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Traditional Academic Essays In Three Parts

Part i: the introduction.

An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic essay. If you’re writing a long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:

  • Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
  • Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the essay you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.

Part II: The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your essay:

Main Idea. The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that main ideas are…

  • like labels. They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
  • arguable. They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
  • focused. Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.

Evidence. The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…

  • quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
  • facts , e.g. statistics or findings from studies you’ve conducted.
  • narratives and/or descriptions , e.g. of your own experiences.

Analysis. The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.

Transition. The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.

Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “ T ransition” and the “ M ain Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.

Part III: The Conclusion

A conclusion is the last paragraph of your essay, or, if you’re writing a really long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:

  • Summarizes the argument. Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.
  • For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period .
  • Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region .
  • Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future . You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.

Handout by Dr. Liliana Naydan. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Guide to Writing Introductions and Conclusions

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First and last impressions are important in any part of life, especially in writing. This is why the introduction and conclusion of any paper – whether it be a simple essay or a long research paper – are essential. Introductions and conclusions are just as important as the body of your paper. The introduction is what makes the reader want to continue reading your paper. The conclusion is what makes your paper stick in the reader’s mind.

Introductions

Your introductory paragraph should include:

1) Hook:  Description, illustration, narration or dialogue that pulls the reader into your paper topic. This should be interesting and specific.

2) Transition: Sentence that connects the hook with the thesis.

3) Thesis: Sentence (or two) that summarizes the overall main point of the paper. The thesis should answer the prompt question.

The examples below show are several ways to write a good introduction or opening to your paper. One example shows you how to paraphrase in your introduction. This will help you understand the idea of writing sequences using a hook, transition, and thesis statement.

» Thesis Statement Opening

This is the traditional style of opening a paper. This is a “mini-summary” of your paper.

For example:

» Opening with a Story (Anecdote)

A good way of catching your reader’s attention is by sharing a story that sets up your paper. Sharing a story gives a paper a more personal feel and helps make your reader comfortable.

This example was borrowed from Jack Gannon’s The Week the World Heard Gallaudet (1989):

Astrid Goodstein, a Gallaudet faculty member, entered the beauty salon for her regular appointment, proudly wearing her DPN button. (“I was married to that button that week!” she later confided.) When Sandy, her regular hairdresser, saw the button, he spoke and gestured, “Never! Never! Never!” Offended, Astrid turned around and headed for the door but stopped short of leaving. She decided to keep her appointment, confessing later that at that moment, her sense of principles had lost out to her vanity. Later she realized that her hairdresser had thought she was pushing for a deaf U.S. President. Hook: a specific example or story that interests the reader and introduces the topic.

Transition: connects the hook to the thesis statement

Thesis: summarizes the overall claim of the paper

» Specific Detail Opening

Giving specific details about your subject appeals to your reader’s curiosity and helps establish a visual picture of what your paper is about.

» Open with a Quotation

Another method of writing an introduction is to open with a quotation. This method makes your introduction more interactive and more appealing to your reader.

» Open with an Interesting Statistic

Statistics that grab the reader help to make an effective introduction.

» Question Openings

Possibly the easiest opening is one that presents one or more questions to be answered in the paper. This is effective because questions are usually what the reader has in mind when he or she sees your topic.

Source : *Writing an Introduction for a More Formal Essay. (2012). Retrieved April 25, 2012, from http://flightline.highline.edu/wswyt/Writing91/handouts/hook_trans_thesis.htm

Conclusions

The conclusion to any paper is the final impression that can be made. It is the last opportunity to get your point across to the reader and leave the reader feeling as if they learned something. Leaving a paper “dangling” without a proper conclusion can seriously devalue what was said in the body itself. Here are a few effective ways to conclude or close your paper. » Summary Closing Many times conclusions are simple re-statements of the thesis. Many times these conclusions are much like their introductions (see Thesis Statement Opening).

» Close with a Logical Conclusion

This is a good closing for argumentative or opinion papers that present two or more sides of an issue. The conclusion drawn as a result of the research is presented here in the final paragraphs.

» Real or Rhetorical Question Closings

This method of concluding a paper is one step short of giving a logical conclusion. Rather than handing the conclusion over, you can leave the reader with a question that causes him or her to draw his own conclusions.

» Close with a Speculation or Opinion This is a good style for instances when the writer was unable to come up with an answer or a clear decision about whatever it was he or she was researching. For example:

» Close with a Recommendation

A good conclusion is when the writer suggests that the reader do something in the way of support for a cause or a plea for them to take action.

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Introductions and Conclusions

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Introductions and conclusions play a special role in the academic essay, and they frequently demand much of your attention as a writer. A good introduction should identify your topic, provide essential context, and indicate your particular focus in the essay. It also needs to engage your readers’ interest. A strong conclusion will provide a sense of closure to the essay while again placing your concepts in a somewhat wider context. It will also, in some instances, add a stimulus to further thought. Since no two essays are the same, no single formula will automatically generate an introduction and conclusion for you. But the following guidelines will help you to construct a suitable beginning and end for your essay.

Some general advice about introductions

  • Some students cannot begin writing the body of the essay until they feel they have the perfect introduction. Be aware of the dangers of sinking too much time into the introduction. Some of that time can be more usefully channeled into planning and writing.
  • You may be the kind of writer who writes an introduction first in order to explore your own thinking on the topic. If so, remember that you may at a later stage need to compress your introduction.
  • It can be fine to leave the writing of the introduction for a later stage in the essay-writing process. Some people write their introduction only after they have completed the rest of the essay. Others write the introduction first but rewrite it significantly in light of what they end up saying in the body of their paper.
  • The introductions for most papers can be effectively written in one paragraph occupying half to three-quarters of the first page. Your introduction may be longer than that, and it may take more than one paragraph, but be sure you know why. The size of your introduction should bear some relationship to the length and complexity of your paper. A twenty page paper may call for a two-page introduction, but a five-page paper will not.
  • Get to the point as soon as possible. Generally, you want to raise your topic in your very first sentences. A common error is to begin too broadly or too far off topic. Avoid sweeping generalizations.
  • If your essay has a thesis, your thesis statement will typically appear at the end of your introduction, even though that is not a hard-and-fast rule. You may, for example, follow your thesis with a brief road map to your essay that sketches the basic structure of your argument. The longer the paper, the more useful a road map becomes.

How do I write an interesting, effective introduction?

Consider these strategies for capturing your readers’ attention and for fleshing out your introduction:

  • Find a startling statistic that illustrates the seriousness of the problem you will address.
  • Quote an expert (but be sure to introduce him or her first).
  • Mention a common misperception that your thesis will argue against .
  • Give some background information necessary for understanding the essay.
  • Use a brief narrative or anecdote that exemplifies your reason for choosing the topic. In an assignment that encourages personal reflection, you may draw on your own experiences; in a research essay, the narrative may illustrate a common real-world scenario.
  • In a science paper, explain key scientific concepts and refer to relevant literature. Lead up to your own contribution or intervention.
  • In a more technical paper, define a term that is possibly unfamiliar to your audience but is central to understanding the essay.

In fleshing out your introduction, you will want to avoid some common pitfalls:

  • Don’t provide dictionary definitions, especially of words your audience already knows.
  • Don’t repeat the assignment specifications using the professor’s wording.
  • Don’t give details and in-depth explanations that really belong in your body paragraphs. You can usually postpone background material to the body of the essay.

Some general advice about conclusions

  • A conclusion is not merely a summary of your points or a re-statement of your thesis. If you wish to summarize—and often you must—do so in fresh language. Remind the reader of how the evidence you’ve presented has contributed to your thesis.
  • The conclusion, like much of the rest of the paper, involves critical thinking. Reflect upon the significance of what you’ve written. Try to convey some closing thoughts about the larger implications of your argument.
  • Broaden your focus a bit at the end of the essay. A good last sentence leaves your reader with something to think about, a concept in some way illuminated by what you’ve written in the paper.
  • For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusion. In some cases, a two-or-three paragraph conclusion may be appropriate. As with introductions, the length of the conclusion should reflect the length of the essay.

How do I write an interesting, effective conclusion?

