How to write effective introductions for essays

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How to write effective introductions for essays

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.

How to write effective introductions for essays

It might be helpful to think of the introduction as an inverted pyramid. In such a pyramid, you begin by presenting a broad introduction to the topic and end by making a more focused point about that topic in your thesis statement.

The introduction has three essential parts, each of which serves a particular purpose. You also want to do that in a way that is fresh and original.

Instead, you might try one of the following techniques: Offer a surprising statistic that conveys something about the problem to be addressed in the paper.

Perhaps you can find an interesting quote that nicely sums up your argument. Use rhetorical questions that place your readers in a different situation in order to get them thinking about your topic in a new way. If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved.

For example, if you were writing a paper about drunk drivers, you might begin with a compelling story about someone whose life was forever altered by a drunk driver: Attending college on a track scholarship, she was earning good grades and making lots of friends. This section helps the reader see why you are focusing on this topic and makes the transition to the main point of your paper.

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. We might say, for example: 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.

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.

How to write effective introductions for essays

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.

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I will be talking more about these things in my paper. Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. The second sentence is also not very specific.

A more effective attention grabber may point out a specific, and perhaps surprising, instance when adults use math in their daily lives, in order to show the reader why this is such as important topic to consider.

This technique is not as sophisticated and may distract the reader from your larger purpose for writing the essay. Instead, you might try to make the reader see why this is such an important topic to discuss.

Finally, this sample introduction is lacking a clear thesis statement.Digital Impact LLC produces large format, high-resolution, semi-permanent corrugated/mixed material POP & POS displays, product packaging and specialized permanent displays for companies of all backgrounds.

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Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. For other types of academic writing, including research papers, literature reviews, and summaries, begin with a statement of the problem the paper addresses, followed by background information on the problem and why it is significant.

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