How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

writing an introduction to an academic essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

writing an introduction to an academic essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

writing an introduction to an academic essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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Related Reads:

  • What is an Argumentative Essay? How to Write It (With Examples)
  • How to Paraphrase Research Papers Effectively
  • How to Cite Social Media Sources in Academic Writing? 
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Essay writing: Introductions

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“A relevant and coherent beginning is perhaps your best single guarantee that the essay as a whole will achieve its object.” Gordon Taylor, A Student's Writing Guide

Your introduction is the first thing your marker will read and should be approximately 10% of your word count. Within the first minute they should know if your essay is going to be a good one or not. An introduction has several components but the most important of these are the last two we give here. You need to show the reader what your position is and how you are going to argue the case to get there so that the essay becomes your answer to the question rather than just an answer.

What an introduction should include:

  • A little basic background about the key subject area (just enough to put your essay into context, no more or you'll bore the reader).
  • Explanation of how you are defining any key terms . Confusion on this could be your undoing.
  • A road-map of how your essay will answer the question. What is your overall argument and how will you develop it?
  • A confirmation of your position .

Background information

It is good to start with a statement that fixes your essay topic and focus in a wider context so that the reader is sure of where they are within the field. This is a very small part of the introduction though - do not fall into the trap of writing a whole paragraph that is nothing but background information.

Beware though, this only has to be a little bit wider, not completely universal. That is, do not start with something like "In the whole field of nursing...." or "Since man could write, he has always...". Instead, simply situate the area that you are writing about within a slightly bigger area. For example, you could start with a general statement about a topic, outlining some key issues but explain that your essay will focus on only one. Here is an example:

The ability to communicate effectively and compassionately is a key skill within nursing. Communication is about more than being able to speak confidently and clearly, it is about effective listening (Singh, 2019), the use of gesture, body language and tone (Adebe et al., 2016) and the ability to tailor language and messaging to particular situations (Smith & Jones, 2015). This essay will explore the importance of non-verbal communication ...

The example introduction at the bottom of this page also starts with similar, short background information.

Prehistoric man with the caption "Since the dawn of man..."

Defining key terms

This does not mean quoting dictionary definitions - we all have access to dictionary.com with a click or two. There are many words we use in academic work that can have multiple or nuanced definitions. You have to write about how you are defining any potentially ambiguous terms in relation to  your  essay topic. This is really important for your reader, as it will inform them how you are using such words in the context of your essay and prevent confusion or misunderstanding.

Student deciding if 'superpower' relates to the USA and China or Superman and Spider-man

Stating your case (road mapping)

The main thing an introduction will do is...introduce your essay! That means you need to tell the reader what your conclusion is and how you will get there.

There is no need to worry about *SPOILER ALERTS* - this is not a detective novel you can give away the ending! Sorry, but building up suspense is just going to irritate the reader rather than eventually satisfy. Simply outline how your main arguments (give them in order) lead to your conclusion. In American essay guides you will see something described as the ‘thesis statement’ - although we don't use this terminology in the UK, it is still necessary to state in your introduction what the over-arching argument of your essay will be. Think of it as the mega-argument , to distinguish it from the mini-arguments you make in each paragraph. Look at the example introduction at the bottom of this page which includes both of these elements.

Car on a road to a place called 'Conclusion'

Confirming your position

To some extent, this is covered in your roadmap (above), but it is so important, it deserves some additional attention here. Setting out your position is an essential component of all essays. Brick et al. (2016:143) even suggest

"The purpose of an essay is to present a clear position and defend it"

It is, however, very difficult to defend a position if you have not made it clear in the first place. This is where your introduction comes in. In stating your position, you are ultimately outlining the answer to the question. You can then make the rest of your essay about providing the evidence that supports your answer. As such, if you make your position clear, you will find all subsequent paragraphs in your essay easier to write and join together. As you have already told your reader where the essay is going, you can be explicit in how each paragraph contributes to your mega-argument.

In establishing your position and defending it, you are ultimately engaging in scholarly debate. This is because your positions are supported by academic evidence and analysis. It is in your analysis of the academic evidence that should lead your reader to understand your position. Once again - this is only possible if your introduction has explained your position in the first place.

student standing on a cross holding a sign saying "my position"

An example introduction

(Essay title = Evaluate the role of stories as pedagogical tools in higher education)

Stories have been an essential communication technique for thousands of years and although teachers and parents still think they are important for educating younger children, they have been restricted to the role of entertainment for most of us since our teenage years. This essay will claim that stories make ideal pedagogical tools, whatever the age of the student, due to their unique position in cultural and cognitive development. To argue this, it will consider three main areas: firstly, the prevalence of stories across time and cultures and how the similarity of story structure suggests an inherent understanding of their form which could be of use to academics teaching multicultural cohorts when organising lecture material; secondly, the power of stories to enable listeners to personally relate to the content and how this increases the likelihood of changing thoughts, behaviours and decisions - a concept that has not gone unnoticed in some fields, both professional and academic; and finally, the way that different areas of the brain are activated when reading, listening to or watching a story unfold, which suggests that both understanding and ease of recall, two key components of learning, are both likely to be increased . Each of these alone could make a reasoned argument for including more stories within higher education teaching – taken together, this argument is even more compelling.

Key:   Background information (scene setting)   Stating the case (r oad map)    Confirming a position (in two places). Note in this introduction there was no need to define key terms.

Brick, J., Herke, M., and Wong, D., (2016) Academic Culture, A students guide to studying at university, 3rd edition. Victoria, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.

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How to write an essay: Introduction

  • What's in this guide
  • Introduction
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The Introduction

An in troduction generally does three things. The first part is usually a general comment that shows the reader why the topic is important, gets their interest, and leads them into the topic. It isn’t actually part of your argument. The next part of the introduction is the thesis statement . This is your response to the question; your final answer. It is probably the most important part of the introduction. Finally, the introduction tells the reader what they can expect in the essay body. This is where you briefly outline your arguments .

Here is an example of the introduction to the question - Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your view.

Example of an introduction

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How to Write a Successful Introduction for Your Academic Essay

Lindy Ledohowski

Lindy Ledohowski

academicessaywriting

“A good first impression can work wonders.” – J. K. Rowling

It is imperative to know what you are getting into when it comes to writing successful essays , research papers, theses, and dissertations. One foundation stone for successful academic writing is the introductory paragraph or section.

Introductions for scholarly pieces of writing – essays for school, journal articles for publication, graduate theses – have a number of key components that set up the material that follows.

As Michael Simon of The MLA Style Centre writes:

“Introductions function in different ways. Some provide a hook, a statement that makes readers want to find out more; others present a claim, or thesis, that will be advanced in the rest of the piece. Introductions may inform, but they can also entertain.”

In short, an introduction should set the stage for what is to come next in an informative and engaging manner.

Successful Academic Introductions

1. your opening, 2. a bit of background, 3. your thesis statement, 4. how things will unfold, an introduction to introductions.

Often, I like to say that the introduction to a piece of scholarly writing is like the opening statement that a lawyer gives at the start of a court case.

A lawyer needs to say whether the client pleads guilty or not guilty, and they need to suggest what evidence will be explored throughout the rest of the trial. However, as courtroom dramas on TV make very clear, there are more engaging and successful ways of getting the attention of the judge and jury than others. The same can be said for writing.

There are four key components to successful introductions for academic writing. The length and depth of your introductory section depends on how long your piece of writing is (there’s a big difference between a 5 page essay and a 250 page dissertation!) But, regardless of length, most introductions will include:

  • Your Opening
  • A Bit of Background
  • Your Thesis Statement
  • How Things will Unfold

Ideally each of these sections weaves together seamlessly in a style that is compelling with a writing style appropriate to your field. If you are a clunky writer (as I tend to be), it’s better to be boring but still supply the requisite information than it is to be showy and tell your reader nothing.

Often in composition or writing courses, there are two bits of advice for this opening section that get shared and re-shared: (1) try to hook your reader and (2) start broad and then narrow your focus.

In theory, this advice is good; in practice, it can often backfire. Hooking the reader can be as straightforward as providing a clear, articulate statement of the topic of the paper. It does not have to be some sort of gimmicky click-bait. Similarly, if you start too broad, you’ll end up opening your essay with every professor’s worst nightmare, a sentence that begins with “Since the dawn of time…” Instead, hook your reader with a clear statement of your topic.

If you want to avoid trite openings, make sure that your writing style is fit for purpose, and check your introduction is clear and readable, I’d recommend ProWritingAid . The editor catches grammar mistakes, but it also tells you when you’re overusing words or using sentences that are too long. I like to run the Readability Report on my writing to make sure I’m getting my points across as clearly as possible. Give it a go with your next essay.

