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What are the parts of an essay, how do i write an introduction, how do i write the body of my essay, how do i write the conclusion, how do i create a reference list, how do i improve my essay.

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  • Introduction
  • Each is made up of one or several paragraphs.
  • The purpose of this section is to introduce the topic and why it matters, identify the specific focus of the paper, and indicate how the paper will be organized.
  • To keep from being too broad or vague, try to incorporate a keyword from your title in the first sentence.
  • For example, you might tell readers that the issue is part of an important debate or provide a statistic explaining how many people are affected.  
  • Defining your terms is particularly important if there are several possible meanings or interpretations of the term.
  • Try to frame this as a statement of your focus. This is also known as a purpose statement, thesis argument, or hypothesis.
  • The purpose of this section is to provide information and arguments that follow logically from the main point you identified in your introduction. 
  • Identify the main ideas that support and develop your paper’s main point.
  • For longer essays, you may be required to use subheadings to label your sections.
  • Point: Provide a topic sentence that identifies the topic of the paragraph.
  • Proof: Give evidence or examples that develop and explain the topic (e.g., these may come from your sources).
  • Significance: Conclude the paragraph with sentence that tells the reader how your paragraph supports the main point of your essay.
  • The purpose of this section is to summarize the main points of the essay and identify the broader significance of the topic or issue.
  • Remind the reader of the main point of your essay (without restating it word-for-word).
  • Summarize the key ideas that supported your main point. (Note: No new information or evidence should be introduced in the conclusion.) 
  • Suggest next steps, future research, or recommendations.
  • Answer the question “Why should readers care?” (implications, significance).
  • Find out what style guide you are required to follow (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) and follow the guidelines to create a reference list (may be called a bibliography or works cited).
  • Be sure to include citations in the text when you refer to sources within your essay.
  • Cite Your Sources - University of Guelph
  • Read assignment instructions carefully and refer to them throughout the writing process.
  • e.g., describe, evaluate, analyze, explain, argue, trace, outline, synthesize, compare, contrast, critique.
  • For longer essays, you may find it helpful to work on a section at a time, approaching each section as a “mini-essay.”
  • Make sure every paragraph, example, and sentence directly supports your main point.
  • Aim for 5-8 sentences or ¾ page.
  • Visit your instructor or TA during office hours to talk about your approach to the assignment.
  • Leave yourself time to revise your essay before submitting.
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Parts of an essay

Published March 31, 2021. Updated June 4, 2022.

Parts of an Essay Definition:

An introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion are the three main parts of an essay.

Overview of the Main Parts of an Essay:

An introduction is the first paragraph or possibly several paragraphs of the paper. The introduction needs to keep the reader engaged, provide context or background information for what the essay says, and state the claim. The hook, background information, and thesis statement are the different parts of an introduction. The longest part of the paper will be the body paragraphs. The number and length of the body paragraphs will vary from paper to paper. All of the body paragraphs will be structured in the same way. The conclusion will be the final part of the essay. The purpose of the conclusion is to bring all pieces of the essay together, reviewing the main points and leaving the reader with a good impression. Using an outline can also help to visualize all the different parts of an essay.

Worried about your writing? Submit your paper for a Chegg Writing essay check , or for an Expert Check proofreading . Both can help you find and fix potential writing issues.

The introduction

The introduction is the first paragraph or possibly several paragraphs of your paper. The introduction needs to engage your reader, provide context or background information for what you are going to say, and state your claim.

The hook is the first part of your introduction. A hook is an attention-grabbing first sentence or short paragraph. It is the first thing your audience will read, and its purpose is to engage the reader.

After you write your hook, you will flesh out the rest of your introduction with background information. While the background information will look different based on the type and purpose of your paper, it should help build context for the rest of the essay.

The final part of your introduction is your thesis statement. A thesis statement is the claim, or argument, you are making in your paper. It tells your reader what you believe or what stance you take on an issue.

The body paragraphs

The longest part of your paper will be your body paragraphs. The number and length of your body paragraphs will vary from paper to paper. Sometimes a traditional five paragraph essay with three body paragraphs is appropriate, but don’t assume you only need three. Instead, the number of body paragraphs you include should match the depth and complexity of your writing task.

All of your body paragraphs will be structured in roughly the same way. Each will have a topic sentence, examples or evidence, your analysis, and a concluding sentence.

The topic sentence is the first sentence of each body paragraph. It works as a mini-thesis statement for just that paragraph. The topic sentence should link the information in that paragraph back to your main claim, your thesis statement, as well as provide a smooth transition from the previous paragraph.

Each of your body paragraphs will also include examples or evidence that help support both your topic sentence and your primary claim. This information can include data, quotes from experts, examples from either an experiment or research, quotes from a novel or short story, and paraphrased or summarized information from your research. This information should be accurate, reliable, and directly related to the main idea of the paragraph.

Another essential part of your body paragraphs is an analysis of your evidence. After you present what you have found in your research, you will need to explain how it supports your claim. This analysis will vary in length, but there should be some analysis for each piece of evidence you include.

Finally, each body paragraph will include a concluding sentence. This is a short statement that will wrap up just that body paragraph, closing the loop between your topic sentence, evidence, and analysis.

The conclusion

The conclusion will be the final part of your essay. The purpose of your conclusion is to bring all pieces of your essay together, reviewing your main points and leaving the reader with a good impression.

Your conclusion will need to restate your thesis and review your main supporting ideas. You will want to restate without repeating verbatim; if you word the thesis statement exactly like you did in the introduction, it will probably feel repetitive and boring to your readers. While you want to review, don’t add new information to the conclusion. Now is not the time to introduce more evidence, as that can distract your audience from your overall claim.

One of the most challenging parts of writing a conclusion is adding something that will make a lasting impact on your reader. You will want to end your conclusion by connecting your claim to a bigger idea. One way to do so is to try to write a few sentences that answer the question “so what?” or “why does this matter?”

Essay outline example

Using an outline can help you visualize all the different parts of an essay. Look at the example below to see an overview of these different parts.

I. Introduction

B. Background information

C. Thesis statement

II. Body paragraph 1

A. Topic sentence

B. Supporting detail of main idea #1

1. Analysis and explanation

C. Supporting detail of main idea #1

III. Body paragraph 2

B. Supporting detail of main idea #2

2. Analysis and explanation

C. Supporting detail of main idea #2

D. Supporting detail of main idea #2

IV. Conclusion

A. Review and summarize

B. Link to bigger picture

Other considerations for your essay

The introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion are the heart of your essay, but there are a few other elements you want to be sure to include in your writing.

  • Transitions: Be sure to include transition words and phrases between paragraphs and between ideas within one paragraph.
  • Appropriate style and tone: Consider your audience and purpose of writing, and craft your essay to match.
  • Citations: Check with your professor and include citations according to the correct style guide. Remember, all information that is not from your own head needs a citation.

Before you turn in that paper, don’t forget to cite your sources in APA format , MLA format , or a style of your choice.

Key takeaways

  • There are three main parts of an essay: the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion.
  • The number of body paragraphs will vary based on the complexity of the essay.
  • All parts of the essay need to link together to support the claim you make in the thesis statement.

