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Parts of the Essay


This part of your essay is the first presentation of your ideas. There are a number of elements you want to include in your introduction to encourage your audience to continue reading. The introduction “sets the stage” for the rest of your paper and its style should coincide with the overall theme of your essay. Your argument

Here are some things you want to accomplish in your introduction:

  • You will want a successful thesis statement with 3 main points of discussion that you work into your introduction to establish your argument, which will run throughout your entire essay.

  • You want to utilize details that will help your audience identify the topic and the scope of your essay.

  • You also want to be sure to provide needed background information for your audience so they are not lost, confused, or ‘thrown into’ a conversation they have not been prepared for.

The Body:

In the body of your essay, you should develop the ideas you presented in your introduction. Some people refer to this as "fleshing out" your ideas. It can be helpful to make a list of the ideas you want to present (look at those 3 main points that you included in your thesis statement), along with any research to support those ideas. The body of your essay:

  • Elaborates on points made in the introduction.

  • Creates connections among ideas and insights that you present; do not leave it up to your audience to make the connections! Take authority in your writing and TELL your audience what they not only should believe, but also what they NEED to believe.

  • Provides background and details on topics mentioned previously; in the body of your essay you get specific. An ample amount of examples, illustrations, and/or support should be included for each main point that you present in your essay.

  • Gives your essay substance, using anecdotes, metaphor, symbolism, and other methods; think of the body of your essay as the ‘meat’ of your argument and communication. It is the specific, concrete discussion of the main ideas that you described in your introduction paragraph.

  • Ask yourself the following questions related to the body of your essay: do my presented ideas relate to my central argument, or thesis, that was given in my introduction? What details do I provide that support my thesis?


When you’re nearing the end of your essay, it’s time to put the finishing touches on it with a separate closing paragraph. The conclusion is where you bring together all of the elements you previously mentioned in other sections. No, you don’t have to mention each one explicitly, but your conclusion should cover most of what you addressed in your essay, and provide a solid, clean end to your narrative path. In a dramatic and powerful conclusion is where you want to spell out, in a bold manner, any ideas you hinted at throughout your essay. The conclusion:

  • Restates the thesis; however, be careful not to use the exact same wording as in your introduction. You want to determine an exciting and intriguing manner in which to restate it.

  • Summarizes your main points; this is where more writers begin to border sounding redundant, so get creative and think of your points in new and interesting ways.

  • Brings your main argument ‘home’ for your audience. Find a way for your audience to connect with your writing and to apply it to their own lives, their thinking, and/or their interpretations. The more they connect with the words on the page, the more they connect with your ideas, insights, and argument.

  • Does not introduce NEW ideas; you do not want to confuse your audience. Your conclusion discusses the main points that you have already discussed in your essay.

  • Provides an “end” to your essay, tying up all loose ends; your audience should not be left with questions unanswered, though leaving them deep in thought after reading your essay is a positive thing.

  • Avoids the cliché phrase, “In conclusion;” this phrase is ineffective and it will not provide your conclusion the strength it needs to be efficient. Instead of beginning with “To conclude” or “In conclusion,” formulate a strong topic sentence that highlights the significance of everything in your essay. Why is what you wrote about important? What does your essay argue for, or against, that is meaningful and memorable? Formulate a strong declarative statement that lends you authority as a writer and thinker.

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