It is important to set the proverbial stage for what is to come in an introduction. Provide some context for your reader to situate your topic within the field you work within.

  • Is there technical information that you need to explain in order to make sense of your particular topic?
  • Do you need to introduce some characters or an author, or provide geographical or historical information to set the scope of your project?

This type of important background not only introduces your reader to the terrain over which you want to travel, but it also helps to set the authoritative tone of your academic piece by demonstrating that you know the material that you will go on to discuss.

essaywriting

In most Anglo-American academic contexts, a thesis statement is the key point that the rest of the paper will argue or advance. However, to be a bit more nuanced and sophisticated about it, a thesis statement allows you to indicate clearly what intervention into the scholarship you are making.

If you’re struggling to come up with a thesis statement, consider these questions:

  • Are you identifying a gap in the literature?
  • Are you qualifying or justifying an oft-overlooked assumption in your field?
  • Are you disagreeing with a common view of your subject matter?
  • Have you found an anomaly worth describing or exploring?
  • Is there a refinement to a position that you want to clarify?
  • Have you discovered something new that needs to be explained?
  • Are you contributing something significant to an ongoing scholarly debate?

Sometimes the thesis statement is articulated as a “problem statement,” but a rose by any other name is still a rose (thanks, Shakespeare). Ultimately, this portion of your introduction clearly states what your paper is all about.

This portion of your introduction may differ based on discipline or stylistic preferences. Generally, it includes a roadmap of the key points that the rest of the academic essay will raise, and it might include a methodological statement explaining how knowledge is produced in your field.

A roadmap is like that lawyer’s opening statement in a courtroom. Their thesis may be that their client pleads “not guilty,” and then the lawyer may list the reasons that will be brought forward to help support that plea. The rest of the essay will look into the evidence in more detail, but that opening statement introduces that evidence at surface level. The same kind of roadmapping of your key points is helpful in your introductory section.

Similarly, a statement of your approach or methodology helps to situate your reader squarely within your field, explaining how people like you conduct research. Think about whether your research is:

  • Data driven
  • Ethnographic
  • Theoretical
  • Investigative
  • Experimental

However scholars in your field conduct research, you want to make the method clear to your reader at the outset.

In a nutshell, if you provide a clear introductory section that sets up your topic and the specific problem or point that you will explore, then your readers will know what to expect. By including a good introduction, you are showing your reader as well as telling them that you are an authority they can trust. After all, first impressions matter.

If you're looking for more help with writing scholarly essays, check out ProWritingAid's review of my essay writing software, EssayJack , to find out more about how it helps you write better essays. You can also learn about how to format your paper using MLA on the ProWritingAid blog.

Want to learn more about great academic writing? Watch Lindy's training session on Academic Writing and Publishing for Graduate Students and Junior Scholars

Receive practical tips for writing various sections of scholarly pieces, and for how to submit to peer-reviewed journals when you're just getting started.

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Dr. Lindy Ledohowski has a PhD in English and was an English professor before cofounding academic writing software company, EssayJack, dedicated to helping students unlock their potential with academic writing and critical thinking. In July 2021, EssayJack was acquired by Wize, a leading EdTech software company offering bite-sized micro lessons, with a specific focus on STEM subjects. Dr. Ledohowski joined Wize as a VP, leading its operations and educational development so that students around the world can be successful in college and university.

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Academic English UK

 Academic Introduction

An introduction is the most important section of an essay. It informs the reader of the context and what is your stance on the subject. It is usually written after the main body and should include a number of key parts. This webpage discusses the common structure and focuses on the importance of the thesis (stance).

Disclaimer: there is no one way to write an introduction BUT this structure helps lower-level students identify the key sections of an introduction & the importance of the thesis.

Introduction video

A short 5-minute video on how to write an academic introduction. A basic 4-part structure outline and example introduction paragraph.

Introduction lesson / worksheet download

Introductions: how to write an academic introduction, this lesson / worksheet presents the key sections to an academic introduction. it then focuses on highlighting those key sections in three model introductions with particular attention to the thesis (question / topics / stance) and finally finishes with writing an introduction using a range of titles.  example   level: ** *** [b1/b2/c1]   teacher membership  / institutional membership, terms & conditions of use, academic introduction structure.

A basic 4-part structure outline and example introduction paragraph.

Basic paragraph structure

Academic Introduction example

academic introduction

Introduction phrases

Manchester university phrase bank is a great resource to help create and structure an introduction. Key phrases include:

  • Establishing the importance of the topic for the world or society
  • Establishing the importance of the topic for the discipline
  • Establishing the importance of the topic (time frame given)
  • Establishing the importance of the topic as a problem to be addressed
  • Referring to previous work to establish what is already known
  • Explaining the inadequacies of previous studies
  • Identifying a knowledge gap in the field of study
  • Stating the focus, aim, or argument of a short paper
  • Outlining the structure of the paper or dissertation
  • Explaining key terms used in the current work

M ore introduction phrases : click here

Introductions: ho w to write an academic introduction.

Thesis Statements: How to write a thesis statement

This lesson / worksheet presents the key sections to an academic introduction. It focuses on different writing structures using words like however, although, despite and then includes a writing task. Students write three thesis statements using the introduction models.  Example   Level: ** *** [B1/B2/C1]     / Webpage link / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP  / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP

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Academic Introduction example [ the thesis statement ]

Question: fair trade negatively impacts producers and workers in developing countries. to what extent do you agree, international trade has been predominately controlled by developed countries for centuries and developing countries have struggled to access this market. fair trade is a worldwide initiative aimed at improving the livelihood of producers and empowering workers in developing countries by generating better terms and sufficient wages (fair trade international, 2017). overall, fair trade develops increased economic stability, higher salaries compared to conventional producers and educates community diversification. thus, to a large extent the claim that fair trade negatively impacts producers and workers in developing countries is invalid. this essay will focus on the main arguments connected to stability, salaries and diversification and conclude with suggestions on how fair trade could be improved., highlighted sections, international trade has been predominately controlled by developed countries for centuries and developing countries have struggled to access this market. fair trade is a worldwide initiative aimed at improving the livelihood of producers and empowering workers in developing countries by generating better terms and sufficient wages (fair trade international, 2017). overall, fair trade develops increased economic stability , higher salaries compared to conventional producers and educates community diversification. thus,  to a large extent the claim that fair trade negatively impacts producers and workers in developing countries is invalid . this essay will focus on the main arguments connected to stability, salaries and diversification and conclude with suggestions on how fair trade could be improved., question: fair trade negatively impacts producers / workers / developing countries, essay topics: economic stability / salaries / diversification, stance: invalid.

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It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!

If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:  

  • A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
  • An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
  • An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

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What Is an Introduction Paragraph? 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal  essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph. 

So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper. 

Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.

But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences . 

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!

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Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!

The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph

In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. 

Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!

Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook

When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook. 

What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!” 

That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay! 

This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro. 

It’s important to realize  that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay. 

One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way . 

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this: 

There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans. 

This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.

In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.

Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context

Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about

You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it. 

So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis. 

For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment. 

The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.

Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!

Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis

The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph. 

Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.

Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this: 

Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .

The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!

So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic. 

The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement. 

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How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.

To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Example of Introduction Paragraph

While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education. 

Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis

Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay. 

Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis: 

  • Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address? 

Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph. 

Does the Intro Have a Good Hook? 

First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting  an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education. 

The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic. 

Does the Intro Give Context?

T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on. 

The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.  

To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.

Does the Intro Have a Thesis? 

Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations. 

However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.

To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:

The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.

Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!  

So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!

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4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay. 

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim. 

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific. 

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to  identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph . 

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Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!

Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers. 

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context. 

You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers. 

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts . 

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper. 

Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft. 

Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro: 

  • Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
  • Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay? 
  • Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?

Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!

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What's Next?

Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays. 

Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.

Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Write an Academic Essay in 6 Simple Steps

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Written by  Scribendi

Are you wondering how to write an academic essay successfully? There are so many steps to writing an academic essay that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here, we outline how to write an academic essay in 6 simple steps, from how to research for an academic essay to how to revise an essay and everything in between. 

Our essay writing tips are designed to help you learn how to write an academic essay that is ready for publication (after academic editing and academic proofreading , of course!).

Your paper isn't complete until you've done all the needed proofreading. Make sure you leave time for it after the writing process!

Download Our Pocket Checklist for Academic Papers. Just input your email below!

Types of academic writing.

