The Parts of an Academic Essay

An essay is, by default, typically a written piece that provide the author’s argument, but even the definition is often vague, sometimes overlapping with that of a short article, letter, book, an article, pamphlet, and even a short story. Essays are traditionally always formal and written in the third person. However, in recent years, essays have also been written in the first person. This is especially common in essays for college students, which almost always are required. In the past, it was almost impossible to write an essay that was both formal and personal, but as technology has improved over time, so has the ability to write personal essays.


One of the most common types of essay is the argumentative essay. Argumentative essays test the reader’s argument and ability to reason. Often, this type of the essay consists of three parts: an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. The introduction is the section in which the writer presents his or her argument. It begins with the most important point that drives the rest of the essay, usually an appealing or surprising point of view, idea, or information.

The main body of the essay describes what the writer has done, what the results show, and why the results are what the writer claims they are. In this section, it is best to describe only two items, rather than four or more. Two descriptive sentences that sum up the subject matter are sufficient to begin the descriptive essay outline. The other two sentences to describe each item individually. It may be possible to add a third paragraph after the introduction, if needed.

After describing each item individually, the essay concludes with a summary of what the reader learned and what conclusion could be drawn from the facts the essay presents. The summary should not include personal opinions, which should be discussed in the introduction and are not necessary to support the conclusions of the essay. A conclusion is a logical way to sum up what has been said in the essay, including the conclusion stated in a way that shows the sequence of events, steps taken to reach the conclusion, and reasons why the conclusion is the conclusion the reader should draw. Finally, the essay includes a discussion of the suggested methods for writing future papers.

The introduction is the first thing a student sees, so it is important that it is appealing and interesting. Use language that sparks a response and that makes a student read thoroughly through the essay. A sentence that starts with, “It was really hard to get through college,” is an intro that makes many readers stop reading the entire essay to stop and look at the sentence. An intro like, “My grades suffered because I had trouble concentrating in class” is also very engaging. These types of sentences catch the reader’s attention immediately and hold their attention until the end of the essay. The essay writing process also includes paragraphs that start off with a question or statement, create a conclusion that addresses the concerns raised in the opening paragraph, and provide suggestions for future essay writing.

The thesis statement is the most important part of the essay and is the main focus of the essay. The thesis statement begins the essay, either in its own paragraph or in a separate paragraph that is added to the introduction. The thesis statement should discuss an argument that is based on research, usually related to the topic of the essay and can be supported by several facts. It should be written in a way that persuades the reader to take the conclusion as true and support the statements in the introduction and conclusion with research and facts.