Three Parts of an Essay


The introduction should be designed to grab the reader’s attention and give her an idea of the essay’s focus.

How do I write an effective introduction?

An introduction must be interesting. A dull introduction will not encourage a reader to continue reading. There are four ways to write an introduction. Choose one that suits the topic of the essay:

(a) General to Specific Information

You should begin writing from a general point of view and then specific. For example, if the topic is “Travelling is beneficial”, you could start by saying how people spend their holidays and elaborate in a sentence or two. After that, be more specific and say the travelling is popular among holiday-makers. Then only write the thesis statement to inform the reader that you’re going to write about the benefits of travelling.

Example of an introductory paragraph:
(Topic: The Benefits of Travelling)

  • We look forward to holidays. It is the time when we can enjoy ourselves with our friends and families. Some of us just go to the nearby beach  for picnics while others stay home and spend time doing things together. On the other hand, the more wealthy ones travel abroad. Why do they spend so much money going to another country? There are three possible benefits of travelling.

(b) Anecdote

An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.

(c) Question

You could also begin an introduction by asking a question, for example, “Do you travel?” – then you go on writing in  a few more sentences before you write the thesis statement. By asking a question, you are stimulating the mind of the reader to want to read further.

(d) Quotation

You could include a quotation in your introduction to grab the attention of your reader. For example, you could say: “According to Francis Bacon, reading makes a man”. However, the quotation must be real, not something which you made up yourself. The quotation could be inserted anywhere in the introduction.

What’s the length of the introductory paragraph?

There is no specific length for the introduction. As long as you don’t write half a page, it’s alright. REMEMBER: The introduction that you write must always relate to the essay topic.


In a 5-paragraph essay, you should have 3 body paragraphs. A body paragraph contains three important parts:

  • topic sentences
  • supporting details
  • closing sentence

(a) The Topic Sentence:

This one-sentence statement is the main point or main idea of the paragraph. It is the topic of the paragraph. Each paragraph must have a topic sentence, which is normally written at the beginning of the paragraph.


  • One of the advantages of using a handphone is convenience.

In the above example, the topic sentence tells you that you have to write about the convenience of using a handphone in the paragraph. Any additional statements after this sentence will also relate to convenience of using a handphone. That means, in this paragraph, do not write about the price or handphone features.

(b) The Supporting Details:

The topic sentence must be followed by sentences to help support it. These other sentences are called supporting details. When you write supporting details, make sure that they are related to the topic sentence. You may include examples, illustrations and explanations in your supporting details. A good paragraph should have between 2-3 supporting details.

(c) The Closing Sentence:

This is also called the concluding sentence. It is a good practice to have a sentence to summarise what has been discussed. Use your own words to restate what has been mentioned in the paragraph.


The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.

End with a summary and a final comment

All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic.

End with a recommendation

Since the topic is on the benefits of travelling, you could end your essay by encouraging readers to travel either locally or abroad. Then you restate the benefits of travelling.

Ask one or more questions

It is also possible to ask questions in the conclusion. However, not every topic uses questions. Normally, asking questions is suitable for argumentative essays.

Example of a conclusion:
(Topic: Animal Rights)

  • In conclusion, animals should also be given their rights. If you have a pet at home, would you just allow someone to shoot it? Would you let your pet die of starvation? You would definitely protect your pet because your pet deserves to live, and deserves to be treated well. That is why animals also have rights.

Posted on July 19, 2009, in Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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