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How to Write an Essay/Parts

Parts of an Essay — Traditionally, it has been taught that a formal essay consists of three parts: the introductory paragraph or introduction, the body paragraphs, and the concluding paragraph. An essay does not need to be this simple, but it is a good starting point.

Introductory Paragraph Tips Example Body Paragraphs Tips Example Concluding Paragraph Tips Example

Introductory Paragraph

The introductory paragraph accomplishes three purposes: it captures the reader’s interest, it suggests the importance of the essay’s topic, and it ends with a thesis sentence. Often, the thesis sentence states a claim that consists of two or more related points. For example, a thesis might read:

You are telling the reader what you think are the most important points which need to be addressed in your essay. For this reason, you need to relate the introduction directly to the question or topic. A strong thesis is essential to a good essay, as each paragraph of your essay should be related back to your thesis or else deleted. Thus, the thesis establishes the key foundation for your essay. A strong thesis not only states an idea but also uses solid examples to back it up. A weak thesis might be:

As an alternative, a strong thesis for the same topic would be:

Then, you could separate your body paragraphs into three sections: one explaining the open-source nature of the project, one explaining the variety and depth of information, and a final one using studies to confirm that Wikipedia is indeed as accurate as other encyclopedias.

Often, writing an introductory paragraph is the most difficult part of writing an essay. Facing a blank page can be daunting. Here are some suggestions for getting started. First, determine the context in which you want to place your topic. In other words, identify an overarching category in which you would place your topic, and then introduce your topic as a case-in-point.

For example, if you are writing about dogs, you may begin by speaking about friends, dogs being an example of a very good friend. Alternatively, you can begin with a sentence on selective breeding, dogs being an example of extensive selective breeding. You can also begin with a sentence on means of protection, dogs being an example of a good way to stay safe. The context is the starting point for your introductory paragraph. The topic or thesis sentence is the ending point. Once the starting point and ending point are determined, it will be much easier to connect these points with the narrative of the opening paragraph.

A good thesis statement, for example, if you are writing about dogs being very good friends, you could put:

Here, X, Y, and Z would be the topics explained in your body paragraphs. In the format of one such instance, X would be the topic of the second paragraph, Y would be the topic of the third paragraph, and Z would be the topic of the fourth paragraph, followed by a conclusion, in which you would summarize the thesis statement.

Identifying a context can help shape the topic or thesis. Here, the writer decided to write about dogs. Then, the writer selected friends as the context, dogs being good examples of friends. This shaped the topic and narrowed the focus to dogs as friends . This would make writing the remainder of the essay much easier because it allows the writer to focus on aspects of dogs that make them good friends.

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence. If the thesis contains multiple points or assertions, each body paragraph should support or justify them, preferably in the order the assertions originally stated in the thesis. Thus, the topic sentence for the first body paragraph will refer to the first point in the thesis sentence and the topic sentence for the second body paragraph will refer to the second point in the thesis sentence. Generally, if the thesis sentence contains three related points, there should be three body paragraphs, though you should base the number of paragraphs on the number of supporting points needed.

If the core topic of the essay is the format of college essays, the thesis sentence might read:

The topic sentence for the first body paragraph might read:

Sequentially, the topic sentence for the second body paragraph might read:

And the topic sentence for the third body paragraph might read:

Every body paragraph uses specific details, such as anecdotes, comparisons and contrasts, definitions, examples, expert opinions, explanations, facts, and statistics to support and develop the claim that its topic sentence makes.

When writing an essay for a class assignment, make sure to follow your teacher or professor’s suggestions. Most teachers will reward creativity and thoughtful organization over dogmatic adherence to a prescribed structure. Many will not. If you are not sure how your teacher will respond to a specific structure, ask.

Organizing your essay around the thesis sentence should begin with arranging the supporting elements to justify the assertion put forth in the thesis sentence. Not all thesis sentences will, or should, lay out each of the points you will cover in your essay. In the example introductory paragraph on dogs, the thesis sentence reads, “There is no friend truer than a dog.” Here, it is the task of the body paragraphs to justify or prove the truth of this assertion, as the writer did not specify what points they would cover. The writer may next ask what characteristics dogs have that make them true friends. Each characteristic may be the topic of a body paragraph. Loyalty, companionship, protection, and assistance are all terms that the writer could apply to dogs as friends. Note that if the writer puts dogs in a different context, for example, working dogs, the thesis might be different, and they would be focusing on other aspects of dogs.

It is often effective to end a body paragraph with a sentence that rationalizes its presence in the essay. Ending a body paragraph without some sense of closure may cause the thought to sound incomplete.

Each body paragraph is something like a miniature essay in that they each need an introductory sentence that sounds important and interesting, and that they each need a good closing sentence in order to produce a smooth transition between one point and the next. Body paragraphs can be long or short. It depends on the idea you want to develop in your paragraph. Depending on the specific style of the essay, you may be able to use very short paragraphs to signal a change of subject or to explain how the rest of the essay is organized.

Do not spend too long on any one point. Providing extensive background may interest some readers, but others would find it tiresome. Keep in mind that the main importance of an essay is to provide a basic background on a subject and, hopefully, to spark enough interest to induce further reading.

The above example is a bit free-flowing and the writer intended it to be persuasive. The second paragraph combines various attributes of dogs including protection and companionship. Here is when doing a little research can also help. Imagine how much more effective the last statement would be if the writer cited some specific statistics and backed them up with a reliable reference.

Concluding Paragraph

The concluding paragraph usually restates the thesis and leaves the reader something about the topic to think about. If appropriate, it may also issue a call to act, inviting the reader to take a specific course of action with regard to the points that the essay presented.

Aristotle suggested that speakers and, by extension, writers should tell their audience what they are going to say, say it, and then tell them what they have said. The three-part essay model, consisting of an introductory paragraph, several body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph, follows this strategy.

As with all writing, it is important to know your audience. All writing is persuasive, and if you write with your audience in mind, it will make your argument much more persuasive to that particular audience. When writing for a class assignment, the audience is your teacher. Depending on the assignment, the point of the essay may have nothing to do with the assigned topic. In most class assignments, the purpose is to persuade your teacher that you have a good grasp of grammar and spelling, that you can organize your thoughts in a comprehensive manner, and, perhaps, that you are capable of following instructions and adhering to some dogmatic formula the teacher regards as an essay. It is much easier to persuade your teacher that you have these capabilities if you can make your essay interesting to read at the same time. Place yourself in your teacher’s position and try to imagine reading one formulaic essay after another. If you want yours to stand out, capture your teacher’s attention and make your essay interesting, funny, or compelling.

In the above example, the focus shifted slightly and talked about dogs as members of the family. Many would suggest it departs from the logical organization of the rest of the essay, and some teachers may consider it unrelated and take points away. However, contrary to the common wisdom of “tell them what you are going to say, say it, and then tell them what you have said,” you may find it more interesting and persuasive to shift away from it as the writer did here, and then, in the end, return to the core point of the essay. This gives an additional effect to what an audience would otherwise consider a very boring conclusion.

