Next on Tips for Writing Essays we deal with introduction.
For many novices, the introduction is their baptism of fire into the world of essay writing. After all, choosing, brainstorming and researching the topic can be successfully done with the help of teachers and fellow students. The introduction is another story altogether as your helpers will not be so willing to spoon feed this far.
The importance of the introduction in an essay cannot be overemphasized. You should be able to capture the reader's interest, provide the general idea of the essay's focus, and stress its importance.
It might seem like a very difficult proposition to achieve. However, if you have chosen your topic well, done your research well and made your outline well, your introduction should be a breeze to make.
Let these tips and techniques make your introduction fulfil the purposes for which it is included in your essay as mentioned above. Keep in mind that each suggestion is equally important in relation to the other recommendations.
First, it is necessary to provide background information on the topic. This can be confined to just one paragraph with 3 to 4 medium-length sentences, of which the assumption is that your reader is not well-versed with the ideas to be presented in the essay body.
Basically, you should grab the reader's attention at the first sentence, which will depend on the kind of essay. For argumentative essays, it is best to start with startling information followed by 1-2 sentences elaborating on it. For narrative and descriptive essays, an anecdote is a good way to tap into the reader's sense of humor, of empathy and of humanity. For comparative essays, go for a short dialogue between the two opposing ideas in the essay followed by 1-2 elaborative statements.
Second, and in relation to the first tip, your thesis statement must come after your introductory statements. You want to reel in the reader before presenting your thesis, which may or may not coincide with said reader's beliefs in the matter. By then, however, he will have been too hooked into the essay to leave it at that point.
The best point to introduce your thesis statement is on the second paragraph of the introduction part of the essay. As such, it is often necessary to introduce a transition sentence in order to ensure a smooth flow, which will make the thesis statement part of the introduction instead of a disjointed assertion.
Third, you should write in a clear, concise and crisp manner. In most essays, it is important to make your point every step of the way and, hence, flowery words are unwelcome, unnecessary and unwarranted.
Also, it is best to consider your audience. Fancy words may impress but it will not necessarily make your essay very good in terms of putting your message across. As much as possible, you have to stick to plain words that can be understood even by a fifth grader. Unless of course, you are writing an essay meant for high-brow readers, then be as fancy as you want.
A good introduction is an opportunity to make a good impression. As such, think it over carefully as it can make or break your audience share, even if it is just your teacher reading and grading it.
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