The Structure of an essay: The Definitive Tutorial

In literature, order and structure are everything, because depending on how you organize the presentation of ideas in an essay, you can interest a specific audience that understands what you want to convey.

In order to understand how the different essays are structured, I will present a detailed study below.

What is the Structure of an essay?

We understand by essay the set of orthographic, grammatical and syntactic structures placed in the same space to transmit a message.

Therefore, an essay must have a logical meaning, so that the message reaches its different recipients correctly.

The structure of an essay would be the organization (both internal and external, we will see later) of all the elements that make up a writing.

Structural organization of an essay

First, an essay is composed of a set of fundamental parts that provide a logical order, in terms of the development of ideas that you intend to pose.

1.- Title of the essay

Its function is to state the main topic that you will address in the essay, being also the first delimitation of the exposed content.

As a secondary function, the title seeks to capture the attention of as many readers as possible, with the intention that the information does not stop being exploited.

2.- Introduction to the essay

This is the first real contact you will have with your readers, where you will make a brief explanation of the topic that you will address later, as well as other aspects that you should know to get more information.

It is also essential for the introduction that you explain the reasons that led to the writing of the essay, as well as the importance of this information and its quality for the reader.

There are longer introductions than others, depending on the difficulty of the topic to be addressed. However, the limits can be between 1 paragraph up to 10 pages.

3.- Development of the essay

It is the content of the essay itself, most of the information you will present will be presented here from the constant evolution of the subject.

Normally you start with an initial idea, the most general of the subject, to go deeper into the more specific aspects and diversify into secondary ideas with which you have an intimate relationship.

Its length depends on how specific or general you want your essay to be, as well as how much information you want to provide to your readers. In these cases there is no maximum page limit, but it must be more than 5 paragraphs.

4.- Conclusion of the essay

It is not a matter of simply closing the issue lightly (being the main error of inexperienced authors), but of making a brief synthesis that recapitulates all of the above in order to close the idea through a conclusion.

In addition, it is the opportunity in which you can manifest a personal position, which argues your vision regarding the subject of the essay.

The conclusion that you give to the subject depends to a great extent on the audience’s pleasure with your essay, so you should make sure that you write it in the best possible way!

Its length is usually measured in comparison with the number of paragraphs or pages that the introduction has taken, the conclusion being slightly shorter than the previous one.

Elements that make up an essay

an essay is written from grammatical symbols and structures, from the smallest to the widest, which allow to express an idea with a satisfactory degree of coherence.

Starting from this brief concept, we can classify the different elements of an essay in the following way:


They are the minimum unit used to express an idea, which when joined with others form sentences.

Articles and adverbs, in spite of being shorter, only give a sense in the connection of one word with another, without faithfully expressing a specific idea.


It is the smallest grouping of words that seek to express an idea in a more detailed way.

They have mainly 3 characteristics that define them as statements:

They express a short idea but in a complete sense.

The intonation used is independent of the meaning sought to be expressed in the essay.

They have a well-defined ending.

In the same way, statements can be classified according to their function and the way in which they express an idea. These might be:

Declarative or Declarative: They seek to express an objective fact.

Exclamatives: Transmit an idea more related to emotions or feelings.

Interrogatives: They serve to issue a question or a question that makes the audience reflect.

Imperatives or Exhortations: They are used to express to their readers a request, mandate or advice.

Desideratives: They indirectly express an intention or a desire towards their readers.


They are the formal units of greater grammatical expression in the essays, since they can group sets of sentences that express a different variety of ideas.

In general, a paragraph must be made up of between 6 and 12 lines, and it is separated from one another through a separate point at the end, together with its respective blank space of separation.

As I mentioned earlier, the paragraphs are composed of a number of sentences, which can be classified as follows:

Main Sentence: Open the idea that will be developed in the paragraph, being the most important.

Secondary Sentences: They modify and direct the sense that the paragraph takes, depending on what you seek to express.

In the same way as the statements, not all paragraphs express the same intonation or idea. These have different types that are classified as follows:

Narrative Paragraph: It seeks to explain a set of ideas in a chronological way, which relates the events in a logical and understandable order.

Descriptive Paragraph: Aims to state the main characteristics of a specific object, person or event.

Paragraph Argumentativo: Expresses a group of ideas that seek to convince their audience about the point of view issued by the author in these cases.

Exposition Paragraph: It is used to provide detailed information about a specific topic, taking advantage of objective data.