The following strategies may help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your essay:

  • If your essay deals with a contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
  • Recommend a specific course of action.
  • Use an apt quotation or expert opinion to lend authority to the conclusion you have reached.
  • Give a startling statistic, fact, or visual image to drive home the ultimate point of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point with a relevant narrative drawn from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, example, or quotation that you introduced in your introduction, but add further insight that derives from the body of your essay.
  • In a science or social science paper, mention worthwhile avenues for future research on your topic.

How does genre affect my introduction or conclusion?

Most of the advice in this handout pertains to argumentative or exploratory academic essays. Be aware, however, that different genres have their own special expectations about beginnings and endings. Some academic genres may not even require an introduction or conclusion. An annotated bibliography, for example, typically provides neither. A book review may begin with a summary of the book and conclude with an overall assessment of it. A policy briefing usually includes an introduction but may conclude with a series of recommendations. Check your assignment carefully for any directions about what to include in your introduction or conclusion.

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21 Writing an Introduction and Conclusion

The introduction and conclusion are the strong walls that hold up the ends of your essay. The introduction should pique the readers’ interest, articulate the aim or purpose of the essay, and provide an outline of how the essay is organised. The conclusion mirrors the introduction in structure and summarizes the main aim and key ideas within the essay, drawing to a logical conclusion. The introduction states what the essay will do and the conclusion tells the reader what the essay has achieved .

Introduction

The primary functions of the introduction are to introduce the topic and aim of the essay, plus provide the reader with a clear framework of how the essay will be structured. Therefore, the following sections provide a brief overview of how these goals can be achieved. The introduction has three basic sections (often in one paragraph if the essay is short) that establish the key elements: background, thesis statement, and essay outline.

The background should arrest the readers’ attention and create an interest in the chosen topic. Therefore, backgrounding on the topic should be factual, interesting, and may use supporting evidence from academic sources . Shorter essays (under 1000 words) may only  require 1-3 sentences for backgrounding, so make the information specific and relevant, clear and succinct . Longer essays may call for a separate backgrounding paragraph. Always check with your lecturer/tutor for guidelines on your specific assignment.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a theory, put forward as a position to be maintained or proven by the writing that follows in the essay. It focuses the writer’s ideas within the essay and all insights, arguments and viewpoints centre around this statement. The writer should refer back to it both mentally and literally throughout the writing process, plus the reader should see the key concepts within the thesis unfolding throughout the written work. A separate section about developing the thesis statement has been included below.

Essay Outline Sentence/s

The essay outline is 1-2 sentences that articulate the focus of the essay in stages. They clearly explain how the thesis statement will be addressed in a sequential manner throughout the essay paragraphs. The essay outline should also leave no doubt in the readers’ minds about what is NOT going to be addressed in your essay. You are establishing the parameters, boundaries, or limitations of the essay that follows. Do not, however, use diminishing language such as, “this brief essay will only discuss…”, “this essay hopes to prove/will attempt to show…”. This weakens your position from the outset. Use strong signposting language, such as “This essay will discuss… (paragraph 1) then… (paragraph 2) before moving on to… (paragraph 3) followed by the conclusion and recommendations”. This way the reader knows from the outset how the essay will be structured and it also helps you to better plan your body paragraphs (see Chapter 22).

Brief Example

(Background statement) Nuclear power plants are widely used throughout the world as a clean, efficient source of energy. (Thesis with a single idea) It has been proven that thermonuclear energy (topic) is a clean, safe alternative to burning fossil fuels. (Essay outline sentence) This essay will discuss the environmental, economic, social impacts of having a thermonuclear power plant providing clean energy to a major city.

  • Background statement
  • Thesis statement – claim
  • Essay outline sentence (with three controlling ideas )

Regardless of the length of the essay, it should always have a thesis statement that clearly articulates the key aim or argument/s in the essay. It focuses both the readers’ attention and the essay’s purpose. In a purely informative or descriptive essay, the thesis may contain a single, clear claim. Whereas, in a more complex analytical, persuasive, or critical essay (see Chapter 15) there may be more than one claim, or a claim and counter-claim (rebuttal) within the thesis statement (see Chapter 25 – Academic Writing [glossary]). It is important to remember that the majority of academic writing is not only delivering information, it is arguing a position and supporting claims with facts and reliable examples. A strong thesis will be original, specific and arguable. This means it should never be a statement of the obvious or a vague reference to general understandings on a topic.

Weak Thesis Examples

The following examples are too vague and leave too many questions unanswered because they are not specific enough.

“Reading is beneficial” – What type of reading? Reading at what level/age? Reading for what time period? Reading what types of text? How is it beneficial, to who?

“Dogs are better than cats” – Better in what way? What types of dogs in what environment? Domesticated or wild animals? What are the benefits of being a dog owner? Is this about owning a dog or just dogs as a breed?

“Carbon emissions are ruining our planet” – Carbon emissions from where/what? In what specific way is our planet suffering? What is the timeframe of this problem?

A strong thesis should stand up to scrutiny. It should be able to answer the “So what?” question. Why should the reader want to continue reading your essay? What are you going to describe, argue, contest that will fix their attention? If no-one can or would argue with your thesis, then it is too weak, too obvious.

Your thesis statement is your answer to the essay question.

A strong thesis treats the topic of an essay in-depth. It will make an original claim  that is both interesting and supportable, plus able to be refuted. In a critical essay this will allow you to argue more than one point of view (see Chapter 27 – Writing a Discursive Essay ). Again, this is why it is important that you complete sufficient background reading and research on your topic to write from an informed position.

Strong Thesis Examples

“Parents reading to their children, from age 1-5 years, enhance their children’s vocabulary, their interest in books, and their curiosity about the world around them.”

“Small, domesticated dogs make better companions than domesticated cats because of their loyal and intuitive nature.”

“Carbon emissions from food production and processing are ruining Earth’s atmosphere.”

As demonstrated, by adding a specific focus, and key claim, the above thesis statements are made stronger.

Beginner and intermediate writers may prefer to use a less complex and sequential thesis like those above. They are clear, supportable and arguable. This is all that is required for the Term one and two writing tasks.

example of essay introduction body and conclusion

Once you become a more proficient writer and advance into essays that are more analytical and critical in nature, you will begin to incorporate more than one perspective in the thesis statement. Again, each additional perspective should be arguable and able to be supported with clear evidence. A thesis for a discursive essay (Term Three) should contain both a claim AND counter-claim , demonstrating your capacity as a writer to develop more than one perspective on a topic.

A Note on Claims and Counter-claims

Demonstrating that there is more than one side to an argument does not weaken your overall position on a topic. It indicates that you have used your analytical thinking skills to identify more than one perspective, potentially including opposing arguments. In your essay you may progress in such a way that refutes or supports the claim and counter-claim.

Please do not confuse the words ‘claim’ and ‘counter-claim’ with moral or value judgements about right/wrong, good/bad, successful/unsuccessful, or the like. The term ‘claim’ simply refers to the first position or argument you put forward, and ‘counter-claim’ is the alternate position or argument.

Discursive Essay Thesis – Examples adapted from previous students

“ Although it is argued that renewable energy may not meet the energy needs of Australia, there is research to indicate the benefits of transitioning to more environmentally favourable energy sources now.”

“It is argued that multiculturalism is beneficial for Australian society, economy and culture, however some members of society have a negative view of multiculturalism‘s effects on the country.”

“The widespread adoption of new technologies is inevitable and may benefit society, however , these new technologies could raise ethical issues and therefore might be of detriment .”

Note the use of conjunctive terms (underlined) to indicate alternative perspectives.

In term three you will be given further instruction in developing a thesis statement for a discursive essay in class time.

The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay and it summarizes and synthesizes the topic and key ideas, including the thesis statement. As such, no new information or citations should be present in the conclusion. It should be written with an authoritative , formal tone as you have taken the time to support all the claims (and counter-claims) in your essay. It should follow the same logical progression as the key points in your essay and reach a clear and well-written conclusion – the statement within the concluding paragraph that makes it very clear you have answered the essay question. Read the marking criteria of your assignment to determine whether you are also required to include a recommendation or prediction as part of the conclusion. If so, make recommendations relevant to the context and content of the essay. They should be creative, specific and realistic. If you are making a prediction, focus on how the information or key arguments used in the essay might impact the world around you, or the field of inquiry, in a realistic way.

