An essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an argument or narrative based on evidence, analysis, and interpretation. There are many types of essays you can write as a student. The content and duration of the essay depending on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most scholarly essays have the same goal: they seek to convince readers of a position or perspective through sound arguments.
Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
In this tutorial, we’ll cover what to include in the introduction, content, and conclusion of an academic essay using paragraphs from our interactive essay example.
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Essay writing process
The essay writing process consists of three stages: preparation, writing, and editing. These steps apply to each essay or paper. However, the time and effort involved in each step depend on the type of essay – for example, a personal statement, a statement of purpose, a high school essay, or a graduate school essay.
Introduction of an essay
The introduction is important both to keep the reader interested and to inform him of what will be covered in the essay. The introduction usually makes up 10–20% of the text. To learn how to write your introductory essay, start by familiarizing yourself with its most important goals.
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1. Hook your reader by piquing interest and curiosity
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest. This sentence is sometimes called a crochet hook. It could be a question, a quote, an amazing statistic, or a bold statement that emphasizes the relevance of a topic.
Once you’ve hooked a reader, it’s important to provide context that helps your reader understand your argument. This can include providing background information, reviewing important academic work or debates on a topic, and explaining complex terms. Do not enter too much detail in the introduction – you can describe in detail most of your essay.
3. Define the objective and formulate the thesis statement
Then, you must define your central argument or thesis. The dissertation provides focus and signals your position on the topic. This is usually one or two sentences.
4. Provide a map of the content
Conclude the introduction with an overview of the structure of your essay. The review should provide the reader with an overview of what each section of your essay explores.
Body of an essay
The body of your essay is where you argue to support your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its main purpose is to represent, interpret, and analyze the information and sources that you have gathered in support of your arguments.
Length of the body text
The body length depends on the type of essay. On average, the body makes up 60-80% of your essay. For a high school essay, it may be as little as three paragraphs, but for a 6,000-word graduate school essay, the body can be 8-10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure, it is important to use paragraphs and headings. This makes the content scannable and easy to digest. Each paragraph should be centered around one argument or idea. The topic proposal forms a transition from the previous paragraph and introduces the argument to be made in that paragraph. Transitional words can be used to create clear connections between sentences. After proposing a topic, present evidence by providing the reader with data, examples, or quotes. Be sure to explain and explain the evidence, and show how the paragraph helps develop your overall argument.
Conclusion of an essay
The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It usually takes up no more than 10-15% of the text. Strong conclusion of the essay:
Draws connections between the arguments made in the essay’s body
States the outcome of your arguments
Emphasizes the relevance and significance of the thesis statement for policy, academia or the wider world
Explores the broader implications and importance of the topic
A great conclusion should end with a memorable or effective sentence that emphasizes the importance of your work and leaves a strong, final impression on the reader.
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