How to write an effective concept essay

How to write an effective concept essay

Your professor has asked you to write a concept essay. This is to familiarize yourself with what you will research on. They also want to help you prepare for your project. You realize you do not know how to write a concept paper. You can barely define what you are expected to do.

Do you need help writing your concept paper? This article contains all you need to know about concept essays and how to write them. 

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What is a concept paper?

A concept paper, also known as a research proposal, is a research or academic paper written with a particular purpose. It aims to identify and explain an idea or a concept related to specific scholarly fields. It is written before carrying out a research to highlight expectations and explain what the study is about. A good concept paper is unbiased and impartial in its technique.

A concept paper is a written research paper in form of a theory or hypothesis that uses relevant research methods. It utilizes different opposing theories to highlight both positive and negative aspects of a study. Your concept paper should provide an overview of your project. Concept papers give detailed descriptions and information on the process of projects, proposals, and research papers.

In concept writing, you shouldn’t take any particular stance or propagate any point of view regarding the subject. The aim is to explain a concept, not influence your reader. You should explain what your research is about without trying to sway your reader. Talk about why your research is essential, the methods you will use, and its impact on today’s life.

In general, a concept paper does the following;

  • It breaks down ideas into segments to give a precise and clear notion about a concept
  • It brings out the essence of a concept and explains it
  • It informs your reader what your research is about, ideas and concepts you will use

Purpose of a concept essay

A concept paper is used in three scenarios;

  1. When a Ph.D. student is required to write a research proposal to pursue a project as part of their coursework
  2. When a principal investigator is expected to submit a proposal to a funding body to secure finances for the project
  3. When a final-year undergraduate or master’s student is preparing to start a research project with a supervisor

Here are some reasons why writing a conceptual essay is important;

Prove the worth of your research

The primary purpose is to convince your reader that this particular research or project is worth doing. This means you are convincing your reader that your research is a novel and interesting study. Show your reader the need for this research study based on what it will entail and the questions it will answer.

Justify your methods

You need to prove that the methods of data collection you will use are feasible. You need to show that you will manage to complete your research on time and have accurate results. A lot of thought is put into the decision on whether your research should be approved.

Prove the value of a product

In cases where you require hazardous products that are hard to acquire, you should use your concept paper to convince your reader. Prove to them you cannot substitute the substance and show which role it will play in your research. Discuss the societal, social, and economic impact of including the product in your research.

Define duties and responsibilities

This is true if you are working with a group. Your paper should define the role of each participant. This includes sponsors, team leaders, core team, and supporting team. This creates a stable work environment that facilitates reliable execution of your research. If you have a hard time distinguishing the roles, looking at other concept essay examples will help.

Enhance communication

A concept paper is an opportunity for sponsors, team leaders, and the core team to communicate their intentions. This informs the people who will support the project through different engagements and on different levels.

Maintain focus during research

In a concept paper, the timeline is visualized and discussed. When it comes to execution, because each party knows their role and deadline, delivery is smooth. The team can keep the project on track and manage resources and time.

Importance of a concept paper

Apart from the purposes of a concept essay, it is important to create one for reasons such as;

  1. It is the basis of your entire proposal
  2. It draws the interest of potential funding agencies
  3. It determines whether a project is attainable or not
  4. It is used to accumulate informal feedback on the concepts before preparing the full proposal
  5. It shows the necessary improvements you should make to your research

Concept paper points of view

There are two perspectives or points of view used when writing a concept paper. They include;

The subjective perspective

This is also known as the personal point of view. It is considered light, familiar, and informal. This perspective is mostly found in newspapers where the language is informal for it to relate to the content. It is meant for entertainment and giving a general idea about a particular subject without emphasis or deep learning. Some subjective concept essay examples include articles about daily living.

The objective perspective

It is the impersonal point of view. This approach is serious, formal, and literary. You can read some content paper examples written in objective perspective for insight. Examples of objective writing include;

  • Academic journals
  • Scholarly books
  • Scholarly magazines

They are written and presented in an analytical tone. Any written work considered academic is written to educate. They seek to reflect on the subject matter and contribute to scientific theories and discussions. Educational materials explain specific details and concepts by analyzing the idea’s parts, levels, and structures.

