Step by Step Paragraph Structure

When writing an essay, once you have mastered the structure in one paragraph, it is achievable in all paragraphs and all essays. But mastering that first paragraph is not easy. Often students over complicate the structure or try to cram too much into one paragraph. Keep it simple!

Here is a snapshot of an introduction that really works – it answers the question (Aquinas/ successful), it shows evidence of wider reading (dictionary definition), it also shows knowledge (Aquinas quote/natural law)- it captures and holds your attention as a reader. But is also quite sophisticated, for example: the quote and the definition are linked together.


This is the starting paragraph. My comments can be seen as footnotes. The first argument links to the quote found in the introduction – so the essay immediately flows nicely.

para 1

Introducing a new name/ critic early on is a good move. Newman’s argument is only outlined briefly (avoiding the temptation to ramble) and is immediately compared to Aquinas’ argument – keeping everything relevant to the question.

para 2

The paragraph rounds off nicely with a summary. Whilst presenting potential flaws with Newman, the answer still maintains the argument that Newman is better than Aquinas (thus not sitting on the fence).

para 3

See posts: Going for Gold: Achieving that A* and “How do I get my essay from a D to a C?” for more helpful hints.

For further guidance in developing your essay technique  just click on the image below to be transferred to the shop.


Check out this Mark with Me Preview for a Meta Ethics essay that achieved the overall A* in the 2018 exam:

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One thought on “Step by Step Paragraph Structure

  1. Anonymous

    The greatest thing about learning how to structure essays etc is when you go to university you will need to know how to structure 5000 word essays , assignments etc but the hardest essays are the one were it is limited to low word count such as 1000 less because even though it seems a lot of words it is very hard to get everything without over complicating and once you have mastered how to keep it simple , clear , to the point becomes a lot more easier especially once you mastered the first paragraph you have got strong foundation to build your essay on ^_^
    Also for any future university students pick yourself a handy small guide on how to reference will be very useful ^^

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