Structure of an essay in English
How many words should be in an English essay?
Each exam has a set minimum and maximum amount of written work. Usually the assignment involves writing an essay that is between 180 and 320 words long. If you are planning to take an English language test, it is advisable to check the required length of the written work in advance and practise writing a text of the appropriate length.
The structure of the English essay is universal for all exams. The written work consists of the following parts:
- Title - the title of the essay, reflecting the theme of the narrative.
- Introduction - 2-4 short sentences revealing the topic of the essay.
- Main part - 2-3 paragraphs describing the essence of the essay. Each of the paragraphs in the main body of the essay begins with an introductory sentence (topic sentence). Subsequent sentences develop and confirm the thought expressed in the topic sentence.
- The conclusion is two to four sentences that summarize what you have written. In this part, you make a general conclusion about the topic of the essay.
Types of English essays and their features
The type of English essay you need to write depends on the topic you have been given. Virginia Evans - author of the book Successful Writing - distinguishes three types of essays.
1. for and against essays
The name speaks for itself: you give arguments for and against some phenomenon. In essays of this type, stick to the following plan:
Introduction. In it you bring the reader to the topic of discussion.
Main body. You give arguments for and against some action or phenomenon, without having to state your point of view.
Conclusion. Here you express your attitude to the topic and make a conclusion.
2. Opinion essays
In opinion essays, you should not just reflect your point of view, but also look at the proposed topic from different angles. Consider all aspects of the issue, write your opinion and be sure to back it up with arguments.
English opinion essay outline:
- Introduction. You specify the topic of the reasoning.
- Main part. You state your opinion and argue it. Here, it is desirable to consider and opinion opposite to yours, as well as explain why you do not share this point of view.
- Conclusion. You summarize by finally formulating your point of view on the proposed topic.
3. Suggesting solutions to problem essays
This is a type of writing in which you will be asked to consider a global problem. Your task is to suggest solutions.
The outline for this type of essay is as follows:
- Introduction. You will state the problem and its cause or effect.
- Main part. You suggest ways to solve the problem and possible consequences of such actions. Clearly argue why certain measures should be taken and what it will entail.
- Conclusion. Summarize your reasoning.
Rules for writing an excellent English essay
Before you write your English essay, check out some rules. These simple guidelines will help you succeed with your writing.
1. Prepare for any topics
An English essay shows not only your level of knowledge of the language, but also your erudition. So read texts on various topics before preparing for the exam. This will help you broaden your horizons and memorize new words and phrases that you can use in your written work on the exam.
2. Use the draft wisely.
Since time is short for writing essays in English, you need to use the draft judiciously. If you are short of time, it is advisable to use a short thesis statement as soon as you receive the assignment and get acquainted with the topic. This will allow you to write a clear essay on the clean sheet.
3.Determine an appropriate style
The style of writing an essay in English should be semiformal or formal. Do not use slang and abbreviations of words, for example, instead of can't write cannot, instead of wanna - want to, etc. To understand the differences between different styles of speech and how to use them, read the article "Formal and Informal English".
4. Stick to structure.
Once you have an assignment, determine the type of essay and the outline by which you will write it. Follow the points: title - introduction - several paragraphs of the main body - conclusion. Stick to this structure, otherwise your work will not be appreciated.
5. Justify your arguments.
Each thought should not sound hollow. Support it with arguments, a vivid example, or statistical data. Your writing should show the examiner that you know what you are writing about.
6. Be succinct.
An English essay is a short piece of writing. Some students write huge opuses, following the principle "the more the better". Alas, the examiners will not raise, but lower your grade for not keeping up with the required length.