Tips for Writing an Introduction
What are the main functions of an introductory paragraph?
The main functions are to get the readers' attention and encourage them to read more. The introduction
can also interpret the title, establish the importance of the topic, identify the issue(s), clarify problematic
terms, and indicate the structure of the rest of the essay.
How can you get readers interested and encourage them to keep reading?
The easiest way is making sure the information is new and interesting to the target audience.
What is context in a paper?
The context is the situation or place of the paper in the world or general affairs. A paper about war might
have the context of Ancient China or modern Africa. Different audiences are interested in different
contexts. Allthough, a good essay shows universal connections. Introductions often describe the wider,
more general context, while the body may contain more specific details.
How does the introduction outline the main argument?
This is the job of the thesis statement. A thesis statement gives the main point-of-view and often
contains three or more brief points in support of the argument. These later become paragraphs in the
body of the paper.
How does the introduction summarize the essay?
By including your point of view and a few brief reasons, the introduction allows readers to see whether or
not they generally agree or disagree with you. These also allows them to decide whether it is worth their
time to read more.
Techniques for developing an introduction:
Relate to the well known Use data, statistics, and startling evidence
Use a brief quotation Spin off from or take exception to critical views
Challenge an assumption Combine your thesis with critical source materials
Provide a brief summary Review (briefly) the literature on your topic
Things to avoid in an introduction
A purpose statement: "The purpose of the paper is..." Repetition of the title
Complex or difficult questions Simple dictionary definitions
Humor - Research papers are serious studies of an issue. Artwork and cute lettering