The Role of Introductions
The introduction plays a key role in presenting a paper’s topic and in serving as the initial source of intrigue for the audience. An effective introduction simultaneously offers information about the subject and hooks the reader’s attention. The opening paragraph provides the opportunity to make a good first impression, and to introduce the audience to your main point/argument, along with your quality and style of writing.
A thesis statement is a sentence or two that typically falls at the end of the introductory paragraph and serves to inform the reader of the paper’s main points.
Good thesis statements should:
- Tell the reader what to expect in the rest of your paper
- Directly answer the question or prompt of the assignment
- Avoid vague wording (be clear and concise)
- Inform the reader of the significance of the paper’s main point
- Make claims that can be supported and disputed by the evidence provided
- Be placed near or at the end of the introduction paragraph
- Not be more than two sentences
- Reflect what is discussed in the body of the paper
Types of Introductions
Depending on the kind of paper, some introductory paragraphs may work better than others. Here are a few examples of the different types of introductions:
Introductions to Avoid
Announcements are statements that bluntly say what the paper or essay is about, and they compromise the formal tone of educated writing. Opening a paper with an announcement should be avoided.
Other Intros to Avoid
- Book report style: Listing information and facts that are not relevant to the thesis
- Space filler: Vague statements that show lack of depth or understanding on the topic
- “Thesis Statements.” The Writing Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2 Mar.