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How do I structure my Essay?

Depending on the amount of material you have collected and the detail in your plan, you may find structuring your essay tricky or simple.

Sometimes the question itself provides the clue. For instance, if you are writing an essay which involves comparing two artists, designers, periods or styles, you may choose to discuss one first and then the other. Conversely, you may select particular features which are common to each and structure your essay around a thematic discussion of these.

Look for connections or progression between the main points you have identified.

Most essays, even those without an explicit question, involve taking a position on the topic and developing a logical argument. Think about how the information in each paragraph builds your argument towards the conclusion. If you focus on convincing your reader of your view, you will find that each paragraph builds upon the one before and leads smoothly to the one that follows.

As always, particular attention should be paid to your introduction, conclusion and the transition between paragraphs. Sylvan Barnet's book A Short Guide to Writing About Art opens in a new window has some excellent information on writing unified and coherent paragraphs. If you have difficulty in this area, it is well worth checking it out in your campus library. Don't forget you can speak to your tutor or seek help at your campus Learning Support Centre.

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