Structuring written work. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling

Structuring written work. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling

Some assignments have a standard format, such as for example 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 own structure.

Your structure might be guided by:

  • the assignment question. As an example, it may list topics or use wording such as ‘compare and contrast’.
  • the topic matter itself, which may suggest a structure centered on chronology, process or location, for example
  • your interpretation regarding the matter that is subject. For instance, problem/solution, argument/counter-argument or sub-topics to be able worth addressing
  • the structure of other texts you’ve read in your discipline. Glance at the way the information is organised and sequenced. Be sure you modify the structure to fit your purpose in order to avoid plagiarism.

Essays are a very common kind 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 body that is main be structured in many different ways.

To create a essay that is good

Reports generally have a similar basic structure as essays, with an introduction, body and conclusion. However, the main body structure can vary widely, due to the fact term ‘report’ can be used for most forms of texts and purposes in different disciplines.

Find out whenever possible by what variety of report is anticipated.

How exactly to plan your structure

There are numerous methods to come up with a structure for the work. If you’re not sure how to overcome it, try a few of the strategies below.

After and during reading your sources, take notes and begin thinking about how to structure the ideas and facts into groups. For example:

  • try to find similarities, differences, patterns, themes or any other ways of grouping and dividing the ideas under headings, such as for example advantages, disadvantages, causes, effects, problems, solutions or types of theory
  • use coloured highlighters or symbols to tag themes or categories of information in your readings or notes
  • Paste and cut notes in a document
  • physically group your readings or notes into piles.

It’s a good idea to brainstorm a few other ways of structuring your assignment after you have a rough concept of the key issues. Do this in outline form before you begin writing – it is 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 do not squeeze into your overall purpose, and facts or references that are not useful for what you want to talk about
  • for those who have lots of information, such as for a thesis or dissertation, create some tables to exhibit how each theory or relates that are reading each heading (this is often called a ‘synthesis grid’)
  • plan the number of paragraphs you need, this issue at risk of each one of these, and dot points for every piece of information and reference needed
  • try a few different possible structures until you see one that is best suited.

Eventually, you’ll have a plan that is detailed enough for you to start writing. You’ll know which ideas go into each section and, ideally, each paragraph. You’ll also know where to find evidence for those of you ideas in your notes and also the types of that evidence.

If you’re having problems with the process of planning the dwelling of the assignment, consider trying a strategy that is different grouping and organising your information.

Making the structure clear

Your writing should be clear and logical to learn it fits together if it’s easy to see the structure and how. You can easily accomplish that in many ways.

  • Use the end associated with introduction to show the reader what structure to expect.
  • Use headings and sub-headings to mark the sections clearly (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, and to link returning to the introduction and/or headings and sub-headings.
  • Show the connections between sentences. The beginning of each sentence should link back again to the main idea of the paragraph or a previous sentence.
  • Use conjunctions and linking words to show the structure of relationships between ideas. Samples of conjunctions include: however, similarly, in comparison, with this reason, because of this and moreover.


The majority of the forms of texts you write for university have to have an introduction. Its purpose is to clearly tell your reader the topic, purpose and structure of this paper.

As a rough guide, an introduction could be between 10 and 20 percent for the period of the complete paper and has three main parts.

  • It begins with the essential information that is general such as for example background and/or definitions.
  • The middle may be the core of the introduction, for which you show the topic that is overall purpose, your point of view, hypotheses and/or research questions (according to what kind of paper it is).
  • It ends with the most information that is specific describing the scope and structure of one’s paper.

In the event that main body of your paper follows a template that is predictable such as the method, results and discussion stages of a written report within the sciences, you generally don’t need to include helpful information into the structure in your introduction.

You really need to write your introduction if it is a persuasive paper) and the whole structure of your paper after you know both your overall point of view. Alternatively, you should revise the introduction if you have completed the main body.


Most academic writing is structured into paragraphs. It really is beneficial to think about each paragraph as a mini essay with a three-part structure:

  • topic sentence (also called introductory sentence)
  • body of this paragraph
  • concluding sentence.

The sentence that is topic a general overview of the subject while the function of the paragraph. According to the amount of the paragraph, this may be one or more sentence. The topic sentence answers the question ‘What’s the paragraph about?’.

The human body associated with paragraph elaborates right on this issue sentence by providing definitions, classifications, explanations, contrasts, examples and evidence, for instance.

The last sentence in many, yet not all, paragraphs is the concluding sentence. It will not present information that is new but often either summarises or comments from the paragraph content. It may provide a web link, by showing how the paragraph links into the topic sentence of this next paragraph. The concluding sentence often answers the question ‘So what?’, by explaining how this paragraph relates returning to the main topic.

You don’t have to write all of your paragraphs utilizing this structure. For example, you will find paragraphs with no topic sentence, or the topic is mentioned nearby the final end regarding the paragraph. However, this can be an obvious and common structure that allows you for your reader to check out.


The final outcome is closely associated with the introduction and it is often referred to as its ‘mirror image’. This means that if the introduction begins with general information and ends with specific information, the conclusion moves when you look at the direction that is opposite.

The final outcome usually:

  • begins by briefly summarising the main scope or structure associated with paper
  • confirms the topic that was given into the introduction. This could make the form of the aims of this paper, a thesis statement (point of view) or a research question/hypothesis as well as its answer/outcome.
  • ends with a far more general statement about how this topic relates to its context. This might make the as a type of an evaluation of the significance of this issue, implications for future research or a recommendation about theory or practice.

About RogueAdventurer

Nic Jenzen-Jones is a freelance consult for the private security and defence industries. He is currently the co-editor of Security Scholar ( and can be found on Twitter (@RogueAdventurer).
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