A strong, well-written conclusion should draw all of the threads of the essay together and show how they relate to each other and also how they make sense in relation to the essay question and thesis.

example of essay introduction body and conclusion

make clear, distinct, and precise in relation to other parts

Synonyms: catch and hold; attract and fix; engage

researched, reliable, written by academics and published by reputable publishers; often, but not always peer reviewed

concise expressed in few words

assertion, maintain as fact

a claim made to rebut a previous claim

attract and hold

used to link words or phrases together See 'Language Basics'

able to be trusted as being accurate or true; reliable

decision reached by sound and valid reasoning

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9.4 Writing Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs

Learning objectives.

  • Recognize the importance of strong introductory and concluding paragraphs.
  • Learn to engage the reader immediately with the introductory paragraph.
  • Practice concluding your essays in a more memorable way.

Picture your introduction as a storefront window: You have a certain amount of space to attract your customers (readers) to your goods (subject) and bring them inside your store (discussion). Once you have enticed them with something intriguing, you then point them in a specific direction and try to make the sale (convince them to accept your thesis).

Your introduction is an invitation to your readers to consider what you have to say and then to follow your train of thought as you expand upon your thesis statement.

An introduction serves the following purposes:

  • Establishes your voice and tone, or your attitude, toward the subject
  • Introduces the general topic of the essay
  • States the thesis that will be supported in the body paragraphs

First impressions are crucial and can leave lasting effects in your reader’s mind, which is why the introduction is so important to your essay. If your introductory paragraph is dull or disjointed, your reader probably will not have much interest in continuing with the essay.

Attracting Interest in Your Introductory Paragraph

Your introduction should begin with an engaging statement devised to provoke your readers’ interest. In the next few sentences, introduce them to your topic by stating general facts or ideas about the subject. As you move deeper into your introduction, you gradually narrow the focus, moving closer to your thesis. Moving smoothly and logically from your introductory remarks to your thesis statement can be achieved using a funnel technique , as illustrated in the diagram in Figure 9.1 “Funnel Technique” .

Figure 9.1 Funnel Technique

image

On a separate sheet of paper, jot down a few general remarks that you can make about the topic for which you formed a thesis in Section 9.1 “Developing a Strong, Clear Thesis Statement” .

Immediately capturing your readers’ interest increases the chances of having them read what you are about to discuss. You can garner curiosity for your essay in a number of ways. Try to get your readers personally involved by doing any of the following:

  • Appealing to their emotions
  • Using logic
  • Beginning with a provocative question or opinion
  • Opening with a startling statistic or surprising fact
  • Raising a question or series of questions
  • Presenting an explanation or rationalization for your essay
  • Opening with a relevant quotation or incident
  • Opening with a striking image
  • Including a personal anecdote

Remember that your diction, or word choice, while always important, is most crucial in your introductory paragraph. Boring diction could extinguish any desire a person might have to read through your discussion. Choose words that create images or express action. For more information on diction, see Chapter 4 “Working with Words: Which Word Is Right?” .

In Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” , you followed Mariah as she moved through the writing process. In this chapter, Mariah writes her introduction and conclusion for the same essay. Mariah incorporates some of the introductory elements into her introductory paragraph, which she previously outlined in Chapter 8 “The Writing Process: How Do I Begin?” . Her thesis statement is underlined.

If you have trouble coming up with a provocative statement for your opening, it is a good idea to use a relevant, attention-grabbing quote about your topic. Use a search engine to find statements made by historical or significant figures about your subject.

Writing at Work

In your job field, you may be required to write a speech for an event, such as an awards banquet or a dedication ceremony. The introduction of a speech is similar to an essay because you have a limited amount of space to attract your audience’s attention. Using the same techniques, such as a provocative quote or an interesting statistic, is an effective way to engage your listeners. Using the funnel approach also introduces your audience to your topic and then presents your main idea in a logical manner.

Reread each sentence in Mariah’s introductory paragraph. Indicate which techniques she used and comment on how each sentence is designed to attract her readers’ interest.

Writing a Conclusion

It is not unusual to want to rush when you approach your conclusion, and even experienced writers may fade. But what good writers remember is that it is vital to put just as much attention into the conclusion as in the rest of the essay. After all, a hasty ending can undermine an otherwise strong essay.

A conclusion that does not correspond to the rest of your essay, has loose ends, or is unorganized can unsettle your readers and raise doubts about the entire essay. However, if you have worked hard to write the introduction and body, your conclusion can often be the most logical part to compose.

The Anatomy of a Strong Conclusion

Keep in mind that the ideas in your conclusion must conform to the rest of your essay. In order to tie these components together, restate your thesis at the beginning of your conclusion. This helps you assemble, in an orderly fashion, all the information you have explained in the body. Repeating your thesis reminds your readers of the major arguments you have been trying to prove and also indicates that your essay is drawing to a close. A strong conclusion also reviews your main points and emphasizes the importance of the topic.

The construction of the conclusion is similar to the introduction, in which you make general introductory statements and then present your thesis. The difference is that in the conclusion you first paraphrase , or state in different words, your thesis and then follow up with general concluding remarks. These sentences should progressively broaden the focus of your thesis and maneuver your readers out of the essay.

Many writers like to end their essays with a final emphatic statement. This strong closing statement will cause your readers to continue thinking about the implications of your essay; it will make your conclusion, and thus your essay, more memorable. Another powerful technique is to challenge your readers to make a change in either their thoughts or their actions. Challenging your readers to see the subject through new eyes is a powerful way to ease yourself and your readers out of the essay.

When closing your essay, do not expressly state that you are drawing to a close. Relying on statements such as in conclusion , it is clear that , as you can see , or in summation is unnecessary and can be considered trite.

It is wise to avoid doing any of the following in your conclusion:

  • Introducing new material
  • Contradicting your thesis
  • Changing your thesis
  • Using apologies or disclaimers

Introducing new material in your conclusion has an unsettling effect on your reader. When you raise new points, you make your reader want more information, which you could not possibly provide in the limited space of your final paragraph.

Contradicting or changing your thesis statement causes your readers to think that you do not actually have a conviction about your topic. After all, you have spent several paragraphs adhering to a singular point of view. When you change sides or open up your point of view in the conclusion, your reader becomes less inclined to believe your original argument.

By apologizing for your opinion or stating that you know it is tough to digest, you are in fact admitting that even you know what you have discussed is irrelevant or unconvincing. You do not want your readers to feel this way. Effective writers stand by their thesis statement and do not stray from it.

On a separate sheet of a paper, restate your thesis from Note 9.52 “Exercise 2” of this section and then make some general concluding remarks. Next, compose a final emphatic statement. Finally, incorporate what you have written into a strong conclusion paragraph for your essay.

Collaboration

Please share with a classmate and compare your answers

Mariah incorporates some of these pointers into her conclusion. She has paraphrased her thesis statement in the first sentence.

Make sure your essay is balanced by not having an excessively long or short introduction or conclusion. Check that they match each other in length as closely as possible, and try to mirror the formula you used in each. Parallelism strengthens the message of your essay.

On the job you will sometimes give oral presentations based on research you have conducted. A concluding statement to an oral report contains the same elements as a written conclusion. You should wrap up your presentation by restating the purpose of the presentation, reviewing its main points, and emphasizing the importance of the material you presented. A strong conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Key Takeaways

  • A strong opening captures your readers’ interest and introduces them to your topic before you present your thesis statement.
  • An introduction should restate your thesis, review your main points, and emphasize the importance of the topic.
  • The funnel technique to writing the introduction begins with generalities and gradually narrows your focus until you present your thesis.
  • A good introduction engages people’s emotions or logic, questions or explains the subject, or provides a striking image or quotation.
  • Carefully chosen diction in both the introduction and conclusion prevents any confusing or boring ideas.
  • A conclusion that does not connect to the rest of the essay can diminish the effect of your paper.
  • The conclusion should remain true to your thesis statement. It is best to avoid changing your tone or your main idea and avoid introducing any new material.
  • Closing with a final emphatic statement provides closure for your readers and makes your essay more memorable.

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Purdue OWL - Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Expository/Persuasive Essay

Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Expository/Persuasive Essay

Introduction

The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions:

  • What is this?
  • Why am I reading it?
  • What do you want me to do?

