After our honeymoon in Hawaii, I spent hours arranging all of our photos perfectly in a wedding album. Finding no satisfaction in it, I never looked at it again. Six months later, just before my father died, I gave him the pretty picture he wanted, my forgiveness, but I didn't mean it and I still don't. I cheated on my husband within months of our marriage and divorced him by our second anniversary. But years afterward, my mother still refused to take the wedding photos down off of her mantle. “They’re such beautiful pictures,” she would say. Beautiful, perfect and utterly meaningless.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.