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9.4 Writing Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs

Learning objectives.

  • Recognize the importance of strong introductory and concluding paragraphs.
  • Learn to engage the reader immediately with the introductory paragraph.
  • Practice concluding your essays in a more memorable way.

Picture your introduction as a storefront window: You have a certain amount of space to attract your customers (readers) to your goods (subject) and bring them inside your store (discussion). Once you have enticed them with something intriguing, you then point them in a specific direction and try to make the sale (convince them to accept your thesis).

Your introduction is an invitation to your readers to consider what you have to say and then to follow your train of thought as you expand upon your thesis statement.

An introduction serves the following purposes:

  • Establishes your voice and tone, or your attitude, toward the subject
  • Introduces the general topic of the essay
  • States the thesis that will be supported in the body paragraphs

First impressions are crucial and can leave lasting effects in your reader’s mind, which is why the introduction is so important to your essay. If your introductory paragraph is dull or disjointed, your reader probably will not have much interest in continuing with the essay.

Attracting Interest in Your Introductory Paragraph

Your introduction should begin with an engaging statement devised to provoke your readers’ interest. In the next few sentences, introduce them to your topic by stating general facts or ideas about the subject. As you move deeper into your introduction, you gradually narrow the focus, moving closer to your thesis. Moving smoothly and logically from your introductory remarks to your thesis statement can be achieved using a funnel technique , as illustrated in the diagram in Figure 9.1 “Funnel Technique” .

Figure 9.1 Funnel Technique

image

On a separate sheet of paper, jot down a few general remarks that you can make about the topic for which you formed a thesis in Section 9.1 “Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement” .

Immediately capturing your readers’ interest increases the chances of having them read what you are about to discuss. You can garner curiosity for your essay in a number of ways. Try to get your readers personally involved by doing any of the following:

  • Appealing to their emotions
  • Using logic
  • Beginning with a provocative question or opinion
  • Opening with a startling statistic or surprising fact
  • Raising a question or series of questions
  • Presenting an explanation or rationalization for your essay
  • Opening with a relevant quotation or incident
  • Opening with a striking image
  • Including a personal anecdote

Remember that your diction, or word choice, while always important, is most crucial in your introductory paragraph. Boring diction could extinguish any desire a person might have to read through your discussion. Choose words that create images or express action. For more information on diction, see Chapter 4 “Working with Words: Which Word Is Right?” .

In Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you followed Mariah as she moved through the writing process. In this chapter, Mariah writes her introduction and conclusion for the same essay. Mariah incorporates some of the introductory elements into her introductory paragraph, which she previously outlined in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” . Her thesis statement is underlined.

If you have trouble coming up with a provocative statement for your opening, it is a good idea to use a relevant, attention-grabbing quote about your topic. Use a search engine to find statements made by historical or significant figures about your subject.

Writing at Work

In your job field, you may be required to write a speech for an event, such as an awards banquet or a dedication ceremony. The introduction of a speech is similar to an essay because you have a limited amount of space to attract your audience’s attention. Using the same techniques, such as a provocative quote or an interesting statistic, is an effective way to engage your listeners. Using the funnel approach also introduces your audience to your topic and then presents your main idea in a logical manner.

Reread each sentence in Mariah’s introductory paragraph. Indicate which techniques she used and comment on how each sentence is designed to attract her readers’ interest.

Writing a Conclusion

It is not unusual to want to rush when you approach your conclusion, and even experienced writers may fade. But what good writers remember is that it is vital to put just as much attention into the conclusion as in the rest of the essay. After all, a hasty ending can undermine an otherwise strong essay.

A conclusion that does not correspond to the rest of your essay, has loose ends, or is unorganized can unsettle your readers and raise doubts about the entire essay. However, if you have worked hard to write the introduction and body, your conclusion can often be the most logical part to compose.

The Anatomy of a Strong Conclusion

Keep in mind that the ideas in your conclusion must conform to the rest of your essay. In order to tie these components together, restate your thesis at the beginning of your conclusion. This helps you assemble, in an orderly fashion, all the information you have explained in the body. Repeating your thesis reminds your readers of the major arguments you have been trying to prove and also indicates that your essay is drawing to a close. A strong conclusion also reviews your main points and emphasizes the importance of the topic.

