An essay is a form of writing which can be formal or informal; through which the writer expresses an argument. There are primarily four types of essays argumentative, narrative, expository and descriptive. In an essay, the writer presents an argument, analyses it and presents an interpretation. As we are about to discover, an essay has different parts which include: the introduction, body and conclusion.
The introduction of you essay creates an impression in the readers mind. After reading the introduction, the reader forms an opinion which determines if they should continue reading or drop your essay. For this reason, an essay should capture the attention of the reader and give an overview of what to expect in the piece.
Tips for writing the introduction
- The first sentence, often called a hook, should arouse the reader’s curiosity and interest. To achieve this, you can use an intriguing question, an alarming fact or a statement emphasizing the topic.
- Provide context to your essay by creating a background to your essay. You should avoid giving away too much information, instead leave the reader in suspense and create interest in reading the rest of the essay.
- In the introduction, let the reader know your position on the topic, in what is often referred to as a thesis statement.
- Finally, in your introduction, you can provide a guiding outline of the different areas covered in your essay. However, this is only applicable in long pieces of writng.
The body of an essay provides arguments and evidence to support your thesis statement. The writer presents analyses and interprets the information and data they assembled supporting their arguments. The body of your essay should constitute 60 to 80percent of your essay.
Tips for writing the body of your essay:
- Provide a clear structure for your essay. You can achieve this by structuring your paragraphs in a way that each paragraph holds a single idea.
- Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence. Let your topic sentence provide a smooth transition from the previous paragraph to the next.
- Support your topic sentence with evidence. The following sentences should contain supporting quotes and data from credible sources.
- Make sure you provide an explanation and interpretation to the evidence by showing how it supports the argument.
The conclusion is the final part of your essay, and is usually a single paragraph. Do not let your conclusion take up more than 15% of your essay.
Tips for writing your conclusion:
- As you conclude your essay, make a reference to your thesis statement.
- Highlight your main points in the essay.
- Enlighten the reader with the relevance of your argument.
- Use the final sentence of your conclusion to leave a lasting impact on the reader with regard to your argument.
- You should also avoid bringing in new arguments or evidence in your conclusion.
Always include references to your essay. These are the useful sources of the information to your essay. When writing your references:
- Make sure you format your references to the required citation style.
- List all your sources.
- Avoid including references you didn’t use in your essay.