a good introduction and conclusion is essential to the overall success
of your essays. Here are some practical tips to make these paragraphs
Other than a "working" thesis, do not write your introduction until after finishing your work on the body paragraphs. How can you introduce something unfinished?
Write your conclusion immediately after finishing the body of your essay. Often, I find the best stated thesis occurs in my students' concluding paragraphs (don't forget a restatement of thesis, however!). Once you've concluded, then you can begin.
Keep your introduction and conclusion length to no more than one half the length of your body paragraphs. Thus, for body paragraphs of 100 words, introductions or conclusions should be no more than 50 words each.
Although introductions should begin generally, it does not mean really general! Move up only one level of generality from your topic. So, if you are writing about favourite poems, then you can introduce by mentioning some former experience you've had of poetry, for example.
For more information, see the following pages.
Four Ways to Begin an Essay
Four Ways to End an Essay
Student Examples of Essay Conclusions with Teacher Comments
See our most recent tips.
Tips from November 2001 to April 2002
Tips from September 2000 to October 2001
Tips from January to August 2000