Formatting Essays

Basic Structure of Formatting Essays

When you think of essays many think of this tasty little heart-stopper.
But the bits and pieces that make up this beef patty and cheese is something many of us aren’t sure about.
Just like essays.

What goes into an Essay?

Having an introduction, body and conclusion is not enough.
The purpose of an essay is for you to construct a reasoned argument.
Your format works toward building that argument (to answer the question)
Meanwhile, you remove ‘fat’ which does not add depth to your argument.

Introduction of Formatting Essays

An introduction should be short, not long.
A good guide is roughly four or five sentences.
It should start by simply answering the question (rephrasing it) and giving a definition.
You don’t get prizes for cleverness. You’re writing an essay, not a sales pitch.

Body: The Argument

body the argument
It should be formatted in a way where each argument leads into the next.
It should start with your most dominant point. Don’t lead to a ‘surprise’ ending.
Having six or seven points to ‘fill up a word count’ is not advised.

Why only Three or Four Main Points?

Why only Three or Four Main Points
It is better to strengthen a main argument than to start a new, weak point.
The more you discuss for each point, the more valid it is.
By grouping ideas under a ‘main point’ you cover a much wider area than lots of little examples.

Example: Grouping Under a Main Point

Example: Grouping Under a Main Point
What are reasons for driver deaths?

  • Driving too fast
  • Street races
  • Pushing themselves
  • People in a rush

Could all be grouped under the main idea: SPEED.
It becomes much stronger, and avoids repeating details.


Your conclusion MUST NOT introduce any new ideas.
It is also best not to save ‘your best til last’, basically because that should come first.
It is a way you can reconnect each of your main points to the question.

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