Thursday, 13 July 2017

Writing an Essay Introduction: What to Do

The Purpose of an Essay Introduction

Your introduction is the first paragraph of your essay or the first section of your article or dissertation. It should be short and concise, and fill a few basic functions:
·         Give information that the reader needs in order to understand your writing and the points you are making
·         Introduce the main idea (thesis, argument, contention or premise) that the rest of your research will focus on
·         Explain to the reader the type of writing that you’re doing and the aims and objectives of your work
·         Spark interest in the reader, so that they’ll want to continue reading your work

Your introduction is a road map of your essay, telling the reader what they’ll find within your essay and all of the steps you’ll take to reach your conclusion. When your professor, supervisor or anyone else reads your introduction, they should know exactly what the rest of the essay will look like. There shouldn’t be anything that catches them totally by surprise in the rest of your essay. They should know what you will say and they should already see the logic of your essay based only on these first few lines.

You need to introduce the subject of your essay, telling them the field you are working in, the concepts you are working with and any other basic information about your research topic that they need to know.

Your introduction creates interest by showing what angle you will take in your analysis or discussion. You need to show that you’re looking at the information provided in a new way, thinking about something deeply, or taking your own perspective on ideas, concepts, cultural artifacts or scientific data. If you can clearly state your intentions, and show this interesting new angle that you’re taking, the reader will want to keep reading in order to find out more. We’ll explain how to do this later in the guide.

For a college research essay, your introduction should be about four to seven sentences in length, anywhere between about 80 – 200 words. Try and keep it brief; you shouldn’t go into providing support for your thesis statement in your introduction, but you should only explain your main idea and the evidence or support you will look at.

There are three components to an introduction, namely context, a thesis statement, and an overview of your essay. We’ll go through each section in some detail and give examples of each.

Review Your Learning:
·         An introduction is a roadmap to your essay, telling the reader exactly what they’ll find in terms of your subject, your main contention and the support you will use
·         The introduction creates interest by showing the way you’ll approach the data and the original ideas or perspectives you’ll take
·         Your introduction consists of context, a thesis statement and an overview