the reader for the body of writing that comes after it. You know what you are writing about and why. But unless you inform your readers of this in an introduction, they will feel lost and judge your essay to be an unclear piece of work!
A good introduction: Indicates the topic that the essay is about Explains the point of writing the essay; the point of writing an essay is usually to argue for a thesis, so you will need to explain what thesis you argue for and how you argue for it – this is called a thesis-statement, and most essay introductions include one. In this paper, your thesis will be your definition of Excellence in Leadership.
First example Here is how someone new to academic essays may write the introduction (the topic-sentence is in red, essay structure in blue, thesis in yellow): This essay is about the issue of body-checking in junior ice-hockey.First, arguments for a ban on body-checking are examined. Second, arguments against a ban are discussed.It is shown that pro- ban arguments are stronger than anti-ban arguments. Therefore, the thesis of this essay is that body-checking in junior ice-hockey should be banned.
Discussion of first example The topic-sentence could be improved. Rather than writing: “This essay is about…” it would be better to write a few topic- sentences that convey a sense of the current state of the topic. This not only tells the reader what the topic is but it also gives the impression that you are knowledgeable about the topic and in command of your research material.
Discussion of first example The thesis-sentences could be better. Instead of writing: “Therefore, the thesis of this essay is…” simply give a bold, factual sentence that expresses your position on the issue. This conveys an air of confidence, unlike the phrase “…the thesis of this essay…” which is timid and non-committal.
Second example The introduction on the next slide takes these points into account. Compare it with the previous introduction and note how wording the three main elements differently can improve the impact that the introduction has on the reader.
Second example Body-checking has always been a controversial issue. However, the recent decision of Hockey Canada to allow some hockey associations to permit body-checking among players as young as nine years of age, on an experimental basis, has aggravated the controversy quite considerably in recent months.Perspectives fall into three main categories: viewpoints of fans, the official standpoint of Hockey Canada, and positions held by the scientific community.Evaluation of the main arguments shows quite clearly that Hockey Canada’s decision to allow body-checking in some junior games, even on an experimental basis, is a serious mistake.
Practice! Practice writing introductions without using phrases such as “the topic of this essay…” or “the thesis argued for is…” or any “I” statements Expressing the topic without using words like topic or subject may be particularly challenging because it is easy to include too much detail and end up with an unintended body-paragraph.
Frequently asked questions 1. How long should my introduction be? One common mistake is to write an introduction that is too long; the introduction is so detailed that it is indistinguishable from the body of the essay! 5-10 sentences, but length can vary based on total length of assignment Should be less than 10% of the total writing assignment
Frequently asked questions 2. How detailed should the introduction be? Another common mistake is that the introduction is so detailed that it fails to indicate the topic of the essay in a clear way! The introduction only needs to state the topic, general structure, and thesis of the essay.
Frequently asked questions 3. Why am I finding it hard to write the introduction? The introduction must indicate the topic, structure and thesis of the essay. If you are not completely sure about any of these things, you will find it hard or even impossible to write an introduction. Writer’s block can happen when you try to write the introduction before you have done sufficient reading and research on the topic.
Frequently asked questions 4. What is an introduction for? Is it a summary? An introduction is not a summary. A summary repeats the main ideas of an essay. An introduction introduces the reader to the topic of the essay, describes the organizational structure of the essay, and explains the point of the essay (the thesis argued for).
Frequently asked questions 5. What should I put in my introduction? Do not try to pack everything into the introduction. It would then not be an introduction at all! An essay introduction does not need to do more than tell the reader the topic of the essay, describe how the body of the essay is organized, and explain the thesis that you argue for in the essay.
For Your Introduction The Topic of the essay is leadership, so you want to begin with some general statements on leadership and the importance of leadership. The Organization of the body will be your subtitles – very often the people characters, or groups you are doing - so you want to indicate them. Your Thesis is your definition of excellence.