With academic essay writing, there are certain conventions that writers are expected to follow. As such, it's important to know the basics of academic writing before you begin writing your essay.

Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

Before you begin writing your essay, you need to know what type of essay you are writing. This will help you follow the correct structure, which will make academic paper editing a faster and simpler process. 

Will you be writing a descriptive essay, an analytical essay, a persuasive essay, or a critical essay?

Read More: How to Master the 4 Types of Academic Writing

You can learn how to write academic essays by first mastering the four types of academic writing and then applying the correct rules to the appropriate type of essay writing.

Regardless of the type of essay you will be writing, all essays will include:

An introduction

At least three body paragraphs

A conclusion

A bibliography/reference list

To strengthen your essay writing skills, it can also help to learn how to research for an academic essay.

How to Research for an Academic Essay

Step 1: Preparing to Write Your Essay

The essay writing process involves a few main stages:

Researching

As such, in learning how to write an academic essay, it is also important to learn how to research for an academic essay and how to revise an essay.

Read More: Online Research Tips for Students and Scholars

To beef up your research skills, remember these essay writing tips from the above article: 

Learn how to identify reliable sources.

Understand the nuances of open access.

Discover free academic journals and research databases.

Manage your references. 

Provide evidence for every claim so you can avoid plagiarism .

Read More: 17 Research Databases for Free Articles

You will want to do the research for your academic essay points, of course, but you will also want to research various journals for the publication of your paper.

Different journals have different guidelines and thus different requirements for writers. These can be related to style, formatting, and more. 

Knowing these before you begin writing can save you a lot of time if you also want to learn how to revise an essay. If you ensure your paper meets the guidelines of the journal you want to publish in, you will not have to revise it again later for this purpose. 

After the research stage, you can draft your thesis and introduction as well as outline the rest of your essay. This will put you in a good position to draft your body paragraphs and conclusion, craft your bibliography, and edit and proofread your paper.

Step 2: Writing the Essay Introduction and Thesis Statement

When learning how to write academic essays , learning how to write an introduction is key alongside learning how to research for an academic essay.

Your introduction should broadly introduce your topic. It will give an overview of your essay and the points that will be discussed. It is typically about 10% of the final word count of the text.

All introductions follow a general structure:

Topic statement

Thesis statement

Read More: How to Write an Introduction

Your topic statement should hook your reader, making them curious about your topic. They should want to learn more after reading this statement. To best hook your reader in academic essay writing, consider providing a fact, a bold statement, or an intriguing question. 

The discussion about your topic in the middle of your introduction should include some background information about your topic in the academic sphere. Your scope should be limited enough that you can address the topic within the length of your paper but broad enough that the content is understood by the reader.

Your thesis statement should be incredibly specific and only one to two sentences long. Here is another essay writing tip: if you are able to locate an effective thesis early on, it will save you time during the academic editing process.

Read More: How to Write a Great Thesis Statement

Step 3: Writing the Essay Body

When learning how to write academic essays, you must learn how to write a good body paragraph. That's because your essay will be primarily made up of them!

The body paragraphs of your essay will develop the argument you outlined in your thesis. They will do this by providing your ideas on a topic backed up by evidence of specific points.

These paragraphs will typically take up about 80% of your essay. As a result, a good essay writing tip is to learn how to properly structure a paragraph.

Each paragraph consists of the following:

A topic sentence

Supporting sentences

A transition

Read More: How to Write a Paragraph

In learning how to revise an essay, you should keep in mind the organization of your paragraphs.

Your first paragraph should contain your strongest argument.

The secondary paragraphs should contain supporting arguments.

The last paragraph should contain your second-strongest argument. 

Step 4: Writing the Essay Conclusion

Your essay conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay and primarily reminds your reader of your thesis. It also wraps up your essay and discusses your findings more generally.

The conclusion typically makes up about 10% of the text, like the introduction. It shows the reader that you have accomplished what you intended to at the outset of your essay.

Here are a couple more good essay writing tips for your conclusion:

Don't introduce any new ideas into your conclusion.

Don't undermine your argument with opposing ideas.

Read More: How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph in 3 Easy Steps

Now that you know how to write an academic essay, it's time to learn how to write a bibliography along with some academic editing and proofreading advice.

Step 5: Writing the Bibliography or Works Cited

The bibliography of your paper lists all the references you cited. It is typically alphabetized or numbered (depending on the style guide).

Read More: How to Write an Academic Essay with References

When learning how to write academic essays, you may notice that there are various style guides you may be required to use by a professor or journal, including unique or custom styles. 

Some of the most common style guides include:

Chicago style

For help organizing your references for academic essay writing, consider a software manager. They can help you collect and format your references correctly and consistently, both quickly and with minimal effort.

Read More: 6 Reference Manager Software Solutions for Your Research

As you learn how to research for an academic essay most effectively, you may notice that a reference manager can also help make academic paper editing easier.

How to Revise an Essay

Step 6: Revising Your Essay

Once you've finally drafted your entire essay . . . you're still not done! 

That's because editing and proofreading are the essential final steps of any writing process . 

An academic editor can help you identify core issues with your writing , including its structure, its flow, its clarity, and its overall readability. They can give you substantive feedback and essay writing tips to improve your document. Therefore, it's a good idea to have an editor review your first draft so you can improve it prior to proofreading.

A specialized academic editor can assess the content of your writing. As a subject-matter expert in your subject, they can offer field-specific insight and critical commentary. Specialized academic editors can also provide services that others may not, including:

Academic document formatting

Academic figure formatting

Academic reference formatting

An academic proofreader can help you perfect the final draft of your paper to ensure it is completely error free in terms of spelling and grammar. They can also identify any inconsistencies in your work but will not look for any issues in the content of your writing, only its mechanics. This is why you should have a proofreader revise your final draft so that it is ready to be seen by an audience. 

Read More: How to Find the Right Academic Paper Editor or Proofreader

When learning how to research and write an academic essay, it is important to remember that editing is a required step. Don ' t forget to allot time for editing after you ' ve written your paper.

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Our academic essay writing tips are sure to help you learn how to research an academic essay, how to write an academic essay, and how to revise an academic essay.

If your academic paper looks sloppy, your readers may assume your research is sloppy. Download our Pocket Proofreading Checklist for Academic Papers before you take that one last crucial look at your paper.

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writing an introduction to an academic essay

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Essay and dissertation writing skills

Planning your essay

Writing your introduction

Structuring your essay

  • Writing essays in science subjects
  • Brief video guides to support essay planning and writing
  • Writing extended essays and dissertations
  • Planning your dissertation writing time

Structuring your dissertation

  • Top tips for writing longer pieces of work

Advice on planning and writing essays and dissertations

University essays differ from school essays in that they are less concerned with what you know and more concerned with how you construct an argument to answer the question. This means that the starting point for writing a strong essay is to first unpick the question and to then use this to plan your essay before you start putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).

A really good starting point for you are these short, downloadable Tips for Successful Essay Writing and Answering the Question resources. Both resources will help you to plan your essay, as well as giving you guidance on how to distinguish between different sorts of essay questions. 

You may find it helpful to watch this seven-minute video on six tips for essay writing which outlines how to interpret essay questions, as well as giving advice on planning and structuring your writing:

Different disciplines will have different expectations for essay structure and you should always refer to your Faculty or Department student handbook or course Canvas site for more specific guidance.

However, broadly speaking, all essays share the following features:

Essays need an introduction to establish and focus the parameters of the discussion that will follow. You may find it helpful to divide the introduction into areas to demonstrate your breadth and engagement with the essay question. You might define specific terms in the introduction to show your engagement with the essay question; for example, ‘This is a large topic which has been variously discussed by many scientists and commentators. The principle tension is between the views of X and Y who define the main issues as…’ Breadth might be demonstrated by showing the range of viewpoints from which the essay question could be considered; for example, ‘A variety of factors including economic, social and political, influence A and B. This essay will focus on the social and economic aspects, with particular emphasis on…..’

Watch this two-minute video to learn more about how to plan and structure an introduction:

The main body of the essay should elaborate on the issues raised in the introduction and develop an argument(s) that answers the question. It should consist of a number of self-contained paragraphs each of which makes a specific point and provides some form of evidence to support the argument being made. Remember that a clear argument requires that each paragraph explicitly relates back to the essay question or the developing argument.

  • Conclusion: An essay should end with a conclusion that reiterates the argument in light of the evidence you have provided; you shouldn’t use the conclusion to introduce new information.
  • References: You need to include references to the materials you’ve used to write your essay. These might be in the form of footnotes, in-text citations, or a bibliography at the end. Different systems exist for citing references and different disciplines will use various approaches to citation. Ask your tutor which method(s) you should be using for your essay and also consult your Department or Faculty webpages for specific guidance in your discipline. 

