Academic Writing Instructions: The Structure Of A 3-Paragraph Essay


As a rule, the majority of essays contain five paragraphs: the introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion. If you are asked to write a three-paragraph essay, which consists of the introduction, one body paragraph and conclusion only, it may mean that your teacher simply wants you to learn how to structure the academic papers in the most effective and smart way.

So, writing an essay that consists of only three paragraphs, you should keep in mind the following instructions:

  • Compose an outline of your project.
  • Some students are sure that writing an outline is simply a waste of time, and that they can do well without this stage. In reality, an outline is very important, because it allows you to put down the main points of your essay and see where each part should end. Besides that, it will help you organize and build up proper argumentation in the body.

  • Compose the body paragraph.
  • It’s usually recommended to compose the body paragraph first of all, because it’s the bulkiest part of your project, it demands the majority of time, and requires the most profound research. As soon as you have only one body paragraph, you need to build it in such a way that all your statements and related argumentation follow each other in a logical sequence. This is why you need a detailed outline of this part.

  • Compose conclusions.
  • After you have completed the body and the results of your research are still fresh in your mind, compose the conclusion. In this part, you need to speak about the methods of researching that you have used, the results you have received, the way they have influenced your point of view on the researched problem, and the future of your research in this sphere.

  • Move on to the introduction.
  • Having the completed research and all the results, you can speak about the initial goal of your research in the area that you have chosen and about the way the final results match or mismatch these goals. In most cases, the introduction and conclusion almost repeat each other. In the introduction, you speak about planned things, while in the conclusion you speak about how everything worked. Make sure that you have not repeated any exact phrases from either part in the other one.

  • Re-read the essay and correct mistakes.
  • Check the text, exclude repetitions, useless phrases and clichés. Rewrite paragraphs that seem to sound confusing in simpler words or shorter sentences. Make everything clear and understandable.

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