Essay structure

29 03 2011

An important caveat when it comes to structuring an essay is that these aren’t rules. In fact, many of the best essays will deviate from the structures that this post recommends, because ultimately, the types of arguments you raise and the way you choose to frame your essay would affect the effectiveness of the structure chosen.

However, there are general guidelines:

This post illustrated how the CA-R or CA-R1-R2 structure often works best for absolute questions (given the recommendation that one should avoid arguing an absolute stand).

This post considers a common mistake of “cherry picking” arguments, and, as implied by the sample paragraph, recommends that a CA-R (or by extension, CA-R1-R2) structure should be adopted if one disagrees with a given statement.

From these posts, it seems as though a pattern is emerging, in terms of the recommended essay structure for various questions:

  1. For absolute questions: CA-R or CA-R1-R2
  2. For questions where we choose to disagree with a given statement or opinion: CA-R or CA-R1-R2
  3. For questions where we choose to agree with a given statement or opinion: A-CA-R (argument, counter-argument, rebuttal)

Note: (3) is based on adopting the opposite structure from (2)

 


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