Essay writing in science subjects

If you are writing an essay for a science subject you may need to consider additional areas, such as how to present data or diagrams. This five-minute video gives you some advice on how to approach your reading list, planning which information to include in your answer and how to write for your scientific audience – the video is available here:

A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.

Short videos to support your essay writing skills

There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing, including:

  • Approaching different types of essay questions  
  • Structuring your essay  
  • Writing an introduction  
  • Making use of evidence in your essay writing  
  • Writing your conclusion

Extended essays and dissertations

Longer pieces of writing like extended essays and dissertations may seem like quite a challenge from your regular essay writing. The important point is to start with a plan and to focus on what the question is asking. A PDF providing further guidance on planning Humanities and Social Science dissertations is available to download.

Planning your time effectively

Try not to leave the writing until close to your deadline, instead start as soon as you have some ideas to put down onto paper. Your early drafts may never end up in the final work, but the work of committing your ideas to paper helps to formulate not only your ideas, but the method of structuring your writing to read well and conclude firmly.

Although many students and tutors will say that the introduction is often written last, it is a good idea to begin to think about what will go into it early on. For example, the first draft of your introduction should set out your argument, the information you have, and your methods, and it should give a structure to the chapters and sections you will write. Your introduction will probably change as time goes on but it will stand as a guide to your entire extended essay or dissertation and it will help you to keep focused.

The structure of  extended essays or dissertations will vary depending on the question and discipline, but may include some or all of the following:

  • The background information to - and context for - your research. This often takes the form of a literature review.
  • Explanation of the focus of your work.
  • Explanation of the value of this work to scholarship on the topic.
  • List of the aims and objectives of the work and also the issues which will not be covered because they are outside its scope.

The main body of your extended essay or dissertation will probably include your methodology, the results of research, and your argument(s) based on your findings.

The conclusion is to summarise the value your research has added to the topic, and any further lines of research you would undertake given more time or resources. 

Tips on writing longer pieces of work

Approaching each chapter of a dissertation as a shorter essay can make the task of writing a dissertation seem less overwhelming. Each chapter will have an introduction, a main body where the argument is developed and substantiated with evidence, and a conclusion to tie things together. Unlike in a regular essay, chapter conclusions may also introduce the chapter that will follow, indicating how the chapters are connected to one another and how the argument will develop through your dissertation.

For further guidance, watch this two-minute video on writing longer pieces of work . 

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College admissions essays are an important part of your college application and gives you the chance to show colleges and universities your character and experiences. This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay.

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An Introduction to Academic Writing

Characteristics and Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • An Introduction to Punctuation

Olivia Valdes was the Associate Editorial Director for ThoughtCo. She worked with Dotdash Meredith from 2017 to 2021.

writing an introduction to an academic essay

  • B.A., American Studies, Yale University

Students, professors, and researchers in every discipline use academic writing to convey ideas, make arguments, and engage in scholarly conversation. Academic writing is characterized by evidence-based arguments, precise word choice, logical organization, and an impersonal tone. Though sometimes thought of as long-winded or inaccessible, strong academic writing is quite the opposite: It informs, analyzes, and persuades in a straightforward manner and enables the reader to engage critically in a scholarly dialogue.

Examples of Academic Writing 

Academic writing is, of course, any formal written work produced in an academic setting. While academic writing comes in many forms, the following are some of the most common.

Literary analysis : A literary analysis essay examines, evaluates, and makes an argument about a literary work. As its name suggests, a literary analysis essay goes beyond mere summarization. It requires careful close reading of one or multiple texts and often focuses on a specific characteristic, theme, or motif.

Research paper : A research paper uses outside information to support a thesis or make an argument. Research papers are written in all disciplines and may be evaluative, analytical, or critical in nature. Common research sources include data, primary sources (e.g., historical records), and secondary sources (e.g., peer-reviewed scholarly articles ). Writing a research paper involves synthesizing this external information with your own ideas.

Dissertation : A dissertation (or thesis) is a document submitted at the conclusion of a Ph.D. program. The dissertation is a book-length summarization of the doctoral candidate’s research.

Academic papers may be done as a part of a class, in a program of study, or for publication in an academic journal or scholarly book of articles around a theme, by different authors.

Characteristics of Academic Writing

Most academic disciplines employ their own stylistic conventions. However, all academic writing shares certain characteristics.

  • Clear and limited focus . The focus of an academic paper—the argument or research question—is established early by the thesis statement. Every paragraph and sentence of the paper connects back to that primary focus. While the paper may include background or contextual information, all content serves the purpose of supporting the thesis statement.
  • Logical structure . All academic writing follows a logical, straightforward structure. In its simplest form, academic writing includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction provides background information, lays out the scope and direction of the essay, and states the thesis. The body paragraphs support the thesis statement, with each body paragraph elaborating on one supporting point. The conclusion refers back to the thesis, summarizes the main points, and highlights the implications of the paper’s findings. Each sentence and paragraph logically connects to the next in order to present a clear argument.
  • Evidence-based arguments . Academic writing requires well-informed arguments. Statements must be supported by evidence, whether from scholarly sources (as in a research paper), results of a study or experiment, or quotations from a primary text (as in a literary analysis essay). The use of evidence gives credibility to an argument.
  • Impersonal tone . The goal of academic writing is to convey a logical argument from an objective standpoint. Academic writing avoids emotional, inflammatory, or otherwise biased language. Whether you personally agree or disagree with an idea, it must be presented accurately and objectively in your paper.

Most published papers also have abstracts: brief summaries of the most important points of the paper. Abstracts appear in academic database search results so that readers can quickly determine whether the paper is pertinent to their own research.

The Importance of Thesis Statements

Let’s say you’ve just finished an analytical essay for your literature class. If a peer or professor asks you what the essay is about—what the point of the essay is—you should be able to respond clearly and concisely in a single sentence. That single sentence is your thesis statement.

The thesis statement, found at the end of the first paragraph, is a one-sentence encapsulation of your essay’s main idea. It presents an overarching argument and may also identify the main support points for the argument. In essence, the thesis statement is a road map, telling the reader where the paper is going and how it will get there.

The thesis statement plays an important role in the writing process. Once you’ve written a thesis statement, you’ve established a clear focus for your paper. Frequently referring back to that thesis statement will prevent you from straying off-topic during the drafting phase. Of course, the thesis statement can (and should) be revised to reflect changes in the content or direction of the paper. Its ultimate goal, after all, is to capture the main ideas of your paper with clarity and specificity.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Academic writers from every field face similar challenges during the writing process. You can improve your own academic writing by avoiding these common mistakes.

  • Wordiness . The goal of academic writing is to convey complex ideas in a clear, concise  manner. Don’t muddy the meaning of your argument by using confusing language. If you find yourself writing a sentence over 25 words long, try to divide it into two or three separate sentences for improved readability.
  • A vague or missing thesis statement . The thesis statement is the single most important sentence in any academic paper. Your thesis statement must be clear, and each body paragraph needs to tie into that thesis.
  • Informal language . Academic writing is formal in tone and should not include slang, idioms, or conversational language.
  • Description without analysis . Do not simply repeat the ideas or arguments from your source materials. Rather, analyze those arguments and explain how they relate to your point. 
  • Not citing sources . Keep track of your source materials throughout the research and writing process. Cite them consistently using one style manual ( MLA , APA, or Chicago Manual of Style, depending on the guidelines given to you at the outset of the project). Any ideas that are not your own need to be cited, whether they're paraphrased or quoted directly, to avoid plagiarism.
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • How to Write a Critical Essay
  • What Is Expository Writing?
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • How to Help Your 4th Grader Write a Biography
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • Definition and Examples of Body Paragraphs in Composition
  • How To Write an Essay
  • What Is a Research Paper?
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • 3 Changes That Will Take Your Essay From Good To Great
  • Composition Type: Problem-Solution Essays
  • Beef Up Critical Thinking and Writing Skills: Comparison Essays
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay

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Part One Academic Writing Essentials

Unit 1 Introduction to Academic Writing

Learning Objectives

  • To understand what academic writing is
  • To learn the characteristics of academic writing and ways to achieve them
  • To address some common misconceptions about writing

I. Warm – Up

computer keyboard, notebook, ear buds, and coffee

Discuss in groups:

  • Do you like writing in your native language? What do you usually write about?
  • How do you like writing in English? When do you write in English?
  • What makes good writing in your native language? In English?
  • What is your most unforgettable writing experience in either language?
  • What are the purposes of writing?
  • What areas of English writing are easy for you? What areas are challenging?
  • What expectations do you have for this course?
  • What do you think academic writing is?

