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The Writing Process: How to Write a Basic Essay

There are different types of essays, each with a given content requirement. Descriptive essays attempt to break down the attributes of the subject matter to paint a picture. Argumentative essays offer opinions with supporting clauses about a particular topic. Narrative essays tell a story in the most vivid way while persuasive essays attempt to convince the reader of a particular opinion.

As much as the content of these types of essays is different, they all have a basic structure that they follow. This article will describe how to write good essays by giving tips on how to write a catchy introduction, an informative body and a good conclusion, which are the three basic parts of any type of essay.

Writing the Essay Introduction

 The introduction serves two purposes: first, it is designed to grab the reader’s attention. Two, it acts as a guide, giving the reader an idea of what the essay is about. This is how to do it:

  1. Start With an Attention Grabber

The attention grabber you write can be:

  • Startling information – Write a statement about a pertinent fact that is known or unknown to the reader. This statement should be a fact and it should be verifiable. Moreover, it should be relevant to the subject of the essay.

For example;

“Did you know that the blue whale is the biggest animal that ever lived?”

  • Anecdote – An anecdote is a short, interesting story that illustrates a point. You can start off your essay with one, ensuring that the story is relevant to the aim of the essay. Ensure you use it carefully.
  • Dialogue – Alternatively, you can use a conversation to start the essay. It doesn’t necessarily have to identify the characters speaking, but the reader should be able to easily get the point you are attempting to make. Use only two to three sentences, don’t be excessive.
  • Summary of the topic – You can also start your essay using a summary of the topic you are discussing. The first statement can be vague, and as you develop into the paragraph, you can get more specific to lead you to the thesis statement. For example, in an essay about sharks, you can begin with general facts about sharks then slowly develop to a characteristic that would lead you to the thesis statement.

2. After the attention grabber, add two to three lines that gradually lead you to the thesis statement. These lines should act as a link, indicating the relevance of the first statements.The introductory paragraph is completed using a thesis statement. You can refer to this article on

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Writing the Essay Body

The quality of the essay body you write is dependent on the amount of research that you have done. When researching, write down the main ideas for the essay. For example, if you are writing about the Effects of World War II on the World’s Economy, indicate your main points as follows:


  • The positive growth in the aircraft industry
  • Heavy destruction of the built environment by bombings
  • Massive accumulation of government debts, especially by the US
  • The setup of the International Monetary Fund to prevent subsequent economic depression
  • The establishment of the place of women in the corporate industry


The standard essay is known as the five-paragraph essay. In this essay, your body is comprised of three paragraphs, each of which has one main point. Your strongest argument should be contained in the first body paragraph, whose first line should state this opinion. For example, in the essay above, the first line in your paragraph should be:

“World War II saw some of the greatest inventions in the aircraft industry.”

The subsequent statements should all be in support of this statement while providing examples. In the example above, you can state the reason why better airplanes were needed. In this case, it would be to provide countries with better fighter jets. Afterward, you can state a few examples of the jet inventions that were created during this period, for example, the axial flow compressor. Follow this by a few more supporting statements, each relevant to the first line and each factual.

This is basically the structure you will use for each of the paragraphs you have in your essay. A first line, supporting statements, a few examples if relevant, and a summary line.

After writing the first paragraph, the next thing you have to deal with is connecting this paragraph and the one following it. The connection should be logical, and ensure that you don’t just reiterate what you wrote in the previous paragraph. Rather, alert the reader of the change in the focus of the paragraph while at the same time showing the progress in the ideas.

To confirm that you have written your paragraphs in a logical manner, read them out loud to yourself. Do they sound like they are ideas complementing each other, or are you just jumping from one to the other without any discernible order?

Follow this procedure all the way to the conclusion.

Writing the Conclusion

 The conclusion is just like the ending of a marathon. The commentator normally recaps the route of the winning athlete. How was his starting? Was he leading all the way or did he beat the first guy just to the finish line? Did he fall, and what is his record?

Similarly, you should recap your article, stating the main points, and finishing up with a personal view of the topic. At the end of the conclusion, your reader should get a sense of closure. Alternatively, you can use an anecdote that is relevant to the story and easy to figure out.

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