Accessible version | Skip to content | Change your text size

Table of contents

Previous pageNext page

Structuring an argument

In your essays, two important concerns for lecturers are:

  • whether or not your essay actually answers the specific question that has been set
  • whether or not the essay has a clear line of argument

This means you need to analyse the topic carefully and structure your essay to orient the reader back to the topic.

Essays can be sequenced in a number of ways, e.g. they may move from the general to the particular, rounding off to draw the discussion together in the latter part. They can also move from the past to the present, or from one area of research to the next, and then moving to comparisons of the two, etc.

While you may know very well that you should have an argument, when you are dealing with complex themes in an academic essay, it is often difficult to make that argument stand out clearly, or sometimes, to even know what your argument is!

The following tasks are designed to help you develop further your ability to structure arguments. They cover three main aspects of writing a clear argument.

word outputDownload a printable version of this page (.doc)
Problems? Questions? Comments? Please provide us feedback.