Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format.
Without a clear plan, you run the risk of realizing partway through that you`ve drifted off topic or written yourself into a corner, and fixing these mistakes will consume a ton of extra time.
To give your essay a clear structure, it is important to organize it into paragraphs. Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
Some students react to the time pressure of essay exams by scribbling down their introduction as soon as they`ve read the question and figuring out their points as they go. While it might seem counter-intuitive, taking five or ten minutes before you start writing in order to draw up a plan will be an enormous time saver.
Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
It`s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don`t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.