How to Write an Essay Introduction
January 5, 2018
Introduction and conclusion are indispensable parts of academic essays and if you want to write essays which win only good grades you should learn how to write them following the high standards of excellence.
Functions of the good introduction in an essay are: identification of the topic, an indication of the areas which you are going to focus on, providing an essential context and most importantly engaging the interest of your readers. Functions of a good conclusion are: reinforcing the main idea of your essay, providing a sense of closure, leaving your readers with enough food for thought. The following tips will help you to understand how to write excellently forged introductions and conclusions for your essay.
Top 5 General Tips for Writing an Introduction
1. A lot of students spend too much time perfecting the introduction. Beware of this mistake of spending too much time on the introduction. The experience of many students shows that it is better to write the introduction after you have written body paragraph and conclusions.
2. In case you want to write the introduction first, because it feels logical and helps you to explore your own ideas on the topic, you should have a certain level of flexibility. Maybe you will need to compress or rewrite an introduction later.
3. In most cases, the introduction can be written in one paragraph and occupy about three-quarters of the page. Of course, it is possible to have a longer introduction, but you should always understand the reason why it should be made longer. In general, the size of the introduction is closely related to the size and complexity of the essay that you’re working on. For instance, a paper that’s thirty pages long may have a three-page introduction.
4. How to start an essay introduction? Try to get to the point as fast as you can. Identify your topic in the first sentences and avoid generalizations. Be very succinct and specific.
5. A thesis statement should appear closer to the end of the introductory part of the essay. This is not a ‘written in a stone rule’, but most essay introductions are organized this way.
Top 7 Tips to Capture the Attention of Your Readers from the Onset
1. Quote an expert in the area that you’re investigating. And don’t forget to introduce him or her!
2. If there are statistics which illustrate the significance of the problem that you’re analyzing – be sure to include it.
3. Is there a misconception that your thesis statement will dismantle? Mention it too.
4. Provide background information so that readers can understand your essay better.
5. If humor is appropriate and you can think of an anecdote that can explain why you have chosen this topic – write it in the introduction. If you’re working on an essay which requires personal reflection, mention the most relevant life experiences you had.
6. When working on a science paper, be sure to give explanations to the main scientific concepts.
7. In technical papers, give definition to terms which may be unknown to your audience but be central to understand the paper.
Top 3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Writing an Introduction
1. Don’t give dictionary definitions of words that your audience knows.
2. Don’t use professors wording if you’re repeating assignment’s specifications.
3. Don’t give in-depth explanations, because they should be given in body paragraphs.
Top 4 General Tips for Writing a Conclusion
1. Don’t think of conclusion as about simple restatement of your thesis or as about the summary of all that has been already mentioned. Although one of the functions of the conclusion is to summarize, you should do it with a fresh language and remind the reader how the content of your paper is connected to the thesis statement.
2. Think about the significance of what you have written and tell about it in the conclusion. What are the implications of your argument? Formulate them in the final thoughts of your conclusion.
3. Leave your readers with something to reflect on. A good conclusion is a thought-provoking conclusion.
4. In most cases, one paragraph is enough for a conclusion. However, in some situations, three paragraph conclusion may be necessary. As we have already mentioned, the length of conclusion depends on the overall length and complexity of the paper.
Top 7 Tips for Writing an Outstanding Conclusion
1. If you’re researching a modern problem in your essay, it would be efficient to show what will be the consequences of not solving these problems both for us and future generations.
2. Give recommendations on how to solve the situation.
3. If you have an opinion of the expert which perfectly matches your own conclusion – be sure to use it.
4. Provide visual image, fact or spectacular statistic to showcase the most important idea of your paper.
5. If you’re working on an essay which requires personal reflection, conclude with the relevant situation from your own life.
6. If you have used a quotation, an anecdote or an example in the introduction, return to it but add insights which were discovered in the body of the essay.
7. In science paper, indicate valuable routes of further research on the investigated topic.
The Influence of Genre on Introduction and Conclusion
In this article, we have listed general advice on how to start an essay introduction. However, these rules can’t be applied to all types of essays because different essay genres require different beginnings and endings. There are academic types of writing which don’t require introduction or conclusion at all – for instance, annotated bibliography. There are also genres that have introduction but no conclusion – for example, a policy briefing has a list of recommendations instead of the conclusion.
Knowing this, you should be well informed about the specifics of your assignment in order to know if you should include introduction and conclusion in your academic work.