II. Definition of Academic Writing

What is writing for?  As you have just discussed,  the simplest answer is to communicate meaning.

People write for different purposes. For example,

  • Some of them write to inform, as in news stories and technical manuals [1] .
  • Some write to entertain [2] , as in fictions and movie scripts.
  • In daily life, people may scribble [3] a short reminder note, compose a festive party invitation, or craft a well-versed [4] love letter.
  • In work, meeting memos [5]  and business reports are very common.
  • In colleges and universities, students write paragraphs, essays, research papers, lab reports, and many others. These forms of writing are called academic writing – a formal, nonfictional written piece of work for learning, teaching, and researching.

It is the last type – academic writing – that this course is introducing and focusing on. At this intermediate level, you will be learning the basic styles and uses as well as practicing editing skills associated with academic writing to be ready for higher-level compositions [6] in colleges and universities.

III. Characteristics of Academic Writing

All types of writing share many aspects in common. However, each type has its own characteristics. Academic writing is characterized by the following:

1. Logical and direct

Academic writing in English uses a very linear organizational style. This means that the writers explain their information in a straightforward way, like a vertical line – the main idea first, followed by supporting ideas to explain the main idea, and a conclusion that signals the completion of the explanation.

Supporting ideas

Unlike the approaches [7] in some other countries, the American style requires the students to state their focus early in their writing, without “hiding” the points or “circulating” hints till the end of writing.

Formal, standard English is expected. This requires a good understanding of formal grammar and usage. Colloquial [8] and spoken English should not be used.

Writing clearly is extremely important as the purpose of writing is not only to clarify your own thoughts but also to communicate them for others to understand. To achieve this, you should not translate from your native language and should always proofread [9] your writing for accuracy.

Being concise means not repeating the same words and ideas unnecessarily.  Sometimes, repetition is important to emphasize a point, but most often needless duplications [10] of the same ideas may make your writing redundant [11] and inefficient.

Writing is a process. Almost no one can produce perfect writing on the first try; in fact, there is no such thing as perfect writing. Good writing takes time and repeated revisions [12] . Most importantly, it takes patience and continuous efforts to achieve the characteristics explained above.

IV. Ten Most Common Misconceptions about Writing

wrong way traffic sign

The following ten misconceptions [13] are very common among ESL students of all levels. Read each statement first and think/discuss whether you feel the same way.  Then click to read explanations and suggestions.

V. Unit Review Practice

Exercise:  Discuss the following topics in groups. Then choose one of them to write a paragraph.

  • What is academic writing? What are the characteristics of academic writing?
  • What has been your best writing experience? The most challenging writing experience?
  • The ten common misconceptions are explained in this unit. What are the ones that apply to you? What advice will be the most helpful to you?

  NSNT Practice

a pen writing in a notebook

Study Appendix A NSNT Free Writing Approach  ( Open Appendix A here. ). Then choose two topics from the Week 1 additional prompts [14] and practice NSNT free writing.  Remember not to translate from your native language and not to stop writing once you start.

Vocabulary Review

a page in a dictionary

The words here have appeared in this unit.  The best way to learn them is to guess the meaning of each word from the context.  Then hover your computer mouse over the number beside each word to check its meaning and part of speech. These words are also listed in the footnote area at the end of each unit.

Here, you can use the flashcards below to review these words.

  • Academic writing is what students write for their classes in colleges and universities.
  • Academic writing is logical, direct, formal, clear, and concise.
  • To improve writing skills, it is important to:
  • Try not to translate from your native language.
  • Do not rely on the information on the Internet.
  • Explore your topic by brainstorming and then organize your ideas by outlining.
  • Narrow down a general topic to a more specific one.
  • Get help from your professor and  ESL tutors.
  • Be proactive in contacting your professor regarding errors in your writing.
  • Do not rely too much on the help of your family and friends.
  • Study grammar.
  • Read as much as you can.

Media Attributions

  • computer keyboard, notebook ear buds, and coffee © Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash
  • wrong way traffic sign © Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
  • a pen writing in a notebook © Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
  • a page in a dictionary © Pixabay
  • manual: noun, a small book of instructions ↵
  • entertain: verb, provide music, stories, etc. for people to enjoy ↵
  • scribble: verb, write quickly and informally ↵
  • well-versed: adjective, with beautiful language use ↵
  • memo: noun, a short message or report ↵
  • composition: noun, a piece of writing such as an essay for a college course ↵
  • approach: noun, a way of thinking about things and doing things ↵
  • colloquial: adjective, informal ↵
  • proofread: verb, read and check for mistakes ↵
  • duplication: noun, a copy, a repetition ↵
  • redundant: adjective, wordy, repetitive unnecessarily ↵
  • revision: noun, a new copy showing improvement ↵
  • misconception: noun, a wrong idea ↵
  • prompt: noun, a topic for writing ↵

Building Academic Writing Skills Copyright © 2022 by Cui, Lin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  • Knowledge Base
  • How to structure an essay: Templates and tips

How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates

Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

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Table of contents

The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.

There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.

Parts of an essay

The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.

Order of information

You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.

The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.

For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.

The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.

The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.

The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.

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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.

A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.

Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.

  • Thesis statement
  • Discussion of event/period
  • Consequences
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement
  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
  • Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
  • Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
  • High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
  • Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
  • Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
  • Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
  • Implications of the new technology for book production
  • Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
  • Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
  • Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
  • Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
  • Summarize the history described
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period

Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.

There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.

Alternating

In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.

The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.

  • Synthesis of arguments
  • Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
  • Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
  • Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
  • Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
  • Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
  • Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
  • Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
  • Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
  • Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
  • Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
  • Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
  • Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go

In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.

The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.

  • Point 1 (compare)
  • Point 2 (compare)
  • Point 3 (compare)
  • Point 4 (compare)
  • Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
  • Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
  • Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
  • Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
  • Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
  • Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
  • Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
  • Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues

An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.

This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.

The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.

  • Introduce the problem
  • Provide background
  • Describe your approach to solving it
  • Define the problem precisely
  • Describe why it’s important
  • Indicate previous approaches to the problem
  • Present your new approach, and why it’s better
  • Apply the new method or theory to the problem
  • Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
  • Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
  • Describe the implications
  • Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
  • Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
  • Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
  • Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
  • Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
  • Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
  • Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
  • Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
  • This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
  • This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
  • It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
  • Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it

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Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows.  It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.

The essay overview

In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.

The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what  comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .

Transitions

Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.

Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.

Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.

Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.

… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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Definition Essay - Writing Guide, Examples and Tips

Definition Essay - Writing Guide, Examples and Tips

If you don’t know how to write a definition essay, but the task has been given already, there’s no sense in making panic. Here you can find a few useful tips and recommendations on how to prepare a proper writing piece.

A Definition Essay: what is it?

A definition essay refers to a type of academic writing, assigned during high school and college studying. It includes not only a definition of some issue or concept but a complicated analysis of the selected phenomenon. In general, it helps to show if a person understands the case material, operates with the information and interprets it.

What is the purpose of a definition essay? In a consistent work a student should give a precise explanation of the concept, containing both a commonly accepted notion and his own thoughts and insights. Besides, this type of essay demands a rich context, various vivid examples and life stories or anecdotes to underline a multifaceted nature of the matter.

For defining a person may choose an abstract phenomenon (for example, happiness, friendship) or a concrete one (for example, a state, a human) as well. Some concepts occur to be clear enough, the others – loosely-defined. You may choose one to your liking. The most important thing to remember is that you should understand the meaning perfectly.

When generating a definitive essay it is recommended to use one of the following techniques or their combination:

– denotation (giving an academic definition of the matter),

– connotation (examining an additional, not a principal meaning of the issue),

– enumeration (creating a list of patterns),

– analogy (using comparisons while defining an idea),

– negation (interpreting by contraries).

Your choice is certain to be governed with the concept, taken as a paper topic.

Experience personalized article creation with the precision of our AI rewrite tool

Definition Essay Types

How do you put a definition in an essay? To answer this question you are to know what types of articles exist. Due to the case researching process the following classification may be created.

How to Write a Definition Essay?

It is impossible to prepare a well-structured captivating example of a definition essay without a special action sequence. Look through the steps one should follow.

1.   Choose an idea or a term as a topic of the essay. It is advisable to take a complicated multi-faceted matter. A perfect variant is if the word is disputable, i.e. understood in several ways. One more thing to take into consideration is that you should know the term very well and have great personal experience in the sphere discussed.

