Arguably the most important part of an academic essay, research assignment or term paper, the basic introduction paragraph should attempt to accomplish three several specific objectives.
Arguably the most important part of an academic essay, research assignment or term paper, the basic introduction paragraph should attempt to accomplish three specific objectives:
• Introduce the topic the student is covering, exploring or analyzing – indicating that topic’s relevance, or the writer’s interest in its application, and the kind of frame and context in which it will be discussed
• Indicate how the essay will be structured, clearly stating the major transitions and sections, themes and points that will comprise it
• State the thesis of the essay – the statement or theory that will be put forward as a premise for the rest of the paper; the issue being argued
An introduction paragraph’s content may vary according to the assignment (the assignment could be a persuasive essay, general research paper, a thesis or dissertation paper), but the student writing the persuasive essay – which argues a point that is defended with evidence – usually follows a basic set of guidelines.
Craft a Solid Thesis Statement
This is done when the student-writer narrows the focus of their argument after finding substantial evidence that supports that argument; once a Thesis Statement has been chosen, sculpted and strengthened, the student can plan and outline the rest of the essay. This enables the student to craft an interesting topic sentence, which will be addressed in step 3.
Outline the Rest of the Essay, Paragraph by Paragraph
In many cases, the introduction paragraph will read almost like an outline for the rest of the paper – it should have an introduction, a declared Thesis Statement, and its supporting evidence, and a conclusion tying it all together.
Write a Topic Sentence – or Two
Generally, the first sentence or so of an essay, the topic sentence/s generally helps the reader ease into reading the essay. The topic sentence also helps the writer organize the introductory paragraph, building up to the thesis; ultimately the topic sentence serves as a signpost for the argument. It also defines the scope of the paragraph. Topic sentences announce the boundaries and context of the subject, the issue or overall topic being examined, analyzed or evaluated, explaining why it is important, relevant and pertinent in an academic setting and worth discussing at length. A topic sentence may be a simple anecdote, could be a question or even a famous quote, but not without explaining why it is important and worth discussing.
Follow with the Thesis Statement
By this time the student should have a solid, concise argument, which can be written in one to two sentences at the very most.
Include the Points That Support the Argument – but Keep Them Brief
This part of the introduction paragraph aims to indicate the points in the body paragraphs that will defend the paper’s thesis, the essay’s fundamental argument. They should not be too specific, nor be very long in length.
Of course, not every introductory paragraph will follow this order precisely; however, this is a basic outline for a student writing the persuasive essay for the first time.
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