The construction of the conclusion is similar to the introduction, in which you make general introductory statements and then present your thesis. The difference is that in the conclusion you first paraphrase , or state in different words, your thesis and then follow up with general concluding remarks. These sentences should progressively broaden the focus of your thesis and maneuver your readers out of the essay.

Many writers like to end their essays with a final emphatic statement. This strong closing statement will cause your readers to continue thinking about the implications of your essay; it will make your conclusion, and thus your essay, more memorable. Another powerful technique is to challenge your readers to make a change in either their thoughts or their actions. Challenging your readers to see the subject through new eyes is a powerful way to ease yourself and your readers out of the essay.

When closing your essay, do not expressly state that you are drawing to a close. Relying on statements such as in conclusion , it is clear that , as you can see , or in summation is unnecessary and can be considered trite.

It is wise to avoid doing any of the following in your conclusion:

  • Introducing new material
  • Contradicting your thesis
  • Changing your thesis
  • Using apologies or disclaimers

Introducing new material in your conclusion has an unsettling effect on your reader. When you raise new points, you make your reader want more information, which you could not possibly provide in the limited space of your final paragraph.

Contradicting or changing your thesis statement causes your readers to think that you do not actually have a conviction about your topic. After all, you have spent several paragraphs adhering to a singular point of view. When you change sides or open up your point of view in the conclusion, your reader becomes less inclined to believe your original argument.

By apologizing for your opinion or stating that you know it is tough to digest, you are in fact admitting that even you know what you have discussed is irrelevant or unconvincing. You do not want your readers to feel this way. Effective writers stand by their thesis statement and do not stray from it.

On a separate sheet of a paper, restate your thesis from Note 9.52 “Exercise 2” of this section and then make some general concluding remarks. Next, compose a final emphatic statement. Finally, incorporate what you have written into a strong conclusion paragraph for your essay.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers

Mariah incorporates some of these pointers into her conclusion. She has paraphrased her thesis statement in the first sentence.

Make sure your essay is balanced by not having an excessively long or short introduction or conclusion. Check that they match each other in length as closely as possible, and try to mirror the formula you used in each. Parallelism strengthens the message of your essay.

On the job you will sometimes give oral presentations based on research you have conducted. A concluding statement to an oral report contains the same elements as a written conclusion. You should wrap up your presentation by restating the purpose of the presentation, reviewing its main points, and emphasizing the importance of the material you presented. A strong conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Key Takeaways

  • A strong opening captures your readers’ interest and introduces them to your topic before you present your thesis statement.
  • An introduction should restate your thesis, review your main points, and emphasize the importance of the topic.
  • The funnel technique to writing the introduction begins with generalities and gradually narrows your focus until you present your thesis.
  • A good introduction engages people’s emotions or logic, questions or explains the subject, or provides a striking image or quotation.
  • Carefully chosen diction in both the introduction and conclusion prevents any confusing or boring ideas.
  • A conclusion that does not connect to the rest of the essay can diminish the effect of your paper.
  • The conclusion should remain true to your thesis statement. It is best to avoid changing your tone or your main idea and avoid introducing any new material.
  • Closing with a final emphatic statement provides closure for your readers and makes your essay more memorable.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introductions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.

The role of introductions

Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.

Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)

Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.

Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.

Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).

Strategies for writing an effective introduction

Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:

Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)

Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!

Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.

Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.

Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):

  • an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
  • a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
  • a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
  • a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
  • a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?

Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.

How to evaluate your introduction draft

Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what he or she expects the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.

Five kinds of less effective introductions

1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.

Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.

2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—he or she does not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.

Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.

Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”

4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.

Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.

5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.

Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.

And now for the conclusion…

Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!

Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on  conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Introductions and Conclusions

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Introductions and conclusions play a special role in the academic essay, and they frequently demand much of your attention as a writer. A good introduction should identify your topic, provide essential context, and indicate your particular focus in the essay. It also needs to engage your readers’ interest. A strong conclusion will provide a sense of closure to the essay while again placing your concepts in a somewhat wider context. It will also, in some instances, add a stimulus to further thought. Since no two essays are the same, no single formula will automatically generate an introduction and conclusion for you. But the following guidelines will help you to construct a suitable beginning and end for your essay.