2.   Carry out the phenomenon research. Look through various dictionaries and vocabularies, learn the subject all the way around. Academic sources are sure to be examined as well. In addition, topical real-life stories and anecdotes are to be collected.

3.   Make a brainstorming session, selecting all the necessary and useful information. Try to interpret all the data carefully, paying attention to each point of view. Bring to light your personal comprehension and experience.

4.   State a definition essay thesis. It plays a great role in the whole work, concentrating both the author and the readers on the matter. The thesis reflects the main key points, supporting the definition of the selected concept.

5.   Figure out the structure and outline of the work. This activity is sure to help you in organizing all the gathered data in a strong system. Use a typical set of logical parts: an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.

6.   Write the text (a draft paper). Use a formal tone throughout the paper. All the parts should be connected with each other logically, and the defined matter is to be highlighted from various angles.

7.   Proofread, edit and make final corrections. After the work being accomplished, re-read the material, amend the text (review the paper and correct mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation). Make sure that nothing is missing.

A such-like plan is sure to save you much trouble during the creating process.

Definition Essay Structure

Can you start an essay with a definition? Certainly, you can. But everyone should keep in mind a rule that a common academic paper is to be composed according to a generally accepted structure. And this goes for a definitive work as well. There are three obligatory points in it: an introduction, a main body and a conclusion.

Introduction

It is the beginning of the work. Starting an essay with a definition, the writer expresses a personal vision of the subject. He prepares readers for a further detailed term analysis. When creating this part it is significant to underline the importance of the question investigated.

A good introduction includes a so-called “hook” (a point to grab the audience attention), background material (key aspects of the definition) and a thesis statement (personal perception of the issue and some kind of a summary of the topical exploration).

The Main Body

In the body passages the author describes the subject from all the sides. Both common characteristics of the idea and specifically used context consider to be presented. He begins with the historical point, continues with the evolution process of the concept and finishes with vivid life stories to illustrate the phenomenon clearly.

In a definition argument essay it is necessary to persuade people of your soundness. If you take a controversial concept for defining, accentuate just your point of view and prove its right to exist.

The text may include experts’ opinions on the question, interesting quotations and other informative matter concerning the specified definition.

A personal understanding of the term and topical insights is an obligatory part of the body as well.

All the paragraphs of the main part should be connected logically. Special bridge-like phrases and signpost words will make the article smooth and easy to comprehend.

In the closing passages the author explains briefly how to write out a definition. He summarizes key points of the investigation and underlines the importance of the topic once again. It is also recommended to motivate the readers to handle the word or notion attentively.

Definition Essay Examples

After studying the theory of creating a work it is useful to look through some fine examples of definition essay. They may be easily found on topical websites (we also can offer you a good amount of different texts https://aithor.com/essay-examples ).

Ready-made academic papers help to realize the essence of a writing process and illustrate the structure of the matter perfectly. But use them only as a reference, not as a work to hand in.

Definition Essay Topics

At the first sight, it may be quite difficult to choose a proper term or idea for the writing. Just remember that abstract notions give a greater possibility for defining and reflecting.

Here are some terms to get an inspiration:

– Friendship

– Cowardice

– E-commerce

Besides, extended topics are also offered:

– Family: the system of relations

– Manners: the sense of breeding

– Social Media: a sort of addiction

– Empathy: understanding emotions of other people

– Challenge: a way of self-development

– Happiness: its importance for psychological health

– Business Ethics: a set of values and norms

Definition Essay Writing Tips

There was quite a large amount of information on how to put definition in essay. Now some final advice and tips are presented here.

1.   Take into consideration an interesting and captivating matter with a rich history and background.

2.   Investigate the issue as thoroughly as possible. Get many interpretations to compare them. Use only reputable sources.

3.   Use different approaches to depict a multi-faceted nature of the subject.

4.   Organize the information in a logical system, including an introduction, a body part and a conclusion. Give an eye to the argument of definition essay.

5.   While writing about a concept, describe real-life examples and stories concerning both famous people and personal involvement in the sphere.

6.   Don’t use jargon; just let your language be smooth and vivid, fascinating the readers.

7.   Read the draft to check up the mistakes. Correct all the defects.

8.   Give someone your article to read and provide you with feedback.

9.   Derive pleasure from the working process and results.

As a Conclusion

It is quite a challenging process to put an explained definition in writing. On the other hand, this activity is exciting and absorbing. Academic papers help to discipline and develop you, work with lots of information and organize thoughts in a well-knit system. Still, if you have any problem with creating a good essay, welcome to use our AI Writer.

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How To Write A Research Paper

Find Sources For A Research Paper

Cathy A.

How to Find Sources For a Research Paper | A Guide

10 min read

Published on: Mar 26, 2024

Last updated on: Mar 25, 2024

How to find sources for a research paper

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Research papers are an essential part of academic life, but one of the most challenging aspects can be finding credible sources to support your arguments. 

With the vast amount of information available online, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by following some simple steps, you can streamline the process of finding reliable sources for your research paper . 

In this guide, we'll break down the process into easy-to-follow steps to help you find the best sources for your paper.

On This Page On This Page -->

Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions

Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

Step 2: Utilize Academic Databases

Academic databases are treasure troves of scholarly articles, research papers, and academic journals covering a wide range of subjects. Institutions often provide access to these databases through their libraries. Some popular academic databases include:

  • IEEE Xplore
  • Google Scholar

These databases allow you to search for peer-reviewed articles and academic papers related to your topic. 

Use advanced search features to narrow down your results based on publication date, author, and keywords .

Academic Resources Classified by Discipline

Here's a breakdown of prominent databases categorized by academic discipline:

Step 3: Explore Library Catalogs

Your university or local library's catalog is another valuable resource for finding sources. Library catalogs contain books, periodicals, and other materials that may not be available online. 

Use the catalog's search function to locate relevant books, journals, and other materials that can contribute to your research.

Step 4: Consult Bibliographies and References

When you find a relevant source, take note of its bibliography or make a list of sources for the research paper. These lists often contain citations to other works that may be useful for your research. 

By exploring the references cited in a particular source, you can uncover additional resources and expand your understanding of the topic.

Step 5: Boolean Operators for Effective Searches

Boolean operators are words or symbols used to refine search queries by defining the relationships between search terms. The three primary operators include "AND," which narrows searches by requiring all terms to be present; "OR," which broadens searches by including either term or both; and "NOT," which excludes specific terms to refine results further. 

Most databases provide advanced search features for seamless application of Boolean logic.

Step 6: Consider Primary Sources 

Depending on your research topic, primary sources such as interviews, surveys, archival documents, and original data sets can provide valuable insights and support for your arguments. 

Primary sources offer firsthand accounts and original perspectives on historical events, social phenomena, and scientific discoveries.

Step 7: Evaluate the Credibility of Sources

Not all sources are created equal, and it's crucial to evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you encounter. 

Consider the author's credentials, the publication venue, and whether the source is peer-reviewed. Look for evidence of bias or conflicts of interest that may undermine the source's credibility.

Step 8: Keep Track of Your Sources

As you gather sources for your research paper, maintain a systematic record of the materials you consult.  Keep track of bibliographic information, including author names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers . This information will be invaluable when citing your sources and creating a bibliography or works cited page.

Other Online Sources

In addition to academic databases and library catalogs, exploring popular online sources can provide valuable insights and perspectives on your research topic.  Here are some types of online sources you can consider:

Websites hosted by reputable organizations, institutions, and experts (such as the New York Times) can offer valuable information and analysis on a wide range of topics. Look for websites belonging to universities, research institutions, government agencies, and established non-profit organizations.

Crowdsourced Encyclopedias like Wikipedia

While Wikipedia can provide a broad overview of a topic and lead you to other sources, it's essential to verify the information found there with more authoritative sources. 

Use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research, but rely on peer-reviewed journal articles and academic sources for in-depth analysis and evidence.

Tips for Assessing the Credibility of Online Sources

When using online sources, it's important to exercise caution and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you find. Here are some tips for assessing the credibility of online sources:

  • Check the Domain Extension: Look for websites with domain extensions that indicate credibility. URLs ending in .edu are educational resources, while URLs ending in .gov are government-related resources. These sites often provide reliable and authoritative information.
  • Look for DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers): DOIs are unique alphanumeric strings assigned to scholarly articles and indicate that the article has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Finding a DOI can help you assess the scholarly rigor of the source.
  • Evaluate the Authorship and Credentials: Consider the qualifications and expertise of the author or organization behind the website or blog. Look for information about the author's credentials, affiliations, and expertise in the subject matter.
  • Consider the Currency and Relevance: Assess how up-to-date the information is and whether it aligns with the scope and focus of your research. Look for recent publications and timely analyses that reflect current trends and developments in the field.