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  • Tags: Academic Writing , Essay , Essay Writing

Writing an effective and impactful essay is crucial to your academic or professional success. Whether it’s getting into the college of your dreams or scoring high on a major assignment, writing a well-structured essay will help you achieve it all. But before you learn how to write an essay , you need to know its basic components.

In this article, we will understand what an essay is, how long it should be, and its different parts and types. We will also take a detailed look at relevant examples to better understand the essay structure.

Get an A+ with our essay editing and proofreading services! Learn more

What is an essay?

An essay is a concise piece of nonfiction writing that aims to either inform the reader about a topic or argue a particular perspective. It can either be formal or informal in nature. Most academic essays are highly formal, whereas informal essays are commonly found in journal entries, social media, or even blog posts.

As we can see from this essay definition, the beauty of essays lies in their versatility. From the exploration of complex scientific concepts to the history and evolution of everyday objects, they can cover a vast range of topics.

How long is an essay?

The length of an essay can vary from a few hundred to several thousand words but typically falls between 500–5,000 words. However, there are exceptions to this norm, such as Joan Didion and David Sedaris who have written entire books of essays.

Let’s take a look at the different types of essays and their lengths with the help of the following table:

How many paragraphs are in an essay?

Typically, an essay has five paragraphs: an introduction, a conclusion, and three body paragraphs. However, there is no set rule about the number of paragraphs in an essay.

The number of paragraphs can vary depending on the type and scope of your essay. An expository or argumentative essay may require more body paragraphs to include all the necessary information, whereas a narrative essay may need fewer.

Structure of an essay

To enhance the coherence and readability of your essay, it’s important to follow certain rules regarding the structure. Take a look:

1. Arrange your information from the most simple to the most complex bits. You can start the body paragraph off with a general statement and then move on to specifics.

2. Provide the necessary background information at the beginning of your essay to give the reader the context behind your thesis statement.

3. Select topic statements that provide value, more information, or evidence for your thesis statement.

There are also various essay structures , such as the compare and contrast structure, chronological structure, problem method solution structure, and signposting structure that you can follow to create an organized and impactful essay.

Parts of an essay

An impactful, well-structured essay comes down to three important parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion.

1. The introduction sets the stage for your essay and is typically a paragraph long. It should grab the reader’s attention and give them a clear idea of what your essay will be about.

2. The body is where you dive deeper into your topic and present your arguments and evidence. It usually consists of two paragraphs, but this can vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing.

3. The conclusion brings your essay to a close and is typically one paragraph long. It should summarize the main points of the essay and leave the reader with something to think about.

The length of your paragraphs can vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing. So, make sure you take the time to plan out your essay structure so each section flows smoothly into the next.


When it comes to writing an essay, the introduction is a critical component that sets the tone for the entire piece. A well-crafted introduction not only grabs the reader’s attention but also provides them with a clear understanding of what the essay is all about. An essay editor can help you achieve this, but it’s best to know the brief yourself!

Let’s take a look at how to write an attractive and informative introductory paragraph.

1. Construct an attractive hook

To grab the reader’s attention, an opening statement or hook is crucial. This can be achieved by incorporating a surprising statistic, a shocking fact, or an interesting anecdote into the beginning of your piece.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about water conservation you can begin your essay with, “Clean drinking water, a fundamental human need, remains out of reach for more than one billion people worldwide. It deprives them of a basic human right and jeopardizes their health and wellbeing.”

2. Provide sufficient context or background information

An effective introduction should begin with a brief description or background of your topic. This will help provide context and set the stage for your discussion.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about climate change, you start by describing the current state of the planet and the impact that human activity is having on it.

3. Construct a well-rounded and comprehensive thesis statement

A good introduction should also include the main message or thesis statement of your essay. This is the central argument that you’ll be making throughout the piece. It should be clear, concise, and ideally placed toward the end of the introduction.

By including these elements in your introduction, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the rest of your essay.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Essay introduction example

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane in 1903 revolutionized the way humans travel and explore the world. Prior to this invention, transportation relied on trains, boats, and cars, which limited the distance and speed of travel. However, the airplane made air travel a reality, allowing people to reach far-off destinations in mere hours. This breakthrough paved the way for modern-day air travel, transforming the world into a smaller, more connected place. In this essay, we will explore the impact of the Wright Brothers’ invention on modern-day travel, including the growth of the aviation industry, increased accessibility of air travel to the general public, and the economic and cultural benefits of air travel.

Body paragraphs

You can persuade your readers and make your thesis statement compelling by providing evidence, examples, and logical reasoning. To write a fool-proof and authoritative essay, you need to provide multiple well-structured, substantial arguments.

Let’s take a look at how this can be done:

1. Write a topic sentence for each paragraph

The beginning of each of your body paragraphs should contain the main arguments that you’d like to address. They should provide ground for your thesis statement and make it well-rounded. You can arrange these arguments in several formats depending on the type of essay you’re writing.

2. Provide the supporting information

The next point of your body paragraph should provide supporting information to back up your main argument. Depending on the type of essay, you can elaborate on your main argument with the help of relevant statistics, key information, examples, or even personal anecdotes.

3. Analyze the supporting information

After providing relevant details and supporting information, it is important to analyze it and link it back to your main argument.

4. Create a smooth transition to the next paragraph

End one body paragraph with a smooth transition to the next. There are many ways in which this can be done, but the most common way is to give a gist of your main argument along with the supporting information with transitory words such as “however” “in addition to” “therefore”.

Here’s an example of a body paragraph.

Essay body paragraph example

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting information
  • Analysis of the information
  • Smooth transition to the next paragraph

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane revolutionized air travel. They achieved the first-ever successful powered flight with the Wright Flyer in 1903, after years of conducting experiments and studying flight principles. Despite their first flight lasting only 12 seconds, it was a significant milestone that paved the way for modern aviation. The Wright Brothers’ success can be attributed to their systematic approach to problem-solving, which included numerous experiments with gliders, the development of a wind tunnel to test their designs, and meticulous analysis and recording of their results. Their dedication and ingenuity forever changed the way we travel, making modern aviation possible.

A powerful concluding statement separates a good essay from a brilliant one. To create a powerful conclusion, you need to start with a strong foundation.

Let’s take a look at how to construct an impactful concluding statement.

1. Restructure your thesis statement

To conclude your essay effectively, don’t just restate your thesis statement. Instead, use what you’ve learned throughout your essay and modify your thesis statement accordingly. This will help you create a conclusion that ties together all of the arguments you’ve presented.

2. Summarize the main points of your essay

The next point of your conclusion consists of a summary of the main arguments of your essay. It is crucial to effectively summarize the gist of your essay into one, well-structured paragraph.

3. Create a lasting impression with your concluding statement

Conclude your essay by including a key takeaway, or a powerful statement that creates a lasting impression on the reader. This can include the broader implications or consequences of your essay topic.

Here’s an example of a concluding paragraph.

Essay conclusion example

  • Restated thesis statement
  • Summary of the main points
  • Broader implications of the thesis statement

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane forever changed history by paving the way for modern aviation and countless aerospace advancements. Their persistence, innovation, and dedication to problem-solving led to the first successful powered flight in 1903, sparking a revolution in transportation that transformed the world. Today, air travel remains an integral part of our globalized society, highlighting the undeniable impact of the Wright Brothers’ contribution to human civilization.

