How to Write an Essay

This is for anyone looking to greatly improve their essay writing skills.

Writing an essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear — they offer one idea at a time — they must present their ideas in the order that makes the most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.

Even though there are various types of essays, most of them have one main structure. This structure is Introduction, Body (main) part, and Conclusion.


The introduction should catch the reader’s attention and it should be 2-3 sentences long. It needs to state the main point of the essay – the thesis sentence. Sometimes it is good to ask a question to which you will give an answer in your body part. State what the essay will try to achieve and briefly mention some of the main points you will consider. The introduction is something you absolutely must start strong. It is good to start from a general point of view and then gradually lead your essay to the main point – it should be like a funnel.

Body (main) part

The second part of the essay is the body. This is the longest part of the essay. In general, a short essay will have at least 2-3 full paragraphs; a long essay considerably more. Each paragraph is a point that you want to make that relates to the topic – it is a sort of argument that you need to explain to the reader with some examples as well. These examples should be something that is already known – for example, from some books, movies, or other essays. The most important thing for you is to make these paragraphs coherent. In this part, you need to convince the reader of your idea, so do your best and find the best examples for your thesis statement.


The last section of your essay is the conclusion. In general, this will also be a single paragraph explaining what you discussed in your essay. Its purpose is to summarize the main points of your arguments and to make a final decision. It is important not to introduce any new ideas in the conclusion and, also, it may be useful again to refer back to the title in the conclusion to make it very clear.  Make sure you remind the reader of your main arguments. Having done all of that, the final sentence in your essay should be a "global statement" that gives the reader signals that the discussion has come to an end.

Keep in mind that good essays are not written, they are rewritten. Always go over your first draft and look for ways to improve it before handing it in. It is also a good thing to ask someone else, with a fresh set of eyes, to review it for you. It is also important to use linking words (firstly, secondly, eventually. however, also, even though...). When you use these words, you will sound more eloquent and it will be easier to connect the sentences.