Understanding Differences Between Essay Parts

Many students when asked to write essays experience difficulties not because they do not know what to write, but rather because they do not understand how to structure their essay. However understanding the different essay parts, makes it easy to write the essay since one becomes aware of what to actually include in each section. Essays generally have got three parts namely;

  • Introduction
  • Body and
  • Conclusion


The introduction of an essay is the beginning part of the essay. Its purpose is to enlighten the reader about the direction and purpose of the essay. The essay serves the purpose of orienting the reader to the general topic by referring to the focus of the essay. This helps the reader to be able to point out precisely what feature of the general topic is being discussed. The introduction also outlines the various phases of the discussion, and in general terms, states what the position of the writer is regarding the topic in question. The introduction of the essay is often written after writing of the first draft. The introduction is more like an inverted pyramid, where the writer begins with a general background statement and narrows it down to specifics such as issues to be discussed, the outline and the areas covered in the body.


The body is the middle part of the academic paper. It expounds in detail the issues that were summarized in the introduction part of the essay. The body should clearly be related to what is being stated in the introduction. It contains clear detailed discussions about the evidence that the writer gathered in their research. Generally, the body contains a structured argument and discussions presented in paragraphs. Each idea or argument is presented in a paragraph using a logical progression or flow of ideas whereby each paragraph is linked to the preceding paragraph through transitional and introductory sentences. This ensures each paragraph prepares the reader for the next paragraph and argument. The arguments are supported by evidence, illustrations and examples.


This is the last part of the essay and it contains one or two paragraphs. It summarizes the main arguments and discussions of the essay and validates the thesis statement. Most students get confused because they see some resemblance between the introduction and the conclusion. However the while the introduction focuses on the assignment subject, the conclusion focuses on the argument. It signals the end of the essay. If the introduction and conclusion are read together, the reader should be able to get a clear picture of the essays objectives and findings.