Some general advice about introductions

  • Some students cannot begin writing the body of the essay until they feel they have the perfect introduction. Be aware of the dangers of sinking too much time into the introduction. Some of that time can be more usefully channeled into planning and writing.
  • You may be the kind of writer who writes an introduction first in order to explore your own thinking on the topic. If so, remember that you may at a later stage need to compress your introduction.
  • It can be fine to leave the writing of the introduction for a later stage in the essay-writing process. Some people write their introduction only after they have completed the rest of the essay. Others write the introduction first but rewrite it significantly in light of what they end up saying in the body of their paper.
  • The introductions for most papers can be effectively written in one paragraph occupying half to three-quarters of the first page. Your introduction may be longer than that, and it may take more than one paragraph, but be sure you know why. The size of your introduction should bear some relationship to the length and complexity of your paper. A twenty page paper may call for a two-page introduction, but a five-page paper will not.
  • Get to the point as soon as possible. Generally, you want to raise your topic in your very first sentences. A common error is to begin too broadly or too far off topic. Avoid sweeping generalizations.
  • If your essay has a thesis, your thesis statement will typically appear at the end of your introduction, even though that is not a hard-and-fast rule. You may, for example, follow your thesis with a brief road map to your essay that sketches the basic structure of your argument. The longer the paper, the more useful a road map becomes.

How do I write an interesting, effective introduction?

Consider these strategies for capturing your readers’ attention and for fleshing out your introduction:

  • Find a startling statistic that illustrates the seriousness of the problem you will address.
  • Quote an expert (but be sure to introduce him or her first).
  • Mention a common misperception that your thesis will argue against .
  • Give some background information necessary for understanding the essay.
  • Use a brief narrative or anecdote that exemplifies your reason for choosing the topic. In an assignment that encourages personal reflection, you may draw on your own experiences; in a research essay, the narrative may illustrate a common real-world scenario.
  • In a science paper, explain key scientific concepts and refer to relevant literature. Lead up to your own contribution or intervention.
  • In a more technical paper, define a term that is possibly unfamiliar to your audience but is central to understanding the essay.

In fleshing out your introduction, you will want to avoid some common pitfalls:

  • Don’t provide dictionary definitions, especially of words your audience already knows.
  • Don’t repeat the assignment specifications using the professor’s wording.
  • Don’t give details and in-depth explanations that really belong in your body paragraphs. You can usually postpone background material to the body of the essay.

Some general advice about conclusions

  • A conclusion is not merely a summary of your points or a re-statement of your thesis. If you wish to summarize—and often you must—do so in fresh language. Remind the reader of how the evidence you’ve presented has contributed to your thesis.
  • The conclusion, like much of the rest of the paper, involves critical thinking. Reflect upon the significance of what you’ve written. Try to convey some closing thoughts about the larger implications of your argument.
  • Broaden your focus a bit at the end of the essay. A good last sentence leaves your reader with something to think about, a concept in some way illuminated by what you’ve written in the paper.
  • For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusion. In some cases, a two-or-three paragraph conclusion may be appropriate. As with introductions, the length of the conclusion should reflect the length of the essay.

How do I write an interesting, effective conclusion?

The following strategies may help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your essay:

  • If your essay deals with a contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
  • Recommend a specific course of action.
  • Use an apt quotation or expert opinion to lend authority to the conclusion you have reached.
  • Give a startling statistic, fact, or visual image to drive home the ultimate point of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point with a relevant narrative drawn from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, example, or quotation that you introduced in your introduction, but add further insight that derives from the body of your essay.
  • In a science or social science paper, mention worthwhile avenues for future research on your topic.

How does genre affect my introduction or conclusion?

