Writer's Guidebook - Parts of a Paper
This page offers information on the primary parts to a paper including: the thesis statement, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion and documentation.
The thesis statement is sometimes called the focus statement, and papers may also contain a purpose statement. Thesis statements are absolutely critical for writing a well focused and organized paper. Do not attempt to write a paper without first creating a thesis statement. For help understanding what a thesis statement is and how to create one, please click on the links below.
Some papers may also require a purpose statement. For further understanding of the difference between thesis and purpose statements, and how to write a purpose statement, please view the following link.
Introductions are critical to setting up the rest of the paper and engaging the reader. An introduction may contain background information for the subject being discussed, including attention-grabbing statistical information and the thesis statement. For more information on how to write an introduction please see the links below.
Once the Introduction has been written, the next piece of the paper is the largest, which is the main body of the paper. This is where the thesis statement is broken down and supported using topic sentences that introduce the key points of the thesis statement and information is given to support the key points made. For more information on writing the body paragraphs of the paper please view the links below.
The conclusion comes at the end of the paper in order to "conclude" what has been written. For more information on what to include in a conclusion, and for keys to writing a conclusion please view the links below.
In-Text Citations and References/Works Cited Entries
In every paper that is written using ideas or information from an outside source, the sources used must be documented in the paper using in-text citations, and that source must also be documented at the end of the paper in the Reference or Works Cited page. There are many different types of documentation styles/formats that can be used to document sources. Make sure that you know which style/format you are supposed to be using before you attempt to document your sources. Ask your professor if you are not sure. For information on documenting sources in a particular style please view the following link.