THE STRUCTURE OF AN ACADEMIC ESSAY
Category : How to Write A Dissertation
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The Structure of an Academic Essay
Academic writing follows a set pattern. This paper briefly outlines the basic format that is
used. All papers should have a Title. A sample “Five Paragraph Essay” is shown below for
reference purposes, but your essays may have different levels of Subtopics. The Thesis Statement
is usually one sentence. It provides the purpose of the paper and the main supporting points that
will be made. Each supporting idea should be developed in a separate paragraph, unless ideas are
so common that they can be grouped. A paragraph should be more than one sentence. Not all
papers need a Table of Contents, but if the paper is more than eight pages, this is helpful for both
the writer and the reader. Papers need References for facts and ideas cited, including your
textbook! Be sure to use APA formats on headings, references, and citations. Check theAPA
Publication Manualfor details.
The first Introductory paragraph contains the thesis statement and introduces the main topic
of the essay and the supporting subtopics. The Body of the essay contains Supporting paragraphs
that develop each of the subtopics of the essay. The last Concluding paragraph restates the main
thesis and summarizes the supporting ideas that were developed. Often the first and last paragraphs
are rewritten at the end of the essay process, because they are similar in content.
Table of Contents: (optional) ________________
Introduction and Thesis Statement
A. First Supporting Idea
B. Second Supporting Idea
C. Third Supporting Idea
Closing statement and restate thesis
American Psychological Association (APA) (2001).Publication manual of the American
Psychological Association(5th ed.). Washington D.C.: Author.
Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) (2006). Writing a thesis statement. Retrieved from:
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