An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis and interpretation. There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative : they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic. In this guide, we walk you through what to include in the introduction , body and conclusion of an academic essay, using paragraphs from our interactive essay example. Table of contents Essay writing process Preparation for writing an essay Writing the introduction Writing the main body Writing the conclusion Essay checklist Lecture slides Frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
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Published on February 4, by Shona McCombes. Revised on February 4, A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay. It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect. This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.
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A lead paragraph sometimes shortened to lead ; in the United States sometimes spelled lede is the opening paragraph of an article, essay , book chapter, or other written work that summarizes its main ideas. Leads vary enormously in length, intent and content, according to genre. In journalism , there is the concept of an introductory or summary line or brief paragraph, located immediately above or below the headline, and typographically distinct from the body of the article.
In "The Writing of Essays" , H. Wells offers some lively advice on how to begin an essay :. In contrast to the leads seen in Hookers vs. Chasers: How Not to Begin an Essay , here are some opening lines that, in various ways, "whack" the reader at once and encourage us to read on. What these opening lines have in common is that all have been reprinted with complete essays attached in recent editions of The Best American Essays , an annual collection of crackling good reads culled from magazines, journals, and websites.