An essay can serve many functions, but ultimately the format remains the same in every case. All short essays include the introduction, the body, the conclusions, and the list of sources. The only exception is the short essay, which does not require references.
A typical short essay is composed of five paragraphs. The structure of the essay has the additional benefit of helping you build communication skills and developing the ability to transfer your ideas and insights into sentences.
The purpose of the introduction is to draw the reader into your essay. Your thesis, which is the main argument statement that you intend to defend, goes here. Writing an outline of your short essay would also be helpful because it allows the reader to have a clear grasp of what your essay is about. The most effective essays move smoothly from the end of one paragraph to the beginning of the next one using transitional hooks. Organizing it this way makes it easy to guide the reader from the beginning to the end of the essay.
The body of a short essay typically consists of three paragraphs. Each paragraph introduces a separate point that ties back to the thesis statement. In order to write the most effective essay possible, it is important to choose the information for each paragraph carefully.
- The first paragraph in the body section should contain the most convincing argument in the entire paper. This is where the most important examples and the best explanations set the right tone. The first paragraph is like meeting somebody for the very first time; the first impressions mean everything. The best writers are able to masterfully tie the first paragraph of the body with the introduction paragraph using a reverse hook that reinforces the transitional hook. The initial or second sentence in the body should discuss the topic and justify its relevance. The topic should be connected to the thesis. The last sentence of each paragraph creates a bridge to the next paragraph through the hooks. The best way to arose the interest of the reader is to ask controversial questions or discuss ideas from a fresh perspective. This is the best way to keep the reader interested in your work.
- The second paragraph contains the background information and makes a persuasive argument using solid examples. As with the introduction and first paragraph of the body, the reverse hook is also used to connect the first and second paragraphs. It also keeps the paper flowing well and makes it easier for a writer to stay consistent and on task. Each paragraph should introduce one or two additional arguments. If the essay topic is a personal reflection paper, you are welcome to add your own personal insights into the writing. The reader might find it compelling. After you finish this paragraph using a transitional hook, it is time to build the third paragraph.
- The third paragraph contains the information and results that you have gathered, especially if you were asked to conduct research that includes your own findings. Use this paragraph as an opportunity to lay out your facts and figures, charts and tables. Some of this information can come from the peer-viewed academic journals or research books. Since the third paragraph is the final part of the body, make the most of this final opportunity to reinforce your previous arguments and strengthen them.
The conclusion represents your final words in the essay. It should allude to the format that has been presented from the introduction through the entire body of the essay. This will give your essay a sense of professionalism. While the conclusion should make reference to the thesis statement one more time, you should not merely repeat what you had stated word for word. You should certainly present the same idea using the same tone that has been used throughout the essay, but do not just state it again the same way.
After restating the thesis, you will summarize your arguments. This does not mean that you should just list them again but, rather, you should provide an analysis, share insight, and discuss the strengths and limitations of your work. The paper comes to a conclusion with a final sentence that indicates that the essay is finished.