Most of the advice in this handout pertains to argumentative or exploratory academic essays. Be aware, however, that different genres have their own special expectations about beginnings and endings. Some academic genres may not even require an introduction or conclusion. An annotated bibliography, for example, typically provides neither. A book review may begin with a summary of the book and conclude with an overall assessment of it. A policy briefing usually includes an introduction but may conclude with a series of recommendations. Check your assignment carefully for any directions about what to include in your introduction or conclusion.

essay that have introduction body and conclusion

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How To Write An Essay – Introduction, Body & Conclusion

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How-to-write-an-essay-01

An essay is a structured piece of writing that presents an argument, tells a story, or explores a topic in depth. In academic writing , the term academic essay is frequently used. This denotes a carefully crafted piece of writing that adheres to certain standards and conventions, aiming to contribute to existing discourse or to provide a fresh perspective. With this article, we will help you understand the basics of how to write an essay, so you can receive good grades on your next work.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • 1 How to write an essay in a nutshell
  • 2 Definition: How to write an essay
  • 3 Different types of how to write an essay
  • 4 Step-by-step guide on how to write an essay
  • 5 Structuring the paragraphs
  • 6 Essay examples
  • 7 Dos and don‘ts of how to write an essay

How to write an essay in a nutshell

Before you start on how to write an essay, you should read the essay question or topic carefully. Know what’s being asked of you. In the next step, you gather information and ideas about the topic. Use books, articles, or other reputable sources. Afterward, outline your main points and decide on a thesis (your main argument or stance) and supporting arguments.

An essay is typically made up of three parts :

Introduction

After you finish writing your essay, review your writing by paying attention to errors, clarity, and flow. Make sure your arguments are logical and well-presented. Check format, and citations (if any), and ensure it adheres to any guidelines given.

Definition: How to write an essay

How to write an essay refers to the systematic process of creating a structured written piece that presents and supports a specific idea or argument. This process typically involves selecting a topic, conducting research, planning and organizing one’s thoughts, drafting the content, and revising for clarity and coherence. The final product, an essay, is often a combination of an introduction that presents the main idea (thesis), body paragraphs that provide evidence or examples supporting the thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes and reinforces the main points.

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Different types of how to write an essay

If you are eager to learn how to write an essay, keep these five types in mind:

  • Narrative essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Persuasive essay
  • Compare-and-contrast essay
  • Expository essay

Note: It is important to know what type of academic essay you have to write for your assignment. The type helps you to decide on a topic to write about as well as how to structure your essay outline.

Essay at university and high school

When you are given a typical five-paragraph expository essay , you would simply spend most of your time writing in high school. However, if you are at university, a college-level argumentative essay is bound to be a more complex piece of writing. It demands extensive independent research from varied sources, has stricter guidelines, and often requires deeper critical thinking compared to the more straightforward or surface-level student papers in high school. Depending on where you are in your academic journey, there is a vast difference when it comes to how to write an essay.

Step-by-step guide on how to write an essay

The process of how to write an essay can be broadly distilled into three main points or stages: Pre-writing and planning, drafting, and revising and editing.

For the planning, you should:

  • Understand the essay question or prompt
  • Conduct preliminary research to gather relevant sources
  • Work on your essay outline

During the drafting, you:

  • Craft a compelling introduction
  • Develop the body of the essay
  • Construct a conclusion

In the last step, you revise and edit your text. For this, you:

  • Review for coherence, consistency, and logical flow
  • Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors
  • Ensure the essay follows the required format or style guide (e.g., APA Style , MLA )
  • Seek feedback from peers, tutors, or mentors and make necessary adjustments

Below you find the steps on how to write an entire essay.

Finishing touches

How to write an essay introduction is not difficult if you know what you should do. You have to lead into the topic and essay question, attract the reader’s attention, and give them a good idea of the focus of the essay. Use attention grabbers, also called hooks , like startling information, an anecdote, a dialogue, a strong statement, or a summary of the topic in general. Add a few more sentences to link the hook to your thesis statement, also called the topic sentence, that marks the end of the essay introduction .

From a child’s first taste of honey to the blooms in our gardens, honeybees touch our lives in unseen, myriad ways. These tiny workers, buzzing from flower to flower, play a crucial role in pollination, ensuring the reproduction of many of our favorite plants. However, the mysterious decline in honeybee populations poses a significant threat to our ecosystem. This essay will explore the significance of honeybees in our ecosystem, delve into the potential reasons behind their alarming decline, and propose solutions to address this growing crisis.

