Basic structure of an essay

It has to do with everything that covers the information organization within the writing. It is classified into two categories, which depend on the way in which the essay is structured. These can be:

Structure in external plane

It deals with the order of ideas that are developed throughout the essay, composed of the different paragraphs and chapters that encompass each of these.

The external structure of an essay is closely related to the type of writing you wish to write. There are notable differences in the development of ideas in narrative essays, compared to scientific essays, for example.

Structure in internal plane

It focuses more on the way in which the content will be presented to the audience, than in the order that the ideas take within that presentation.

In this sense, the internal structure is more like the traditional way in which essays are organized.

Under this scheme, the information is presented as follows:

  • Statement of the Problem or Main Issue
  • Body of the essay (where most of the theme would be developed)
  • Closure of content (under a kind of conclusion of ideas)
  • Characteristics of an essay

In general, the main characteristics of an essay depend on its type and the function it fulfills for its recipients.

Therefore, it is difficult to list a broad list of characteristics that cover all essays without exception.

Despite this problem, I can mention at least the 3 fundamental characteristics that must be fulfilled so that we can talk about a quality essay.

1.- It must have coherence

Every essay, regardless of its classification, should revolve around a main theme, from which a series of secondary ideas can be drawn.

2.- It has to have cohesion

This means that each idea, however different it may appear compared to others, must always be associated in some way with the main theme.

This is where the connectors become more relevant, because otherwise an essay can give the impression that it exposes a set of ideas without any relation.

3.- It has to be suitable for your audience

an essay will never be written in too obvious or too complex a language, as long as it adapts to the understanding of the recipients to whom it is addressed.

Therefore, a language full of technicalities and elaborated concepts is adapted to scientific or specialized essays, while a colloquial language can be quietly used within informative or advertising essays.

Provided these characteristics are met, the external structure of the essay can be properly organized.

What is meant by the superstructure of an essay?

When a person refers to the superstructure that has a particular essay, it actually talks about a meta-classification of the structure in the external plane that organizes the totality of the exposed content.

They include the language in which the content is expressed, the abstract manifestation of the author’s schemes and the use of graphic codes that are not necessarily linguistic.

In addition, they seek to distribute essay information from a specific hierarchy of the group of ideas to be presented.

In turn, the superstructures are classified according to their different types:

Global Superstructures: They are the main ones within the essays, since they cover the general organization of the content.

Canonical superstructures: They directly classify the order of ideas, and can vary according to different types of essays.

Semantic Superstructures: They refer to the codes used throughout the essay, which give rhythm and meaning to the correct reading of the essay.

Graphic Superstructures: They are responsible for organizing typography, the orientation of the content within the sheet and the amount of content per page.

Remember that every essay has an organizational superstructure, from which other types of more specific organizations are derived.