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Lesson 1: Essay Structure


  1. To define what essay is all about
  2. To give the different essay writing stages
  3. To list down the different types of essay

Quick Navigation through the Lesson 1:

Lesson Proper

Essay is defined as a short piece of composition written from a writer’s point of view that is most commonly linked to an article or a short story. It is derived from the French word essayer meaning “to try” and was first characterized as an attempt to point out something through writing. Aldous Huxley, one of the leading essayists of the century, described an essay as a literary device that is used for saying almost everything about anything.

Huxley further explained the three worlds in which an essay lives namely personal, objective and abstract-universal. Personal field sets an effort to write based on the author’s experience and accounts. Objective essay put the definition on one subject other than the author’s self but give essays that are in the themes of science and politics. Hiding what the content of the essay is all about highly illustrates the abstract-universal to which most essayists attain to master.

Writing an essay is widely used academically as a class assignment, a written exam or a requirement for college application. The main purpose of writing an essay is to give a discourse to a given subject.

A set of guidelines should be followed in order to write a good essay recommended for the requirements of the curriculum that will help ensure the coherency and consistency of the manuscript. Depending on the type of the essay one is required to write about, one should maintain a good sentence constructing, correct tense of the verb and accurate use of grammar and punctuations on every page.

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A good essay should provide the following:

  • An introduction that sets the mood or the aura of the essay and provide the main points of the paper;
  • A body of the essay that delivers all the supporting details of the essay and bind the series of information clearly; and
  • A conclusion that summarizes the essay’s main point and the consequences or the impact of the essay to the current situation.


Essay writing is the most common coursework that professors in the academy will require to submit. It can be short or long depending on the topic you are writing about. Short essays are most commonly introduced with 300-500 words that should be composed of three paragraphs; one for introduction, the second paragraph is for the middle part and the third paragraph for the concluding section of the paper. Longer essays are written for technical subjects such as history, science and other educational fields. A word count of 1000 words and above are the minimum requirement for long essays.

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STAGE 1. Prewriting

  • Choose the topic of the essay to be written.
  • Gather enough facts and sources of information for the content of the essay.
  • Create an essay outline.
  • Read related resources such as other essays and short stories that help unify the given task.

STAGE 2. Writing

  • Follow the essay outline and improve through sentence construction.
  • Write the thesis statement on the introduction and set the mood of the readers.
  • Write clear, direct and simple sentences and glue together to form a strong supporting paragraph.
  • Focus on the essay’s main idea.

STAGE 3. Editing

  • Recheck if the essay has an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
  • Check the grammar, punctuations, format and over-all sentence construction.
  • Check the verb tenses and make sure the all subjects and verbs agree with each other.
  • Ensure that each sentence of the essay makes sense.

STAGE 4. Publishing

  • Ask about general formats on the proper indention, paragraph lay-out and over-all presentation of the paper.
  • Seek for someone to comment on the essay to help on improving the work.

Effective essay writing must be maintained with practice. Write more and one will see that it will be an easier and easier task to do. Writing an essay about a movie, a book or an advertisement will help in improving an essay writer’s skills.

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Generally there are four major types of essays that depend on the writer’s purpose of writing. The four major types include a narrative essay, a descriptive essay, an expository essay and an argumentative essay.

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All narrative essays follow the author’s main purpose of telling a personal experience or anecdote that constitutes the topic of the essay. Narrative essay, though written in the author’s point of view, should be engaging to the readers. It should have a clear and focused intent that is written in the essay’s introduction. There should be proofs and evidences that support the main topic of the essay are based on real-life. Narrative essays deal with personal approach and contain a lot of “I” thus making the author-reader engagement better.

Examples of Narrative Essays

  • An anecdote essay


Descriptive essays’ purpose is to show through words and sentence construction the deeper meaning of an essay topic. Significant place, person or idea should be described throughout the content of the essay and should be contribute to the meaning behind the choice of subject. Colorful words and vivid descriptions are present in descriptive essays and make it as the easiest type of essay among the four.

Examples of Descriptive Essays

  • A travel essay
  • A personality essay


Facts is what best describes expository essays. It is informative and is keen to details that show explanations about the chosen essay topic. The writer should give figures and statistics as well as examples to give a strong expository essay. Writer’s feelings and emotions should not be revealed on the entity of the paper. The use of first person’s point of view should also be avoided.

Examples of Descriptive Essays

  • A cause and effect essay
  • A comparison essay
  • A process or how to essay


Argumentative essay’s purpose is to convince the readers to believe in what the author’s believes with. Facts and logics should be given and should form the entire side of the argument but the main voice should have a certain position. Expert opinion and great reasoning are two of the skills that this type of essay will show.

Examples of Argumentative Essays

  • A review on a policy, an order or a law
  • A call to action about a certain scenario that occurred

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• Essay is a short piece of composition written in a writer’s point of view.

• Essay is derived from the French word essayer meaning “to try”.

• Aldous Huxley, a lead essayist define essay as a literary device that is used to say almost everything about anything.


  • Personal- based on the essayist’s own experience.
  • Objective- based on the essayist’s definition on a subject.
  • Abstract-universal- neither personal nor objective. Hiding what the essay is about.

• A good essay should provide an introduction, a body of the essay and a conclusion.


  • Prewriting
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing


  • Narrative essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Expository essay
  • Argumentative essay




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