In the body, you are providing information and arguments that should follow logically from the point expressed in your focal statement and should support it consistently throughout the paper. The body is made up of a series of paragraphs: packages of information, each beginning with a topic sentence that identifies the topic of the paragraph in the same way that the focal statement for the essay defines the specific topic of the essay. This topic sentence also provides a link not only to the previous paragraph but also to the focal statement of the essay, identifying how this information contributes to the stand you've taken. The topic of the paragraph is then developed with sentences which may provide examples, details, evidence or analogies. A broader concluding sentence for the paragraph may also be provided to tie the information together and remind the reader of how it relates to the focus of the essay.
In the introduction, you should begin with the general issue and narrow down to the specifics of the problem you are discussing in your paper. Think of it as an inverted triangle. You should use the introduction to provide background information about the broad subject, identify the relevant problem or issue, and take the reader step by step to an understanding of why the specific focus of this paper is relevant to that subject. An introduction usually ends with some sort of statement of your focus (e.g., a focal statement, thesis statement, purpose statement, or hypothesis). This statement tells the reader specifically what point you are going to make or prove in your essay, and, if possible, how you are going to go about doing that. You might therefore suggest the method of organization you will be using in your paper, but not actually provide the information about the points.
The term essay is used broadly for many different kinds of papers. Essentially, an essay is a written document which discusses, explains, analyzes, interprets or evaluates a topic in an organized and coherent manner. The terminology used to refer to an assignment and the requirements for length, level of analysis, and amount of research vary not only between disciplines but also between courses within a discipline. Following are some examples of terminology which may be used in various disciplines.