Therefore, you need to bridge the gap between your attention-grabber and your thesis with some transitional discussion. In this part of your introduction, you narrow your focus of the topic and explain why the attention-grabber is relevant to the specific area you will be discussing. You should introduce your specific topic and provide any necessary background information that the reader would need in order to understand the problem that you are presenting in the paper.
You can also define any key terms the reader might not know. Continuing with the example above, we might move from the narrative about Michelle to a short discussion of the scope of the problem of drunk drivers. Each year XX number of lives are lost due to drunk-driving accidents. This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving. Finally, the introduction must conclude with a clear statement of the overall point you want to make in the paper.
In this scenario, your thesis would be the point you are trying to make about drunk driving. You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. Whatever the case, your thesis would clearly state the main point your paper is trying to make.
This gives the reader a general sense of how you will organize the different points that follow throughout the essay. A final note: In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper. In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper.
For Longer Papers Although for short essays the introduction is usually just one paragraph, longer argument or research papers may require a more substantial introduction. The first paragraph might consist of just the attention grabber and some narrative about the problem. Then you might have one or more paragraphs that provide background on the main topics of the paper and present the overall argument, concluding with your thesis statement.
An Ineffective Introduction Everyone uses math during their entire lives. Some people use math on the job as adults, and others used math when they were kids. The topic I have chosen to write about for this paper is how I use math in my life both as a child and as an adult. I use math to balance my checkbook and to budget my monthly expenses as an adult.
When I was a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand. I will be talking more about these things in my paper. Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. Imagine how I will react when I come across a student who finally takes the time to generate some genuine interest in the subject and catch my attention! This is why students should care.
The wrong way to begin an essay is to simply and dryly explain what the essay is about. While this is acceptable in elementary school, and perhaps up through a certain stage of middle school, it is unacceptable by late middle school, through high school and most certainly at the collegiate level.
Still, this kind of opening is all too common. Lincoln as everyone knows him. These points are just as relevant to college students and adults, however, because, while the points a college student would make might be more nuanced and detailed, many still write introductions that follow the same basic pattern.
He saw the United States through the Civil War, helping to keep the country from falling apart and signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all the African Americans in the United States from slavery.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the great presidents of the United States. This introduction clearly establishes the purpose of the essay and lists many accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. As such, it is both adequate and also painfully boring. This is how you really want your professor to react. The writing is crafted in such a way that it sparks anticipation and excitement in the heart and mind of the reader.
Simply stating your opinion or the topic of the essay will never accomplish this. Engaging writing requires thoughtful attention to creating a hook for the reader. Hooks can be created in an infinite number of ways, but here is a list of approaches that often prove valuable. Note that this is a list that you have likely seen before most schools provide such a list , but be sure to read on as it is in the implementation of these ideas that they either succeed or fail: Start with a thought-provoking quotation.
Start with a thought-provoking question. Tell a thought-provoking story. Make a surprising statement. Present a simile or a metaphor to introduce your essay topic. Each of these options presents an approach to opening an essay that can work if it is implemented effectively. Of course, implementing them effectively is where things get tricky. A Thought-Provoking Quotation: Depending on the topic of your essay and the resources you have available, it can be very effective to begin with a direct quotation from a relevant source on your topic that brings up key ideas or presents controversial opinions.
You, as the author, can then respond to them and establish your position in relation to this statement. Be certain the quotation you choose directly relates to your chosen topic. A Thought Provoking Question Opening essays with questions is dangerous because they only work if the question causes your reader to genuinely wonder about something. Simplistic or obvious questions turn your reader off, so try another approach unless you are sure you have a question that really ties your essay topic to something personal for the reader or to some intriguing idea in the world.
A Thought-Provoking Story As a fiction writer, this is my personal favorite. There are two options available here. One approach is to tell a true story in close-up intimate detail that directly relates to your topic. The other option is to craft a story around the factual details of your topic and helps to humanize it—taking your reader into the personal human experience of someone in a given situation related to your subject.
Make a Surprising Statement This one is also a tricky way to go unless you have come across a very striking fact or are dealing with a controversial subject. In order for this approach to work, the statement must include something that will genuinely surprise the reader, which is difficult to do. In addition to shock value, the statement must also have direct relevance to your topic so that a strong transition can still be made into your central argument. Present a Simile or Metaphor Similes and metaphors are among the most powerful linguistic devices available.
When used well, they can bring profound interest and insight to a given topic. Using them well is, of course, the hard part. The trick to using them well is be sure that the nature of the symbol you use shares a great deal in common with the subtleties of the topic you are discussing. The broader and more specific those connections are, the stronger its linguistic power.
The very best way to use a simile or metaphor in an essay is to introduce it with the opening paragraph and then continue to weave the connections between the symbol and the subject throughout the entire essay, eventually bringing the idea back together in the conclusion to create a circular structure to the writing. This requires insightful thinking and hard writing work, but makes for an exceptional essay.
Keep in mind that, contrary to what is often taught in elementary school, the opening paragraph does not necessarily require a complete listing of the main points of your essay, though that can be helpful at times. The only non-negotiable requirement for an introduction is a direct and clear statement of purpose somewhere within that first paragraph.
With more creative openings, it generally occurs near the close of the first paragraph, anticipating the deeper explanations that take place in the body paragraphs of the essay.Essay Introductions Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments. Every essay or assignment you write must begin with an introduction. It might be helpful to think of the introduction as an inverted pyramid.
Present a simile or a metaphor to introduce your essay topic.
Feel free to be creative, but do not forget to directly address the question you have been asked! When used well, they can bring profound interest and insight to a given topic.
When used well, they can bring profound interest and insight to a given topic. Notice how the story is written to engage the heart of the reader and lead directly into a statement about the great accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during his presidency. This requires insightful thinking and hard writing work, but makes for an exceptional essay. Make a surprising statement.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the great presidents of the United States. Learn to craft introductions that catch your reader and lead him into the heart of what you have to say. This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving. Be careful! I use math to balance my checkbook and to budget my monthly expenses as an adult.
Open with a creative hook that leads directly to your thesis statement. Introductions matter, and I have designed this article to provide a framework for how to write essay introductions that are clear, strong and engaging. If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved.
Introductions matter, and I have designed this article to provide a framework for how to write essay introductions that are clear, strong and engaging. How to write essay introductions. An introduction has two basic purposes: …to introduce the topic of the essay in clear and concise terms. They were children—or, at least, they seemed so to him.
Hooks can be created in an infinite number of ways, but here is a list of approaches that often prove valuable. If you begin your essay with these words, or anything even remotely close to them, no one who is not being paid or who is not your mother will ever read your paper—and even they will groan within themselves as they read. Make a Surprising Statement This one is also a tricky way to go unless you have come across a very striking fact or are dealing with a controversial subject. Particularly if your audience is a teacher or a professor, it is essential that you check with the instructor first before trying anything too crazy and creative. You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. I also knew that Kool-Aid packets were 25 cents each or that I could save money and get five of them for a dollar.