Wrapping it up!

Finding sources for your research paper may seem like a challenge, but by following these steps, you can locate credible sources to support your arguments and enhance the quality of your paper. 

By approaching the research process systematically and critically evaluating the information you encounter, you can produce a well-researched and compelling research paper.

If you are struggling with finding credible sources or have time constraints, do not hesitate to seek writing help for your research papers . CollegeEssay.org has professional writers ready to assist you. 

Connect with our essay writing service now and receive expert guidance and support to elevate your research paper to the next level.

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writing an introduction to an academic essay

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6 Best Paper Writing Services: Legitimate Essay Writing Services

A re you searching for essay assistance or a legitimate company that can compose your essay? There are hundreds or even thousands of essay writing services available online. Each claims to be the preeminent essay writer for pupils. Difficulty may arise when attempting to discern a legitimate writing service from a fraudulent one.

You did indeed read that accuratelyIf you are at a loss for words and the due date is quickly approaching, you can seek the assistance of reputable essay writing services.

A person might query, "How can I ascertain which service merits my confidence?" That is a valid concern. Because there are so many online options, becoming perplexed and uncertain about which ones to believe is simple.

At this point, we enter the picture. By navigating you through the bewildering world of these services, we will assist you in locating the finest paper writing services. We will discuss every aspect, from reputable companies with a track record of delivering high-quality work to websites that provide affordable prices without compromising standards.

This page addresses your inquiry regarding the optimal approach to obtaining an essay from a reputable academic service.

6 Best Paper Writing Services:

  • ProWritingCrew 
  • EssayMasterz 
  • EssayScribez  
  • SkilledEssayWriter
  • EssayLegend
  • QualityEssayWriter 

The sites were ranked by how good the papers were, how helpful the customer service was, and how much they cost. They don't use ChatGPT or any other AI tools to write material, so the papers they give you are original and can't be copied.

Difficulties In Writing

Writer's block: .

Writer's block, arguably the most infamous barrier, can manifest abruptly, devoid of any discernible path or strategy, leaving the author blank-spaced.

Lack of Inspiration: 

Even when ideas flow, writers may need help finding inspiration or motivation to develop their thoughts into coherent writing pieces.

Time Constraints: 

Balancing writing with other responsibilities such as work, school, or family commitments can be challenging, leading to limited time for writing or research.

Perfectionism: 

The pursuit of perfection may induce writerly paralysis, wherein they laboriously revise and edit their work rather than progressing along the writing process.

Organization and Structure:

Determining a coherent framework and systematically arranging ideas can prove challenging, particularly when confronted with intricate subjects or protracted undertakings.

Research Challenges: 

Conducting thorough research and finding credible sources can be time-consuming and overwhelming, particularly for topics that are unfamiliar or require in-depth analysis.

Self-Doubt: 

Doubting one's writing abilities or fearing criticism from others can hinder creativity and confidence, making it difficult to express ideas effectively.

Procrastination: 

Putting off writing tasks until the last minute can result in rushed and subpar work, which can lead to increased stress and lower-quality outcomes.

Editing and Proofreading: 

Polishing and refining written work through editing and proofreading requires attention to detail and a critical eye, which can be challenging for some writers.

Writer's Fatigue: 

Writing for extended periods can be mentally and physically exhausting, decreasing productivity and creativity over time.

1.ProWritingCrew

ProWritingCrew is a preeminent provider of academic papers recognized for its professionalism, dependability, and outstanding quality. They offer a vast array of services to accommodate the requirements of both students and professionals, utilizing a group of seasoned writers and editors. ProWritingCrew provides superior essays, research papers, dissertations, and individualized presentations to meet each client's needs.

Why I Think They Are the Best:

ProWritingCrew sets itself apart with its commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. Its writers are highly qualified and proficient in various subjects, ensuring that every paper is well-researched and expertly written. Additionally, its transparent communication and prompt delivery make it a trusted choice for students and professionals worldwide.

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In conclusion, ProWritingCrew is an exceptional option for individuals seeking dependable and superior paper writing services. They guarantee client satisfaction throughout the entire process through the utilization of their knowledgeable writers, clear and candid communication, and timely delivery.

2. EssayMasterz

EssayMasterz is a trustworthy paper writing service that helps students all over the world with their schoolwork. With a team of experienced writers and editors, EssayMasterz offers a wide range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across various academic levels and disciplines.

EssayMasterz stands out as one of the best paper writing services due to its commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Their team of expert writers possesses the necessary skills and expertise to deliver top-notch essays, research papers, dissertations, and more. Additionally, EssayMasterz prioritizes communication with clients to ensure that every paper meets their specific requirements and expectations.

EssayMasterz provides writing services to students from around the globe, including but not limited to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Europe.

EssayMasterz's pricing is reasonable and transparent. Rates vary depending on factors such as the type of paper, academic level, deadline, and word count. 

In conclusion, EssayMasterz is a reliable and reputable paper writing service that excels in delivering high-quality academic assistance to students worldwide. With its experienced team of writers, commitment to customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing, it is a top choice for 

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EssayScribez is a trusted paper writing service that provides students high-quality academic assistance. With a team of skilled writers and editors, EssayScribez offers a range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across various academic disciplines.

EssayScribez stands out as one of the best paper writing services due to its commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Their team of expert writers possesses the necessary skills and expertise to deliver top-notch essays, research papers, dissertations, and more. Additionally, EssayScribez prioritizes communication with clients to ensure that every paper meets their specific requirements and expectations.

EssayScribez provides writing services to students from around the world, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.

The pricing at EssayScribez is competitive and transparent, with rates varying depending on factors such as the type of paper, academic level, deadline, and word count. 

In conclusion, EssayScribez is a reputable paper writing service that delivers high-quality academic assistance to students worldwide. With its experienced team of writers, commitment to customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing, it is a top choice for students seeking expert 

writing support.

4. SkilledEssayWriter 

SkilledEssayWriter is a reputable paper writing service that provides high-quality academic assistance to students worldwide. With a team of experienced writers and editors, SkilledEssayWriter offers a wide range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across various academic levels and disciplines.

SkilledEssayWriter stands out as one of the best paper writing services due to its commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Their team of expert writers possesses the necessary skills and expertise to deliver top-notch essays, research papers, dissertations, and more. Additionally, SkilledEssayWriter prioritizes communication with clients to ensure that every paper meets their specific requirements and expectations.

SkilledEssayWriter provides writing services to students from around the globe, including but not limited to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Europe.

The pricing at SkilledEssayWriter is Student-friendly, with rates varying depending on factors such as the type of paper, academic level, deadline, and word count. 

In conclusion, SkilledEssayWriter is a reliable and reputable paper writing service that delivers high-quality academic assistance to students worldwide. Their experienced team of writers, commitment to customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing make them a top choice for 

5. EssayLegend 

About essaylegend:.

EssayLegend is a trusted paper writing service committed to providing students with top-quality academic assistance. With a team of skilled writers and editors, EssayLegend offers various services tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across different academic disciplines.

EssayLegend stands out as one of the best paper writing services due to its dedication to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Their team of expert writers possesses the necessary skills and expertise to deliver high-quality essays, research papers, dissertations, and more. Moreover, EssayLegend strongly emphasizes communication with clients to ensure that every paper meets their specific requirements and expectations.

EssayLegend provides writing services to students from various countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other international locations.

EssayLegend offers competitive and transparent pricing, with rates dependent on factors such as the type of paper, academic level, deadline, and word count. 

In conclusion, EssayLegend is a reputable and reliable paper writing service known for delivering top-notch academic assistance to students worldwide. With its skilled team of writers, dedication to customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing, it is a preferred choice for students seeking expert writing support.

6. QualityEssayWriter 

QualityEssayWriter is a distinguished paper writing service that provides students with exceptional academic assistance. With a team of proficient writers and editors, QualityEssayWriter offers a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across various academic disciplines.

QualityEssayWriter earns its reputation as one of the best paper writing services due to its unwavering commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Their team of seasoned writers possesses the requisite skills and expertise to deliver top-quality essays, research papers, dissertations, and more. Additionally, QualityEssayWriter prioritizes effective communication with clients to ensure that every paper meets their specific requirements and expectations.

QualityEssayWriter caters to students from across the globe, including but not limited to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other international locations.

