How to Write the Perfect Essay Series: A Sample Paper Structure + Downloadable

Writing a great paper can be hard, but being able to consistently write a great paper is a skill you can acquire. If you want to know the method I wrote papers in my undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University that consistently got A+ marks then read my article How to Get an A+ on Any Paper You Write here.

In this post I cover the sample paper structure you need in a simple table format to clearly organize any essay you will write in the social sciences or humanities during your undergraduate degree. The link I provide above covers in detail what you should include in each of these sessions and how to create the content.

Here is the sample paper structure I provide for a basic research paper, which comprises in some form or another, what every undergraduate essay requires.

Paragraphs Content
  • Hook (such as a stat or alarming quote that grabs my attention)
  • I am arguing this… (known as your main thesis or argument)
  • This is how I will argue it (your proposed methodology)
  • This is why it is important (a value statement)
Lit Review
  • This is what others have said about the topic
  • This is how I (and others) define key concepts I will use (this is called operationalization)
(1-3 paragraphs)
Repeat the following sample structure as much as necessary:
  • Here is a piece of evidence (observation/evidence)
  • Here is my interpretation of that evidence
  • Here is how this evidence relates to my main thesis (or helps proves my main thesis)
  • Here is why that is important (value statement)
(Some people call this a conclusion)
  • How does each piece of evidence I presented relate to each other?
  • How does each piece of evidence I presented relate to (or help prove) my main thesis?
  • Why is this important?

  • What are the limitations/flaws in my research? And how do I compensate for that?
  • Clever ending sentence (either it incorporates your title in a pun or clever way, or it relates back to your hook at the beginning of your paper. Either way, you want the reader to come full circle)

For a free PDF downloadable of this file you can get it from my Dropbox here:
Downloadable Sample Structure Handout

Let me know if there is any other writing or study topics you want me to create resources for! Any questions? Leave a comment or shoot me an email at

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