Parts of an essay
Many different types of essays are asked on tests like TOEFL and IELTS. Regardless of whether you write an argument, a preference, or a comparison essay, the basic components of an essay remain the same.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the length of your introduction. It may consist of three to five sentences. You may write longer introductions but don’t make it shorter than two sentences. Do not copy the question in your introduction. Many students commit this mistake. Instead, paraphrase it.
The first sentence of your introduction is called the hook. That is exactly what it is supposed to do. It should hook the reader. Make it as interesting as possible. The middle sentence or sentences may delve a little into the background. The last sentence of the introductory paragraph is called the thesis statement. It should outline your opinion / preference and briefly explain your reasons.
There should be two or three body paragraphs. They should begin with a statement that supports your thesis. The rest of the paragraphs should give examples and descriptions supporting your argument or stand. If you are writing a comparison essay, the first body paragraph should analyze one side of the argument / situation and the second body paragraph should look at the other side of the argument / situation. In a comparison essay, you don’t really have to write more than two body paragraphs.
Restate your thesis statement (which is essentially your opinion / preference) in the conclusion. Don’t repeat the exact same words and phrases used in the introduction. Paraphrase them. You may also include additional information such as your comment, recommendation, suggestion, prediction etc.