You should answer these questions by doing the following:

  • Set the context – provide general information about the main idea, explaining the situation so the reader can make sense of the topic and the claims you make and support
  • State why the main idea is important – tell the reader why s/he should care and keep reading. Your goal is to create a compelling, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and act upon
  • State your thesis/claim – compose a sentence or two stating the position you will support with logos (sound reasoning: induction, deduction), pathos (balanced emotional appeal), and ethos (author credibility).

Thesis Checklist

Your thesis is more than a general statement about your main idea. It needs to establish a clear position you will support with balanced proofs (logos, pathos, ethos). Use the checklist below to help you create a thesis.

This section is adapted from Writing with a Thesis: A Rhetoric Reader by David Skwire and Sarah Skwire:

Make sure you avoid the following when creating your thesis:

  • A thesis is not a title: Homes and schools (title) vs. Parents ought to participate more in the education of their children (good thesis).
  • A thesis is not an announcement of the subject: My subject is the incompetence of the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Court made a mistake when it ruled in favor of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.
  • A thesis is not a statement of absolute fact: Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice.
  • A thesis is not the whole essay: A thesis is your main idea/claim/refutation/problem-solution expressed in a single sentence or a combination of sentences.
  • Please note that according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , Sixth Edition, "A thesis statement is a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (Gibaldi 56). However, if your paper is more complex and requires a thesis statement, your thesis may require a combination of sentences .

Make sure you follow these guidelines when creating your thesis:

  • A good thesis is unified: Detective stories are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them (floppy). vs. Detective stories appeal to the basic human desire for thrills (concise).
  • A good thesis is specific: James Joyce’s Ulysses is very good. vs. James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious.
  • Try to be as specific as possible (without providing too much detail) when creating your thesis: James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious. vs. James Joyce’s Ulysses helped create a new way for writers to deal with the unconscious by utilizing the findings of Freudian psychology and introducing the techniques of literary stream-of-consciousness.

Quick Checklist:

_____ The thesis/claim follows the guidelines outlined above

_____ The thesis/claim matches the requirements and goals of the assignment

_____ The thesis/claim is clear and easily recognizable

_____ The thesis/claim seems supportable by good reasoning/data, emotional appeal

Body Paragraphs

Summary: This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Body Paragraphs: Moving from General to Specific Information

Your paper should be organized in a manner that moves from general to specific information. Every time you begin a new subject, think of an inverted pyramid - the broadest range of information sits at the top, and as the paragraph or paper progresses, the author becomes more and more focused on the argument ending with specific, detailed evidence supporting a claim. Lastly, the author explains how and why the information she has just provided connects to and supports her thesis (a brief wrap up or warrant).

  The four elements of a good paragraph (TTEB)

A good paragraph should contain at least the following four elements: T ransition, T opic sentence, specific E vidence and analysis, and a B rief wrap-up sentence (also known as a warrant) – TTEB!

  • A T ransition sentence leading in from a previous paragraph to assure smooth reading. This acts as a hand off from one idea to the next.
  • A T opic sentence that tells the reader what you will be discussing in the paragraph.
  • Specific E vidence and analysis that supports one of your claims and that provides a deeper level of detail than your topic sentence.
  • A B rief wrap-up sentence that tells the reader how and why this information supports the paper’s thesis. The brief wrap-up is also known as the warrant. The warrant is important to your argument because it connects your reasoning and support to your thesis, and it shows that the information in the paragraph is related to your thesis and helps defend it.

Rebuttal Sections

In order to present a fair and convincing message, you may need to anticipate, research, and outline some of the common positions (arguments) that dispute your thesis. If the situation (purpose) calls for you to do this, you will present and then refute these other positions in the rebuttal section of your essay.

It is important to consider other positions because in most cases, your primary audience will be fence-sitters. Fence-sitters are people who have not decided which side of the argument to support.

People who are on your side of the argument will not need a lot of information to align with your position. People who are completely against your argument - perhaps for ethical or religious reasons - will probably never align with your position no matter how much information you provide. Therefore, the audience you should consider most important are those people who haven't decided which side of the argument they will support - the fence-sitters.

In many cases, these fence-sitters have not decided which side to align with because they see value in both positions. Therefore, to not consider opposing positions to your own in a fair manner may alienate fence-sitters when they see that you are not addressing their concerns or discussion opposing positions at all.

Organizing your rebuttal section

Following the TTEB method outlined in the Body Paragraph section, forecast all the information that will follow in the rebuttal section and then move point by point through the other positions addressing each one as you go. The outline below, adapted from Seyler's Understanding Argument , is an example of a rebuttal section from a thesis essay.

When you rebut or refute an opposing position, use the following three-part organization:

The opponent’s argument – Usually, you should not assume that your reader has read or remembered the argument you are refuting. Thus at the beginning of your paragraph, you need to state, accurately and fairly, the main points of the argument you will refute.

Your position – Next, make clear the nature of your disagreement with the argument or position you are refuting. Your position might assert, for example, that a writer has not proved his assertion because he has provided evidence that is outdated, or that the argument is filled with fallacies.

Your refutation – The specifics of your counterargument will depend upon the nature of your disagreement. If you challenge the writer’s evidence, then you must present the more recent evidence. If you challenge assumptions, then you must explain why they do not hold up. If your position is that the piece is filled with fallacies, then you must present and explain each fallacy.

Conclusions

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • restate your topic and why it is important,
  • restate your thesis/claim,
  • address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

  • Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).
  • Tell them (body).
  • Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

 Copyright ©1995-2011 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University .

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How To Write An Essay – Introduction, Body & Conclusion

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How-to-write-an-essay-01

An essay is a structured piece of writing that presents an argument, tells a story, or explores a topic in depth. In academic writing , the term academic essay is frequently used. This denotes a carefully crafted piece of writing that adheres to certain standards and conventions, aiming to contribute to existing discourse or to provide a fresh perspective. With this article, we will help you understand the basics of how to write an essay, so you can receive good grades on your next work.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  • 1 How to write an essay in a nutshell
  • 2 Definition: How to write an essay
  • 3 Different types of how to write an essay
  • 4 Step-by-step guide on how to write an essay
  • 5 Structuring the paragraphs
  • 6 Essay examples
  • 7 Dos and don‘ts of how to write an essay

How to write an essay in a nutshell

Before you start on how to write an essay, you should read the essay question or topic carefully. Know what’s being asked of you. In the next step, you gather information and ideas about the topic. Use books, articles, or other reputable sources. Afterward, outline your main points and decide on a thesis (your main argument or stance) and supporting arguments.

An essay is typically made up of three parts :

Introduction

After you finish writing your essay, review your writing by paying attention to errors, clarity, and flow. Make sure your arguments are logical and well-presented. Check format, and citations (if any), and ensure it adheres to any guidelines given.

Definition: How to write an essay

How to write an essay refers to the systematic process of creating a structured written piece that presents and supports a specific idea or argument. This process typically involves selecting a topic, conducting research, planning and organizing one’s thoughts, drafting the content, and revising for clarity and coherence. The final product, an essay, is often a combination of an introduction that presents the main idea (thesis), body paragraphs that provide evidence or examples supporting the thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes and reinforces the main points.

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Different types of how to write an essay

If you are eager to learn how to write an essay, keep these five types in mind:

  • Narrative essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Persuasive essay
  • Compare-and-contrast essay
  • Expository essay

Note: It is important to know what type of academic essay you have to write for your assignment. The type helps you to decide on a topic to write about as well as how to structure your essay outline.

Essay at university and high school

When you are given a typical five-paragraph expository essay , you would simply spend most of your time writing in high school. However, if you are at university, a college-level argumentative essay is bound to be a more complex piece of writing. It demands extensive independent research from varied sources, has stricter guidelines, and often requires deeper critical thinking compared to the more straightforward or surface-level student papers in high school. Depending on where you are in your academic journey, there is a vast difference when it comes to how to write an essay.

Step-by-step guide on how to write an essay

The process of how to write an essay can be broadly distilled into three main points or stages: Pre-writing and planning, drafting, and revising and editing.

For the planning, you should:

  • Understand the essay question or prompt
  • Conduct preliminary research to gather relevant sources
  • Work on your essay outline

During the drafting, you:

  • Craft a compelling introduction
  • Develop the body of the essay
  • Construct a conclusion

In the last step, you revise and edit your text. For this, you:

  • Review for coherence, consistency, and logical flow
  • Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors
  • Ensure the essay follows the required format or style guide (e.g., APA Style , MLA )
  • Seek feedback from peers, tutors, or mentors and make necessary adjustments

Below you find the steps on how to write an entire essay.

