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University of Newcastle Library guides

How to write an essay: Essay structure

The basics on how to write an academic essay for university

Essay structure

Writing an Introduction

  • Section One is a neutral sentence that will engage the reader’s interest in your essay.
  • Section Two Picks up the topic you are writing about by identifying the issues that you are going to explore.
  • Section Three is an indication of how the question will be answered. Give a brief outline of how you will deal with each issue, and in which order.


Writing a Body Paragraph

  • The topic sentence introduces the topic of your paragraph.
  • The sentences that follow the topic sentence will develop the central idea of your topic.
  • The concluding sentence is the last sentence of your paragraph and restates the idea expressed in the topic sentence.


Writing a Conclusion

  • Re-read your introduction – this information will need to be restated in your conclusion emphasising what you have proven and how you have proven it.
  • Begin by summarising your main arguments e.g. ‘This essay has considered…..’
  • State your general conclusions, explaining why these are important.
  • The final sentences should draw on the evidence you have presented in the body of the essay to re-state your conclusion in an interesting way (use a transitional word to get you started e.g. Overall, Therefore)

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