Writingan introduction

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  • 1. HOW TO WRITE
    AN INTRODUCTION
  • 2. General
    • The purpose of an introduction is to prepare
    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!
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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.
  • 8. 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.
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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.
  • 12. 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.
  • 13. 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).
  • 14. 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.
  • 15. 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.