader understand the flow of the essay with ease. Therefore, as a writer, always present your paragraphs, outlining the purposes of each paragraph by including a topic sentence.

How to structure an essay

The following tactics will help you create a compelling essay outline structure for each section of the essay.

  1. The introduction

Based on your topic or subject matter, your essay begins right from the introduction. Here, you simply describe to the reader your topic and its relevance. You can use catchy phrases to captivate the reader’s attention.

Next, you need to introduce your thesis statement, which is the central focus whole paper.

  1. Body paragraphs

After you’ve introduced your topic, you need to present solid points backed up with strong evidence from your research.

Therefore, in the body of the essay, present the ideas in paragraphs, with each paragraph representing a single point backed up with research evidence. All the ideas you share here should align with the thesis statement.

  1. Conclusion

To give your essay outline a good and complete structure, make sure you include a summary of all the details discussed in the paper in a summary form.

When conclusion, avoid including new ideas or points. Focus only on summing up the points shared in the body paragraphs while relating everything to the thesis statement.

Structure in writing an essay: pro tips to use

The following tips will help you structure your essay in a simplified and easy manner.

  1. Do a quick research on the topic

Before you start anything to do with your essay, you need to, first of all, understand the topic well. If possible, do an analysis of the basic keywords, then form a personal opinion on the topic once you have a better understanding of the whole concept.

  1. Know the essay’s objective

After understanding the topic and having a personal opinion, highlight the objectives or goals of the topic. You can choose a question or a thesis statement that will guide you in formulating the goals of the paper.

  1. Write the key research points

Now, simply highlight some of the points you intend to discuss in the paper. Be sure to brainstorm different ideas to get as many concepts as possible so that you can filter the crucial ones later.

  1. Organize the points

Here, you simply choose the relevant key points and write them in a clear outline structure of how you will present them in your paper.

  1. Revise

Finally, go through the outline, adding points you might have forgotten and removing irrelevant details as you polish up your final outline.


The structure of writing an essay is a fundamental requirement for any academic essay. Try applying the approaches above during your essay writing process for that perfect paper.

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