How to explain a concept

There are three common ways of explaining a concept. These ways explain how to write a concept statement;

1.      Definition

This method identifies technical terms and explains their meaning. They aim to explain and clarify what the concept is about. Definition can be done in three ways;

  • The formal definition explains the origin of a word and the distinction of the term
  • The informal definition gives a brief explanation of what the word means
  • Extended definition comprises at least a paragraph with a full description and complete information about the cord of concept

2.      Explication

This explanation method interprets sentences and passages as literary or academic work and explains them in detail. The sentences and passages can be used as scholarly references and credible learning tools.

3.      Clarification

Under this method, points are taken, analyzed, and arranged from a general perspective. The definition continues to narrow down and get into specific details. Give examples and facts to support the points you are defining.

Patterns of concept development

To expand your knowledge on what is a concept essay, you need to know how to explain a concept to an audience. Follow specific patterns to explain in a way your audience will understand. Because a concept paper attempts to show the relevance of your research, it is important to be as thorough as possible.

Your readers or audience can quickly decide whether your paper is reasonable or not, you need to convince them. Here are some effective patterns you can use to develop your content paper successfully;

  • Define your concept and give it a meaning
  • Use both general and unique characteristics to describe your concept
  • Create a comparison between your concept and other existing concepts
  • Make an analogy that compares your idea to another relatable concept of the same field to create deductions
  • Use contrast to air your concept with other concepts to identify and analyze the differences
  • Based on similarities and differences you have gathered, classify your concept into a group of similar concepts
  • Use credible and scholarly facts, figures and data to give proof and evidence so that your audience can understand
  • Use narrative skills to break down your concept and talk about it in an elaborate manner
  • If your concept is based on a process, explain the process and all factors about it
  • Analyze your concept in terms of cause and effect to predict the impact of your concept on society

Following these patterns guarantees that your audience will relate to and understand your concept with ease. You will write a memorable paper that will ensure your concept is considered for further research.

How to write a concept essay

Writing a concept includes intricate details that need to be observed. The paper is made up of several parts, each serving a different purpose. You need to articulate each piece in an interesting way to keep your readers interested throughout your content essay. The features of a content paper include;

  • A title of your proposed research
  • A brief introduction of your subject
  • The purpose and aim of your research
  • The research question you intend to tackle
  • The type of data and information you will be collecting for research purposes
  • The methods of data collection you will use

To be taken seriously as a writer and researcher, your need to follow an academic content paper format. It is important to follow a systematic order and structure your paper appropriately.

A content paper is usually 500 to 2000 words long. This depends on your administrator’s requirements and the nature of your research. Below are the steps to follow before, during, and after the writing process;

Finding an appropriate subject

If your professor does not give you a topic to write about, you need to find the best concept paper topic ideas. There is a vast pool of subjects under which you can choose an intriguing topic for your content paper. Ensure you find a topic that interests you to make your writing process easier and enjoyable. If you select a topic you find interesting, you will write it in a way that is likely to interest your readers.

Compared to other essays, concept paper topics tend to be more abstract. For instance, you may be asked to write about education, racism, fashion, or health. You will have to narrow down on a specific aspect of the given theme to develop a topic.

Research on the topic

When choosing concept essay topics, it is advised to work on something you have some knowledge. Before researching, think about what you already know on your subject and write it down. Carry out extensive research to make sure that you collect all the information on your topic.

You are trying to educate your audience. Carefully choose what to include from the information you gathered. Ensure the information is relevant and informative enough to educate someone unfamiliar with the concept. Do not include everything you have collected.

Observe your audience

Identifying your audience is an important step in the writing process. Knowing who your audience is can help you make good decisions about which materials to include in your writing. You will also learn the most appropriate and relatable language to use and how to organize your information. This will give you the best techniques to present your arguments to convince your audience.

Create an outline

Use an outline to structure, organize and arrange your concept essay ideas and points in a strategic manner. Your outline should contain all your subtopics, including the conclusion and introduction.

From your outline, you can see which ideas can work together and which ones should be eliminated. There are two different outline formats for concept papers depending on their purpose. The general structure of the paper remains the same. The paper consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are the two concept essay outlines;

A.     Concept paper for a project

This outline is used to structure a proposal for investments such as a business.