Finishing touches

How to write an essay introduction is not difficult if you know what you should do. You have to lead into the topic and essay question, attract the reader’s attention, and give them a good idea of the focus of the essay. Use attention grabbers, also called hooks , like startling information, an anecdote, a dialogue, a strong statement, or a summary of the topic in general. Add a few more sentences to link the hook to your thesis statement, also called the topic sentence, that marks the end of the essay introduction .

From a child’s first taste of honey to the blooms in our gardens, honeybees touch our lives in unseen, myriad ways. These tiny workers, buzzing from flower to flower, play a crucial role in pollination, ensuring the reproduction of many of our favorite plants. However, the mysterious decline in honeybee populations poses a significant threat to our ecosystem. This essay will explore the significance of honeybees in our ecosystem, delve into the potential reasons behind their alarming decline, and propose solutions to address this growing crisis.

  • Thesis statement
  • Structure overview

Each of the main ideas in your outline will become one paragraph. Each of those paragraphs follows the same basic structure. First, you have to write down your main ideas. Then you add your supporting points as well as an elaboration (description, explanation, etc.) for each point. Lastly, round it up with a closing sentence. Make sure to use connections between sentences with the help of transition words , so the change in topic does not come abruptly.

Honeybees are not merely producers of honey; they are pivotal players in the world’s food chain. According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 75% of the world’s food crops rely to some extent on animal pollination, with honeybees being among the most effective pollinators. This means that fruits such as apples, nuts like almonds, and even the coffee beans that make our morning brew, owe their existence in large part to the tireless work of these bees. The evidence underscores the gravity of the situation: a world with a declining bee population is one that risks significant disruption in its food supply chain. Such a decline doesn’t only spell trouble for the plants directly dependent on bees, but also for the animals and humans that consume those plants, creating a cascading effect on the larger ecosystem.

  • Topic sentence

You have to summarize your main points as well as give a final perspective on the topic. Help your reader to draw a logical conclusion from what they just read. Repack your thesis statement in your conclusion so that the reader can remember the individual steps taken to come to this conclusion. Moreover, you should answer questions like: What are the implications of your topic sentence being true? What comes next? What questions remained unanswered?

The waning number of honeybees in our environment is not just a matter of ecological concern, but a looming crisis that touches every facet of our lives. As we’ve explored, these industrious insects are instrumental in the pollination of a vast majority of our food crops, a process vital to our global food supply chain. The evidence from reputable sources, such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, affirms the profound role honeybees play in sustaining our diets and of countless species. But beyond the tangible effects on food, the decline of honeybees serves as a potent reminder of the intricate, interconnected web of life and our role within it. If such a small creature can have such a vast impact on our world, it behooves us to take their decline as a clarion call. The broader implication is clear: preserving and nurturing our environment is not just an ethical duty; it’s a matter of survival, urging us to act with purpose.

  • Return to the thesis
  • Review of the key points
  • Stating the broader implications

Come up with an intriguing title that arouses the reader’s interest. Furthermore, take your time to do the formatting of your paper. You also might want to put the paragraphs in a different order. Check the instructions again because you might have to include other information (name, date, etc.). Handing in a well-formatted academic essay makes a good impression on your instructor.

When it comes to how to write an essay, revision is the key to success. You have to analyze your writing to figure out if it makes logical sense and if there is a natural flow that makes it easy to read. Is every main idea supported by enough evidence, did you make clear how ideas are linked? Run a spelling and grammar checker to be on the safe side. Moreover, ask a friend to read your academic essay to give you feedback. Occasionally, you cannot see the mistakes when it comes to your writing. Having another opinion on your paper helps you with your revisions.

Structuring the paragraphs

Each paragraph should have an introductory, topic-based sentence as well as a concluding sentence that draws a link to the topic and critically summarizes your argument.

Follow with sentences that provide evidence or examples to back up the topic sentence. This can include data, quotations, anecdotes, or explanations. Delve deeper into the significance of the supporting details in relation to your main argument. Explain how the evidence supports the topic sentence and contributes to the overall thesis of the essay.

Furthermore, you should pay attention to coherence, consistency, flow, variety, and relevance.

  • Stay consistent in tense, perspective, and style.
  • Use transition sentences , a link between sentences, to guide the reader.
  • Vary sentence structure and length to keep the reader engaged.
  • Every paragraph should relate back to and support the essay’s overall thesis or argument.
  • Avoid digressions or unnecessary details.

Essay examples

In the following, you will find samples of how to write an essay. Here, you can read several essay types , whether to help you get started or if you’re simply unsure how to distinguish them.

Dos and don‘ts of how to write an essay

Below, you will find a list of the dos and don’ts of how to write an essay.

  • Signposting language
  • Stay focused
  • Write the body first
  • Revise your writing
  • Plain and clear writing style
  • Procrastination
  • Generalizations
  • Use of personal pronouns
  • Writing without an outline
  • Contractions

How do you structure an essay?

The typical essay structure is easier to understand than the structure of a dissertation or thesis. There are many types of essays, but the structure remains mostly unchanged. You start with the introduction, then the body paragraphs, and finally, the conclusion.

How do you start writing an essay?

To start your essay, you first need an appropriate research paper topic . Ensure that your topic fits within the guidelines set by your institution, and it’s not too broad or narrow. Then, formulate your thesis statement and begin outlining a plan for your academic essay. Once you’re finished, you can start on how to write an essay.

What is a good essay introduction?

A good essay introduction will begin with an opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and draws them in. Then, you give a bit of background information and lay out the structure for the reader. The thesis statement should be placed towards the end of the introduction, as it provides one to two sentences of a summary of your essay and the main idea.

What are the five steps of writing an essay?

The five steps on how to write an essay are the following.

  • Planning: Understand the prompt and organize your ideas.
  • Research: Gather relevant information and evidence.
  • Drafting: Write the initial version of the essay.
  • Revising: Refine content for clarity and coherence.
  • Editing: Proofread for grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors.

What makes an essay good?

A good essay is clear, coherent, well-organized, presents strong arguments supported by relevant evidence, and is written with a consistent style and proper grammar. Furthermore, it starts with a bold statement and ends with an impactful conclusion.

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Need to defend your opinion on an issue? Argumentative essays are one of the most popular types of essays you’ll write in school. They combine persuasive arguments with fact-based research, and, when done well, can be powerful tools for making someone agree with your point of view. If you’re struggling to write an argumentative essay or just want to learn more about them, seeing examples can be a big help.

After giving an overview of this type of essay, we provide three argumentative essay examples. After each essay, we explain in-depth how the essay was structured, what worked, and where the essay could be improved. We end with tips for making your own argumentative essay as strong as possible.

What Is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is an essay that uses evidence and facts to support the claim it’s making. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with the argument being made.

A good argumentative essay will use facts and evidence to support the argument, rather than just the author’s thoughts and opinions. For example, say you wanted to write an argumentative essay stating that Charleston, SC is a great destination for families. You couldn’t just say that it’s a great place because you took your family there and enjoyed it. For it to be an argumentative essay, you need to have facts and data to support your argument, such as the number of child-friendly attractions in Charleston, special deals you can get with kids, and surveys of people who visited Charleston as a family and enjoyed it. The first argument is based entirely on feelings, whereas the second is based on evidence that can be proven.

The standard five paragraph format is common, but not required, for argumentative essays. These essays typically follow one of two formats: the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model.

  • The Toulmin model is the most common. It begins with an introduction, follows with a thesis/claim, and gives data and evidence to support that claim. This style of essay also includes rebuttals of counterarguments.
  • The Rogerian model analyzes two sides of an argument and reaches a conclusion after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

3 Good Argumentative Essay Examples + Analysis

Below are three examples of argumentative essays, written by yours truly in my school days, as well as analysis of what each did well and where it could be improved.

Argumentative Essay Example 1

Proponents of this idea state that it will save local cities and towns money because libraries are expensive to maintain. They also believe it will encourage more people to read because they won’t have to travel to a library to get a book; they can simply click on what they want to read and read it from wherever they are. They could also access more materials because libraries won’t have to buy physical copies of books; they can simply rent out as many digital copies as they need.