Types of essays

Most essays are derived from the combination or variation of these four main types of essays . let’s take a closer look at these types.

1. Narrative essay

A narrative essay is a type of writing that involves telling a story, often based on personal experiences. It is a form of creative nonfiction that allows you to use storytelling techniques to convey a message or a theme.

2. Descriptive essay

A descriptive essay aims to provide an immersive experience for the reader by using sensory descriptors. Unlike a narrative essay, which tells a story, a descriptive essay has a narrower scope and focuses on one particular aspect of a story.

3. Argumentative essays

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that aims to persuade the reader to adopt a particular stance based on factual evidence and is one of the most common forms of college essays.

4. Expository essays

An expository essay is a common format used in school and college exams to assess your understanding of a specific topic. The purpose of an expository essay is to present and explore a topic thoroughly without taking any particular stance or expressing personal opinions.

While this article demonstrates what is an essay and describes its types, you may also have other doubts. As experts who provide essay editing and proofreading services , we’re here to help. 

Our team has created a list of resources to clarify any doubts about writing essays. Keep reading to write engaging and well-organized essays!

  • How to Write an Essay in 8 Simple Steps
  • How to Write an Essay Header
  • How to Write an Essay Outline

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an argumentative and an expository essay, what is the difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay, what is an essay format, what is the meaning of essay, what is the purpose of writing an essay.

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Solution destination to your problems, different parts of an essay.

There are five main parts of an essay. Every essay has three basic parts introduction (the beginning) , body (the middle) and the conclusion along with outlines (optional) and paragraphs (mandatory and sub part of body) . To craft out a good essay one must keep in mind this basic structure. Sometimes in our classes at graduation level a fourth part of essay called outlines is also included on the top of these three basic elements which serves as a road map for writing this essay. Three or more than three paragraphs in the body are also a necessary fifth element of essay.

The introduction

To arrest the immediate attention of readers before they get exhausted writer should present a hook (a sentence might be a surpring question or fact or a bold statement to hook attention of reader) and then put his basic theme or thesis along with background knowledge on which he is going to write essay in first two or three lines. Introduction must be pithy and concise stating complete information about the theme. However for unfolding the theme of the essay there are two approaches i.e for literary essays and student essays. Literary essayist has the choice to treat his theme as he likes. He can start his essay with an epigram, a quotation, a verse, a phrase or story as his main objective is to catch reader's attention. On the other hand for the students it is mandatory to adhere traditional rules of essay writing. They are not to catch examiners' attention.

The middle or Body

Body is one of the most important parts of an essay which consists of paragraphs. Adequate knowledge or information about the theme is necessary to form an argument where a single paragraph presents a single argument. The wider and deeper information will be better to formulate paragraph. Reproduction (repeating the same facts in different words time and again) of thoughts and facts badly affect the health of paragraph. To keep oneself enriched with the uptodate knowledge, one should fly to the reading, as it is a key to the knowledge. Three or more than three paragraphs are necessary for body of an essay. Less than three paragraphs in body would impact the length. With one or two paragraphs essay will not descend upon its definition perfectly. After stating topic sentence in first two lines paragraph can be developed further by giving facts, examples, by narrating incidents, logical reasoning and by drawing comparisons.

A paragraph consists of a topic sentence (indicates the thesis), its supporting details and some valuable information about the theme of essay. After stating topic sentence in first two lines, paragraph can be developed further by giving facts, examples, logical reasoning, by narrating incidents, or by drawing comparisons. A paragraph with solid arguments, facts and figures will satisfy the readers or examiner and rank your essay in their eyes. In other words success or failure of an essay depends on compactness of paragraphs you developed in essay.

The conclusion

Conclusion or final part of the essay requires more attention than all the other parts and it must be constructed in such a way it must leave a lasting impression on the readers. Thesis, topic sentences and all the arguments from body or paragraphs get combined in conclusion. Conclusion cannot accede more than a paragraph, it should and must reflect thesis of the essay as a poor conclusion can spoil whole essay.

Outlines are roadmap for both readers and writer, for readers they provide whole essay at a glance and writer determines his path and order in which he is going to write his essay. Outlines are most important sub-topics going to be discussed throughout the whole essay. No outlines for literary essays are required at all and for college essays they are optional. Outlines are least important part of an essay without them essays are acceptable.

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Use effective paragraph structure to explain and support your thesis statement.

Effective paragraphs are important in all types of writing. Your paragraphs guide your reader through the paper by helping to explain, substantiate, and support your thesis statement or argument. Each paragraph should discuss one major point or idea. An effective paragraph has three parts: claim, evidence, and analysis.

This is also sometimes called a topic sentence. This will be your way of announcing the main focus of your paragraph; it should tell the reader what your paragraph will be about.

It may be helpful to think of your claims as mini arguments that support the paper’s main argument or thesis. Just as in the thesis statement, your topic sentences should be debatable. In other words, they should be arguable claims that you will support with your evidence.

If you get stuck developing these claims, try to think of reasons why your thesis is true. Each claim should be a reason why the reader should believe your paper’s main idea. For example, perhaps you’re writing an essay about whether people should drink soy milk instead of cow’s milk. Your reasons for this might include health benefits, environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and safety, so you would focus one paragraph on each of these topics.

One of the most common mistakes is to present a topic sentence that is actually an observation of facts or a description of events rather than an active argument. When you make a claim based on a fact or event in your topic sentence, you aren’t presenting an arguable claim that you can back up with your evidence in that paragraph.

Here are some sample claims for the "health benefits of soy" paragraph:

  • Claim based on a fact or event (weak): Soy milk contains healthy isoflavones and nutrients.
  • Claim based on an active argument (stronger): The isoflavones and nutrients in soy milk help to protect the body from disease and promote good health, so soy is a better choice.
  • The first example is weak because it presents facts that cannot be disputed; the second example is stronger because it uses those facts to make an argument. As you can see, the second example not only tells the reader that soy contains healthy isoflavones and nutrients, but it also argues that these facts make soy milk a better choice.

To evaluate whether your paper contains effective claims in each paragraph, read only the first sentence of each paragraph. You should be able to follow the development of the paper’s thesis by reading only the claim sentences. These should tell you the main points that you are making throughout the paper. Your claims will also prepare the reader for the second section of your paragraph.

This is how you support, or back up, your claims. The evidence will help to "prove" each claim to the reader.

In a paper that incorporates research from secondary sources, your evidence may include information from articles, books, electronic sources, or any of the research you gathered. The evidence may take the form of a direct quotation, paraphrased material, statistical data, or any other information from one of your sources that helps to support your claim.

Try to incorporate information from several sources into each paragraph. Avoid just "retelling" the information from a single author or article. Aim to represent a variety of opinions and views. This way, you’re not just telling the reader what one expert says, but you’re explaining how your claim is supported by research from several experts in your field. 

