Elements of a Good Essay Guide & Sample

Elements of a Good Essay Guide & Sample

All academic essays must incorporate the following elements of a good essay to be effective. There are three main parts of an essay. These are the introduction, body, and conclusion.

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What’s a good essay? This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions college students ask themselves. Generally, students of all grades are taught how to write effective essays by experts who always know what to put down on paper. In this report, we should focus more on academic essays and the elements of a good essay.

It’s also vital to note that essay writing doesn’t happen by accident. And although you may have the tools to write the perfect essay, you will only get better with practice. It’s always best to practice writing sample essays on different topics. You may not be able to write masterpieces at first, but with a bit of regular practice, you should become better. This excerpt should help get you prepared for when it comes to writing the real thing.

Vital elements of a good essay

There are different types of essays that every student must learn to write. The same goes for the parts of an essay that you must know to make your essay more effective and impactful. Here are some vital elements that you should consider incorporating into your paper.


Although you probably already know how to write a conventional five-paragraph essay, it’s also important that you learn its form. “Form is content” when it comes to writing a good essay. A good essay doesn’t just force an argument or constrict itself to form an argument. Often, the argument isn’t always presented at its best in such cases. There are many ways of presenting an essay. For instance, you must know how to structure how the essay begins, develops, and ends. The formatting process should help you to present your writing more clearly and persuasively.


How you organize your essay is another key aspect of developing a strong, compelling essay. It’s vital that you know how you will organize your essay so that your reader will clearly know what you’re talking about. For instance, the introduction should appear at the start of your essay. This will introduce the key points of your paper. The body will describe and explain what your essay is about. Finally, you will conclude your essay with a summary of your entire paper.

The thesis

This is one of the most vital elements of a good essay. The thesis defines the argument that you intend to make in your paper. A good thesis should help show your own thinking to the reader. Your thinking should eventually lead the reader to a thought-provoking argument based on your essay. This could be anything from a certain character in your paper.

However, for you to write a good thesis, you must ensure that it takes a strong stand, expresses your main idea, prompts discussion, and is still specific.

The proof

The proof is what forms the meat of your essay. Here’s where you will make your arguments in support of your thesis. Generally, you want to convince the reader that your essay is true. One of the critical elements of a good essay is developing your points well. This will eventually contribute to the clarity of your essay.


Essay citations have a critical role in academic essays. Citation basically means using other writers’ ideas in support of your idea. Proper citation helps to make the reader have more trust while reading your essay. Most types of essays require the writer to include some citations to provide evidence of your work. If you write an essay without citing it and you happen to get caught in plagiarism, your readers won’t trust your work.

The conclusion

The conclusive summary also ranks as one of the critical elements of a good essay. The conclusion of your essay gives it further importance. A good essay doesn’t restate point by point issues that it has said before. The conclusion reiterates your main idea but in different words. It should help the reader to look back over how your thesis was proven.

Your conclusion should also provide you with the opportunity to prove how you developed your idea. It basically reminds the reader what he/she learned by reading your paper. It also gives your essay a larger significance. Remember, however, not to include any new ideas in your conclusion. Only offer ideas that were already presented in your paper.


It’s also vital that you respect the style of language that you use in your paper. Ensure that you use appropriate language only. In addition, the language you use must be concise, precise, and vivid. The grammatical structure and punctuation that you use must also appropriately match the rest of your content.

Also, the language you use should convey your writing style. Try to make the language style you use as personalized as possible for it to be even more intriguing and real. The language that you use should also be clear, accurate, varied, and carefully chosen. Not to mention, the high degree of accuracy in grammar, sentence construction, and vocabulary.

What are the 5 parts of an essay?

As aforementioned, students often learn the five-paragraph essay before learning the other elements of a good essay. As you advance more in your career and course, you will also start writing longer, more complex papers that eventually have more than five paragraphs. Still, no matter how many paragraphs that your essay has, it still has to meet the same function. Your paper must be able to present a compelling argument that supports your position.

Here’s a more detailed brief of parts of an essay that you must remember before you start writing:

The introduction

The introduction forms the first part of your essay. Here’s where you start telling your reader what specifically what you plan to write about. Your reader should know what your paper is addressing from the onset of your paper. It’s also vital to remember to include a strong thesis statement near the end of your introduction. A strong thesis should provide the reader with a clear and concise statement that will present your argument.

