Generally, an essay is a piece of writing that gives the author's argument. As the below essay sequence diagram suggests, an essay is generally a short piece of writing outlining the writer's perspective or story. It is often considered synonymous with a story or a paper, or an article. Essays can be formal as well as informal. Formal essays are generally academic and tackle serious topics. A good essay sequence is divided into multiple steps: introduction paragraph (includes a thesis statement, strong supporting reason, second strongest reason, and weakest supporting reason), the first supporting paragraph (includes important argumentative points related to the first supporting paragraph), a second supporting paragraph (includes important argumentative points related to the second supporting paragraph), and concluding paragraph (restate the thesis, restate the strongest support, restate the weakest reason, and powerful concluding statement that sums up your stance in the essay).