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Assessment types

essay structure (based on 1000 word essay)


Adapted from The Little Blue Writing Book: Essays, by J. Dawson. 2007, Curtin University of Technology: The Learning Centre. Copyright 2007 by Curtin University of Technology.

essay parts

  • Introduce the topic and provide some context and brief background information
  • Optionally, introduce key terms and definitions
  • State key areas / main points to be addressed in order
  • Introduce the main idea / purpose / argument in the last sentence of the introduction. This is your thesis statement

A thesis statement

  • Is a sentence that states the position of the essay, usually the last sentence at the end of the introduction
  • States an assertion. If required, as in a persuasive or argumentative essay, the thesis states a position
  • Sets limits on the topics; clearly introduces the single, main argument of the paper, and may include all of the major supporting points 


Source: Hall, B. (2017). The night before essay planner. (3rd ed). Xoum Publishing.

Body paragraphs should:

  • each have one clear main idea or topic
  • have a topic sentence that introduces the information that will follow in the supporting sentences of the paragraph
  • build a convincing case for the thesis 
  • use evidence and/or examples from credible referenced sources to support the discussion
  • end with a linking sentence to the next paragraph’s topic sentence

Click here to see the Quantity Guide for essays, an approximate guide to work out how many paragraphs are needed in an essay.

  • Restate the main position (the thesis statement)
  • Summarise and draw together the key points
  • End with a general statement that provides the reader with a sense of completion to the argument. For example, you may:
    • comment on the broader significance of the topic
    • make a prediction, a recommendation or a caution about the issue
  • Do not introduce new material