Essay Writing: Write Strong Starting and Concluding Paragraphs

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Essay writing is a crucial part of any academic degree and therefore, very important in every student’s life. While there is no doubt about the fact that good essays can improve one’s grades exponentially, however, what constitutes a good essay is not always clear. The reason is that as the types of essays changes, what good means also changes. For instance, in a narrative essay, it is the imagination and creative thinking that builds a strong essay. On the other hand, in an argumentative essay, hard facts and data points contribute to better grades. Therefore, defining a good essay may not be an easy task. However, there are some features that make any essay impressive, namely, strong starting and concluding paragraphs.

Importance of Introduction & Conclusion in Essay Writing

If you are wondering why starting and concluding paragraphs are important in essay writing, pick up any literary piece and remove the starting and concluding paragraphs. You will soon understand that the piece completely loses its relevance and is completely unappealing to start with. Additionally, it lacks a constructive end, leaving you wondering, ‘where is the rest of the piece’? Invariably, this is the reason that starting and concluding paragraphs are important when it comes to essay writing. The make the essay look complete, convey the meaning as a whole and add a proposer structure to the essay. Without an introduction and conclusion, the essay will be like a house without walls and a roof, i.e. incomplete.

Starting Paragraph in Essay Writing

First things first. Let us begin with the introductory paragraph. As the name suggests, it is the first paragraph that appears in an essay. What makes the starting paragraph exceptionally important is that it determines whether the reader will go ahead with the essay or not. If the reader loses interest in the starting paragraph, chances are very rare that he or she will leave the essay and not continue. Therefore, an interesting starting paragraph is crucial to capture the reader’s attention. For, once you lose this attention, it is almost impossible to gain it back. 

The Objective

The objective of the starting paragraph is simple, to state the basic premise for the rest of the essay, or as some call it the thesis. It goes without saying that every essay has some theme around which it seeks to concentrate the discussion. It is the introduction of this thesis that must be captured in the starting paragraph. Including hard hitting facts, statistics, anecdotes can make the starting paragraphs very effective. 

The Structure

Next in line comes the way your starting paragraph should be structured. Before the structure, always remember that a good starting paragraph must be crisp and concise. It should not run into multiple paragraphs or gigantic number of sentences. A couple of sentences to put across your point are more than enough. A well written starting paragraph begins with stating the premise for the essay. Following this, the major intentions for the essay are laid down. Finally, the latter portion of your starting essay should focus on building a transition from stating the premise to connecting it to the arguments that you seek to put forward in the body of the essay. For a better understanding, consider this infographic-

What makes a Good Starting Paragraph?

While there is no one recipe for the ideal starting paragraph, there certainly are some tips one can follow to create a decent one. Firstly, having some data, opinions, anecdotes to substantiate your premise can add more credibility to your starting paragraph. Secondly, make sure that the tone you follow goes with the types of essay you are writing. For instance, in a narrative essay, you may want to use a personal anecdote and write in the first person. Whereas, an argumentative essay may require well researched statistics and a completely impersonal tone. Finally, your essay must create a seamless connection between the premise and the objectives in hand. Undoubtedly, there are several other factors that can augment the quality of your introductory paragraph, focusing on the above is a good starting point. 

Concluding Paragraph in Essay Writing

As opposed to the starting paragraph, the concluding paragraph comes at the end of any essay. A concluding paragraph must be able to summarize whatever the essay talks about, reinstating the original claim. The importance of a concluding paragraph lies in the fact that it provides a clear ending to the whole essay. Without it, the whole piece is incomplete and lacks the impact it intends to create. Invariably, a good concluding paragraph will help you close the essay with a bang.

The Objective

The objective of a closing paragraph is simple. To tie all the strings of the discussion together and give meaning to it. A well written essay talks about different points through the course. A well written concluding paragraph, pulls all these points together to help the reader recapitulate on the discussion and ponder upon them. In addition to summarizing the discussion, a concluding paragraph also tends to leave room for reflection or direct the reader’s attention to a specific point. 

The Structure

Just like the starting paragraph. The concluding paragraph cannot be too lengthy or verbose. If it runs into multiple paragraphs, it eventually becomes the body and not the conclusion. The structure of an appealing concluding paragraph has three components.

First, it should begin by restating the basic premise or thesis, however, in different words. The idea is to highlight how your premise stands strong with the arguments you have made. Second, it should focus on summarizing all the points, arguments, opinions presented in the essay in a very concise manner. The objective is to help the reader remember what he/ she read in the paragraphs above. Finally, the last part of a concluding paragraph should leave room for reflections or a call to action. The intent is to either encourage the reader to find answers to different questions or direct their attention to something that the writer considers to be of importance. Here is one template you can look at to have a better understanding-

What makes a Good Concluding Paragraph?

Again, there is no secret pathway to the best concluding paragraph. So long as you are able to recapture the entire essence of your paragraph, you are in a good place. A few points may help you write a good concluding paragraph. Firstly, make sure that you are able to connect the dots to restate your initial claim or thesis. However, the words should be different. If you do not paraphrase, you will be at the risk of having overlapping starting and concluding paragraphs. Secondly, try to bring together all the points you have mentioned in a crisp and concise manner. Finally, do leave some room for reflections and inferences from the entire discussion. 

The Bottom Line

The final word here is that the starting and concluding paragraphs are very important for any essay. Since they form the basic foundation of the essay, without them, your essay will be half baked and will create only a friction of the impact that it intends to create. If you are struggling with an essay at hand, get professional help from Impressive essays in a jiffy on your fingertips.

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