Introductions in an essay

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The order of items above is the best order to present each part of the introduction: get the reader's attention, move toward the thesis statement, and then present the thesis statement. The thesis statement usually is most effective as just one sentence at the end of the introduction, so you should avoid presenting the thesis statement as the first sentence of the introduction and should avoid presenting the thesis statement in more than one sentence. (Information about thesis statements is presented on The Thesis Statement Web page.)

[1] According to Paul Ratsmith, the tenuous, but nonetheless important, relationship between pumpkins and rats is little understood: "While I've always been fascinated by this natural kinship, the connection between pumpkins and rats has been the subject of few, if any, other studies" (2008). [2] Ratsmith has been studying this connection, something he coined "pumpkinology," since the early 1990s. He is most well-known for documenting the three years he spent living in the wild among the pumpkins and rats. [3] Though it is a topic of little recent interest, the relationship has been noted in several ancient texts and seems to have been well understood by the Romans. Critics of Ratsmith have cited poor science and questionable methodology when dismissing his results, going so far as to call pumpkinology "rubbish" (de Vil, 2009), "stupid" (Claw, 2010), and "quite possibly made up" (Igthorn, 2009). [4] Despite these criticisms, there does appear to be a strong correlation between pumpkin patches and rat populations, with Ratsmith documenting numerous pumpkin–rat colonies across North America, leading to the conclusion that pumpkins and rats are indeed "nature's best friends" (2008).

The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:

  • Startling information
    This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn't need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make.
    If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration .
  • Anecdote
    An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point.
    Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.
  • Dialogue
    An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.
    Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration .
  • Summary Information
    A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.
  • If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement.
  • Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement. Conclusion The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.

    Introductions in an essay

    introductions in an essay

    The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:

    • Startling information
      This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn't need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make.
      If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration .
    • Anecdote
      An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point.
      Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.
    • Dialogue
      An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.
      Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration .
    • Summary Information
      A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.
  • If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement.
  • Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement. Conclusion The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.

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