Introductory Paragraphs Or… arguably the most important part of an essay.
Always keep in mind how crucial the introduction is to your essay’s success--- First impressions count heavily, and this is no different for a paper than it is for anything else. Your introduction should be engaging enough to make your reader want to read the paper. If it isn’t, why should anyone bother? Think of your poor teacher, tortured by countless stink-o introductions! “Hhhmm, what a lame introduction!”
Let’s be realistic… Introductions are difficult to write—so difficult, in fact, that you may be tempted to cut corners and use stale, universal beginnings like “According to…” Just as boring are broad, sweeping generalizations that sound big, but say little: “Throughout the course of human history, people have waged war.” “Affection is an important quality to possess in all our lives.” These are disgusting! What a boring way to start a paper…
Mr. Catapano in college “Jordan, darling, it’s over. Your introductory paragraphs…well, they stink.”
The introduction serves three purposes: 1) It makes the reader want to read on 2) Introduces your subject, or what you want to write on 3) Presents your thesis as the last sentence.
Well…how long should it be? The length of your introduction will probably vary from paper to paper and subject to subject, but ideally any intro should be about 1 to 2 paragraphs. A three page intro!? Okay, just smile and nod…
Okay, but how do I make it good? To write an effective introduction, there are a number of methods you can use, individually or in combination. Here the are best (and easiest) five to use. Hey Dude!
Method 1: Background Information Works best for literary analysis papers Provides a general synopsis and setting for the story you’re about to write on. You can also provide general information about your topic, especially if it’s a topic your audience is largely unfamiliar with (nanotechnology, the history of moss, etc.) You may include interesting facts, statistics, history about the topic.
Topic = the Importance of Family In almost any human society, the concept of a family has been very important. The foundations of human history have been built, house by house, upon a father, a mother, and their children living and working together……..
Method 2: Your Thoughts / Opinions on the Issue Give your personal feelings about the issue you address. Tell exactly how you feel about the topic in general. You may use “I” to write introduction.
Topic = the Importance of Family I think the family is one of the most important foundations of society. I can’t see how children can receive a better upbringing than by gaining instruction and encouragement from two loving parents…..
Method 3: Personal Experience Tell about an experience in your own life (or someone you know) that relates to the topic. Story Time! Give an honest account of what happened. You may use “I” to write introduction.
Topic = the Importance of Family My father has always loved his children. I particularly remember one Christmas when, after my dad had been out of work for several weeks, it seemed likely my sisters and I would receive no gifts at all….
Method 4: Creative Example / Hypothetical Situation Create a possible scenario with “made up” people. Describe what “happened” in this scenario. You may use “you” in this introduction (“Imagine you are walking on a beach….)
Topic = the Importance of Family Imagine you were born and then entirely forgotten. Imagine that you grew up never knowing parents or siblings, never feeling their love, and never experiencing the joyful challenge it is to live with your rightful family….
Method 5: Similar Story or Situation Find a real life story (news article) that relates to your topic You may use famous or not-so-famous stories from the media, then draw a parallel between it and your topic. Use actual names, dates, and places.
Topic = the Importance of Family When September 11 th happened, sources report that there were thousands of phone calls made from people trapped in the Twin Towers to their families. I don’t think there were any calls of hatred or spite, or that anyone wasted their last words telling someone close to them they were still angry…….
Similar Story/Situation: The events that took place on September 11, 2001 in New York City and Washington D.C. left Americans shocked, upset, and angry. So many lives were lost because of the actions of terrorists. Additionally, many more lives were affected because of the newfound worry about traveling in planes or working in a high rise building. No one asked to have all of this inner strife, but rather it was forced upon everyone in the nation because of someone else. The same involuntary inner struggle happens in the play Inherit the Wind. Throughout the story, Rachel Brown is affected by inner conflict because of her relationship to her religious father and her revolutionary boyfriend accused of heresy, Bertram Cates. Rachel’s internal struggles are caused by the actions of the people around her including Colonel Brady, her friend Betram Cates, and the influence of her father’s religion.
Your Task! With your group you are to take the following thesis sentence and construct a meaningful introduction using the assigned introductory style. Then, make it big. Use colors and put the introduction you’ve written onto a poster for all to see. Get it approved by me, of course, before you hang it up.
“Every politician needs to improve the impact of their speech by knowing that the three most important parts of non- verbal communication are paralanguage, object language, and action language because they each add meaning to the words that are being expressed.”
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