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an outline for the reader

  • Begins with a brief general statement setting the essay/assignment in the context of the assessment question.

  • Indicates the areas and perspectives to be discussed in the essay.

  • Leads to a statement, which summarises the essay and indicates the writer’s point of view.

Terms or definitions that are critical to an understanding of the essay should be introduced at the beginning.
Main section

the development of the discussion or argument

  • Each paragraph contains one main idea, which is expressed in a topic sentence (usually the first sentence).

  • The topic sentence contains the key idea discussed in the paragraph and should relate directly back to the assessment question.

  • The rest of the paragraph expands on the topic sentence or gives evidence or examples.

  • Each paragraph needs to be linked to the following one to create a logical development of the argument for the reader.


In the conclusion the main points or arguments made in the essay are summarised and the main point of view is restated.
A conclusion may also include:

  • Implications

  • Predictions

  • Recommendations

It should always relate back to the assignment topic or the objectives set out at the beginning of your essay.
Do NOT introduce new ideas in your conclusion.

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