Essay Tips

Suggestions for Effective Writing

The Introduction

You may wish to compose your introductory paragraph after writing the rough draft of your paper, as it is sometimes difficult to introduce something you have yet to write. The introductory paragraph is important for the over-all effect of the paper. The purpose of the introduction is twofold: to get the reader's attention and to state the thesis. There are various ways to get the reader's attention:

Begin with a relevant quote which will lead into the thesis.


In 1896, Baron de Coubertin of France thought the revived Olympics would give peace "a new and strong ally."

Begin with a short story which would provide background for your thesis or would exemplify your thesis.


In 1896, the Baron de Coubertin of France saw one of his dreams come true-the revival of the Olympics after more than a thousand years.

Begin with a contrasting opinion to build interest.


The Olympics have evolved into a political struggle, not a sports competition.

Begin with a question which would lead into the thesis.


Are the Olympics a true competition of athletic abilities?

The Conclusion

The concluding paragraph should pull together the topics that you have discussed and convince your reader that you have accomplished the purpose of your thesis. In writing this paragraph, review your main points and show that you have supported or proved your thesis statement. Keep this summary concise. You may also include an appropriate suggestion to the reader. Remember, the conclusion should give your paper a sense of finality; it should not introduce new material. Some of the many ways you can conclude your writing include the following: restate the central idea, make a generalization, review and summarize, end with a quotation, end with a call for action.


Transitions are words or phrases that indicate to the reader the relationship between ideas within the paper. They may be necessary within paragraphs, between paragraphs, and between sections of longer papers.

Useful transitions:

To show chronological order:

first, at last, at present, meanwhile, during, finally, therefore, formerly, later, before, next, now, then, after, suddenly, afterwards, from then on, shortly, today, sometime, and, yesterday, this morning, afternoon, evening, tomorrow, however, but

To show order of importance:

also, primarily, another, best of all, most importantly, moreover, in addition to, foremost, one reason is that

To show an example:

for example, for instance, namely, specifically, to illustrate

To show description:

above, beneath, near, out, surrounding, up, ahead, beyond, outside, to the back, everywhere, down, around, closer, overhead, to the front, underfoot, in, behind, to the right, in, to the side, left, on

To show addition:

additionally, again, also, and, as well as, further, furthermore, moreover, in addition, besides, equally important

To show similarity:

also, in the same way, similarly, likewise

To show exception:

but, however, in spite of, on the other hand, nevertheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet

To show cause and effect:

accordingly, so, therefore, thus, consequently

To conclude or repeat:

Finally, in brief, in conclusion, in the end, on the whole, thus, to conclude, to summarize