Essay Structure

An academic essay’s main purpose is to persuade readers of the validity of an idea. Unlike articles or blogs, essays have to provide adequate reasoning and argumentation to reach safe conclusions based on trustworthy evidence. Any kind of written work published might have an argumentation. The differentiating factor between any article and an academic paper is that the latter has strong foundations on scientific evidence or experience. Consequently, an essay has to answer a specific question that can be countered by others based on scientific evidence. That is because through this process the scientific community can reach the “scientific truth” and contribute to a strong foundation for the further development of a scientific discipline.

Argumentation withholds a central role in academic writing and the purpose of this article is to present some ways that the structure of a paper’s argumentation can be organized more efficiently and render the main idea not only trustworthy and valid but also clear and understandable. The structure of an essay should be depicted on a plan that should be settled before the initial start of writing. Elements that are to be organized are:

 

Analysis of the question and terms that will support answering that question.

 
  • Predict possible outcomes and determine a specific point of view (Important on social and political sciences like security management).
 
  • Create a baseline for your potential research literature and take notes on the important aspects of others authors’ argumentation. Find out and any contradicting arguments to form easily the essay’s niche. 
  • Choose the theories that the research will develop on. This will set the base on which the essay’s argumentation will evolve on.
 
  • When the initial plan is settled keep in mind that an essay has to be developed formed around 5 pillars or main chapters. Keeping a simple structure is useful when an essay deals with complex ideas.

 

Keeping the above in mind this article proposes a simple structure consisting of 5 chapters that can be further enriched with more subchapters.

  1. Introduction 

At that stage, the main aim is to get the reader to know what the research topic is about. First, clarify the research area, then move on to presenting the importance of that research/essay, and close with the potential outcomes and research questions. 

  1. Theory – What other authors have said so far? 

Being well prepared and having a clear understanding of what has already been said from others will establish a strong foundation for the development of the essay. It has to be clear through the theories used what is the scientific compass that the essay will follow.

  1. How the theory applies to the focal points for the specific essay?

After completing the theoretical part this has to be moved and related to the specific case the essay is dealing with. For example, the relevance of the theory is pointed out and how do these theories give stable answers to the focal point of the essay.

4. Argumentation

It is time now to develop your argument. Restate some of the previously mentioned theories and empirical results as supporting your arguments. The arguments have to be clear and not contradicting. If some results or theories are contradicting they should be clarified and justified to ease the conclusion to something clear and stable for the main argument.

5. Conclusions and Further Research

Before concluding it is helpful to provide a summary to the reader. What has been discussed so far? And what are the main findings of the research? Then move on to the conclusions that are based on facts and your point of view. Closing, keep in mind that no research area has any limit on its pursuit for the “truth”. So it will be an added value suggesting in the very end where further research should focus on.

For more guidelines check here. 

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