aszThe introduction guides your reader into the paper by introducing the topic. It should
begin with a hook that catches the reader’s interest. This hook could be a quote, an
analogy, a question, etc. After getting the reader’s attention, the introduction should
give some background information on the topic. The ideas within the introduction
should be general enough for the reader to understand the main claim and gradually
become more specific to lead into the thesis statement. (See the Introductions
handout for further information.)
The thesis statement concisely states the main idea or argument of the essay, sets
limits on the topic, and can indicate the organization of the essay. The thesis works as
a road map for the entire essay, showing the readers what you have to say and which
main points you will use to support your ideas.
The body of the essay supports the main points presented in the thesis. Each point is
developed by one or more paragraphs and supported with specific details. These
details can include support from research and experiences, depending on the
assignment. In addition to this support, the author’s own analysis and discussion of the topic ties ideas
together and draws conclusions that support the thesis. Refer to “Parts of a Paragraph” below for
further information on writing effective body paragraphs.
Transitions connect paragraphs to each other and to the thesis. They are used within and between
paragraphs to help the paper flow from one topic to the next. These transitions can be one or two words
(“first,” “next,” “in addition,” etc.) or one or two sentences that bring the reader to the next main point.
The topic sentence of a paragraph often serves as a transition. (See the Transitions handout for further
The conclusion brings together all the main points of the essay. It refers back to the thesis statement
and leaves readers with...