The focal point of any piece of essay writing is in the thesis statement. A thesis can be either explicit, directly stating what the topic is, or implicit, presenting a more metaphorical view of the essay’s theme. However, a thesis should provide a sort of lens through which the author wants the reader to look at the topic at hand (at least for the duration of the essay), and a thesis can be in nearly anywhere in your paper’s text.

Some writers spend pages winding their way through (or around) a topic before coming to a legitimate thesis. At that point many writers go back to the beginning and put the thesis at the top of page one and start bringing that point down through the rest of the paper, attempting to relate other points in the paper to that one focal point.

Also, it is important to realize that this is only one view of writing introductions. There are many other workable methods and non-methods; in fact, nearly everyone has his or her own way of writing and of thinking about writing. Although one can start with the perspective shown here, developing one’s own unique style is probably the most important writing lesson that anyone can learn.

An Example to use:

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Hurrahing in Harvest uses his sprung/outrider rhythm technique to suggest that a love of God can lift man far from mortal concerns. Even though the narrator discovers himself nearly transported off the ground in his attempt to be more closely connected with God, we should not mistake such for the idea that Hopkins truly believes the sky to be God; he is using that metaphor to extend the concept that Christians must strive and truly desire to reach God. The fact that the narrator makes a physical connection is an indication of Hopkins’ aspiration to show an experiential connection with God.

What Should an Introduction Do?

This is the biggest one. Tell the reader what your problem is! Unless you are starting a mystery story, you want the reader to know nearly everything that will happen. Note: this does not mean that you ought to try to explain every detail in the opening paragraph (which would be nearly impossible to write and very boring to read); it does mean that you want the reader to be acquainted with the problem and ready to consider a wide range of potential solutions.

  • Take a position on your topic. Your introduction will be the tool you use to tell readers specifically how you are looking at things until the end of your paper.
  • Present some question or problem with at least one or more current viewpoints of your topic.
  • Provide the reader the scope you want to cover

In the above example I suggest that I will look at an aspect of a poem by Hopkins, which I have clearly defined in from the very beginning.

Although there are many ways to write introductions, I have demonstrated an excellent starting position.

Please also look at our page on conclusions.

Prepared by Robert Ward