  • The cover page where you state your names, date of submission, and personal details of the proponents
  • In the introduction, present your topic and state why your reader should support it
  • Give background information and point out the issues you will address to show why it is an important and relevant subject
  • Under project description, state the objectives, timeline, benefits of the research and methods of data collection
  • Outline the budget, how money will be used, amount needed and the equipment required under the needs and cost subtopic
  • Your conclusion should be a summary highlighting the most critical parts of your paper

B.     Academic research content essay

The structure below is for the outline of a content paper for academic research;

  • State the names of all participants, institution, title of your paper, and the submission date on the title page
  • Give a summary of the current state of your research field, its importance, and the reason you chose that topic under the background
  • Present theories that supports your topic in your literature review
  • Under statement of the problem, state the general issue, the research questions, and your objectives for the research
  • In your abridged methodology, give the scheme you intend to use for data analysis, your data collection process, and participants
  • Provide a reasonable timeline that you will need to complete your research
  • Include a reference list at the end of your document and include all the sources and cited works you have included in your paper

Thesis statement

Your thesis statement should define the concept you will be developing in your whole essay. It is important to leave room for changes as you write your thesis. Your views may change or shift as you explore the concept, and you will be tied to the original thesis. Your thesis statement should not be presented as an argument, it should define the concept.

Concept essay theses are persuasive by nature. Use internet resources to look for an example of a concept essay thesis statement.  Many definitions come up when you look into a concept, come up with a well-reasoned definition of your own and use it as a thesis statement. A well-defined concept can give you clarity, while a vague definition can mislead you on the purpose of your paper.


Your introductory paragraph will either lure your reader or send them away. State your subject and point out the important concept essay ideas you will talk about. A strong introduction should show your reader why your concept matters in life. It should also show intent to examine the connection between your concept and human experiences.

Provide clever anecdotes and fascinating factoids about your subject to connect it to humanity. Objective introductions work best for sad and somber concepts such as violence.  Positive concepts such as vacation are best portrayed using narrative introductions.

Your thesis statement is also part of your introduction. Use it to state the key idea behind your essay. From your thesis statement, your reader should tell the purpose of your paper and what it is about.

Body paragraphs

Your body paragraphs are supposed to support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should contain one main point that builds your argument. State the main point in the first sentence, usually known as the topic sentence of each paragraph. The following sentences should provide evidence, facts, and proof to support your topic sentence.

To keep your paper interesting, your body paragraphs should include important aspects of your concept. Choose the most interesting and relevant points for you and your audience. A concept is too broad and detailed for you to capture everything about it in a single essay document. Go through several concept analysis paper examples to learn how to select the best points. Connect all your paragraphs using transitional words to create a cohesive essay.


Use your conclusion as a reiteration tool. Remind your reader of all the main ideas you have presented in your essay. Your conclusion should summarize your whole essay. Ensure you word it differently to avoid seeming repetitive. In a concept essay, the conclusion is used to restate the definition of the concept using the information you have presented.

You can relate this definition to how the readers understand the concept in their lives. A well-written conclusion reflects that you have understood and contemplated the topic deeply. Being considered a critical thinker is useful in the professional world as you are considered an asset.

 Editing and revision

When you complete your first draft, it is bound to have numerous structural and grammatical errors. Read the document multiple times to make the necessary changes and edit the errors. Check whether you have stayed on topic throughout and if your paper has flows. Rectify any structural mistakes and make sure you have presented the information in a logical way.

These essays present an opportunity to explore concept paper ideas you may have missed or taken for granted. This may give you an overflow of information that might cloud your essay writing process. Take frequent breaks as you write, and before you begin editing, take a more extended break. You can ask a friend or parent to read through the document and offer their input to help you spot errors.

Writing guidelines

  • Take time to sift through several concept paper topic ideas to choose the most appropriate one
  • Clearly state the methodology, budget, and timeline
  • Use appropriate language for your audience
  • If required, include a breakdown of the budget
  • Remember to cite and reference all your external sources of information
  • Use relevant figures and statistics to make your presentation credible
  • Do not include a request to fund the proposal
  • Give reasonable costs and methodology
  • Do not write too much, if possible, only write the most important points to avoid overwhelming the reader
  • Include the basic writing formats such as page numbers

Closing remarks

A concept essay is just the first step of the larger research process. If you want to have an easy time getting your proposal approved, your concept paper needs to be on point. To achieve this, follow specific steps listed in this article. With this information, writing a concept paper becomes an easy task.

If you are still struggling to write or cannot write your content paper, feel free to contact us for professional writing help.

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