However, it would be a serious mistake to replace libraries with tablets. First, digital books and resources are associated with less learning and more problems than print resources. A study done on tablet vs book reading found that people read 20-30% slower on tablets, retain 20% less information, and understand 10% less of what they read compared to people who read the same information in print. Additionally, staring too long at a screen has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including blurred vision, dizziness, dry eyes, headaches, and eye strain, at much higher instances than reading print does. People who use tablets and mobile devices excessively also have a higher incidence of more serious health issues such as fibromyalgia, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and muscle strain. I know that whenever I read from my e-reader for too long, my eyes begin to feel tired and my neck hurts. We should not add to these problems by giving people, especially young people, more reasons to look at screens.

Second, it is incredibly narrow-minded to assume that the only service libraries offer is book lending. Libraries have a multitude of benefits, and many are only available if the library has a physical location. Some of these benefits include acting as a quiet study space, giving people a way to converse with their neighbors, holding classes on a variety of topics, providing jobs, answering patron questions, and keeping the community connected. One neighborhood found that, after a local library instituted community events such as play times for toddlers and parents, job fairs for teenagers, and meeting spaces for senior citizens, over a third of residents reported feeling more connected to their community. Similarly, a Pew survey conducted in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of American adults feel that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community. People see libraries as a way to connect with others and get their questions answered, benefits tablets can’t offer nearly as well or as easily.

While replacing libraries with tablets may seem like a simple solution, it would encourage people to spend even more time looking at digital screens, despite the myriad issues surrounding them. It would also end access to many of the benefits of libraries that people have come to rely on. In many areas, libraries are such an important part of the community network that they could never be replaced by a simple object.

The author begins by giving an overview of the counter-argument, then the thesis appears as the first sentence in the third paragraph. The essay then spends the rest of the paper dismantling the counter argument and showing why readers should believe the other side.

What this essay does well:

  • Although it’s a bit unusual to have the thesis appear fairly far into the essay, it works because, once the thesis is stated, the rest of the essay focuses on supporting it since the counter-argument has already been discussed earlier in the paper.
  • This essay includes numerous facts and cites studies to support its case. By having specific data to rely on, the author’s argument is stronger and readers will be more inclined to agree with it.
  • For every argument the other side makes, the author makes sure to refute it and follow up with why her opinion is the stronger one. In order to make a strong argument, it’s important to dismantle the other side, which this essay does this by making the author's view appear stronger.
  • This is a shorter paper, and if it needed to be expanded to meet length requirements, it could include more examples and go more into depth with them, such as by explaining specific cases where people benefited from local libraries.
  • Additionally, while the paper uses lots of data, the author also mentions their own experience with using tablets. This should be removed since argumentative essays focus on facts and data to support an argument, not the author’s own opinion or experiences. Replacing that with more data on health issues associated with screen time would strengthen the essay.
  • Some of the points made aren't completely accurate , particularly the one about digital books being cheaper. It actually often costs a library more money to rent out numerous digital copies of a book compared to buying a single physical copy. Make sure in your own essay you thoroughly research each of the points and rebuttals you make, otherwise you'll look like you don't know the issue that well.

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Argumentative Essay Example 2

There are multiple drugs available to treat malaria, and many of them work well and save lives, but malaria eradication programs that focus too much on them and not enough on prevention haven’t seen long-term success in Sub-Saharan Africa. A major program to combat malaria was WHO’s Global Malaria Eradication Programme. Started in 1955, it had a goal of eliminating malaria in Africa within the next ten years. Based upon previously successful programs in Brazil and the United States, the program focused mainly on vector control. This included widely distributing chloroquine and spraying large amounts of DDT. More than one billion dollars was spent trying to abolish malaria. However, the program suffered from many problems and in 1969, WHO was forced to admit that the program had not succeeded in eradicating malaria. The number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who contracted malaria as well as the number of malaria deaths had actually increased over 10% during the time the program was active.

One of the major reasons for the failure of the project was that it set uniform strategies and policies. By failing to consider variations between governments, geography, and infrastructure, the program was not nearly as successful as it could have been. Sub-Saharan Africa has neither the money nor the infrastructure to support such an elaborate program, and it couldn’t be run the way it was meant to. Most African countries don't have the resources to send all their people to doctors and get shots, nor can they afford to clear wetlands or other malaria prone areas. The continent’s spending per person for eradicating malaria was just a quarter of what Brazil spent. Sub-Saharan Africa simply can’t rely on a plan that requires more money, infrastructure, and expertise than they have to spare.

Additionally, the widespread use of chloroquine has created drug resistant parasites which are now plaguing Sub-Saharan Africa. Because chloroquine was used widely but inconsistently, mosquitoes developed resistance, and chloroquine is now nearly completely ineffective in Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 95% of mosquitoes resistant to it. As a result, newer, more expensive drugs need to be used to prevent and treat malaria, which further drives up the cost of malaria treatment for a region that can ill afford it.

Instead of developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has incurred, programs should focus on preventing infection from occurring in the first place. Not only is this plan cheaper and more effective, reducing the number of people who contract malaria also reduces loss of work/school days which can further bring down the productivity of the region.

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of preventing malaria is to implement insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).  These nets provide a protective barrier around the person or people using them. While untreated bed nets are still helpful, those treated with insecticides are much more useful because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the nets, and they help reduce mosquito populations in a community, thus helping people who don’t even own bed nets.  Bed nets are also very effective because most mosquito bites occur while the person is sleeping, so bed nets would be able to drastically reduce the number of transmissions during the night. In fact, transmission of malaria can be reduced by as much as 90% in areas where the use of ITNs is widespread. Because money is so scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a great benefit and a major reason why the program is so successful. Bed nets cost roughly 2 USD to make, last several years, and can protect two adults. Studies have shown that, for every 100-1000 more nets are being used, one less child dies of malaria. With an estimated 300 million people in Africa not being protected by mosquito nets, there’s the potential to save three million lives by spending just a few dollars per person.

Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce poverty levels in Africa significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it means fewer people are getting sick. When fewer people get sick, the working population is stronger as a whole because people are not put out of work from malaria, nor are they caring for sick relatives. Malaria-afflicted families can typically only harvest 40% of the crops that healthy families can harvest. Additionally, a family with members who have malaria spends roughly a quarter of its income treatment, not including the loss of work they also must deal with due to the illness. It’s estimated that malaria costs Africa 12 billion USD in lost income every year. A strong working population creates a stronger economy, which Sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of.  

This essay begins with an introduction, which ends with the thesis (that malaria eradication plans in Sub-Saharan Africa should focus on prevention rather than treatment). The first part of the essay lays out why the counter argument (treatment rather than prevention) is not as effective, and the second part of the essay focuses on why prevention of malaria is the better path to take.

  • The thesis appears early, is stated clearly, and is supported throughout the rest of the essay. This makes the argument clear for readers to understand and follow throughout the essay.
  • There’s lots of solid research in this essay, including specific programs that were conducted and how successful they were, as well as specific data mentioned throughout. This evidence helps strengthen the author’s argument.
  • The author makes a case for using expanding bed net use over waiting until malaria occurs and beginning treatment, but not much of a plan is given for how the bed nets would be distributed or how to ensure they’re being used properly. By going more into detail of what she believes should be done, the author would be making a stronger argument.
  • The introduction of the essay does a good job of laying out the seriousness of the problem, but the conclusion is short and abrupt. Expanding it into its own paragraph would give the author a final way to convince readers of her side of the argument.

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Argumentative Essay Example 3

There are many ways payments could work. They could be in the form of a free-market approach, where athletes are able to earn whatever the market is willing to pay them, it could be a set amount of money per athlete, or student athletes could earn income from endorsements, autographs, and control of their likeness, similar to the way top Olympians earn money.

Proponents of the idea believe that, because college athletes are the ones who are training, participating in games, and bringing in audiences, they should receive some sort of compensation for their work. If there were no college athletes, the NCAA wouldn’t exist, college coaches wouldn’t receive there (sometimes very high) salaries, and brands like Nike couldn’t profit from college sports. In fact, the NCAA brings in roughly $1 billion in revenue a year, but college athletes don’t receive any of that money in the form of a paycheck. Additionally, people who believe college athletes should be paid state that paying college athletes will actually encourage them to remain in college longer and not turn pro as quickly, either by giving them a way to begin earning money in college or requiring them to sign a contract stating they’ll stay at the university for a certain number of years while making an agreed-upon salary.  

