The adage "Well begun is half done" holds true especially in the world of writing. The importance of a good introduction is most noticeable in essays, no matter what topic you write about. A well-written introduction is often the deciding factor between an essay being adjudged as informative and entertaining, or boring and ordinary.
An introduction can be written in many ways, but all good introductions essentially consist of the following components:
Writing a concise and interesting introduction requires considerable effort on the part of the writer. But there are certain measures you can take to make the process easier. Here are a few guidelines:
Many writers often complete writing the essay and then find that their introduction and main body lack cohesion. To prevent this from occurring, devote adequate time to thinking your essay through. Ensure that the introduction you write lays the foundation for the arguments you want to make in the rest of your essay. One method of doing so is to write the introduction after you write the rest of the essay. Doing so gives you the liberty of using the rest of your essay as a reference to shape your introduction.
The opening statement or 'hook' is of paramount importance in the introduction. Ensure that the opening sentence captures the attention of your readers and makes them want to read the rest of the essay. Witty anecdotes, quotes, references to historical events and excerpts from personal experiences are surefire tactics of piquing the reader's interest. Using examples you are sure readers will relate to is also a very effective method. Be careful not to make the scope of the hook too broad. Also, ensure that it covers all necessary aspects without losing sight of the main points the essay wants to make.
You should be prepared for the eventuality that your target audience is not well-versed with the subject of the essay. Use the introduction to acquaint your readers with the object of discussion. Mention some useful facts such as historical background, past research or just some trivia to help readers better understand the essay. Use every opportunity you get to substantiate your introduction and make it succinct and easy to follow.
Never begin writing an essay without formulating your thesis. Ensure that you craft one that is unique and encourages the readers to engage in analysis and discussion. Do not make the mistake of selecting a thesis that is vague and cannot be proved. Familiarize yourself with all its aspects, and make it striking and specific.
The last few sentences of the essay should facilitate a seamless transition to the rest of the essay. The best method of doing so is to conclude the introduction with the thesis. On occasions when it is impossible to do so, make use of one or two short sentences to move on to the rest of your essay, and start making your arguments. Ensure that the readers do not find this transition jarring or awkward.
Following the above-mentioned steps should make the process of writing an introduction significantly easier!
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