Structure of a Research Paper or Essay
All essays and research papers consist of three parts: an introduction, body and conclusion.
The Introduction is the first paragraph. In the introduction, it is a general statement about the topic, provides the main arguments of the paper and concludes with the thesis. The thesis is the last sentence of the paragraph and is a strong statement that you can prove.
A thesis statement is the controlling idea of the research and is a map to the route the research will follow. The thesis is specific and expresses one major idea about the subject. (Additional Information on Formulating a Thesis)
The Body is where the evidence to prove the thesis is presented. The information supports or proves the thesis statement. This supporting information can be analysis, argument, evaluation, persuasion and comparison/contrast. The body of the paper is well organized with each paragraph consisting of a topic sentence, supporting and concluding sentences and a transition to the next paragraph
All support for your thesis, whether quoted or paraphrased, must be cited.
Conclusion – This is the last paragraph of the paper and summarizes how your paper proved the thesis; no new information is given in this paragraph.
IntroductionGeneral Statement about the Topic
BodyFirst Paragraph - Main Point
Transition Second Paragraph - Main Point
Transition Third Paragraph - Main Point
ConclusionGeneral statement about the Topic
Summary of the main points used to prove the thesis