  • Thesis statement
  • Structure overview

Each of the main ideas in your outline will become one paragraph. Each of those paragraphs follows the same basic structure. First, you have to write down your main ideas. Then you add your supporting points as well as an elaboration (description, explanation, etc.) for each point. Lastly, round it up with a closing sentence. Make sure to use connections between sentences with the help of transition words , so the change in topic does not come abruptly.

Honeybees are not merely producers of honey; they are pivotal players in the world’s food chain. According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 75% of the world’s food crops rely to some extent on animal pollination, with honeybees being among the most effective pollinators. This means that fruits such as apples, nuts like almonds, and even the coffee beans that make our morning brew, owe their existence in large part to the tireless work of these bees. The evidence underscores the gravity of the situation: a world with a declining bee population is one that risks significant disruption in its food supply chain. Such a decline doesn’t only spell trouble for the plants directly dependent on bees, but also for the animals and humans that consume those plants, creating a cascading effect on the larger ecosystem.

  • Topic sentence

You have to summarize your main points as well as give a final perspective on the topic. Help your reader to draw a logical conclusion from what they just read. Repack your thesis statement in your conclusion so that the reader can remember the individual steps taken to come to this conclusion. Moreover, you should answer questions like: What are the implications of your topic sentence being true? What comes next? What questions remained unanswered?

The waning number of honeybees in our environment is not just a matter of ecological concern, but a looming crisis that touches every facet of our lives. As we’ve explored, these industrious insects are instrumental in the pollination of a vast majority of our food crops, a process vital to our global food supply chain. The evidence from reputable sources, such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, affirms the profound role honeybees play in sustaining our diets and of countless species. But beyond the tangible effects on food, the decline of honeybees serves as a potent reminder of the intricate, interconnected web of life and our role within it. If such a small creature can have such a vast impact on our world, it behooves us to take their decline as a clarion call. The broader implication is clear: preserving and nurturing our environment is not just an ethical duty; it’s a matter of survival, urging us to act with purpose.

  • Return to the thesis
  • Review of the key points
  • Stating the broader implications

Come up with an intriguing title that arouses the reader’s interest. Furthermore, take your time to do the formatting of your paper. You also might want to put the paragraphs in a different order. Check the instructions again because you might have to include other information (name, date, etc.). Handing in a well-formatted academic essay makes a good impression on your instructor.

When it comes to how to write an essay, revision is the key to success. You have to analyze your writing to figure out if it makes logical sense and if there is a natural flow that makes it easy to read. Is every main idea supported by enough evidence, did you make clear how ideas are linked? Run a spelling and grammar checker to be on the safe side. Moreover, ask a friend to read your academic essay to give you feedback. Occasionally, you cannot see the mistakes when it comes to your writing. Having another opinion on your paper helps you with your revisions.

Structuring the paragraphs

Each paragraph should have an introductory, topic-based sentence as well as a concluding sentence that draws a link to the topic and critically summarizes your argument.

Follow with sentences that provide evidence or examples to back up the topic sentence. This can include data, quotations, anecdotes, or explanations. Delve deeper into the significance of the supporting details in relation to your main argument. Explain how the evidence supports the topic sentence and contributes to the overall thesis of the essay.

Furthermore, you should pay attention to coherence, consistency, flow, variety, and relevance.

  • Stay consistent in tense, perspective, and style.
  • Use transition sentences , a link between sentences, to guide the reader.
  • Vary sentence structure and length to keep the reader engaged.
  • Every paragraph should relate back to and support the essay’s overall thesis or argument.
  • Avoid digressions or unnecessary details.

Essay examples

In the following, you will find samples of how to write an essay. Here, you can read several essay types , whether to help you get started or if you’re simply unsure how to distinguish them.

Dos and don‘ts of how to write an essay

Below, you will find a list of the dos and don’ts of how to write an essay.

  • Signposting language
  • Stay focused
  • Write the body first
  • Revise your writing
  • Plain and clear writing style
  • Procrastination
  • Generalizations
  • Use of personal pronouns
  • Writing without an outline
  • Contractions

How do you structure an essay?