In addition, it’s always wise to conclude your introduction with a transitional sentence. This will help relate the introduction to your essay’s first body paragraph.

The first body paragraph

This marks the second part of your essay. It’s always wise to present your strongest point here. The point that you choose to raise should also prove your thesis statement. In addition, try to make the first sentence in this paragraph tie into the transitional sentence in your introduction. Then you can follow up on it with subsequent sentences that describe specific examples that also relate to what you are arguing in the said paragraph.

Similar to your introductory paragraph, the last sentence of your first body paragraph should be transitional. It should lead to the point you will present in your next body paragraph.

The second body paragraph

This is the third part of your five-part essay. It also forms one of the compelling elements of a good essay and should be used consciously. You should, therefore, use the second body paragraph to present your second most compelling argument or point in support of your thesis. And as already mentioned, try to make the first sentence of this paragraph transitional to the last sentence of the first body paragraph.

You will also need to use examples that support your points and arguments in this section as well. As with other previous sections, you will also need to write a transitional statement in your last sentence of this paragraph. The transitional statement should usher the reader into the final body paragraph of your essay.

The third body paragraph

This marks the fourth part of your paper and the final body paragraph of the essay. Usually, here’s where you should present your weakest argument that supports your thesis. Although it forms your weakest argument, you shouldn’t suggest this in your paper. Neither should you overcompensate for this by providing too many examples. Instead, you should structure it similarly as you did with the previous two body paragraphs.

You should also end this final body paragraph with a concluding statement. The statement you use should make it clear to the reader that it is your final major point.


The conclusion part marks the final part of your five-paragraph essay. It’s also one of the most vital elements of a good essay. No essay is ever complete without a conclusive summary. Generally, this paragraph should reinstate your thesis statement. Remember, however, that the restatement isn’t a duplicate of your thesis statement itself. It’s basically meant to summarize the major points addressed in each of your body paragraphs.

It’s also vital that you make the final sentence of your essay an effective one. It should provide a clear signal to the reader that that’s where your paper ends. In some cases, you may provide an application to your argument that the reader can digest after he/she has finished reading your essay.

Introductions and conclusions

By this stage, you should already know that both the introduction and conclusion of your essay are critical elements of a good essay. Basically, you cannot claim to have written an essay without including an introduction and a conclusion or either of the two. Well, not unless your professor instructs you to do that. But your professor giving you such a kind of instruction is highly unlikely.

Introductions and conclusions play a vital role, especially in academic essays. Both frequently demand more attention from the writer. Perhaps even more attention than the body itself in some instances. A good introduction identifies your topic from the get-go. It should, therefore, provide essential context to the reader, and indicate the writer’s specific focus in the essay.

A strong introductory paragraph is always engaging and captures the reader’s interest from the onset of the paper.

As for conclusions, it’s important that you end your paper with a strong conclusive statement. Your conclusive summary should provide the reader with a sense of closure to your paper. At the same time, you should place the concepts that you have written about in a somewhat wider context. In some instances, a strong conclusion will add a stimulus that furthers the reader’s thoughts.

Still, you must remember that no two essays are similar. There’s, therefore, no single formula that you can use to generate an impactful introduction and conclusion.

The following guidelines should help you craft more impactful and effective introductions and conclusion paragraphs for your essays.

How to write an interesting and interesting introduction

These strategies should help you capture your reader’s attention more:

  • Find and use a startling statistic that describes the seriousness of the issue that you will address
  • Mention a misperception that you plan to argue against in your thesis
  • Quote an expert – ensure that you introduce the expert first
  • Provide some background information that will help the reader to understand your paper
  • Use a brief narrative that exemplifies your reasons for writing about that particular topic
  • In a science essay, explain vital scientific concepts while referring to relevant literature
  • In a technical paper, ensure that you define terms your audience might not be familiar about but are central to understanding your paper

Common pitfalls to avoid while writing an introductory paragraph

  • Don’t repeat the assignment specifications as exactly as written by your professor
  • Don’t provide dictionary definitions. Avoid using word-for-word dictionary specifications for words you think your audience already know
  • Refrain from giving out in-depth explanations and details that belong more in your body paragraphs. It’s always wise to postpone all your background material into the body of your paper.