Supporters of this idea point to Zion Williamson, the Duke basketball superstar, who, during his freshman year, sustained a serious knee injury. Many argued that, even if he enjoyed playing for Duke, it wasn’t worth risking another injury and ending his professional career before it even began for a program that wasn’t paying him. Williamson seems to have agreed with them and declared his eligibility for the NCAA draft later that year. If he was being paid, he may have stayed at Duke longer. In fact, roughly a third of student athletes surveyed stated that receiving a salary while in college would make them “strongly consider” remaining collegiate athletes longer before turning pro.

Paying athletes could also stop the recruitment scandals that have plagued the NCAA. In 2018, the NCAA stripped the University of Louisville's men's basketball team of its 2013 national championship title because it was discovered coaches were using sex workers to entice recruits to join the team. There have been dozens of other recruitment scandals where college athletes and recruits have been bribed with anything from having their grades changed, to getting free cars, to being straight out bribed. By paying college athletes and putting their salaries out in the open, the NCAA could end the illegal and underhanded ways some schools and coaches try to entice athletes to join.

People who argue against the idea of paying college athletes believe the practice could be disastrous for college sports. By paying athletes, they argue, they’d turn college sports into a bidding war, where only the richest schools could afford top athletes, and the majority of schools would be shut out from developing a talented team (though some argue this already happens because the best players often go to the most established college sports programs, who typically pay their coaches millions of dollars per year). It could also ruin the tight camaraderie of many college teams if players become jealous that certain teammates are making more money than they are.

They also argue that paying college athletes actually means only a small fraction would make significant money. Out of the 350 Division I athletic departments, fewer than a dozen earn any money. Nearly all the money the NCAA makes comes from men’s football and basketball, so paying college athletes would make a small group of men--who likely will be signed to pro teams and begin making millions immediately out of college--rich at the expense of other players.

Those against paying college athletes also believe that the athletes are receiving enough benefits already. The top athletes already receive scholarships that are worth tens of thousands per year, they receive free food/housing/textbooks, have access to top medical care if they are injured, receive top coaching, get travel perks and free gear, and can use their time in college as a way to capture the attention of professional recruiters. No other college students receive anywhere near as much from their schools.

People on this side also point out that, while the NCAA brings in a massive amount of money each year, it is still a non-profit organization. How? Because over 95% of those profits are redistributed to its members’ institutions in the form of scholarships, grants, conferences, support for Division II and Division III teams, and educational programs. Taking away a significant part of that revenue would hurt smaller programs that rely on that money to keep running.

While both sides have good points, it’s clear that the negatives of paying college athletes far outweigh the positives. College athletes spend a significant amount of time and energy playing for their school, but they are compensated for it by the scholarships and perks they receive. Adding a salary to that would result in a college athletic system where only a small handful of athletes (those likely to become millionaires in the professional leagues) are paid by a handful of schools who enter bidding wars to recruit them, while the majority of student athletics and college athletic programs suffer or even shut down for lack of money. Continuing to offer the current level of benefits to student athletes makes it possible for as many people to benefit from and enjoy college sports as possible.

This argumentative essay follows the Rogerian model. It discusses each side, first laying out multiple reasons people believe student athletes should be paid, then discussing reasons why the athletes shouldn’t be paid. It ends by stating that college athletes shouldn’t be paid by arguing that paying them would destroy college athletics programs and cause them to have many of the issues professional sports leagues have.

  • Both sides of the argument are well developed, with multiple reasons why people agree with each side. It allows readers to get a full view of the argument and its nuances.
  • Certain statements on both sides are directly rebuffed in order to show where the strengths and weaknesses of each side lie and give a more complete and sophisticated look at the argument.
  • Using the Rogerian model can be tricky because oftentimes you don’t explicitly state your argument until the end of the paper. Here, the thesis doesn’t appear until the first sentence of the final paragraph. That doesn’t give readers a lot of time to be convinced that your argument is the right one, compared to a paper where the thesis is stated in the beginning and then supported throughout the paper. This paper could be strengthened if the final paragraph was expanded to more fully explain why the author supports the view, or if the paper had made it clearer that paying athletes was the weaker argument throughout.

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3 Tips for Writing a Good Argumentative Essay

Now that you’ve seen examples of what good argumentative essay samples look like, follow these three tips when crafting your own essay.

#1: Make Your Thesis Crystal Clear

The thesis is the key to your argumentative essay; if it isn’t clear or readers can’t find it easily, your entire essay will be weak as a result. Always make sure that your thesis statement is easy to find. The typical spot for it is the final sentence of the introduction paragraph, but if it doesn’t fit in that spot for your essay, try to at least put it as the first or last sentence of a different paragraph so it stands out more.

Also make sure that your thesis makes clear what side of the argument you’re on. After you’ve written it, it’s a great idea to show your thesis to a couple different people--classmates are great for this. Just by reading your thesis they should be able to understand what point you’ll be trying to make with the rest of your essay.

#2: Show Why the Other Side Is Weak

When writing your essay, you may be tempted to ignore the other side of the argument and just focus on your side, but don’t do this. The best argumentative essays really tear apart the other side to show why readers shouldn’t believe it. Before you begin writing your essay, research what the other side believes, and what their strongest points are. Then, in your essay, be sure to mention each of these and use evidence to explain why they’re incorrect/weak arguments. That’ll make your essay much more effective than if you only focused on your side of the argument.

#3: Use Evidence to Support Your Side

Remember, an essay can’t be an argumentative essay if it doesn’t support its argument with evidence. For every point you make, make sure you have facts to back it up. Some examples are previous studies done on the topic, surveys of large groups of people, data points, etc. There should be lots of numbers in your argumentative essay that support your side of the argument. This will make your essay much stronger compared to only relying on your own opinions to support your argument.

Summary: Argumentative Essay Sample

Argumentative essays are persuasive essays that use facts and evidence to support their side of the argument. Most argumentative essays follow either the Toulmin model or the Rogerian model. By reading good argumentative essay examples, you can learn how to develop your essay and provide enough support to make readers agree with your opinion. When writing your essay, remember to always make your thesis clear, show where the other side is weak, and back up your opinion with data and evidence.

What's Next?

Do you need to write an argumentative essay as well? Check out our guide on the best argumentative essay topics for ideas!

You'll probably also need to write research papers for school. We've got you covered with 113 potential topics for research papers.

Your college admissions essay may end up being one of the most important essays you write. Follow our step-by-step guide on writing a personal statement to have an essay that'll impress colleges.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How to Write Informative Essays

How to Write Informative Essays

Informative essays are one of the main types of academic writing students must complete as part of the educational process. While this is a typical assignment in any curriculum, it can be hard to distinguish between different types of essays and how to write them.

In this article, we’ll delve into the genre of this essay type, learn the definition of an informative essay, and how to write an informational essay.

What is an informative essay?

An informative essay is a piece of academic writing that aims to give a reader information on a certain topic.

This essay type should include a succinct unbiased description of a certain matter. Its goal is to provide an analysis or an overview of facts, which would help the readers draw their own conclusions and encourage them to study the issue independently.

Information essay: functions and objectives

As we already learned, an information essay is an educational paper based on real-life facts. It’s generally written in a style that is very similar to textbooks or encyclopedia entries. This type of essay aims to fulfill the following objectives:

  • Enlighten the audience . The most important function of any information essay is educating the readers. You need to give your readers insight into topics they may have never heard of before, so your writing must be insightful and provide a detailed account of new knowledge.
  • Correct misinformation . If the topic you choose is associated with misleading myths, your essay must aim to debunk it. Give accurate information with believable evidence to educate your audience and clarify existing misconceptions.
  • Raise awareness . Information essays are great avenues to raise awareness about certain issues. By providing well-researched information and keeping your analysis objective, you can motivate readers to study the issue further and make their own conclusions about the subject matter.
  • Clarify complex ideas . In this type of essay, it's crucial to outline all important details in easily comprehensible terms. The author of an informative essay must strive to give an overview of difficult concepts in simple words to improve the readers’ understanding.
  • Relay objective data . To support your chosen topic, your writing must include factual data. It can be backed up by statistical data, expert opinions, or research studies to give your audience a broader background and understanding of the issue.