Here are some examples of weak and strong evidence sections:

Evidence that includes information from one source (weak evidence): 

According to Collins, soy milk has more protein than cow’s milk, and doesn’t contain the saturated fat or cholesterol (1). Soybeans are "complete protein" because they contain all eight amino acids (Collins 1). Collins points out that "as little as 25 mg of soy protein a day may decrease levels of LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides" (1) and this may reduce the chance of heart disease. Since soy is a "low-glycemic index" food, it may help people trying to lose weight "feel more satisfied and less hungry until your next meal, which is beneficial for weight management and control" (1).

Evidence that includes information from a variety of sources (stronger evidence): 

Scientists believe that soy milk has the potential to balance cholesterol levels in humans: "A diet with significant soy protein reduces Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the 'bad' cholesterol) and triglycerides" (Tsang 1). Since soy milk is one of the easiest ways to incorporate soy into the diet, this is a good choice for people seeking to lower their LDL and triglycerides. Soy milk also may reduce the potential for heart disease. Countries that traditionally consume more soy protein have a much lower incidence of heart disease and many types of cancer (Berkeley 4). The benefits of soy aren’t just limited to the heart, however. Soy milk and cheese made from soy milk may help with weight loss since they contain less saturated fat than regular dairy products, although they contain about the same amounts of fat as reduced-fat milk and cheese (Collins 1). Some researchers even believe that soy may help to stimulate the metabolism (Duke 4).

Note that the second example seems more "balanced," because the author demonstrates knowledge of the subject and incorporates several expert opinions to back up the claim.

Sometimes your assignment will not require you to conduct research into secondary sources, and you may need to use your own ideas or experiences as evidence to back up your claims. Try to be very specific. If you include detailed examples and explanations, your evidence will be more interesting and more persuasive to the reader, and you will seem like more of an authority on your topic:

Evidence that isn’t specific (weak evidence):

My mother’s cholesterol was bad, and the doctor said that soy might help with this. Our family started eating more soy and soy milk, and her levels eventually got much better. During this time, all of us also lost quite a bit of weight.

Evidence that is specific (stronger evidence):

Two years ago, my mother’s LDL ("bad") cholesterol level was 242, and her HDL ("good") cholesterol was 37, so she was considered "high risk." Since she was hesitant to take cholesterol-lowering medications, her internist suggested that she try to incorporate more soy into her diet. He believed that it was worthwhile to try this before placing her on medications. In order to support her, our entire family started drinking soy milk and walking in the evenings. After six months, her LDL dropped to 198 and her HDL rose to 45, which was a dramatic improvement. Our family all lost quite a bit of weight, as well: my mother lost fifteen pounds and my father lost more than twenty. Her doctor tells her that if she continues this lifestyle change, she will significantly reduce her chance of heart problems in the future.    

The second example not only contains more information, but it presents it in a believable and interesting way. By including specific details, the author appears to be an "expert," so the evidence is more persuasive.

Your analysis or concluding observation is your way of "wrapping up" the information presented in your paragraph. It should explain why the evidence supports your claim and why this supports the main thesis in your paper.

It’s important to end with your own analysis of the information rather than with evidence. This keeps you "in control" of the paper; if you end with evidence, you’re emphasizing ideas from your sources rather than your own. The reader relies on you to analyze the evidence in the paragraph and explain why it matters to the claim and to the rest of the paper. 

Here are some examples of weak and strong analysis/concluding observation sections:

Analysis that is really evidence (weak): Experts at Duke University’s School of Medicine agree that soy milk is a healthy choice.

Analysis that doesn’t relate evidence to claim and thesis statement (weak): Soy milk therefore prevents disease.

Analysis that explains why evidence supports the claim and why this is important to the paper’s thesis (strong): The disease-fighting and health-promoting components of soy milk have the potential to change people’s health and to improve their lives by affecting both cholesterol and weight. This makes soy milk an important factor in heart health, so people should consider switching to soy milk.

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How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

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General Education


It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!

If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:  

  • A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
  • An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
  • An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph

Are you ready? Let’s begin!


What Is an Introduction Paragraph? 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal  essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph. 

So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper. 

Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.

But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences . 

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!


Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!

The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph

In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. 

Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!

Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook

When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook. 

What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!” 

That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay! 

This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro. 

It’s important to realize  that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay. 

One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way . 

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this: 

There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans. 

This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.

In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.

Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context

Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about

You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it. 

So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis. 

For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment. 

The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.

Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!

Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis

The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph. 

Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.

Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this: 

Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .

The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!

So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic. 

The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement. 


How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.

To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Example of Introduction Paragraph

While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education. 

Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis

Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay. 

Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis: 

  • Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address? 

Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph. 

Does the Intro Have a Good Hook? 

First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting  an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education. 

The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic. 

Does the Intro Give Context?

T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on. 

The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.  

To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.

Does the Intro Have a Thesis? 

Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations. 

However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.

To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:

The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.

Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!  

So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!


4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay. 

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim. 

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific. 

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to  identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph . 


Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!

Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers. 

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context. 

You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers. 

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts . 

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper. 

Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft. 

Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro: 

  • Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
  • Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay? 
  • Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?

Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!


What's Next?

Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays. 

Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.

Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Pasco-Hernando State College

  • The Writing Process
  • Definition of a Paragraph
  • Parts of a Paragraph; Multi-Paragraph Documents
  • Rhetorical Modes; Review of Paragraphs
  • Unity and Coherence in Essays
  • Proving the Thesis/Critical Thinking
  • Appropriate Language

Related Pages

What is a paragraph.

A paragraph is a series of sentences on a specific point or topic. A well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states the main idea: what the paragraph is about. While some say the  topic sentence can be anywhere in the paragraph, it is best to put it as the first sentence in a paragraph. The rest of the sentences in the paragraph support, elaborate, and/or further explain the main idea expressed in the topic sentence.

Paragraphs have varying length depending upon various factors. An average paragraph in an academic essay is about six to eight sentences.

Types of Paragraphs

There are various types of paragraphs such as summaries, abstracts, and answers to questions for a specific assignment.  In addition, there are specialized types of paragraphs for various reports such as feasibility studies or performance reports.

The types of paragraphs covered in this lesson are general paragraphs as would be used in the body of a letter or an academic essay, including general research papers (research essays).

Parts of a Paragraph

Topic sentence – purpose of a paragraph.

Unless you are writing specialized report such as a scientific research paper or a feasibility study that may otherwise show the purpose of a paragraph such as a heading , a well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states what the paragraph is about.

Whether you are writing a paragraph for a specific assignment, an academic essay, a research paper, or a simple letter, each paragraph should include a topic sentence. The topic sentence should be the first sentence of the paragraph so that the reader knows what the paragraph is about.  The topic sentence in a body paragraph of an essay must be in support for the thesis: a reason why the thesis is true or accurate.

The rest of the sentences in the paragraph of an essay support, elaborate, and/or further explain the topic sentence.

Here is an example of a paragraph:

The first sentence is the topic sentence. See how the rest of the sentences support, elaborate, and/or or further explain it.

Almost every aspect of modern life has been improved through convenience provided by technology. From the alarm clock in the morning to the entertainment center at night, everyday life is improved. The automatic coffee maker has the coffee ready at a certain time. Cars or public transportation bring people to work where computers operate at the push of a button. At home, there’s the convenience of washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and power lawn mowers. Modern technology has made life better with many conveniences.

