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What are the Five Main Parts of an Academic Essay

All essays follow a very specific structure and contain five parts that are essential. This is not debatable. Rather, an essay cannot be successful without including all of these elements.

The five main parts of any academic essay are this:

  1. The Introduction
  2. The Thesis Statement
  3. The Research
  4. The Body “Evidence” Paragraphs
  5. The Closing

The Introduction

All essays begin with an introduction—this is a part of any element of writing you read. In your introduction, you want to get your reader’s attention and make them really care about your topic.

In an essay on the childhood obesity epidemic in America, for example, you might want to start out with sentences that immediately make us concerned for America’s children with some of the more startling stastics you can find on this horrible epidemic in America.

Now, some researchers blame childhood obesity on too much fast food, working parents not preparing healthy meals, or more sedentary lifestyles in children due to activities such as video games. Many parents are also afraid to let their children play outside much due both to the condition of the environment (dangers of the sun and bacterial infections from sand, dirt, or contaminated water).

The Thesis Statement

This is the “In this essay I’m going to discuss _________________,” part of the essay. This is typically located at the end of paragraph one, after the attention getting sentences.

For our topic on childhood obesity, for example, you might want to simply address the existence of this problem and add researchers opinions as to why this is a problem—their different theories, for example, on what is causing this epidemic.

Or, you might explore curing the problem and give readers researchers’ ideas for combatting this problem.

So you could have a thesis such as “In this essay, I’m going to explore ways that we can combat childhood obesity in America before this epidemic grows even more serious.”

Research and Body Paragraphs

Now you begin your evidence paragraphs. This is where you add researchers opinions about how to fight childhood obesity—or whatever evidence that proves your thesis that you need.

For longer essays, of course, you may have eight to ten paragraphs of evidence or more.

The Closing

In your closing, try to bring your topic into this very moment—like childhood obesity and the most resent news involving this issue now.


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