5. Structure : how the sections of an essay are organized and stitched together. College essays are frequently organized either by repetition (where each paragraph develops evidence of the same proposition: “X is clearly present”) or by chronology (where evidence appears in the essay in the same order that it appears in the text): both of these patterns are inadequate. Sections of a good argument proceed in a logical way, but also develop the implications of a thesis more deeply as the essay progresses. The reader should understand how each new section extends the argument that’s come before and prepares for the argument that’s still to come. Reflective sentences at moments of transition often guide this review/preview, and complex essays frequently include 1-2 sentences of this type in their introductions.
Links Use this Sample Basic Essay as a Model The essay below demonstrates the principles of writing a basic essay. The different parts of the essay have been labeled. The thesis statement is in bold, the topic sentences are in italics, and each main point is underlined. When you write your own essay, of course, you will not need to mark these parts of the essay unless your teacher has asked you to do so. They are marked here just so that you can more easily identify them.