How to Organize a College Essay

If I had to identify the most important step in writing an essay, I would probably say it was the organization. Coming up with a thesis is a big part of essay writing, but it doesn’t mean anything if you do not have the proper support for it. That is where organization comes into play. If you can put your thoughts in the right order, you can get people to feel a certain way as they read your work. It’s like taking them on a journey through your mind.

Here are some tips to help you effectively organize your essays in the future.

The Pyramid Method
This is my favorite way to write essays, and I feel it is the most effective. You start by barely introducing what you are going to talk about, and then you build a pyramid of support from there. In the conclusion, you make your big, powerful assertion that makes people go “Wait, what just happened? I just got bitch slapped by brilliance!” This method is great for persuasive essays, but I use it for everything. It just makes sense.

The Inverted Pyramid Method
This is the exact opposite of the method above, where you start with a big idea and then support it afterward. I don’t like this because it lacks progression. It doesn’t keep people hooked. It may work well for a web article or a news story, but not a college essay. Nevertheless, some professors love this method, so you just have to test it out and see what they think.

The Sandwich Method
In this method, you start with something big, provide support, and end with something equally big. Basically you have a thesis at the beginning that poses a question or a problem, and then you have a conclusion that answers it. I have used this method a few times, and it has worked well. I would recommend using it at least once or two.

General Tips for Essay Organization
In the case of a compare and contrast essay, don’t do one paragraph for one story and then another paragraph for the other story. Try to mix the two together and compare them point by point. Each point would be an article all its own.

Try to talk about events in chronological order so your readers can follow them. If you jump all through a book or resource, you may lose track of your focus and fluidity.

Don’t be afraid to use small paragraphs if you have different topics in each of them. It is better to do that than to have a long paragraph that no one wants to read through.

If you follow my tips above for your next essay in college, you should be able to wow the professor and get your point across at the same time. Good luck!