for Writing Introductions
Introductions act as a funnel; in
other words, they move from relevant, general information regarding your
subject to the specific, often culminating in a thesis statement, which
usually occurs in the last sentence of the introduction. Introductions will usually…
Offer the thesis, or argument, the essay will develop
Engage and interest your readers
Articulate why the topic matters
Establish your authority and credibility as a writer
Here are several ideas you should try and incorporate into your paper’s introduction.
Challenge a commonly held view
Begin with a definition: Using “the Strip” essay as an example, a writer could probably include another effective introductory strategy, defining the criteria for “The Governor’s Best Small Town Award” and contrast those criteria to the actual conditions of the Strip. Beginning with a definition is a reliable way to introduce a topic, so long as that definition has some significance for the discussion to follow. If the definition doesn’t do any conceptual work in the introduction, the definition strategy becomes a pointless cliché. For example, “Bowling is a game where people roll a ball and knock over bowling pins.”
Lead-in with Your Second Best
Example: Another versatile opening strategy is to use your second best
example to set up the issue or question that you later develop in depth
with your best example. As
you are assembling examples and evidence to illustrate your thesis, in
many cases you will accumulate a number of examples that illustrate the
same basic point. For
example, several battles might illustrate a particular general’s
military strategy; several primaries might exemplify how a particular
candidate tailors his or her speeches to appeal to the single mothers;
several scenes might show how a particular playwright romanticizes the
working class, and so on.
An Element of Surprise: That cute, hairy monkey nibbling on a banana is what some scientists believe to be the culprit of the AIDS epidemic that has taken, and will continue to take, countless lives throughout the world.
Contradiction & Use of Statistics: According to the Phillip Morris Corporation, “nicotine is an addictive substance to zero percent of the population” (Avery 35). Independent scientists and the Surgeon General report that at least “one out of four Americans are addicted to various tobacco products” (Gator 169).
Authoritative Statement: Having smoked for fifteen years, Walter Jennings is qualified to discuss the addictive qualities of nicotine.
Use of a Quotation: Shakespeare’s MacBeth once lamented, “Life is a tale told by an idiot.” Recent developments in the power outages in New York seem to make our country’s decision to deregulate public utilities no exception to Shakespeare’s pessimism. .
Reference to a Current Event: Since the assault of a woman by two men at the Mall, public safety has once again resurfaced in Carbondale, Illinois.
Figure of Speech: Becoming a new CCHS student resembles a pilot taking on a new airplane; both are capable, but both are unfamiliar with the territory.