The typical essay structure is easier to understand than the structure of a dissertation or thesis. There are many types of essays, but the structure remains mostly unchanged. You start with the introduction, then the body paragraphs, and finally, the conclusion.

How do you start writing an essay?

To start your essay, you first need an appropriate research paper topic . Ensure that your topic fits within the guidelines set by your institution, and it’s not too broad or narrow. Then, formulate your thesis statement and begin outlining a plan for your academic essay. Once you’re finished, you can start on how to write an essay.

What is a good essay introduction?

A good essay introduction will begin with an opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in. Then, you give a bit of background information and lay out the structure for the reader. The thesis statement should be placed towards the end of the introduction, as it provides one to two sentences of a summary of your essay and the main idea.

What are the five steps of writing an essay?

The five steps on how to write an essay are the following.

  • Planning: Understand the prompt and organize your ideas.
  • Research: Gather relevant information and evidence.
  • Drafting: Write the initial version of the essay.
  • Revising: Refine content for clarity and coherence.
  • Editing: Proofread for grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors.

What makes an essay good?

A good essay is clear, coherent, well-organized, presents strong arguments supported by relevant evidence, and is written with a consistent style and proper grammar. Furthermore, it starts with a bold statement and ends with an impactful conclusion.

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Craft a Flawless Opinion Essay

  • Essay Writing Guides

Opinion Essay

People always have their attitudes toward any occasion or issue. However, many can come to a still when writing an opinion essay. Stop worrying about failure! Our expert guide will clarify all the convoluted points and provide step-by-step guidance concerning pivotal points of opinion essay writing.

Opinion Essay : What Is It?

Before you delve into the world of writing and start expressing your expert position concerning one or another point, you need to understand what an opinion essay is . An opinion essay belongs to a form of academic writing in which the author presents their viewpoint or perspective on a specific topic or issue. Unlike other types of essays, such as informative or analytical essays, the primary goal of an opinion essay is not to present objective facts or provide an impartial analysis. Instead, the focus lies on presenting subjective thoughts, beliefs, and judgments.

In an opinion essay , the writer must clearly state their opinion or thesis statement in the introduction section. This statement should encompass the main idea or position that the author will elaborate on throughout the essay. The subsequent paragraphs serve as supporting arguments or reasons to justify and strengthen the stated opinion.

Opinion Essays Peculiarities in Comparison with Other Essay Types

When you start writing an opinion essay, you should clearly understand that it pursues a particular goal and has a set of requirements. So, it is important to differentiate it from other essay types, even though all of them are essays.

  • An opinion essay has a primary focus on expressing personal viewpoints and perspectives. 
  • In an opinion essay, the writer seeks to make the audience accept their viewpoint or at least consider it valid. 
  • The opinion essay allows for a more fluid and flexible writing style. It often embraces a personal, conversational tone that promotes a connection between the writer and the reader. 
  • An opinion essay typically includes a clear thesis statement that explicitly states the writer’s opinion on the subject matter. 
  • It is crucial for the writer of an opinion essay to acknowledge and address counterarguments and opposing viewpoints. 

So, you need to consider whether your viewpoint may be backed with solid arguments and whether you have a strong thesis statement to convince the reader. 

Writing an Opinion Essay : Basic Requirements

If it is your first writing experience and you have no clue how to write an opinion essay , you need to consider the set of requirements and try to comply with them. Of course, there are universal recommendations for successful essay writing. However, they may vary depending on your educational institution or tutor’s demands. We provide a list of basic requirements that may ensure a winning position and prevent you from failure. 

  • Investigate the topic and identify your attitude to it.
  • Collect evidence to support your viewpoint.
  • Outline to arrange all the available information.
  • Skim the opinion essay template that was highly graded.
  • Consider the formatting style and adhere to the official style. 
  • Revise the text and make sure it is persuasive enough.
  • Fix mistakes and add more evidence if necessary.

You need to prioritize tutors’ demands if such are available. Remember, an opinion essay is subjective, but it should still be well-reasoned, supported by evidence, and presented persuasively. Adhering to these requirements will help you craft an engaging and persuasive piece of writing.

