How to Compose Essay Paragraphs: Professional Structuring Guidelines

Building a perfect essay is a skill that will take you very far in a number of subjects throughout your academic career. Some people say that writing a great essay is much like building a home. Though this may seem cliché, it’s not too far from the truth. All great essays require a strong base or foundation to support all of the elements (or levels) that are built on top. Here are some professional structuring guidelines for composing great essay paragraphs:


Your introduction paragraph should have at least these three elements: an opening hook sentence, a brief summary of what your paper will be about, and a thesis statement. Your thesis should be your main argument and should let your reader know exactly what position you are taking on the given topic. Before your thesis you want to provide a couple of sentence explain the conceptual or thematic relevance of your paper. Your first sentence should compel your reader to want to read the rest of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

The best practice is to start with a topic sentence that states what exactly you will be talking about in the paragraph. If you are writing a longer paper you might follow your topic sentence with more detail if you need to provide background info. Immediately after these statements introduce your supporting evidence, as well as how your evidence works to prove your main argument. Repeat this as needed, since you may have more than one piece of evidence to support the single topic. Follow these steps exactly for however many body paragraphs your paper requires.


Your concluding paragraph should be similar to your introduction in that it briefly restates what your paper is about. Don’t just repeat the sentences, but rewrite them using different words while expressing the same meaning. Summarize and synthesize your evidence and topic sentences, letting your reader know how you have succeeded in proving your point. Your last statement should be compelling and leave your reader with a lasting impression. This can be achieved by either presenting a question your reader needs to think about or a call to action asking your reader to do something after reading.

Revise and Edit

The last phase of structuring great paragraphs is revising and editing for errors. Read each paragraph over a few times and look for ways to rewrite each for effectiveness. It’s usually a good idea to set your paper aside for 15-30 minutes before doing this because it improves your chances of catching small errors.

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