Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Essay Structure: Essay Structure

Essay Structure

What is Essay Structure?

Essay structure means that there is a format or template for types of writing. It is a way of outlining what you will say in your assessment that keeps your writing on track and helps you organise your thoughts. It can otherwise be known as an Essay Plan.

Writing an essay plan is very useful as a lot of the hard work when it comes to assessment writing is nutting out what to say. Once you have a plan for each paragraph the actual writing can seem a lot less daunting. 

Most essays include some form of introduction, body and conclusion.

INTRODUCTION Outline what you intend to say, your main argument or what your topic is about. This should include a comprehensive, brief overview of the whole essay. 

BODY Here is where you will include the main bulk of your writings. Your arguments, critiques, analysis or reflections. 

CONCLUSION In the conclusion you will sum up what you have said in your assessment. You shouldn't introduce any new ideas or topics in your conclusion as it acts as a place where you can wrap up your argument by reiterating your points. 

Essays and assessments will have varying and more elaborate versions of the above depending on the type of writing you have been asked to do.

Below are some examples of types of essays you might be asked to write. Always check with your lecturer on the layout that they would like to see.

Argumentative Essay



Critical Reflection Essay 

Writing the Essay

Now that you have your essay plan it is important to pay attention to your writing skills. There are often a few mistakes students make when it comes to writing that you need to be aware of. 


Beware of how you paraphrase. Paraphrasing is where you change the structure and words of somebody else's work but maintain the original 'meaning'. 

Do not just replace the words in the sentence by using synonyms and using the same structure. This is a common mistake and often these synonyms don't accurately fit the context of the piece of writing. 

Do not start your essay by rewriting the question in the first paragraph. 

Example Essay Question:

Some people think that the government wastes money on the arts, others think it is an investment in education. What is your opinion?

Example Essay Introduction:

Some people think that the government wastes money on the arts, I don't think it is. 

Good Essay Introduction:

The arts are an integral part of Australia's education, although some argue that the government's investment is a waste of money...