Essay is the most common assignment in high school and college, isn’t it? Students write a lot of different types of essays on diverse topics. They might be long or short. But the basic structure of the essay remains the same. It’s an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, many students ask “How do I write the longer essay?” or "How many parts of an essay should I add?".
Although every student has flexibility in research, they should always keep the basic format of an essay in mind. It means that basic parts of an essay are similar to all types of an essay, and you can just add more body paragraphs to follow the word count and requirements of the particular assignment. Let's have a closer look at the basic essay parts.
What Are the Five Parts of an Essay?
An academic essay consists of three structural components: introduction, main body, and conclusion. But, it is visually and by the content divided into five parts: introduction, three main body paragraphs, and conclusion. That is why it is also referred to as a 5 paragraph essay.
An academic essay always begins with a brief introductory paragraph. The role of this part is usually to prepare the audience to reading the piece of writing and to give an idea what it will be about. An efficient introduction should:
- Catch the reader's attention (hook). You can catch the reader's attention by providing some shocking or unknown facts, using a quote from the book, study, or someone's speech, ask a provocative question, etc. The effective hook is usually one or two sentences long.
- Introduce the topic. Here you should introduce the chosen topic of your essay and provide a context for the further discussion.
- Provide background information. After making the audience interested in your writing, you should tell the reader some general information about the topic you are going to dwell upon.
- Introduce the main idea, thesis statement. A thesis statement is a sentence or two that contains a viewpoint and the core idea about the chosen topic. It is usually placed in the end of the introductory part.
What Are the 3 Parts of Introduction
So, the three main components of an introduction are:
- background information
- Thesis statement
Have a look at the example of a strong introduction to the academic essay:
"Recent studies show that dog owners live up to 24% longer compared to those without pets.“ -> hook
Dogs provide a range of mental and physical health benefits for their owners." -> background information
"These pets involve a more active lifestyle, companionship, social network with other dog owners, and a sense and importance of purpose." -> thesis statement.
What Is Thesis Statement
Thesis statement is an important element of the academic essay. It is a kind of road map to the whole essay. The thesis statement usually takes just one sentence, but it tells the audience what to expect from the whole paper.
The main body consists of three paragraphs that are the building blocks of essays. Most of the college students determine paragraphs in terms of their length; however, each paragraph of the main body is a group of sentences that support the main idea mentioned in a thesis statement. The main body part of the essay plays an essential role in answering What? How? Why? questions put in the introduction section.
Paragraphs in an essay should be balanced and complete. Each paragrph should include the followinf components:
- Topic sentence. Usually, it is a focus sentence, that helps to organize the whole paragraph by summarizing the information in it.
- Controlling idea. The controlling idea tells what the paragraph will be about.
- Supporting idea. Supporting ideas "support" the topic sentence by telling why the reader should believe the topic sentence is true.
- Concluding idea. It is the final part of each paragraph, which consists of 1-2 sentences that assert the main idea of the whole paragraph.
Have a look at the complete balanced paragraph with a structure mentioned above:
"My state is famous for several amazing natural features." -> Topic sentence
"First, it is noted for a very wide and beautiful Wheaton River. Also, it has a very steep and unusual Wheaton Hill. The big old tree is the third amazing feature." -> Controlling idea
"This old tree is about six hundred years old and stands two hundred feet tall" ->Supporting idea
"Three landmarks mentioned before are amazing and make my state a truly famous place." -> Concluding idea
A Balanced Paragraph
For the paragraphs in the paper to be clear, logical, and balanced, they should:
- Consist of 3-4 sentences
- Be clear and logically developed
- Discuss one idea
- Have smooth transitions of ideas
- Support and develop the main idea
The concluding part of an essay:
- Summarizes the main ideas discussed in the paper
- Restates the thesis statement
- Gives readers food for thought
- Answers the So what? question
- Points to the areas of the topic that can be further developed or investigated
Check an example of a strong conclusion with all its components.
"Succeed in getting a top-ranked job is a prior goal that I would like to receive in the next several years."-> restated thesis
"To meet my expectations, I will do my best to finish school with the best results. Also, I will create a strong CV and start searching for a job f my dream" -> summary of subpoints
"I know that I am trying to reach a hard goal; however, I am sure such tough work is worth doing." -> the final impression.
Citations and Reference List
An important part of each essay is the reference list or bibliography. If you have used some source to write your essay, you should properly cite them in the text and add to the reference list. Otherwise, it will be considered plagiarism. Requirements to the formatting of references differ, and you should follow your assignment instructions. The most common formatting styles are:
Where to Get Expert Help
Studying is always tough work because you have to learn tons of new information every day. If you have learned all the peculiarities of writing an essay, you can easily complete it. But in case you are short of time, you can also ask for academic assistance to save your time. Some questions left? Do not hesitate to ask our academic writers for professional help.