The pricing at QualityEssayWriter is transparent and competitive. Rates vary based on factors such as the type of paper, academic level, deadline, and word count. They offer flexible pricing options to accommodate different budgets and needs, ensuring affordability without compromising quality.

How do I know if a paper writing service is legitimate?

Legitimate paper writing services typically have transparent policies, customer reviews, and clear communication channels. Look for services with verified testimonials and secure payment options to ensure legitimacy.

What factors should I consider when choosing a paper writing service?

Consider factors such as reputation, quality of writing, pricing, customer support, turnaround time, and guarantees offered by the service.

What if I need more than the quality of the paper I receive?

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Do these paper-writing services provide any assurances?

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Navigating USAJOBS & Introduction to Federal Resume Writing (23 APR 2024)

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Army Civilian Careers invites you to participate in a virtual informational session on federal resume writing, navigating USAJOBS website, including paid internships and fellowships in the federal government. We are a values-based community of nearly 300,000 federal civilian employees, much like those in other U.S. Federal Agencies, e.g., State, NASA, Commerce, Justice, and Education. These are strictly civilian positions.

Applying for employment on USAJOBS can be a challenging process, but we are here to help! In this session we will walk through the application process to include the questionnaire, discuss resume formats, preferences, required documents to include, and how to align your experience with the job qualifications. This class is designed specifically to help you develop your federal resume and address key areas in the job announcement to make you an eligible applicant. In this session we will cover:

• The Army Student Intern Program • The Army Fellows Program • How to create a USAJOBs account • Applying for federal jobs • How to navigate USAJOBS • Application announcement information – what the words really mean. • Beginning steps to writing a federal resume

Note: This session will be conducted via MS Teams, and you will need to download the application to view the session in its entirety.

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Spread the word by sharing this event with your social networks, save it to your calendar, add to calendar.

IMAGES

  1. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

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  2. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

    writing an introduction to an academic essay

  3. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

    writing an introduction to an academic essay

  4. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

    writing an introduction to an academic essay

  5. Introduction

    writing an introduction to an academic essay

  6. How to Write an Introduction For an Essay: Guide With Examples

    writing an introduction to an academic essay

VIDEO

  1. Academic Essay writing Tips

  2. 1. Essay : Intro

  3. AWR001 Academic Writing Part 1 A

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  5. Expert Academic Writing Help

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  2. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  3. PDF Introductions

    Harvard College Writing Center 1 Introductions The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis). Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it.

  4. Introductions

    Essay writing: Introductions. "A relevant and coherent beginning is perhaps your best single guarantee that the essay as a whole will achieve its object.". Gordon Taylor, A Student's Writing Guide. Your introduction is the first thing your marker will read and should be approximately 10% of your word count. Within the first minute they ...

  5. How to write an essay: Introduction

    An introduction generally does three things. The first part is usually a general comment that shows the reader why the topic is important, gets their interest, and leads them into the topic. It isn't actually part of your argument. The next part of the introduction is the thesis statement. This is your response to the question; your final answer.

  6. Four Steps to a Successful Academic Introduction

    1. Your Opening. Often in composition or writing courses, there are two bits of advice for this opening section that get shared and re-shared: (1) try to hook your reader and (2) start broad and then narrow your focus. In theory, this advice is good; in practice, it can often backfire.

  7. How to Write an Introduction: 3 Tips for Writing an Introductory

    An introduction serves three main purposes: 1. To capture the reader's attention: The opening paragraph is the most crucial part of your paper because it's the reader's first impression and the best clue as to whether the paper will be worth the reader's time. The best introductions will not only be informative but also include a hook ...

  8. PDF A Guide for Writing Introduction Paragraphs for Academic Essays

    tailored to specific types of writing, including persuasive, research, argumentative, and analysis papers. When writing the paper, use the thesis statement to check that the content in the paper's body is developing the assertion you made. Paper Organization The last section of the introduction paragraph should outline how your paper is ...

  9. Academic Introduction

    Academic Introduction. An introduction is the most important section of an essay. It informs the reader of the context and what is your stance on the subject. It is usually written after the main body and should include a number of key parts. This webpage discusses the common structure and focuses on the importance of the thesis (stance).

  10. Example of a Great Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates. In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills. Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence ...

  11. Beginning the Academic Essay

    The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. In order to engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay has to accomplish certain business. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient ...

  12. How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

    Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis. The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way. The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph.

  13. The Perfect Essay Structure

    Once that opening sentence is in place, you have two remaining tasks. The first is to indicate to the marker what your answer to the prompt is. To keep the introduction interesting, you want to ...

  14. How to Write an Academic Essay in 6 Simple Steps

    Step 4: Writing the Essay Conclusion. Your essay conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay and primarily reminds your reader of your thesis. It also wraps up your essay and discusses your findings more generally. The conclusion typically makes up about 10% of the text, like the introduction.

  15. Essay and dissertation writing skills

    A PDF providing further guidance on writing science essays for tutorials is available to download.. Short videos to support your essay writing skills. There are many other resources at Oxford that can help support your essay writing skills and if you are short on time, the Oxford Study Skills Centre has produced a number of short (2-minute) videos covering different aspects of essay writing ...

  16. PDF ACADEMIC WRITING

    Academic Writing 3 The Pillars of Academic Writing Academic writing is built upon three truths that aren't self-evident: - Writing is Thinking: While "writing" is traditionally understood as the expression of thought, we'll redefine "writing" as the thought process itself. Writing is not what you do with thought. Writing is

  17. How to build an essay

    An essay is not like a mystery novel which keeps the reader in suspense; it should not slowly reveal the argument to the reader. Instead, the contention and supporting arguments are usually stated in the introduction. When writing an introduction, you should typically use a general to specific structure.

  18. Ultimate Guide to Writing Your College Essay

    This guide will give you tips to write an effective college essay. Want free help with your college essay? UPchieve connects you with knowledgeable and friendly college advisors—online, 24/7, and completely free. Get 1:1 help brainstorming topics, outlining your essay, revising a draft, or editing grammar. ...

  19. An Introduction to Academic Writing

    In its simplest form, academic writing includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction provides background information, lays out the scope and direction of the essay, and states the thesis. The body paragraphs support the thesis statement, with each body paragraph elaborating on one supporting point.

  20. Unit 1 Introduction to Academic Writing

    1. Logical and direct. Academic writing in English uses a very linear organizational style. This means that the writers explain their information in a straightforward way, like a vertical line - the main idea first, followed by supporting ideas to explain the main idea, and a conclusion that signals the completion of the explanation. Main idea.

  21. How to write a great college application essay

    A college application essay is basically a glimpse into how your mind works and how you view the world. If you want your essay to be credible, you need to make sure everything you write supports that viewpoint. Spend some time figuring out how the essay question relates to your personal qualities and then write from a specific angle.

  22. How to Structure an Essay

    The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body. This article provides useful templates and tips to help you outline your essay, make decisions about your structure, and ...

  23. Introductions

    The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis). ... When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that ...

  24. Definition Essay

    A definition essay refers to a type of academic writing, assigned during high school and college studying. ... Introduction. It is the beginning of the work. Starting an essay with a definition, the writer expresses a personal vision of the subject. He prepares readers for a further detailed term analysis. When creating this part it is ...

  25. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    When thinking about how to write an argumentative essay introduction, some students use the BAM method: B — background: ... Argumentative essays are a form of academic writing, so they follow a particular format and citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). As a rule, you can find all those guidelines in the prompt you get from an instructor. ...

  26. How to Find Sources For a Research Paper

    How to Write an Introduction for a Research Paper - A Step-by-Step Guide ... Academic databases are treasure troves of scholarly articles, research papers, and academic journals covering a wide range of subjects. ... Connect with our essay writing service now and receive expert guidance and support to elevate your research paper to the next level.

  27. 6 Best Paper Writing Services: Legitimate Essay Writing Services

    Most paper writing services assist with various academic levels and topics. Whether one is a high school student or a doctoral candidate, there are services available that provide individualized ...

  28. Expose

    A recent email to Tech Business News has unearthed the unethical operations of Digi Assignment Help, an assignment and essay writing service enabling academic misconduct among students.. Student Assignment Cheat Help - digiassignmenthelp.com. Their dubious actions transcend mere assistance in cheating, as they are now endeavoring to manipulate search engine rankings by using paid backlinks ...

  29. Navigating USAJOBS & Introduction to Federal Resume Writing (23 APR

    Washington State University Academic Success & Career Center Facebook Instagram X (formerly Twitter) Lighty Student Services Rooms 160 - 190 1815 NE Wilson Rd Pullman, WA (509) 335-6000 [email protected]