Everything in this paragraph is about how modern life has been improved through convenience provided by technology.

Unity and Coherence

A paragraph must have unity.

All of the sentences of a particular paragraph must focus on one point to achieve one goal: to support the topic sentence.

A paragraph must have coherence.

The sentences must flow smoothly and logically from one to the next as they support the topic sentence.

The last sentence of the paragraph should restate the topic sentence to help achieve unity and coherence.

Here is an example with information that  does not  support the topic sentence.

Almost every aspect of modern life has been improved through convenience provided by modern technology.  From the alarm clock in the morning to the entertainment center at night, everyday life is improved. The automatic coffee maker has the coffee ready at a certain time. People are more concerned about health issues and good air quality, so they have started walking or riding a bike to work even though they have the option of using a car or public transportation. There’s the convenience of washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and power lawn mowers. Modern technology has made life better with many conveniences.

See how just one non-supporting sentence takes away from the effectiveness of the paragraph in showing how modern conveniences make life better since the unity and coherence are affected.  There is no longer unity among all the sentences.  The thought pattern is disjointed and the paragraph loses its coherence.

Here’s another example of a paragraph

Not only has modern technology improved life through convenience, it has improved life through efficiency. The time saved with machines doing most of the work leaves more time for people to develop their personal goals or to just relax. Years ago, when doing laundry could take all day, there wasn’t time left over to read or go to school or even just to take a leisurely walk. Nowadays, people have more time and energy than ever to simply enjoy their lives thanks to the efficiency of modern technology.

Note: See how all the sentences work together to support the point that technology has improved lives through efficiency.

Transitions – Words that Connect

Transitions  are words, groups of words, or sentences that connect one sentence to another or one paragraph to another.

They promote a logical flow from one idea to the next.

While they are not needed in every sentence, they are missed when they are omitted since the flow of thoughts becomes disjointed or even confusing.

There are different types of transitions such as the following:

  • Time – before, after, during, in the meantime, nowadays
  • Space – over, around, under
  • Examples – for instance, one example is
  • Comparison –  on the other hand, the opposing view
  • Consequence – as a result, subsequently

These are just a few examples. The idea is to paint a clear, logical connection between sentences and between paragraphs.

Here’s how transitions help make a paragraph unified and coherent

Not only  has modern technology improved life through convenience, it has improved life through efficiency.  The time saved with machines doing most of the work leaves more time for people to develop their personal goals or to just relax.   Years ago,  when doing laundry could take all day, there wasn’t time left over to read or go to school or even just to take a leisurely walk.   Nowadays , people have more time and energy than ever to simply enjoy their lives thanks to the efficiency of modern technology.

Each part of a paragraph must support the topic sentence. In addition, the sentences must flow logically from one to the other.

See how the following paragraph has ideas that don’t seem to belong

Growing flowers is fun. The sun rises in the morning and warms the soil. Flowers come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Sometimes, there is not enough rain.  Flowers also bloom during different times of the year. Flowers need nutrients to grow strong and beautiful. There are some children who like to pick the flowers. There are different growing seasons in different parts of the country.  Flowers that will grow high should be planted behind those that will not grow as high. Some people let their dog’s leash extend allowing the dog to go into the flower beds which is not very nice. Designing a flower bed has to consider the different times the flowers will bloom. A substitute for rainfall should be planned. It is fun to grow flowers.

Here is a revised version with unity and coherence.  See how each sentence is clearly part of the whole which is to show how it is fun to grow flowers.

Growing flowers is fun.  Planning the garden is the first step, and it is part of the fun. Flowers must be selected for their size, color, and time of bloom. Selections should be made so that there is at least one type of flower blooming throughout the season and that taller flowers are behind shorter ones. Meeting the challenges to assure growth such as with an irrigation system or hand watering and fertilizing when needed is also part of the fun. It’s wonderful to check the garden every day to see the little green sprouts starting to appear. It gives a great sense of accomplishment and joy to see the flowers in bloom. It is fun to grow flowers.

An example of a paragraph from a business letter  which does  have unity and coherence:

There are several reasons to select my company to do this job. We are a family owned and operated business and have been in business in this county for thirty-five years. In addition to thousands of satisfied customers, we have proudly sponsored many community events and organizations. All of our employees live in this county, and most have stayed with us for years. We have successfully kept our overhead low and pass those savings onto our customers. By far, we are the best company to complete this project.

Note: See how all the sentences work together to support the point that we are the best company to hire.

Here’s a version of the paragraph which  does not  have unity and coherence:

I am happy that the warm weather is finally here! It’s been a cold winter. There are several reasons to select my company to do this job. By far, we are the best company to complete this project. I have a large family, and in addition to having Sunday dinners, we work together in the company, which has many satisfied customers. Some of my employees take the bus to work, so I am concerned about our public transportation system. We have proudly served our community and we use cost saving methods to keep prices low.

An example of a paragraph in an inter-office memo

Beginning January 1, we will have a revised policy concerning new customers. The updated intake form includes additional information, so please be sure to read through and complete each section. Pay particular addition to the additional questions at the bottom as they are now required by the insurance company. We would like to have e-mail addresses as well. You can assure customers that we will not be sending them solicitations nor giving the list to any other businesses. Be sure to fill in the information neatly and accurately. It is preferred that the information be entered directly into the computer although we realize there are times when that is not practical and a hard-copy form will have to be completed by hand. Review the instructions on the back page of the form for more details on the revised policy for new customers.

Note: See how all the sentences work together to support the point shown in the topic sentence that modern technology has expanded accessibility.

Closing/Transitional Statements in Paragraphs

The last sentence of a paragraph should remind the reader of the point of the paragraph and transition into the next paragraph if there is one.  See how the last sentence, for example, in the above paragraph reminds the reader of what the paragraph is about: Review the instructions on the back page of the form for more details on the revised policy for new customers.

Multi-Paragraph Documents

Most paragraphs we see are part of a multi-paragraph document: newspaper and magazine articles, books, business letters and inter-office memorandum, “how-to” documents, and other informational documents.  Usually, there is an organization of the paragraphs in a specific way. The opening paragraph generally gives some idea of what the document is about. The middle paragraphs give more details about the specific point. The last paragraph ends the writing, generally by summing up and repeating the point.

There are some context-specific documents that have more clearly defined paragraphs which are something included as sections of the writing.  For example, a feasibility report might have the following paragraphs: abstract and/or summary, introduction, discussion, conclusion and recommendations.

Paragraphs in Business Letters and Inter-Office Memorandum

Business letters and inter-office memorandums basically have the same organization of the content:  an introduction paragraph, paragraphs that prove or further explain, and a concluding paragraph which sums up and repeats the point.  A business letter, however, is generally written on company stationery and has the date and address block in the upper left, a Re: line, a salutation such as Dear Mr. Haller (although some are no longer using a formal salutation), and a complimentary closing such as Sincerely. An inter-office memorandum is generally written on plain paper, sometimes with the company logo as part of the template, lines with To:, From:, Date:, and Re: in the upper left, and no complimentary closing.

Paragraphs in Informational Documents and Academic Essays

Informational documents.