How to Write Opinion Essay: Follow the Structure

When constructing an opinion essay, it is crucial to adhere to the specific structure of an opinion essay. Structureless writing is chaotic and always gets lower grades. Moreover, it may lead to confusion in message comprehension. The fundamental structure of an opinion essay is as follows.

Introduction

The introduction of an opinion essay should introduce the topic and present a definitive statement of the author’s viewpoint. Additionally, it should provide any necessary background information to facilitate understanding of the argument. 

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should present a distinct point or argument that supports the author’s opinion. It should be followed by supporting evidence or examples to bolster the argument. It is also acceptable to acknowledge and discuss counterarguments against the opinion in this section. However, these counterarguments should not overshadow the primary points being made.

The conclusion serves to summarize the main points and arguments articulated throughout the essay. It also involves restating the author’s opinion clearly and succinctly. Furthermore, it might address the potential implications of accepting or refuting the viewpoint expressed.

As you may see, the structure of opinion essays is standard and does not require specific formatting. However, do not forget to distribute information properly and follow the requirements of the indicated opinion essay format and referencing style. 

Opinion Essay Components

There will be no exaggeration if we say that an opinion essay is based on ideas, beliefs, arguments, and counterarguments. To be more exact, you need to utilize the following components to persuade your reader, be creative, and leave a long-lasting impression. 

  • Thesis statement. Present a strong thesis statement that clearly articulates your main argument or position. This statement should reflect the overall stance you will be taking throughout the essay.
  • Supporting arguments. Develop your opinion essay by presenting several supporting arguments or reasons that justify your viewpoint. Each argument should be supported with logical and relevant evidence, such as facts, statistics, examples, or expert opinions.
  • Counterarguments. Acknowledge and address potential counterarguments or opposing views. It shows that you have considered other perspectives and strengthens your argument by refuting or rebutting these opposing points respectfully.
  • Personal examples or experiences. Incorporate personal examples or experiences that further illustrate your point of view. These can add credibility and a personal touch to your essay.
  • Logical progression. Ensure that your opinion essay flows coherently from one point to another, using transitional phrases and clear topic sentences for each paragraph. It helps the reader follow your argument easily.

Remember, you need to provide credible information and cite respectful people if you want to prove your rightness. But you need to be careful with arguments and do not overload your paper with identical ideas. At the same time, you need to adhere to one position and not confuse your reader by adhering to opposite viewpoints. 

6 Steps for Successful Opinion Essay Writing

Here are 6 steps for successful opinion essay writing:

Step 1. Choose a Thought-provoking Topic

Select a topic that you feel passionate about and have a strong opinion on. It will make the writing process more enjoyable and engaging.

Step 2. Conduct Thorough Research

Gather relevant information and evidence to support your opinion. Look for credible sources such as books, scholarly articles, and authoritative websites to enhance the credibility of your opinion essay .

Step 3. Develop a Clear Thesis Statement

Invent a concise and compelling thesis statement that states your opinion and provides a preview of your main arguments. Ensure that your thesis is strong, debatable, and well-defined.

Step 4. Structure Your Essay Effectively

Divide your opinion essays into standard structural components (introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion). The introduction should hook the reader, provide background information, and present your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should focus on a single main argument along with supporting evidence. Finally, restate your thesis and sum up your key points.

Step 5. Use Persuasive Language and Logic

Present logical arguments, counterarguments, and evidence to support your claims. Additionally, employ rhetorical devices and transitional words to improve the flow and coherence of your opinion essays .

Step 6. Revise and Edit

After finishing the first draft, take the time to revise and edit your essay. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes, improve sentence structure, and ensure that your arguments are cohesive and well-supported. 

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you engage in writing an opinion essay , the better you’ll become at expressing your thoughts effectively.

Opinion Essay Outline

To structure an opinion essay effectively, you can follow a simple opinion essay outline that allows your ideas to flow coherently and persuasively. Here’s a suggested structure for your essay:

  • Introduction:
  • Start with an attention-grabbing hook to engage the reader.
  • Provide a brief background or context regarding the topic.
  • Clearly state your opinion or viewpoint and briefly mention the main reasons supporting it.
  • Body paragraphs:
  • Ensure each paragraph begins with a topic sentence that relates to your main argument.
  • Present one supporting point or reason in each paragraph.
  • Support your points with evidence, examples, or personal experiences.
  • Counterargument:
  • Dedicate one paragraph to acknowledging an opposing viewpoint or counterargument.
  • State the counterargument objectively and accurately.
  • Explain why some people may hold this opposing view.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarize your main points and reinforce your opinion in light of the evidence presented.
  • Restate your opinion concisely and memorably.

