Structuring your work

Structuring your work

Essays and reports are designed to inform the reader about a certain topic. So you need to make sure that you don't confuse your reader by not having a logical structure. 

Remember that your work should have an introduction, middle and conclusion. Your essay or report should flow from section to section. There should be logical links between each paragraph or section. Therefore plan your structure carefully. Put your arguments in order and consider if they make sense. There are lots of different ways to do this:

  • bullet points or linear lists with headings and sub headings
  • mind maps showing how topics link together
  • key points on index cards so that they can be shuffled easily.

If your order fails to flow then reorder the points. The following pages will give you some suggestions.

Top tip: If the suggestions on the following pages don't work for your topic, then consider using the frameworks created by Stella Cottrell. These act as an excellent outline for what you should consider for an argumentative essay and a compare and contrast essay.

Cottrell, S., 2008. The study skills handbook. 3rd ed. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, p. 187 and p. 190 - level 3 of the Saltire Centre shelved at 378.170281 COT.

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SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.