Introduction drafted together in class on 09/16/09:

The introduction below was roughly crafted in class together.  It isn't the epitome of a perfect introduction and could be edited for improvement.  However, it does contain the three main elements of an introduction we discussed:

Attention Getter:  Something that catches the reader's attention.  A joke, quote, question, statement of fact, etc.  It should be related to the major ideas of the essay.

Preview:  A general overview of the main idea of the essay.  Our essay is a reflection based on the articles we've read related to problems with education.  We offer an overview of some of the major issues present across many of the articles.

Thesis:  The final sentence of your introduction.  It is the roadmap or GPS for the rest of your essay.  Traditionally it lists the main ideas of your essay in the order that they will appear.  We talked about ways to start writing an introduction; you can begin with "In this essay I am going to blah, blah, blah."   This is not a good thesis.  This is an example of an announcement, which doesn't make for a good thesis.  However, we began using this as a scaffold then reworded the thesis to stand on its own without the announcement.  A good strategy when you are stuck.

The text below is coded according the the elements above.   The attention getter is underlined, the preview is italicized, and the thesis is in bold.

Why do some teachers just pass students along who can't read or aren't prepared?  Preparation is a major issue in education.  Students at all levels, grade school through college, are just being passed along.  In some cases, students care more about their appearances and fitting in than grades.  Some even feel pressured to cheat to get ahead.  A few of the major factors that affects student education are difficult transitions, peer pressure and cheating.

For more information on introductions, see the Writing Links page.