Writing an Introduction• Purpose• How-To• Mistakes to avoid• Special Cases
PurposeO An introduction prepares readers for what is to follow by:1. Engaging readers2. Narrowing topic3. Presenting background information4. Presenting thesis
Which comes first???Introduction Body?Body Introduction?Whichever you choose, you should have aclear thesis in mind before you begin.
Engage ReadersO Brief storyO Relevant quotationO Question commonly held beliefO Explain importanceO Pose provocative questionO Make a comparison
Narrow TopicO Go from general to specific Opening sentence Background informationThesis Statement
How Long????O Short answer? It depends.The longer your paper,the longer your introduction.Keep it inproportion!!
The all important THESIS STATEMENTO Central idea of your paper Is it suitable? Is it specific? Is it significant?
Mistakes to avoidO AnnouncementsO Too longO Nonacademic toneO Unclear thesisO Second person point of view`
Special CasesAlthough the purpose of your paper andyour instructor’s requirements will dictatemuch about your introduction, there aresome general points to be made aboutspecific assignments.
NarrativesO Writers may not want to state a thesis or main point, since that limits the chance to build suspense in the story.O Instead, the introduction is often used to explain the setting and introduce characters.
ArgumentsO Take a clear position on a debatable issue and outline your direction for defending it.O May acknowledge a counterargument.O Writer’s authority is sometimes established here.
Literary AnalysisIn addition to engaging readers, this kind ofintroduction should also:O name the title and author of the work being analyzedO suggest why your paper is useful or important
For more help withcrafting a thesisstatement, check outour Mini Workshop onThesis Statements.You may also find ourworkshop on WritingEffective Conclusionsto be helpful.