Remember to use clear and persuasive language throughout your essay, avoiding overly complex sentences or technical jargon. It’s also important to provide proper citations for any external sources you use in your opinion essays. 

Opinion Essays Topics

If you need to write an essay but you are sick and tired of routine topics, we offer you some extraordinary opinion essay topics .

  • The Benefits of Embracing Chaos: How Disorder Can Enhance Creativity and Productivity.
  • The Power of Silence: Exploring the Value of Quietness in a Noisy World.
  • Mind Reading Technology: A Promising Innovation or an Invasion of Privacy?
  • Living in a Simulated Reality: Could Our World Be a Complex Simulation?
  • The Beauty of Imperfections: Appreciating Flaws as a Path to Self-Acceptance.

Nobody will be indifferent to opinion essays with such creative topics. 

Opinion Essay Examples

Students can utilize opinion essay examples in several ways to enhance their writing skills and understanding. 

  • Understanding structure and organization;
  • Learning persuasive techniques;
  • Enhancing research skills;
  • Improving writing style and vocabulary;
  • Exposing diverse perspectives;

Remember, while referring to opinion essay examples can be beneficial, students must maintain their originality, avoid plagiarism, and ensure that any borrowed ideas are properly attributed.

Bottom Line

Thanks to opinion essays , students have a chance to demonstrate their critical thinking, research-making skills, and ability to operate facts supporting their viewpoints. However, they should not neglect the writing standards and formatting rules since they are a sign of their professionalism and level of education.

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ELCOMBLUS

Writing the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion of a Paragraph

Our discussion on the pre-writing strategies   brought you closer to overcoming the challenges that most face in writing. Those times that you keep on staring at the ceiling while patting your pen onto your palm as you are stuck in coming up with “a perfect title” or the “perfect introduction” are now over.

In this part of the lesson, we will turn those bunch of ideas you came up with in the pre-writing phase into organized, meaty, and coherent paragraphs.

Part I: The Introduction

An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic write-up. If you’re writing a long write-up, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:

  • Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
  • Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the write-up you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.

Part II: The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your write up:

The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that the main ideas are…

  • like labels . They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
  • arguable . They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
  • focused . Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.

The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…

  • quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
  • facts, e.g. statistics or findings from the studies you’ve conducted.
  • narratives and/or descriptions, e.g. of your own experiences.

The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.

The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.

Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “Transition” and the “Main Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.

Part III: The Conclusion

A conclusion is the last paragraph of your write-up, or, if you’re writing a really long write-up, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:

Summarizes the argument.

Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use a different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.

Explains the significance of the argument.

Some instructors want you to avoid restating your main points; they instead want you to explain your argument’s significance. In other words, they want you to answer the “so what” question by giving your reader a clearer sense of why your argument matters.

For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period .

Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region .

Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future. You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.

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  • How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples

How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

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Table of contents

Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic  and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

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essay that have introduction body and conclusion

Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

  • Thesis statement
  • First piece of evidence
  • Second piece of evidence
  • Summary/synthesis
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.

  • Importance of the internet
  • Concerns about internet use
  • Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  • Data exploring this effect
  • Analysis indicating it is overstated
  • Students’ reading levels over time
  • Why this data is questionable
  • Video media
  • Interactive media
  • Speed and simplicity of online research
  • Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  • Evidence indicating its ubiquity
  • Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
  • Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
  • Argument that it introduces students to citation
  • Summary of key points
  • Value of digital education for students
  • Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
  • Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  • Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
  • Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
  • Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  • Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
  • Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Link to the Reformation.
  • Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
  • Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
  • Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  • Summarize the history described.
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .

The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

  • Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
  • Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
  • Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
  • Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
  • Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  • Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
  • Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  • Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
  • Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  • Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
  • Answer the research question
  • Indicate areas for further study

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-outline/

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