How to structure your writing and reference correctly.
Whether you are writing an academic essay or an article for your blog here is a simple structure that you can use. Using this will help clarify your posts and excel in all your writing.
Post / Essay Title
Every essay title should contain an explicit or implicit question. Your writing should focus on answering that question. For good results ensure that you are answering the question in everything you write. Don’t go off in a different direction. If you write a brilliant piece that doesn’t answer the question then the results will be poor.
Introduction: (about 10% of the work)
- Explain how you interpret the title and what you are going to present in your writing.
- What issues/topics are you going to explore? What issues and facts are you going to examine?
- What will be your focus? If you are asking a question what are your main arguments for writing this post.
- What will your writing show your readers?
Main Body (about 80% of the work)
- Use a chain of paragraphs to explore and develop your ideas/argument.
- You will have 4 or 5 main topics. Each of these topics should have paragraphs which introduce the topic. Then you need to present examples and evidence to show why it is important.
- In each paragraph the reader is asking you to explain: what is this paragraph about; what is the writer’s argument; what evidence are they providing for this.
- Then link these arguments to the next paragraph.
The easiest way to remember this is to remember the mnemonic PEEL
- Point — What is the point you are making?
- Evidence — What evidence do you have to support this point?
- Explain — Explain how this evidence proves your point.
- Link — Use evidence and quotes to link these points of view to other writers or quotes.
Conclusion (about 10% of the essay)
- Do not introduce any new material here.
- Summarise your ideas/argument
- Restate what you consider to be the main points that you have presented in the body of the writing.
- Make it clear why those conclusions are important or significant.
- In your last sentence, link your conclusions or recommendations back to the title.
Harvard Referencing — If needed
Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. (Only include the edition if it is not the first edition) City published: Publisher, Page(s).
Patterson, J. (2005). Maximum Ride. New York: Little, Brown
Last name, First initial (Year published). Page title. [online] Website name. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
Mms.com, (2015). M&M’S Official Website. [online] Available at: http://www.mms.com/[Accessed 20 Apr. 2015].
You can follow this structure for everything you write. Whether this is an academic essay or a post for your blog. A clear structure helps readers follow the knowledge. A clear presentation in the middle of the writing provides a strong writers voice and encourages readers to revisit your work.