How To Write An Essay: The Basics

By: L.A.Parker and Alex Huffman

Step 1: Things to Keep in Mind

Be sure to indent at the start of a new paragraph, or use the space bar five times.

Basic essay format is split into four easy steps: Introduction, body and conclusion. A safe short essay format to use is the five paragraph essay.


“I think” is an opinion, you want to sound like you know what you are talking about. Try “it is evident” or “one would assume” it makes you sound a lot smarter.

Now onto the good stuff.

 Step 2: The Introduction

This is where you introduce what you want to talk about. For a five paragraph essay list at least three things in your thesis or make sure it is a thesis you can talk about for at least three paragraphs.

It should look something like this:

     Introduce the subject in question in the first sentence, the best piece of information to go here should be the title of the work and then the author’s name, followed by a short statement. Now, one should state the point of the essay, or what is going to be discussed within the paper. Whether this sentence is about symbols, metaphors or characters it doesn’t matter, but this is a good place for the thesis statement. Sentence four, this sentence can also be used to expand on the thesis, or write something else that will be touched upon in the paper. Now sentence five can be the end of the introductory paragraph or just keep right on going, but if your paper is due soon (like in an hour), I suggest you conclude this paragraph in the fifth sentence.

Step 3: The Body Paragraph

This is your body, the whole point of your paper. In the body you get a chance to talk about whatever points your want to prove concerning the topic or discuss whatever analysis you have made on the subject. Each body paragraph has a simple layout: Topic sentence, transition sentence, quote, comment on the quote, transition sentence that mentions your thesis, concluding sentence.

It should look something like this:

     This is the first sentence of the body, mention the first key point from the thesis here, this will introduce your analysis. Now this sentence is tricky because it is the transition sentence, at this point you want to move your way to introduce a quotation to back up your thesis. “Place quote here” (Author’s last name page #). Now comment on your quote and sound literary, this will ensure effective writing and possibly make it seem like this essay was written in a timely manner. This sentence here would be another transition, don’t be afraid to write about the quote you just used, but be sure to link it to your thesis. By continuously expanding on your thesis statement it will keep you from going off track and rambling in your paper. Now conclude this paragraph by transitioning into the next one.

      Now this is paragraph three, be sure to mention another point in your thesis that has not been touched upon yet. Why is this necessary? It is necessary because it keeps your essay organized. Don’t be afraid to raise literary questions within the paper, just be sure they can be answered. “Insert quote here” (Author page #). One would comment on this fictitious quote if one had bothered to invent one. However, sometimes less is more and this transition sentence is a beast. It just seems to be one of those things that needs to be said, written down, and then put into a shredder because one would assume not many have read this far into the template, but don’t worry it’ll all be over soon.

     Paragraph four is the final body paragraph that needs to establish the final aspect of your thesis. Whether it is to sum up all points that have been made or to add in one final point, the thesis should be wrapped up in this paragraph using points that have already been established or more quotations to back up any theories made within the essay. “Since this is the final paragraph, one can assume that a sentence may have been thought up by now, something literary, witty, or rather something that states a rare bit of knowledge, but one such as the writer of this example couldn’t be more wrong” (Parker 666). It is safe to say that nothing of note worthiness was stated in the previous statement. When all else fails use a word with five or six letters every once in awhile, thesauruses are a wonderful tool to acquaint yourself with. In the end make a final point as if you have proved something like a literary genius.

If more than one quote is needed per paragraph, the format should look like this:

     Topic sentence, transition sentence, quote, comment on the quote, transition sentence that mentions your thesis, transition into your next quote, quote, comment on quote, transition sentence that mentions thesis, conclusion.

Use as many times as needed to satisfy the requirements for your teacher/professor.

Step 4: The Conclusion

The final paragraph of your essay should not mention any new information but should instead sum up everything that has been said in the body of the essay. The best way to write the conclusion is to re-read the introduction paragraph and then place a revised version of it as the conclusion.

It should look something like this:

     Restate the first sentence from the introduction to re-establish the thesis, and be sure to mention the title and author again. Now state all of the major points that had been mentioned in the body, do not go into detail simply summarize the main point of the essay. Whether this sentence is about symbols, metaphors or characters it doesn’t matter, but this is a good place for your restated thesis statement. Now mention the big finale point here. Now this sentence is the conclusion and can be best stated in this manner: Parker’s essay template clearly did not help anyone in need of essay help, it was too wordy and difficult to follow and in the end, the reader can only grasp that the writer was experiencing desperate and mentally fatal caffeine withdrawal.


Hope that helped! Remember, using this template does not guarantee you an “A.” Its purpose is to introduce the basic concepts of writing an essay. Your teacher/professor might have individual preferences as to how they want you to write your essay, so be sure to follow the guidelines/rubrics provided to you in class before using this template.


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