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Start, end and heading of the essay


The introduction captures the reader’s interest, explains what the essay offers the reader and tells something about the text as a whole – its subject and style. Below are different ways of starting an essay assistant.

1. Straight to the point

The main topic is introduced in the very first sentence and the discussion begins immediately

2. Description

The writer describes an event, a situation, a moment, a detail

However, goes to the point relatively early on so that the reader does not get bored

3. Definition

The writer defines a (very) central concept and issue for the essay

In a literary essay, for example, the work or its theme

4. Story/personal experience

The writer describes an experience that he or she has had. A personal perspective.

5. Background information

In a literary essay, e.g. a brief description of the plot, an introduction to the work or author, the period…

6. Rhetorical question

To arouse the reader’s interest, but certainly not to give a direct answer

7. A quotation or saying

Must be related to the text and the topic and arouse interest

In a literary essay, a direct quote from the work, a quotation from the author, something said about the work, etc.

8. A polemic or counter-argument

The opening will alert the reader and may even provoke him (be careful!)

Simplifies things, but often arouses interest

The natural way to begin a literary essay is, of course, to introduce the work, pique the reader’s interest and present the work (NOTE: in the present tense) in such a way that the reader, without having read the work, understands what it is about.


The ending of the essay is the last thing on the reader’s mind, i.e. it preserves the sense of the essay. The ending should not be detached from the rest of the text; it is a good idea to link the text to the title at this point at the latest.  For example, you could end your essay in the following way:

1. Summary

Summarise what has been buy expository essays

Summarise what has been summarised in the first part of the essay.

2. Evaluation or opinion

3. a conclusion from the above

4. A reference to the future

5. a quotation, a rhetorical question or an incisive argument

6. return, tying in with the theme of the introduction


Many writings are chosen to be read on the basis of the title alone, so it is a good idea to choose it carefully. A good title reveals the topic of the text, the point of view and gives clues to the style of the essay is consistent with the text

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