This refers to groups of writings that are designed to give information about a topic or position on a topic. While they all include a specific thesis (point), have an introduction and concluding paragraph, and have paragraphs that proof or explain the point, there can be wide variety on where the thesis is expressed and the ancillary information presented that is supplemental to the thesis. These are sometimes called essays.  However,  academic  essays do have a very specific organizational pattern.

Academic Essays

The introduction paragraph and the concluding paragraph of an essay are different from a general paragraph. An introduction contains general background information on a topic and leads into a thesis statement. The sentences with background information should be general and not contain proof of the thesis. The sentences should be relevant, however, and logically flow into the thesis. Background sentences include information about the topic and the controversy. Some instructors may prefer other types of content in the introduction in addition to the thesis. It is best to check with an instructor as to whether he or she has a preference for content. In any case, there must be unity and coherence in an introduction paragraph as well. 

While the body paragraph of an academic is the same as a general paragraph in that they have a topic sentence and sentences that support it, the topic sentence must be a reason why the thesis of the essay is accurate. Body paragraphs should clearly support the thesis and not contain any extraneous information. However, one way of proving your thesis is right is by presenting the opposing view and then rebutting it, that is, showing how it is not valid.  

Some instructors say that any opposing information should be in a separate rebuttal paragraph before the concluding paragraph. If not specifically indicated by your instructor, either putting opposing information into the paragraphs related to the specific information or having a separate rebuttal paragraph is appropriate, but not both in the same essay.

A concluding paragraph sums up the proof and restates the thesis. Some instructors ask for a statement drawing an implication of the information presented instead of or in addition to a restatement of the thesis. In either case, while a concluding paragraph, as with the introduction paragraph, does not start with a topic sentence and has the rest of the sentences support the topic sentence, the concluding paragraph is similar in that the summary of the proof ties directly into the thesis or statement of general implication. A concluding paragraph does not have extraneous, off-topic sentences.

Rhetorical Modes as Types of Paragraphs

Narration is when an author writes as though he or she is telling a story. This mode is used more often in fiction, but it can be used in academic essay writing when the best way to help prove the thesis is by relating a sequence of events.

Description/Definition/Exemplification, and Classification

These closely related modes use specific information about certain aspects of a thing, event, or situation. The terms speak for themselves.  Description uses details describing the thing, event, or situation. Definition defines it. Exemplification uses examples, and classification uses categories.

  • The rose was red. (description)
  • A rose is a flower with soft petals and a beautiful, brief bloom. (definition)
  • Roses comes in a variety of colors such as red, yellow, and white. (example)
  • Roses come in a variety of types including miniature, climbing, hybrid tea, and floribunda. (classification)


Comparing and/or contrasting one thing, event, or situation is a helpful way to show what it is and isn't. If someone were arguing that a particular type of sneaker was the best, it would be useful to compare to others for support, durability, and price.

Cause and/or Effect

This mode is useful in arguing for or again an action. Showing the cause and/or effect of an action can be persuasive. For example, if someone were arguing for an increase in the speed limit, statistics showing an increase in fatalities where limits are higher would be a persuasive argument.


In a sense, the ultimate intent of all communication is persuasion. Argumentation is one way of talking about debate. We think of arguing as what we do among friends or family members — and it is — but there is a formal way to argue to prove our point. Actually, we can learn how to better have civil arguments, which will be constructive. In thinking about persuasion/argumentation as a rhetorical mode, it refers to a type of writing that is clearly arguing in support of a specific point.

  • A paragraph is a series of sentences on a particular point.
  • A paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that states that point.
  • Sentences with supporting details, such as examples, should follow.
  • A paragraph must have unity and coherence where the sentences smoothly and logically flow from one to the next and stay focused on supporting the topic sentence.
  • Transition words and phrases should be used to connect sentences and paragraphs for unity and coherence.
  • Paragraphs that are part of multi-paragraph documents serve specific functions.
  • The special types of paragraphs in business letters and inter-office memorandums.
  • The special types of paragraphs in informational documents and academic essays.
  • The rhetorical modes that can be used as different types of paragraphs.
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Describe an incident that you can never forget. -You should write between 150-200 words. -Your essay should include three distinctive parts can buoduction, two three body paragraphs and a conclusion - Your essay should have a thesis statement and each paragraph should include a topic sentence. Please need help in the essay ​


because with out a topic we cannot describe sentence

Related Questions

Whats the answer ill give brainliest

why is Gregor so small and his boss so big?

Answer: Gregor is small compared to his boss, because his boss has more power and sits on the boss desk while him and the workers look up to him. Gregor doesn’t have much and people have the ability to step on him

Which of the following sentences contains a hidden antecedent? a. Avery bought an apple and two bananas because she loves them. b. The store was having a sale, so we bought the dresses there. c. The dog's bowl was empty because he ate it all. d. Monkeys and dogs are my two favorite animals, because they are both really cute.

A) i think, sorry if it´s wrong

What is the central idea of the short story “the hand” by Guy de Maupassant

The central idea of the short story “the hand” by Guy de Maupassant is that revenge is a vicious cycle.

So if a say something that is a evidence how do I know that it supports the claim? What is a claim?

you know that supports the claim that if it's applies directly to the the

Also a claim is more of a mix between a statement and an opinion

What does the wave in Patricia Hubbell's poem "The Black Snake" symbolize? the movement of the ocean the snake's movement how a tire rolls how the tree sways

B. The snake's movement

Took the test.

what's the meaning of the word zodiac?​

Answer:I really don’t know tbh

Explanation: I’m dumb

belt of the heavens within about 8° either side of the ecliptic, including all apparent positions of the sun, moon, and most familiar planets. It is divided into twelve equal divisions or signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces).

What effect did the coronavirus have on water utilities?

The virus has caused people to be stingy and selfish (in my opinion) people take up more water than they need and do not share with others who need it more than them.

plz, help Select the phrase that describes how Alice enters the house behind the mirror. “Let's pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze” “oh! such beautiful things in it!” “glass WAS beginning to melt away” “the old room was quite common”

I think its the first one or the third one

the answer is c

i did the lesson on edgen :)

Joe Leaphorn learned the traditions and culture of the Navajo people from his mother.

Soda tries to understand, at least, which is more than Darry does. But then, Soda is different from anybody; he understands everything, almost. Like he’s never hollering at me all the time the way Darry is, or treating me as if I was six instead of fourteen. I love Soda more than I’ve ever loved anyone, even Mom and Dad. Which statement best states the theme of this excerpt? People are alike inside. Hardship builds character. Kindness creates loyalty. Appearances can be deceptive.

The statement which best states the theme of the excerpt is:

C. Kindness creates loyalty.

This excerpt was taken from the novel "The Outsiders", by author Susan E. Hilton. The narrator, Ponyboy, is talking of his brother, explaining how he feels toward him. Because he feels like Soda truly listens to him and cares about him, Ponyboy feels love for him that he does not feel for anyone else. And, because of this love, he is loyal to Soda. This could be easily summarized as kindness --> love --> loyalty. Ponyboy feels and acts the way he does because of his brother's kindness.

