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Academic Resource Center: Introductions and Conclusions

English Essay: Introduction

  1. First, introduce your topic with an engaging lead: a visual image, a quotation, a provocative statement.
  1. Second, make a transition into your thesis statement.
  1. Finally, state your thesis, which should concisely express your central argument and answer the essay question.

 

DO mention the full title of the work you’re discussing, the full name of its author, and its genre (novel, short story, essay, poem, or play).  Italicize titles of novels and plays; place titles of stories, essays, and poems in quotation marks.

DON’T ever use the thesis paragraph to make general statements about literature, society, or human nature.  For example, Many great works of literature address love and conflict between men and women.  Instead, focus on the particular work you’re analyzing.

English Essay: Conclusion

  1. Summarize how the evidence in the body of the paper supports the thesis statement.
  2. Branch out: make a connection or a judgment. 

 

DON’T just restate your thesis.

DO leave the reader thinking about your topic and its importance.

History Paper: Introduction

Your introduction should open with a statement about your general topic, continue with sentences that narrow down the topic, and conclude with your thesis.  For a 5-8 paragraph paper, the introduction will be one paragraph; for a longer paper, the introduction will be two or three paragraphs.

  1. Opening sentences
  2. Narrowing sentence
  3. Lay out structure
  4. Thesis statement

 

DO give your essay a title that draws your reader in.

DO make sure your thesis is an argument rather than a simple statement of fact.

DO lay out the structure of your paper if your thesis doesn't do so already. 

DON’T ever use the introduction to make general statements about history, society, or human nature.

History Paper: Conclusion

  1. Summarize how the evidence in the body of the paper supports the thesis statement. 
  2. Branch out: make a connection, a prediction, or a judgment. 

 

DON’T just restate your thesis.

DON’T introduce any new evidence for your thesis.

DO summarize your argument.

DON’T ever use the conclusion to make general statements about history, society, or human nature. 

DO leave the reader thinking about your topic and its importance.