As you can see, all objectives of information essays revolve around providing the readers with knowledge and understanding about the subject matter. These texts aim to broaden the audience’s perspective on the world by presenting it with an unbiased account of certain issues.

How to write an informational essay: tutorial

Now that we answered the question “What is an informative essay?”, let’s talk about how to actually write it.

There are several things you need to do before you begin to write the text.

1. Pick your subject matter

The very first step on your way to writing your essay is selecting the subject matter. Unless you were given a task to detail a specific issue, you will have to search for one on your own. The best option is to choose topics that have extensive research to back them up, are interesting to you, and are relevant to your audience.

Make a list of potential topics and consider which ones you can comfortably cover within your essay. Remember that essays generally have a limited word count. You have to select a subject matter that you will be able to explain to your audience fully.

2. Gather information

All informative essays must contain factual information from credible sources. Research your chosen topic and use only reliable references like academic journals, reputable websites, books, and so on. Keep track of all sources you use to provide proper citations later.

3. Create a draft

Like any other text of this kind, an informative essay can be divided into three main parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

The introduction is the part where you introduce the subject matter of your essay. This is also where you can provide background on the issue in question and give your audience more context.

The body paragraphs of an informative essay should center on giving your audience detailed and factual information about the subject matter. A typical information essay can address the following questions:

  • Who? Introduce a person or persons who are known for doing a particular thing.
  • What? Analyze an important object or an event that was caused by a specific person or persons.
  • Where? Describe the place where a particular event occurred.
  • When? Give the timeline of specific events.
  • Why? Explain the reasons behind a particular event.
  • How? Illustrate existing and proven methods for doing something.

Organize your research into main ideas, note which sources you plan to use, and create a cohesive and interconnected outline of your future narration. 

The conclusion provides a summary of everything you talked about in your essay. You can use bullet points to write down which facts you plan to restate in your conclusion.

4. How to write an informative essay introduction

Your introduction’s main goal is to give your readers information about the subject matter and attract their attention to continue reading your essay. Begin your writing with a hook like a quote or a rhetorical question to pique the readers’ curiosity.

Next, you need to provide a brief overview of the issue, which will help the audience understand why the topic of your essay is significant.

The most important part of your essay is the thesis statement. Students often don’t know how to write a thesis statement for an informative essay because this part generally introduces the author’s opinion. However, an informative essay should not represent the opinion of its author. Instead, give a preview of what your readers will learn from your essay and outline the main that will be covered next.

5. How to write the body of an informative essay

In this part, you should present your research points and evidence. Here are some rules that will help you write a perfect informative essay.

  • Dedicate each body paragraph to a separate fact. This will keep your essay organized and easy to follow.
  • Start each new paragraph with a topic sentence. Topic sentences give your audience an indication of what you’re going to discuss next.
  • Provide evidence that supports your topic sentence. Use only credible sources and don’t forget to include citations in the text.
  • Explain how the evidence relates to your topic sentence and the subject matter of the entire essay. Analyze the evidence and provide insights or interpretations that help deepen the audience’s understanding.
  • Avoid repetitions. Be concise in your explanations and provide clear, relevant, and specific details that directly contribute to supporting your main ideas.

6. How to write a conclusion for an informative essay

The conclusion of your essay should briefly restate your thesis statement and provide an overview of all the ideas developed in the body. In the context of informative essays, you may recount what the audience learned from your essay. Finish your narration with suggestions for further research or action.

7. Prepare a list of references

Compile a list of all sources used in your research and mentioned in your essay. Learn which reference standard you’re supposed to use and organize your list per the established rules.

Conclusion: How to write informative essays

In this article, you learned everything you need to know to write a perfect informative essay. Remember that this type of academic writing should provide only factual information based on trustworthy sources.

If you have more questions, you can use our essay generator Aithor. Aithor is an innovative tool specifically designed to assist students in writing academic essays. Use the essay generator Aithor to generate essay ideas, find sources for your research, check your writing for plagiarism, and much more.

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Prison Life, Recidivism and Reintegration Essay

Introduction.

A prison is where the people who have committed criminal offenses are taken and punished for the crimes committed as they wait for their trials. The purpose of prison is to assist in reducing the rate of offenses committed in society and lessen daily crimes. Instead, it is an environment where individuals live in substandard circumstances and are treated like animals (Thompson 217). Additionally, it is where few individuals advance personally and are not constructive. Nevertheless, the vast majority of inmates who are released from jail ultimately return. As an illustration, I am acquainted with someone who has spent ten of the eighteen years of my life in and out of prison. This is something that I am not proud of, but the situation never stopped him from committing some other crimes after his life in prison.

This criminology course section has helped me understand the development of American prisons and the corrective contributions that have been put in place together with the corrective models. People would assume that convicts have learned their lesson after serving years in jail. Prisoners who adhere to the rules are more likely to make poor judgments outside prison. The good prisoner were ill-equipped to make wise judgments when they returned to society since all they had learned there was how to obey rules and sit on their bunk. The rationale is that if an offender does not make the most of their workday or leisure day, it prevents them from building relationships and essential skills, making it difficult to adapt when they get out of prison.

With the increase in incarceration, American punishment policy underwent a revolution that mirrored profound societal changes and a shift in mentality. The nation underwent a turbulent political and economic transformation, quickly growing crime rates and shifting racial relations. Criminal justice politics have significantly changed in favor of harsh punishment (Thompson 221). Lawmakers passed laws to lock up and imprison more individuals. These adjustments show a change in the relative importance of conflicting values. The fundamental objective of punishment has shifted from rehabilitation to fair deserts, or retribution, in public and professional discourses.

The majority of American prisons are segregated, secluded institutions that are tough to visit and scientifically analyze. It is challenging to make broad generalizations regarding the effects of incarceration since they differ greatly in their organizational structures and operational methods. However, it is feasible to outline some of the most important changes that happened throughout the time of rising imprisonment rates and impacted the nature of prison life (Thompson 223). We examine these tendencies, acknowledge the absence of national and uniform statistics, and describe elements of incarceration that have undergone scientific investigation. Although the characteristics and outcomes of particular prisons can vary greatly, a confluence of six different but connected trends that occurred in the United States over the past decades have had a massive effect on the conditions of confinement in many of the nation’s correctional facilities. Such trends encompass rising rates of prison overcrowding, sizable percentages of inmates suffering from mental illness, and a more racially and culturally diverse prison population.

The safety of the community and increased risks of recidivism make reintegration the most challenging problem for the correctional system. Reintegration is the process through which a criminal is ready to leave jail and return safely to society as a law-abiding citizen. A life of incarceration is a process in which people are cut off from society and made to live in a foreclosed setting where antisocial values are prevalent. Another method for comprehending criminal behavior, criminogenic needs, and therapy to lessen criminal conduct is the RNR (Risk, Needs, and Responsivity) model. To properly analyze the static and dynamic danger posed by offenders, the RNR model is required. However, there are several criticisms of the RNR model, such as how it views each individual as a danger and disregards the difficulty of the re-entry problem. Restorative justice is a different strategy that helps mend ties between the victim, the community, and the offender via encounters.

In Canada, the Circle of Support and Accountability (CoSA) concept uses a team of skilled volunteers to assist sexual offenders with reintegration into society following their release from prison. Offenders may have trouble getting employment since many businesses do not want any ex-offenders working for them. Because they believed they were criminals or part of gangs, offenders could not interact with their mates (Thompson 219). Due to damaged relationships and the impact of parental imprisonment on children, a family reunion is another obstacle following release from jail. After being released from jail, those with felonies have housing issues since landlords won’t rent. After the conviction, certain people may lose their civil rights.

The primary objectives of a prison sentence or other analogous measures that deny a person of their liberty are to protect society from crime and to reduce recidivism, to name a few of the lessons I learned in this course portion. These objectives can only be achieved by making the most of the time spent in jail to ensure, as much as is practical, the effective reintegration of such persons into society following their release, enabling them to live law-abiding and financially independent lives. To do this, prison administrations and other competent authorities should offer corrective, moral, spiritual, social, health, and sports-related assistance, appropriate and easily accessible education, job training, and other assistance.

Thompson, Nathan. “Dealing with radicalization in corrective services.” Prisons and Community Corrections , 2020, pp. 216-229.

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