The following maps a commonly used structure for many academic essays. Use this outline to guide you as you compose your own argument, research or even descriptive essay.
Introduction: Opening Sentence (Start your paper with a general statement about your topic that catches the reader’s attention, a relevant quotation, question, anecdote, fascinating fact, definition, analogy, the position opposing one you will take, or a dilemma that needs a solution), Context (Provide the information the reader will need to understand the topic), Thesis Statement (State your arguable position on the topic that you will support with evidence in your body paragraphs).
Body Paragraphs: Topic Sentence (Provide the main idea of the paragraph), Supporting Evidence (Include specific textual evidence: cited quotes, paraphrases or summary; or evidence that supports your thesis from other sources: anecdotes, first-person interviews or your own experience), Analysis (Explain to the reader the significance of the evidence you have provided. Think about why you chose to include it. How does the piece of evidence support your thesis?), Transition (Connect each paragraph with a sentence or two that demonstrates how each idea leads into the next, and how they work together to support your position).
Conclusion: Provide the reader an overview of the main ideas you discussed, but also be sure to highlight the progression of your thought process, offer solutions, next steps or present new questions that your paper generated. Don’t only restate your thesis but show the significance of your synthesis of the information.Structure of a General Expository Essay