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Write the Introduction and Conclusion

Your essay lacks only two paragraphs now: the introduction and the conclusion. These paragraphs will give the reader a point of entry to and a point of exit from your essay.

The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give her an idea of the essay's focus.1. Begin with an attention grabber.
The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:
* Startling information
This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn't need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make.
If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with asentence or two of elaboration.
* Anecdote
An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point.
Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.
* Dialogue
An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Useonly two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.
Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration.
* Summary Information
A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.
2. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add oneor two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement.
3. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement.

The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.
All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply reviewthe main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic. Even an anecdote can end your essay in a useful way.

The introduction and conclusion complete the paragraphs of your essay.
Don't stop just yet! One more step remains before your essay is truly finished. |

Use this Sample Basic Essay as a Model

The essay below demonstratesthe principles of writing a basic essay. The different parts of the essay have been labeled. The thesis statement is in bold, the topic sentences are in italics, and each main point is underlined. When you write your own essay, of course, you will not need to mark these parts of the essay unless your teacher has asked you to do so. They are marked here just so that you can more easily identifythem.

"A dog is man's best friend." That common saying may contain some truth, but dogs are not the only animal friend whose companionship people enjoy. For many people, a cat is their best friend. Despite what dog lovers may believe, cats make excellent housepets as they are good companions, they are civilized members of the household, and they are easy to care for.
In the first place, peopleenjoy the companionship of cats. Many cats are affectionate. They will snuggle up and ask to be petted, or scratched under the chin. Who can resist a purring cat? If they're not feeling affectionate, cats are generally quite playful. They love to chase balls and feathers, or just about anything dangling from a string. They especially enjoy playing when their owners are participating in the game.Contrary to popular opinion, cats can be trained. Using rewards and punishments, just like with a dog, a cat can be trained to avoid unwanted behavior or perform tricks. Cats will even fetch!
In the second place, cats are civilized members of the household. Unlike dogs, cats do not bark or make other loud noises. Most cats don't even meow very often. They generally lead a quiet existence. Cats...
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