Home » IELTS Writing » Write Essays » How to organize an essay

How to organize an essay

Essay organisation

It’s important to think about how you organise your ideas in your essay because good organisation can make your essay easier to understand and ensures that you answer the hidden question in the essay title.

Because organization is such an important part of academic writing, we will focus first on showing you the different parts or sections of a typical essay. The essay you will read is on this title, “discuss the reasons why people choose to live in Reading”. Reading is the name of a town in the United Kingdom. As you can hear, it’s different from the pronunciation of reading– as in reading a book– although the spelling is the same. Now, look at the ideas I had before I wrote this essay. Why do people choose to live in Reading? Well, they might choose to live there, because their family and friends live there. There are also job opportunities in Reading.

Another reason is that house prices are cheaper than in London. It’s also a quiet and clean environment. There are also many leisure facilities for the family, things for them to do, such a sport or shopping. Later, we’re going to analyze my essay in more detail, looking at the different sections and how the essay is organized.

Sample Essay Organization

Topic: “Discuss the reasons why people choose to live in Reading”. 

Reading is a large town in south-east England with a population of 147,300. It is about halfway between London and Oxford. Some people were born in Reading, and they stay because of their family and friends. Other people, however, have relocated for personal reasons; perhaps they want to take up a new job opportunity or be near their social circle. This essay will discuss two common reasons why some people choose to live in Reading: to improve the quality of their family life and to study.

Reading offers the opportunity for a good work-life balance. It is only 25 minutes from London by train, but the environment is clean, houses are cheaper and there are many leisure opportunities for families. There are parks and pools in the town and the countryside is only a short car drive away. Shopping is also a growing attraction. The number of retail outlets has increased by one third since the opening of the ‘Oracle’, a new shopping complex, in 1999. The town also has a library, many places of worship, a theatre, a concert hall, an art gallery, a museum, two cinemas, a football stadium, and many restaurants. These facilities mean that local people of all ages have places to go.

Many people also come to Reading to study at a language school or at the university. They may choose Reading because the university has an excellent reputation, a beautiful campus and offers a high level of support to its students. Alternatively, the reasons may be more practical. Transport is efficient; there is easy access to London and Heathrow Airport. Accommodation is fairly easy to find and cheaper than London. Job opportunities are also good. Many students take up part-time work, even if English is not their first language.

In conclusion, people live in Reading for their own individual reasons. For some people, Reading represents a lifestyle choice, and for others it offers opportunities to study. With its good employment prospects, ideal location, wide range of leisure facilities, interesting educational opportunities and excellent transport links, it will no doubt continue to be a popular place to live in the future.


Analysis of the five different essay sections

The essay is made up of five different sections: the title, introduction, paragraph 1, paragraph 2 and the conclusion.

Let’s now analyze even more closely the five different essay sections. The first section is the title. The title is in many ways the most important part of the essay. You should always look for the hidden question in the title to help you plan your essay. What’s the hidden question in my essay title? “Discuss the reasons why people choose to live in Reading.”

Well, the hidden question here is, “why do people choose to live in Reading?” It’s a good habit to copy the title out at the top of your page when you write your essay, so that you and your reader are both clear about what you’ve been asked to do. Let’s look now at the introduction. The introduction to an essay is in two parts. The first part gives some background to the topic. The second part– which has a narrower focus– tells the reader exactly why you are writing the essay, in your own words. This has a special name. It’s called the thesis statement. Let’s look now at the first paragraph. Paragraph one can also be broken down into two parts.

The first part introduces the reader to the focus of the paragraph. I has a special name. It’s called the paragraph leader. Some books call it the topic sentence. The second part is the paragraph body. It develops the idea as introduced in the first part. Let’s look now at paragraph two. Just like paragraph one, paragraph two is in two parts, the paragraph leader– which introduces the topic and focus of the paragraph– and then the paragraph body– which develops the ideas which have been introduced in the paragraph leader. The final part of the essay is the conclusion. Again, we can divide the conclusion into two parts. The first part summarizes the ideas in the essay. The second part has a wider focus.

It gives a suggestion for the future. This could be a prediction, or a recommendation, or a solution to a problem.



Previous lessons:

  1. The key features of academic writing
  2. What ideas would you include in an essay?
  3. Main ideas and supporting evidence in an essay
Next lessons
  1. Analysing the organisation of an example essay
  2. How to link the ideas within an essay
  3. Sample structure of an IELTS essay

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top