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Definition of the Parts of an Essay


When writing an essay, it is important to consider all the different components that each essay must include to be considered well-written work. Regardless of the required length of the essay, each one must contain a cohesive set of elements that clearly and efficiently explain a topic to anyone who reads it.

Thesis Statement

Every essay must include an informative and well-organized thesis statement. A thesis statement is a sentence included in the first, or introductory, paragraph that sums up what the entire essay is about. This will convey to the readers exactly what they can expect to be reading in the essay, as well as clarify the overall tone of the essay. Make sure the thesis statement is clear and directly to the point. You will be building the remaining paragraphs of the essay to support what you wrote as the thesis statement.

Introductory Paragraph

The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of the essay. As stated before, it will include the thesis statement. The introductory paragraph is possibly the most important paragraph of the entire essay, although it won't have as many details as the body paragraphs of the essay. It's so important because it introduces your topic as well as your general feelings about the topic. The style of the introductory paragraph also determines if the readers will want to continue reading the rest of the essay. It must include a hook that keeps the readers interested. The introductory paragraph must be clear and concise, while giving an effective and understandable overview of the entire essay.

Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs, or supporting paragraphs, are the paragraphs placed between the introductory and closing paragraphs of an essay. The body paragraphs provide the "meat" of the entire essay, with information that supports the thesis statement. There can be as many or as few body paragraphs as needed to elaborate on the topic that was introduced in the first paragraph. Organize each paragraph so that each one only focuses on one of the major points that need to be made about your topic. The body paragraphs include all information that pertains to the topic, so the reader can fully understand the point that the essay is trying to make.

Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph contains the conclusion of the essay. It includes sentences that revisit the main points of the introductory and body paragraphs of the essay. It is also the last chance for the essay to make an impression on the reader. Because this final paragraph is basically a summary of the whole essay, rewrite your thesis statement and include it in your closing paragraph. This reminds the reader of the direction of the essay and the points the essay was trying to make.

About the Author

Kelsi Johnston has been writing short stories and assorted articles since 2008. She has experience in news writing and technical writing and her work has appeared in various online publications. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from Auburn University.

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