Writing Basics

Table of Contents

Components of an Essay

An essay is usually comprised of three main parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion. You can think of these as the layers of the essay that help you communicate your thoughts and ideas to the reader. Before you start your essay, you should spend some time pre-writing and brainstorming what you will write. You can focus your attention on the following parts:

Gif. Layers of an Essay. Building an essay is like building a cake. Introduction on later one, body on layer two, and conclusion on layer three.

This section of the essay helps you to introduce your topic and prepares the reader for the covered subject. Usually, you will present the main idea or topic to the reader and you will describe specific, supporting evidence or a thesis to help you communicate your point.

The thesis statement clearly states the main position, aim, goal, or claim dependent on the type of essay and is typically contained within the first few sentences of the essay and stated within the first paragraph. It gives the reader a clear idea of what the essay will be about.

Body Paragraphs
In each paragraph, you develop your argument using the supporting evidence that you listed in the thesis. A good rule of thumb is to cover one idea in each paragraph and find a way to make connections between each paragraph. This will help the reader understand your thoughts.

If outside support is included, it can be used to support points and not be the main points in the body of the essay. The sources will be cited in the body of the paragraph as well as on a References page.

This section of the essay helps you summarize your point. You can refer back to your thesis and the specific pieces of evidence that support your ideas. Think of this section as a final recap of what you are trying to convince the reader of. Try to end your essay with a powerful lasting thought or a "punch".

It is a good idea to proofread your essay to fix any grammatical errors and to make sure that it makes sense. Another tip is to use a thesaurus to expand the vocabulary used in the essay. 

Thesis Statements

How to Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement tells the reader what they will read about in a paper. It is important to develop a thorough thesis statement so that your reader is well informed about what they will read about. Watch this video to learn a little bit more about how you can write an awesome thesis statement!

Self-Assessment Essay Structure Quiz

Assess your knowledge of the components of an essay by taking the quiz below!
Instructions: Click the arrow to navigate through the quiz. Each question is followed by the answer. Good luck!

Essay Structure Quiz

Essay Types

There are many different types of essays. Read more about some of the most common essay types below. 


You will argue your idea with research or facts to back you up from multiple sources. You will likely also consider opposing viewpoints. Usually, you will show the reader why one side is better than the other. 

Compare and Contrast

You will describe the ways that something is both alike and unalike. 


You will investigate and describe the topic of your essay in great detail. 


You will communicate your idea by providing examples, anecdotes, and other descriptive elements. This can also be a type of reflective writing that is based on your own experiences.


You will persuade the reader by providing an argument with sources to back you up. Usually, you will convince the reader to take a position. 


You will research a topic and inform the reader of your findings with a convincing narrative and supporting evidence.