Parts of an effective academic essay

Schedule a Writing Appointment What are body paragraphs? Body paragraphs are those paragraphs nestled between the introduction and the conclusion of a paper. They are, in a sense, mini-essays, as they each contain the essential elements of an effective essay: Unity Just as a paper has its controlling idea — the thesis statement — a paragraph has its controlling idea — the topic sentence.

Parts of an effective academic essay

Essay Introductions Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments. Every essay or assignment you write must begin with an introduction.

It might be helpful to think of the introduction as an inverted pyramid. In such a pyramid, you begin by presenting a broad introduction to the topic and end by making a more focused point about that topic in your thesis statement.

The introduction has three essential parts, each of which serves a particular purpose. You also want to do that in a way that is fresh and original. Instead, you might try one of the following techniques: Offer a surprising statistic that conveys something about the problem to be addressed in the paper.

Perhaps you can find an interesting quote that nicely sums up your argument.

Parts of an effective academic essay

Use rhetorical questions that place your readers in a different situation in order to get them thinking about your topic in a new way. If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved.

For example, if you were writing a paper about drunk drivers, you might begin with a compelling story about someone whose life was forever altered by a drunk driver: Attending college on a track scholarship, she was earning good grades and making lots of friends.

This section helps the reader see why you are focusing on this topic and makes the transition to the main point of your paper. Therefore, you need to bridge the gap between your attention-grabber and your thesis with some transitional discussion.

In this part of your introduction, you narrow your focus of the topic and explain why the attention-grabber is relevant to the specific area you will be discussing.

You should introduce your specific topic and provide any necessary background information that the reader would need in order to understand the problem that you are presenting in the paper.

You can also define any key terms the reader might not know. Continuing with the example above, we might move from the narrative about Michelle to a short discussion of the scope of the problem of drunk drivers.

We might say, for example: Each year XX number of lives are lost due to drunk-driving accidents. This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving.

Finally, the introduction must conclude with a clear statement of the overall point you want to make in the paper. In this scenario, your thesis would be the point you are trying to make about drunk driving.

You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. Whatever the case, your thesis would clearly state the main point your paper is trying to make.

This gives the reader a general sense of how you will organize the different points that follow throughout the essay. In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper.

In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper.Learn how to write a strong essay introduction with recommendations from University of Maryland University College's Effective Writing Center.

Skip to Main Content Parts of an Essay. Essay Introductions. Essay Conclusions. Paragraph Structure. Evaluating Sources. Grammar Help An overview of the skills needed for academic and. The ability to write a strong essay will be a key to your success at University of Maryland University College.

The Effective Writing Center offers guidelines for developing a . Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader.

Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic. In academic essays, the problem usually arises from a current misunderstanding of an important issue.

Understanding the Parts of an Essay

The author of an essay promises to clarify something that would otherwise remain obscured or mistaken. Establishing the problem or question is the primary role of an essay’s first few paragraphs.

Jul 18,  · How to Write an Academic Essay Five Parts: Following the Instructions for Your Assignment Researching Your Topic Constructing Your Essay Polishing Your Essay Sample Essays Community Q&A Being able to write a strong academic essay is a critical skill for college and university students%(14).

Oct 31,  · How to Write an Academic Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Following the Instructions for Your Assignment Researching Your Topic Constructing Your Essay Polishing Your Essay Sample Essays Community Q&A Being able to write a strong academic essay is a critical skill for college and university students%(23).

Four Components of Effective Body Paragraph | Webster University