Perhaps an anecdote about that time your friend read Moby Dick and hated it is not the best way to go. The same is true for statistics, quotes, and other types of information about your topic. Starting your essay with a definition is a good example of one of these conventions.
At this point, starting with a definition is a bit boring, and will cause your reader to tune out. If you are having trouble with your intro, feel free to write some, or all, of your body paragraphs, and then come back to it.
Convince the reader that your essay is worth reading. Your reader should finish the introduction thinking that the essay is interesting or has some sort of relevance to their lives. A good introduction is engaging; it gets the audience thinking about the topic at hand and wondering how you will be proving your argument. Good ways to convince your reader that your essay is worthwhile is to provide information that the reader might question or disagree with.
Use imagery, details, and sensory information to connect with the reader if you can. One way to do this is to come up with a brilliant opening line.
When you begin writing a new piece, think about what your readers want or need to know. Use your knowledge of the topic to craft an opening line that will satisfy that need. Make your introductory paragraph brief. Typically, just three or four sentences are enough to set the stage for both long and short essays.
Should You Write the Intro First? Keep in mind that you can always adjust your introductory paragraph later. Sometimes you just have to start writing. You can start at the beginning or dive right into the heart of your essay. Your first draft may not have the best opening, but as you continue to write, new ideas will come to you and your thoughts will develop a clearer focus.
Take note of these and, as you work through revisions , refine and edit your opening. If you're struggling with the opening, follow the lead of other writers and skip it for the moment. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end.
You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started.
Consider these options remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers : an intriguing example—for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery. Pay special attention to your first sentence.
Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction. Five kinds of less effective introductions 1. The placeholder introduction. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.
Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people. The restated question introduction.
Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured.
Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery. These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or two. George Orwell, "A Hanging," Recount an incident that dramatizes your subject. One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill.
She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low.
I nodded, and my heart knocked. They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl.
Lee Zacharias, "Buzzards. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy--his and mine--to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us.
They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five. Ryan Van Meter, "First.
Baker, Jr. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.
Go ahead and add an anecdote about a person who was injured while riding a roller coaster. A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday.
A good introduction to essay catches attention and makes your reader engaged right from the very start. Most of the rats—customers, I mean—follow a routine pattern, strolling up and down the aisles, checking through my chute, and then escaping through the exit hatch. Again, keep your sentences clear and straightforward. Anecdotes can be an interesting opener to your essay, but only if the anecdote in question is truly relevant to your topic.
Your introduction should provide the reader with a sense of what they should expect out of your essay, not to expound upon every piece of knowledge ever developed by man. One way to do this is to come up with a brilliant opening line. The role of introductions Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Get the main focus clear.
The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. How can the narrator be happy after all that sorrow? After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.
What is an Introduction in an Essay Let us start with the definition of what is an introduction to an essay. The distinction is, as always, moral. We are both five.
The restated question introduction. Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery. Updated February 14, An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates.