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Basic essay writing hints: formats and structure


Essay writing with proper formatting and structure helps present ideas clearly and concisely. Depending on the type of essay the structure and format layout may vary, but there are a few basic elements to remember that can help during the writing process. One tool to consider includes an outline. This can help you break up your essay into smaller parts so you understand what it needs and where it should appear. The following points are hints to help you form a basic essay format and structure.

  • An essay is made of three parts with a basic five paragraph requirement or length. The three parts include the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion are each one paragraph and the body is made up of three.
  • An outline can help you see your essay in smaller parts. You can use an outline provided by your school or seek samples online to help you make your own. This will include your topic at the top of the page followed by your introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Your introduction may include a thesis statement which is the purpose of the essay. You can include background information to introduce the topic with relevant details. The body portion is made up off supporting arguments and sometimes subtopics. Each paragraph details one point or subtopic with specific points. The conclusion closes out the topic while providing something of significance for readers to think about.
  • Formatting your essay may vary but often includes having your name, course, instructor name, and date at the top. This may be flush to the right of the page. The title is centered and the font features a 12-pont size with Times Roman setting.
  • Spacing on the paper may include setting a one-inch margin. At the beginning of each paragraph you may be required to tab or set a margin. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence and ends with a transitional sentence for easy reading.

Additional Insight on Essay Structure


There are sample essays you can view structure and formatting examples for. An outline can help you decide what points to include in your paper and to sufficiently support them. There are tutorials on how to properly format an essay depending on the type of essay. It is important to pay attention to such details as they help you form the point of view you want your audience to have or gain from your content.


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