Should include a brief statement of your understanding and approach to answering the question at hand. It is very helpful to cover both what you anticipate doing in the essay (your goals) and what your essay will not include, as well as provide brief definitions of key terms, such as: "By gender relations/capitalism I mean the following&hellip" However, try to keep the number of to a minimum (say, three or four) with a summary of them (one sentence is enough).
If your essay provides research and assessments of how (maybe and why?) scholars use key terms to refer to concepts differently or give them different meanings (e.g., decentralization), then you need to reflect those points in the introduction. Your own judgments should be given in the main part of the essay (for example, give it under a separate subheading).
Content of the main part of the essay
This part involves developing your reasoning and analysis and justifying them based on the available data, other arguments, and positions on the issue. This is the main content of your essay and it represents the main difficulty: it is for this purpose that subheadings are important, based on which your argumentation is structured; it is where you must justify (logically, using data or rigorous reasoning) your proposed argumentation/analysis.
As you fill out the sections with your argumentation (corresponding to the subheadings), limit yourself within a paragraph to addressing a single main idea. It is also useful to use the technique of numbering all paragraphs sequentially to write your draft-it helps you make sure that each paragraph (and its main idea) has its "place," that is, that each paragraph follows the previous paragraph and precedes the next one in a logical sequence. In the final version (see below), you can delete paragraph numbers.
Requirements for Facts and Other Sources
When writing an essay (or other type of written work), how empirical data and other sources are used (especially reading quality) is extremely important in order for it to be done well.
All (factual) data relate to a specific time and place, so before you use it, make sure that it is appropriate to the time and place required for your research. Even if you are using, say, a data table on social mobility in Britain, specify the time of that study, etc.
Appropriate specification of the data by time and place is one way that can prevent overgeneralization, which can result in the assumption that all countries are the same in some important respects (if you think so, then this should be proven rather than being an unsubstantiated assertion).
You can always avoid overgeneralization by remembering that within an essay, the data you use is illustrative material, not a final act, i.e., it supports your arguments and reasoning, and demonstrates that you know how to use data appropriately.
Don't forget, too, that data concerning controversial issues is always questioned ("lies, damned lies, statistics, etc."). You are not expected to give a definite or definitive answer (no one will ever agree that this is the only right answer!). But what you can do is to understand the essence of the factual material related to this question (relevant indicators? how reliable is the data for constructing such indicators? what conclusions can be drawn from the available data and indicators regarding causes and effects? etc.), and demonstrate this in your essay.
The final part of the essay can include a summary of your main arguments, but try to keep it very brief.
The conclusion can contain such a very important, complementary element to the essay as an indication of the application (implication) of your research, without excluding connections to other issues. For example: "The essay is mainly about gender relations in agricultural labor, but a fuller examination (of this problem) would also require an examination of class relations," then say a few sentences explaining why this would be useful, and briefly illustrate how it could be done.