Some assignments have a format that is standard such as lab reports or case studies, and these will normally be explained in your course materials. For any other assignments, you shall have to come up with your personal structure.
Your structure might be guided by:
- the assignment question. For example, it might list topics or use wording such as ‘compare and contrast’.
- the niche matter itself, that may suggest a structure based on chronology, process or location, for instance
- your interpretation of this subject material. For example, problem/solution, argument/counter-argument or sub-topics to be able worth focusing on
- the structure of other texts you’ve read in your discipline. Look at how the given info is organised and sequenced. Make certain you modify the structure to suit your purpose in order to prevent plagiarism.
Essays are a very common type of academic writing. All essays have the same basic three-part structure: introduction, main body and conclusion like most of the texts you write at university. However, the main body can be structured in several ways.
To write a good essay:
Reports generally have a similar structure that is basic essays, with an introduction, body and conclusion. However, the body that is main may differ widely, while the term ‘report’ is used for many kinds of texts and purposes in various disciplines.
Find out as much as possible in what variety of report is expected.
How to plan your structure
There are numerous techniques to show up with a structure for your work. It, try some of the strategies below if you’re not sure how to approach.
After and during reading your sources, make notes and begin thinking about techniques to structure the basic ideas and facts into groups. For instance:
- search for similarities, differences, patterns, themes or any other means of grouping and dividing the ideas under headings, such as for instance advantages, disadvantages, causes, effects, problems, solutions or forms of theory
- use coloured highlighters or symbols to tag themes or kinds of information in your readings or notes
- cut and paste notes in a document
- physically group your readings or notes into piles.
It’s a good idea to brainstorm a couple of other ways of structuring your assignment once you’ve a rough concept of the main issues. Do this in outline form before you begin writing – it’s much easier to re-structure a plan than a half-finished essay. For example:
- draw some tree diagrams, mind-maps or flowcharts showing which ideas, facts and references could be included under each heading
- discard ideas that don’t squeeze into your purpose that is overall facts or references that aren’t helpful for what you want to discuss
- if you have a lot of information, such as for example for a thesis or dissertation, create some tables to show how each theory or relates that are reading each heading (this is called a ‘synthesis grid’)
- plan the quantity of paragraphs you want, this issue at risk of each one, and dot points for every little bit of information and reference needed
- try a few different possible structures until you see the one that is best suited.
Eventually, you’ll have a strategy that is detailed enough so that you could start writing. You’ll know which ideas go into each section and, ideally, each paragraph. You’ll also know how to locate evidence for the people ideas in your notes therefore the sources of that evidence.
If you’re having difficulties with the entire process of planning the dwelling of one’s assignment, consider trying a different technique for grouping and organising your data.
Making the structure clear
Your writing may be clear and logical to learn if it is easy to understand the structure and just how it fits together. You can achieve this in a number of ways.
- Utilize the end regarding the introduction to show the reader what structure to expect.
- Use headings and sub-headings to clearly mark the sections (if these are acceptable for your discipline and assignment type).
- Use topic sentences at the start of each paragraph, to show your reader what the main idea is, also to link back into the introduction and/or headings and sub-headings.
- Show the connections between sentences. The start of each sentence should link back into the primary idea of the paragraph or a previous sentence.
- Use conjunctions and linking words to show the structure of relationships between ideas. Examples of conjunctions include: however, similarly, in contrast, because of this good reason, as a result and moreover.
Most of the forms of texts you write for university must have an introduction. Its purpose is always to tell the reader clearly the topic, purpose and structure associated with paper.
As a rough guide, an introduction could be between 10 and 20 percent associated with duration of the entire paper and has three main parts.
- It starts with the absolute most information that is general such as for example background and/or definitions.
- The center is the core of the introduction, where you show the overall topic, purpose, your point of view, hypotheses and/or research questions (according to what sort of paper it is).
- It ends with the most information that is specific describing the scope and structure of the paper.
In the event that main body of the paper follows a predictable template, including the method, results and discussion stages of a report when you look at the sciences, you generally don’t need certainly to include a guide to your structure in your introduction.
You need to write your introduction when you know both your overall point of view (if it is a persuasive paper) in addition to whole structure of one’s paper. Alternatively, you ought to revise the introduction when you yourself have completed the body that is main.
Most academic writing is structured into paragraphs. It really is useful to think about each paragraph as a mini essay with a structure that is three-part
- topic sentence (also called introductory sentence)
- body regarding the paragraph
- concluding sentence.
The topic sentence introduces a general summary of this issue additionally the reason for the paragraph. According to the amount of the paragraph, this might be one or more sentence. The topic sentence answers the question ‘What’s the paragraph about?’.
Your body associated with paragraph elaborates entirely on the subject sentence by giving definitions, classifications, explanations, contrasts, examples and evidence, for instance.
The last sentence in several, but not all, paragraphs is the concluding sentence. It will not present new information, but often either summarises or comments in the paragraph content. It may also provide a link, by showing how the paragraph links to your topic sentence of this next paragraph. The concluding sentence often answers the question ‘So what?’, by explaining how this paragraph relates back once again to the topic that is main.
You don’t have to write all your valuable paragraphs applying this structure. As an example, there are paragraphs with no topic sentence, or the topic is mentioned nearby the final end regarding the paragraph. However, this might be a definite and common structure that makes it easy for the reader to check out.
The final outcome is closely related to the introduction and it is often referred to as its ‘mirror image’. Which means in the event that introduction starts with general information and ends with specific information, the conclusion moves when you look at the opposite direction.
In conclusion usually:
- begins by briefly summarising the scope that is main structure regarding the paper
- confirms this issue which was given in the introduction. This might use the form of the aims associated with the paper, a thesis statement (point of view) or a research question/hypothesis and its answer/outcome.
- ends with a more statement that is general how this topic relates to its context. This could make the type of an assessment associated with the need for the subject, implications for future research or a recommendation about theory or practice.