How to write an interesting and interesting conclusion

The strategies mentioned below should help you to craft an even more impactful conclusive summary.

  • If your essay is about a contemporary issue, warn the reader of the possible consequences that he/she may suffer if he/she doesn’t address the problem
  • Use an apt quotation to lend authority to whichever conclusion you reach
  • Recommend a specific and targeted course of action
  • Return to an example, quotation, or anecdote that you introduced in the introductory part of the essay. Remember, however, to add more insight to the conclusive part of your paper

Ten essential features of a good essay

No matter what academic skills you have, there are several features that you must include in your paper to make it impactful. These are some of the most vital elements of a good essay that every good writer must apply in their writing.


It’s vital that you start your essay by introducing the topic you’ve chosen to the reader. The introduction is meant more to introduce, inform, and engage the reader in your paper. It’s vital that you be as specific and precise as possible when writing the introduction of your paper. Avoid using broad generalizations. Instead, you want your introduction to form the blueprint of what the entire essay will be about.


It’s vital that you provide a concise statement that also sums up your main idea for the reader. Your thesis statement is usually stated towards the beginning of your essay; in the introduction part of your paper. It is vital that the thesis states what your topic is and what arguments or points you want to make regarding that topic.

Academic writing task

This is basically the specific task that you’ve been assigned to write. It’s essential that you read your assignment sheet thoroughly before you start researching or writing your paper. First, ensure that you understand what your professor is asking you to do in the assignment. Often, when students make mistakes with regards to their academic writing tasks, it’s because they never understood what the professor was asking them to do.

If you don’t understand what your professor is asking of you, then it’s highly likely that you will end up making mistakes while doing your assignment.


How you support your argument is basically what will persuade the person reading your essay. It’s, therefore, essential that you be in a position to argue your main points in writing. As such, you should do exhaustive research on the topic that you intend to write about in advance, remember, without adequate proof or evidence, your points won’t be as persuasive to the reader. That’s what makes advancing your argument one of the most critical elements of a good essay.

Organization and structure

One of the most important essay writing tips that every writer must note is the organization and structuring of an essay. It’s essential that you learn how to explain your thoughts in a logical sequence. Learn to structure your essay’s body in a manner that flows and is in conjunction with the professor’s instructions. Try, therefore, to group your ideas according to how each of them relates to one another. Don’t splash your ideas all over your essay without any structure. Your reader won’t appreciate it either.

Paragraph development

From the above context, you should already tell that each paragraph of your paper is a unit that should have a single clear idea. In most instances, you will find and write essays with a few paragraphs. But then, you realize the writer’s attempt to cram too much information into one paragraph instead of breaking that information into smaller units. Ensure that each of your main ideas has its own paragraphs so that they can be fully explored.

Citations and plagiarism

Citing improperly or forgetting to cite altogether can sometimes make you look guilty or make you fall victim to plagiarism. It’s, therefore, vital that you cite all ideas that you have borrowed from other sources, even if paraphrased. Also, ensure that you use only use the accepted academic citing style. Citations and plagiarism also rank as some of the most important elements of a college essay. So, you cannot afford to get them wrong.

Word choice

This depends more on the type of language that you use in your paper. The words that you use can also determine how readable your paper will be. It can make your paper readable and enjoyable or simply unbearable to read. When writing, you want to avoid using obscure or outdated words or jargon that the reader might not easily understand.

Sentence construction

If a writer doesn’t construct a sentence properly, the reader will have an even harder time reading and understanding the message being sent. As a result, it’s always best to limit each sentence to a single idea.

Spelling and grammar

It’s hard for the reader to take your paper seriously if it has several spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Some spelling mistakes can sometimes even end up changing the meaning of your paper. They may, therefore, end up changing the main idea of your paper if not careful.

Ensure, therefore, that you proofread your work after you finish writing it. Proper grammar helps to create clear and concise writing. Moreover, it also helps to convey your message more accurately.

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From the above excerpt, you should have more information on the elements of a good essay and how to incorporate them into your paper. In the end, it’s important to note that everybody makes mistakes. But it’s from those mistakes that we learn. This essay writing guide should help nurture your writing skills and help make you a better writer for your future papers. Keep practicing for self-improvement is limitless, and you will achieve great things.

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