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Write Your Essay: Step-by-Step Guide
An overview of the skills needed for academic and professional success. Focus is on enhancing communication and critical thinking skills. Assignments provide familiarity with tools such as social media and library and information resources. APA style and resources are also addressed. Skip to Main Content.
Essay Introductions Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments. You also want to do that in a way that is fresh and original. Instead, you might try one of the following techniques: Offer a surprising statistic that conveys something about the problem to be addressed in the paper.
Perhaps you can find an interesting quote that nicely sums up your argument. Use rhetorical questions that place your readers in a different situation in order to get them thinking about your topic in a new way. If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved. Attending college on a track scholarship, she was earning good grades and making lots of friends. This section helps the reader see why you are focusing on this topic and makes the transition to the main point of your paper.
Therefore, you need to bridge the gap between your attention-grabber and your thesis with some transitional discussion.
In this part of your introduction, you narrow your focus of the topic and explain why the attention-grabber is relevant to the specific area you will be discussing. You should introduce your specific topic and provide any necessary background information that the reader would need in order to understand the problem that you are presenting in the paper.
You can also define any key terms the reader might not know. Continuing with the example above, we might move from the narrative about Michelle to a short discussion of the scope of the problem of drunk drivers. Each year XX number of lives are lost due to drunk-driving accidents.go here
Beginning the Academic Essay |
This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving. Finally, the introduction must conclude with a clear statement of the overall point you want to make in the paper. In this scenario, your thesis would be the point you are trying to make about drunk driving.
- Step 2 - The First Sentence;
- How to Write an Essay Introduction: Tips and Tricks.
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You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. Whatever the case, your thesis would clearly state the main point your paper is trying to make. This gives the reader a general sense of how you will organize the different points that follow throughout the essay. A final note: In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper.
In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper. Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.
Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length. If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit! Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question:. Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible.
The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it. At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me.
How do I write an interesting, effective introduction?
Try instead to be more general and you will have your reader hooked. The middle paragraphs of the essay are collectively known as the body paragraphs and, as alluded to above, the main purpose of a body paragraph is to spell out in detail the examples that support your thesis.
For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point as in the case of chronological explanations is required. The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph. A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "LeBron James" is not enough, however.
No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant. Even the most famous examples need context. The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them.
To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life in general or event in particular you believe most clearly illustrates your point. Having done that, you then need to explain exactly why this example proves your thesis. The importance of this step cannot be understated although it clearly can be underlined ; this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.
Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant. The first sentence — the topic sentence - of your body paragraphs needs to have a lot individual pieces to be truly effective. Not only should it open with a transition that signals the change from one idea to the next but also it should ideally also have a common thread which ties all of the body paragraphs together.
For example, if you used "first" in the first body paragraph then you should used "secondly" in the second or "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" accordingly. Examples should be relevant to the thesis and so should the explanatory details you provide for them. It can be hard to summarize the full richness of a given example in just a few lines so make them count.
If you are trying to explain why George Washington is a great example of a strong leader, for instance, his childhood adventure with the cherry tree though interesting in another essay should probably be skipped over.
How to Write an Introduction
You may have noticed that, though the above paragraph aligns pretty closely with the provided outline, there is one large exception: the first few words. These words are example of a transitional phrase — others include "furthermore," "moreover," but also "by contrast" and "on the other hand" — and are the hallmark of good writing. Transitional phrases are useful for showing the reader where one section ends and another begins. It may be helpful to see them as the written equivalent of the kinds of spoken cues used in formal speeches that signal the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another.
In essence, they lead the reader from one section of the paragraph of another. Hopefully this example not only provides another example of an effective body paragraph but also illustrates how transitional phrases can be used to distinguish between them. Although the conclusion paragraph comes at the end of your essay it should not be seen as an afterthought. As the final paragraph is represents your last chance to make your case and, as such, should follow an extremely rigid format.
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