essay writing tips

Appealing writing skills: best ways to start an essay


The best way to start an essay is really with something startling, or something shocking. This might be a startling quote from a reputable author. It may instead be a shocking fact or statistic that supports your thesis. It might instead just be a quiet introduction that seamlessly grabs the attention of your reader.

When you are writing any essay, no matter the type, you need to include the same key components:

  • You must have an introduction which contains your thesis statement
  • You must have a body wherein your key points or arguments are presented, in support of the thesis
  • You must have a conclusion which wraps up your essay, summarizes the information you presented in the body, and refers back to the thesis

In every paper you write, you will need to make sure you have the following:

  • Good transitions in between your paragraphs
  • Indentations for your paragraphs
  • Double spacing
  • Times New Roman font
  • Size 12 font
  • A reference sheet or works cited page if you used any resources
  • A cover sheet, or at least a title

For your papers, you will also need to use a particular format. The format that you have to use will dictate how the remainder of your paper will appear visually and how you are to cite all of your sources. You will most likely be told which format you are expected to use either in your assignment details or in the syllabus for your course. If you cannot find the information anywhere, be sure and ask your teacher. You will most likely use one of the following formats:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • Harvard

For APA you will need:

  • Cover sheet
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Appendix

For MLA you will need:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Works cited

For Chicago you will need:

  • Cover sheet
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • And of course footnotes inside of the text

For Harvard you will need:

  • Cover sheet
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Reference page

For each there is a specific style for the page numbers, as well as the headings, the subheadings, the cover page, and the citations. This is why it is important to refer to the guides for each respectively when you are writing.

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