Write It Essay
Write It Home
Chat With Fellow Writers
Publish Your Work
Build Your Portfolio
Teacher Center
Educator Resources and Community Subscribe to classroom magazines
Essay Essentials

The Thesis Statement:

Your thesis is the most important part of your essay. A strong essay is nearly impossible with a weak thesis. Here's what makes a thesis effective:

  1. The issue matters- Make sure that there are stakes riding on your argument. While it may be easy to claim that cookies are delicious, or Florida is sunny, these are not intellectually-demanding opinions.
  2. Your position can be substantiated- That means you can support it with facts, quotes, statistics, and other types of hard information. Opinions, on their own, tend to be "fuzzy." With facts, they can stand securely.    
  3. The statement is thoughtfully placed- Your thesis is the jewel of your paper! Don't hide it, or pretend it's not as important as it is. Assure your thesis gets the attention it deserves by placing it at the end of your introduction and using assertive, declarative words.  
  4. It's the soul of your paper- Your essay is all about your argument. The thesis should be self-evident in every paragraph.


  1. Discuss the thesis with your friends and classmates. Understanding how other people feel about a topic makes a stronger, more informed essay. Plus, exercising your powers of persuasion out loud will prepare you for doing it on paper.    
  2. Make sure you have a solid idea of what your thesis is before you write. When you write with a direction in mind, it shows in your paper.
  3. Although the thesis should be hammered out early in the process, be flexible. The more you research, the more you'll want to fine-tune your argument.   

The Introduction:

Position your paper and draw up excitement with an intro that's informative and entertaining. Even if the body of an essay is very good, a bad intro can turn a reading experience prematurely sour. Here's what makes a strong introduction:

  1. The Hook- Would you want to read a paper that starts: "This paper is about…" No way! Start your paper with an exciting sentence that says "Hey! Read me!"
  2. The Crescendo- Now that you've hooked the reader's attention, turn up the volume with some sentences that develop and deepen the topic. If you posed a question in the hook, answer it here.   
  3. The Climax- This is the all-important thesis sentence. Here, pull out all the stops. In your most elegant, muscular writing, clearly identify your opinion and the ways in which you will support it.


  1. Save your introduction for last. Isn't it easier to introduce a friend than it is a stranger?
  2. As you are writing your paper and the strengths of your argument are starting to show, jot them down so you know what to highlight in your intro.
  3. Avoid guiding the reader through the paper. For example, don't start with, “In this paper I will discuss . . . ,” or “After you have read this essay, you will agree that . . .” The paper should speak for itself without your guidance.
  4. After the hook, don't leave your reader in suspense. Plant your feet in the essay early and firmly.
  5. Cliché: over-used and ineffective phrasing; i.e.: starting your essay with a dictionary definition.

Suggestions for Effective Intros:

  1. Tell the story of how you first became interested in the topic.
  2. Raise one or more provocative questions, then answer them or indicate that you will answer them in your essay.
  3. Describe the impact your topic has on your reader's life.
  4. Present a surprising statistic or fact about your topic.
  5. Illuminate how your topic is misunderstood because of prejudice, lack of study, or confusion.
  6. Describe a scene that reveals the importance of your topic through dialogue and details.
  7. Forecast the consequences if your position is unheeded. 

The Conclusion:

A closing thought, a goodbye bow, a forward-looking statement beyond the boundaries of your paper. The conclusion is an essential ingredient in determining how the reader digests your essay's argument. Here's what makes a strong conclusion:

  1. A sense of completion- This is the time to tie all your loose ends. Treat your essay like a meal. Transition into your closing thoughts and leave the reader full and satisfied.
  2. A winding-down- Let your reader rest and reflect on what you have written. Don't introduce anything ground-breaking or alarming here.
  3. A polished sheen- An intro gets the pieces together, the body assembles them, and the conclusion polishes the whole product. Sum up your essay so that it radiates.


  1. Read through your rough draft at least twice before starting on your conclusion.
  2. Begin your conclusion by restating your thesis statement, using one or two of the key words but otherwise creating an entirely new sentence.
  3. Move from the specific to the broad. Start with the terrain of your argument, then expand into wider ramifications.
  4. Don't let up your narrative force. Run strong past the finish line. 

Suggestions for Effective Conclusions:

  1. Predict what will happen if present conditions don't change.
  2. Describe what you'll do next.
  3. Create a "ripple effect" by moving from local to global outcomes.
  4. Deliver a call for action.

Need More Idea

Ready For The Next Step