What was a common question asked at all HUAC trials that would be deemed as "unconstitutional" today?

would be deemed as well

Which statement best summarizes the speech?

Which two sentences use dependent clauses that modify the verbs of their sentences? A) All of the lamps in this store are on sale for extremely low prices. B) The students in the Mud Run all went out to dinner afterward in their dirty shoes. C) My father taught me many important skills like woodworking , car repair and lawn maintenance . D) While rolling up the carpet and throwing it on the back of the truck , Frank laughed heartily . Before Sarah could get suspicious , her family yelled " Surprise ! " and popped out from behind the sofa . E) Before Sarah could get suspicious , her family yelled " Surprise!" and popped out from behind the sofa. Please HELP!

Answer: D and E

Explanation: I did it on USA and got it right

What theme about fatherhood is developed in the first stanza ?

In the poem below, the author uses figurative language to describe sunflowers. Using details from the selection, discuss how the use of figurative language affects the meaning of the poem. Your answer should be 2-3 sentences. Sunflowers by Beverly McLoughland They stand along the railroad tracks wide-eyed, stretching their long necks, gazing into the distance— like impatient travelers waiting for the 3 o’clock train.

The use of figurative language in this poem is used in many ways to make the poem more colorful and informative. By using figurative language in this poem we gather more insight and how he or she feels a connection with the sunflowers. By using figurative language this poem has more depth and meaning.The use of figurative language in this poem is used in many ways to make the poem more colorful and informative. By using figurative language in this poem we gather more insight and how he or she feels a connection with the sunflowers. By using figurative language this poem has more depth and meaning.The use of figurative language in this poem is used in many ways to make the poem more colorful and informative. By using figurative language in this poem we gather more insight and how he or she feels a connection with the sunflowers. By using figurative language this poem has more depth and meaning.The use of figurative language in this poem is used in many ways to make the poem more colorful and informative. By using figurative language in this poem we gather more insight and how he or she feels a connection with the sunflowers. By using figurative language this poem has more depth and meaning.

They stand along the railroad tracks

stretching their long necks,

gazing into the distance—

like impatient travelers

waiting for the 3 o’clock train.

Does anyone else have really vivid dreams? Like for example, I fell asleep for like ten minutes thinking I was still awake. In my dream I was eating cookies with mixed in sprinkles and I swear I could taste them. I was yelling at some random dude I've never met before. Then I woke up and was sad because I didn't have cookies and my sister (We share a room) was shouting at me to stop yelling.

its so weird

You can taste stuff in your dream

Figurative language sentence for the word “brave”

He was brave now that he faced only a woman.

Her eyes watered at his brave words, and she hugged him.

Please tell the brave sailors, who have charge of the HELEN KELLER, that little Helen who stays at home will often think of them with loving thoughts.

If you're brave enough, you can see him when he's back

Hello!!! Princess Sakura here ^^

Smilie - The boy is brave as a lion

Personification - The brave leaves fought against the wind holding onto their stems.

What are the Synonym and Antonym

Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. Synonyms are words with the same or similar meaning

Your adult found a broken plate in the garbage.Your adult might feel

mad very very mad.................................

Your adult found a broken plate in the garbage. Your adult might feel... like they want to put you up for adoption.

Your adult found a broken plate in the garbage.Your adult might feel... Angry with you.

please help me..................................................................................................................................................................................

What's the primary ingredient in hummus?

What did classic horror author H.P. Lovecraft say creates the strongest kind of fear in a horror story? a Fear of the unknown b Monsters c Things that jump out d Fountains of blood

In the passage three step is mainly presented as?

where is the passage I can't see it

hello please help I will give brainliest thank you!

the autobiography talks about how ingrid was upset before recieving the gift, while the biography just says she was happy about the gift :)

What is your impression of the romantic relationship described in the sonnet?

3. In which of the following examples does the author use an allusion? A. She felt the warm breeze caress her cheek. B. I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse. C.He was as fast as a cheetah. D.His bellowing voice shook the walls like the roar of Zeus.​

Plz help I don’t know which one goes in it place plz help.

amusement park is to persuade, the medical study is to inform, the song is to entertain, the waste management is to also inform

Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; which was a book officially listing the rank and title of "Sir" to the wealthy society in England. Sir Elliot found entertainment for an empty hour, and relaxation in hours of stress. There, his senses were excited by his own love and respect for his self. If he ever felt unwanted feelings, he read his own history with an interest which never failed. The Baronetage was left opened to the page that documented Sir Walter's ancestors, birth, and property ownership. Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; love of his person and of his status. He had been remarkably handsome in his youth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. Sir Walter could not think more of his personal appearance and any assistant of a man with the same title could not be more delighted with his job that gave him a place in society. He considered the blessing of beauty just below the blessing of the title, Baron; and Sir Walter Elliot, who had the gift of both looks and title, was the constant object of his own warmest respect and devotion. His good looks and his rank had one accomplishment; a wife of superior character, Lady Elliot had been gone for thirteen years. She was an excellent woman, practical and friendly; whose judgement and character gave her the ability needed to devote her marriage to overlook her husband's failings. Be it known then, that Sir Walter, like a good father, prided himself on remaining single for his dear daughters' sake. For one daughter, his eldest, he would have given up anything, which he had not been tempted to do. Elizabeth had succeeded, at sixteen, to take on the household responsibilities, and the family had gone on together most happily. Elizabeth did not quite equal her father in self-confidence. The thirteen years since her mother passed away, had taken away her youthful look and given her reasons to regret the number of responsibilities she had. She needed an introduction to a proper man with a title in the next year or remain as the caretaker of Kellynch Hall. 6 How does Elizabeth's point of view differ from Sir Walter's point of view? A. Elizabeth is less confident. B. Elizabeth is more selfish. C. Elizabeth is more sensible. D. Elizabeth is less compassionate.

Calculate ΔK, the change in the total kinetic energy of the system that occurs during the collision. thisis due to the uncertainty of the values

i think so lol

What elements does a strong body paragraph in a literary analysis always contain? Select three options. O an introduction to a text reasons that support a viewpoint O a thesis statement supporting evidence and commentary Da summary of the main points

A, B, and D,

The elements that has a strong body paragraph in a literary analysis always contain is :

A) An introduction to a text

B) Reasons that support a viewpoint.

D) Supporting evidence and commentary.

The elements that has a strong body paragraph in a literary analysis always contain is an introduction to a text, reasons that support a viewpoint and supporting evidence and commentary.

Literary analysis includes analyzing these components, which permits us to discover in little parts of the content clues to assist us get it the complete.

Learn more about "Literary analysis" :

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  • How to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples

How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

  • Catch your reader’s attention.
  • Give background on your topic.
  • Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay.

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

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Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

  • Braille was an extremely important invention.
  • The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

  • The internet is defined as “a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.”
  • The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

  • Mary Shelley’s  Frankenstein is a famous book from the nineteenth century.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

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parts of an essay paragraph

Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

  • Historical, geographical, or social context
  • An outline of the debate you’re addressing
  • A summary of relevant theories or research about the topic
  • Definitions of key terms

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

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As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

To polish your writing, you can use something like a paraphrasing tool .

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

  • Argumentative
  • Literary analysis

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

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
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

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