3 Steps Towards Your Successful Essay
The Different Parts
A standard document will contain a handful of informational pieces, each of which must be located in a specialized area or section. Even shorter documents will perform multiple functions including:
- Analyzing information
- Presenting counterarguments
The introduction and the conclusion each have a specific place within the confines of your work but the remainder of the information you seek to include does not. You can, for example, place your counterargument in a freestanding paragraph at the beginning of your final piece, or at the end. The background material including any biographical data, historical context for your purpose, or even a summary of the relevant criticisms can be found at the beginning in between your first analytical body paragraph and your introduction, but you may very well place it at the beginning of a section to which it is most relevant.
It may be most helpful to think of the various components as answering many questions that the reader will pose to you. Readers will have questions and it is your job, in this sense, to answer them.
The first question they will ask is “what”.
They want to know what your evidence is answering. You need to examine the evidence and then use it to show that your claim is truthful. This is something that needs to take place early on in the work you create. You want to make sure it is near the beginning so that your reader does not wait until the end of the document to receive the most basic answer to their most basic question.
The second question they will ask is “how”.
Your reader will want to know whether the claims you are making in your paper are true or not and they want to know “how” you know this. This is where you need to explain how the material, the evidence, the sources, all influence the claims you are making. This is typically the second organized area of the paper, one which focuses on presenting the manner in which all of your sources, material, and evidence affect the claims that you present.
The third question they will ask is “why”.
The reader wants to know what is at stake with regard to your claims, why it should matter to them. You want to address this question within the confines of your work by addressing how your claims fit within the larger context, what the implications are. You want your reader to understand the deep significance of the piece you are writing so that they can get the full experience. If you simply leave this question unanswered, the readers will be left with an unfinished, pointless experience, one which does not round out the information they learned.