Elements of a Good Essay
Is the thesis clearly stated? By the end of the introduction, readers should clearly know the thesis and what is being explained in the essay.
•Does the introduction give relevant background information to help readers understand the issue? If the topic is one that readers will not be familiar with, the reader will need background information about the subject to understand the topic.
•Does the introduction make the subject fresh and interesting? No one likes a dull opening. Avoid beginning with statements like, “What I am about to explain is…” Make sure your introduction is lively and able to draw attention.
•Does the introduction set up the thesis statement? Be sure you can locate the thesis and that it is clear. Is there enough support for the thesis? Make sure that you are not hanging off the limb of a tree making claims that no one can believe. Generalizing numbers is ineffective at best. Find the facts and give the necessary support.
•Does the conclusion do more than simply summarize the topic? The conclusion has a big job. It needs to go beyond mere summary of the topic. It may need to speculate on the future of the topic, or give solutions to problems posed in the essay. The main thing is that the conclusion should leave readers satisfied, and bring the tone of the essay to a final note. It may seem like common sense to mention this, but the conclusion should not introduce new ideas since the essay will not address any of them. Has the writer kept his or her opinion out of the essay?