Effective Introductions and
good introduction does three things:
It gets the reader’s attention.
It provides background information.
It focuses the reader’s attention on the main idea
of the paper.
bother with a good introduction?
You don’t get a second chance to make a first
It lets the reader know what to expect.
Hopefully, it will make the reader WANT to read
Write a tentative introduction and change it later.
Write your introduction last.
Use an attention getter or hook.
Be straightforward and confident.
Attention Getters (Hooks)
Use an interesting quote
Use an intriguing example
Ask a thought-provoking question
Write a shocking statistic
Describe something or tell a story
Use a metaphor
Guess the Hook
The boys' restroom at my high school was disgusting. The concrete
walls of the restroom carried crude messages scratched into their
fading green paint. All of the doors had been torn off the hinges, so
there was no privacy. And the drains were nearly always clogged with
the paper towels that had been left in the sinks rather than thrown in
the trash. Paper towels, cigarette butts, and candy wrappers littered
the dirty, wet floor. But the thing I found most disgusting was the
tobacco juice that stained everything-toilets, wash basins, even the
floors. This filthy bathroom reflected the attitudes of the students in
this inner-city school who had as little respect for authority and
learning as they did for property.
Guess the Hook
Like the beds in the house of the three bears that
Goldilocks tried, some schools are too hard, some are too
soft, and some are just right. A school in which the rules
restrict the imagination and creativity of the students is
too hard. One in which there are too few rules often lacks
an environment where learning can take place. In a school
that is just right, students' and teachers' rights are not
violated by out-of-control students, yet everyone has the
freedom that is essential to real learning.
Simply taking up the space by not saying much.
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
to Avoid (con’t)
Using the Webster’s Dictionary introduction
Webster's dictionary defines slavery as "the state of
being a slave," as "the practice of owning slaves," and as "a
condition of hard work and subjection."
to Avoid (con’t)
Don’t use trite expressions, such as “In today’s
society, or “For as long as man has existed.”
“In this essay/paper, I will tell you…”
“My name is _______ and I am going to tell you…
Are these introductions effective?
there a hook?
Does it focus your attention?
Is background information provided?
Every writer experiences that moment: she walks into a bookstore,
looks at the nearest display of whatever book is the “hot seller” that
week, and wonders, “How can someone write something that bad and
get published, but I can’t?” The publishing industry is known for being
hyper-competitive and almost as fickle as the field of fashion design.
With thousands of talented, unknown writers vying to get discovered,
sometimes it seems like the answer to the question of “who gets a
publishing deal this week” is as random, and as risky, as a game of
Russian roulette. Writers seeking to take control of their careers and
their lives need to re-evaluate the typical publishing cycle and consider
whether or not self-publishing is a viable option. Self-publishing is an
accessible means of pursuing the business of authorship, allows a
writer to exercise more control over her intellectual property, and gives
a writer the flexibility to promote her writing in a way that she finds
acceptable and effective.
When Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy, was first
published in 1891, it was released in serial version for The
Graphic magazine and was heavily edited to provide for the
Victorian sense of modesty and decency. Many important parts
of the novel were omitted, moved, or simply altered, destroying
some of the novel's literary and symbolic meaning. Some of
these differences between the original and edited versions
completely altered the storyline of the novel, making it hard for
readers to identify with characters and understand the
motivation behind their actions. The edits made to Hardy's
original version alter vital sections of the novel, de-emphasizing
themes and character development in the process.
Educators debate extending high school to five years because
of increasing demands on students from employers and
colleges to participate in extracurricular activies and community
service in addition to having high grades. Some educators
support extending high school to five years because they think
students need more time to achieve all that is expected of
them. Other educators do not support extending high school to
five years because they think students would lose interest in
school and attendance would drop in the fifth year. Both sides
have strong points, but I agree with the educators who say that
their shouldn't be an extension to high school adding a fifth
If you ever ask a highschool student whether they
would want to go one more year very few would say
yes. I would, not because I like school, not because I
enjoy spending six hours cooped up inside, but
because I could use one more year to just be sure I
am completely prepared for college. Along with this I
feel that because we are required to take tenth grade
graduation test and most of our tenth grade year is
spent preparing for this test.
Gives the reader a sense of completion
Re-emphasizes the thesis in some way
May briefly summarize the main points
Confirms the reader’s understanding of what he
or she read
bother with a good
Readers often remember it the most.
Restatement of main idea. The main idea may be reemphasized or reinforced. If you choose this type of
conclusion be sure not to merely repeat your thesis. You
not only should vary the wording so that your conclusion is
not too similar to your introduction but should also try to get
beyond your thesis statement.
General impression. If your essay is basically a
description of an experience or of some person, place, or
thing, an effective conclusion might consist of a statement
of the dominant impression you have attempted to convey.
Recommendation. An essay can be concluded with a
suggestion for some action the writer feels should be taken.
This type of conclusion is especially appropriate if the main
idea is a controversial statement or one that is persuasive in
Prediction. Even though a conclusion is the final part of an
essay, it can be used to make a prediction on the basis of
the major points made in the essay. This prediction should
be closely related to the content of the essay, giving a
reasonable explanation of what may happen.
Do not contradict yourself.
Do not introduce a new topic.
Do not end with a cliché.
Do not apologize for lack of knowledge or
Make your conclusion brief and to the point.
Make sure the tone is consistent with the rest of