Lesson 10: Writing An Effective Introduction
In this lesson, we’ll be taking a look at how to write a good introduction.
- To discuss how to write an effective introduction
- To discuss the importance of an introduction
- To discuss what to do and what not to do when writing your introduction
In this lesson we’ll be focusing on the introduction. In the previous lesson we were able to discuss the introduction very briefly. We were able to establish that this part of your English composition is a completely different animal that the body of your paper. We were able to talk about how it should be written after the body of the essay. This is very important because it gives you something to introduce.
Begin With a Fascinating Question
This is meant to pique your audience’s interest: when writing the question or the hook, ask yourself what drew you to this topic—what about this subject made you decide to write a paper on it? If you were assigned the topic, ask yourself what about it fascinates you? While it’s important to make this question interesting, it’s also important that your question is relevant to the paper. For example, the question what happened to Amelia Earhart’s plane? is definitely fascinating but it has no business being in an introduction about enzymes and protein synthesis. You should build your question around the study or the outline which you already made in the earlier stages of the study.
Talk About Method
The introduction is also meant to introduce what it was that you did or what it was that transpired over the course of the paper. This allows you to set the readers’ expectations—for example, if you’re writing a paper that discusses a methodology about statistics, then the reader knows that this is a quantitative paper or study. On the other hand, if you discuss a methodology that talks about Focus Group Discussions or interviews, then your readers know that your paper is mostly qualitative. This is very important because it determines whether or not your paper is truthful and whether or not your readers are able to learn something. However, be careful not to go into too detailed an explanation of your methodology—that should be in a separate section.
Touch on Key Challenges
This is important because it gives your readers an idea as to why this study hasn’t been done before. It also gives them a gauge as to the level of difficulty of your paper. This allows them to properly evaluate the work you’ve done. If they’re reading your paper in the hopes of writing something related to the topic, this gives them a heads-up for what to expect should they undertake a similar endeavor.
Introduce Your Conclusion
It seems odd to write about the end of a paper at the beginning of it, but this has to be done because the introduction is also meant to give the reader a glimpse of where your study stands. You should touch very briefly (in no more than 5 sentences)on what your end-conclusion about the topic was. For example, if you’re writing a critical paper on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, you should talk a little about what your final verdict on the work is: did you like it? Didn’t you?
Ask More Questions
No matter how hard we work on our English compositions, we can hardly ever say anything completely final about anything—it takes years of study to be able to come up with a law or a postulate. Because of this, we need to be honest about our processes and that includes asking more questions—now that you (if you) were able to answer your primary question, what new questions have come to mind? What are the limitations of your methods? What ideas do you remain unconvinced about? All these things are very important when it comes to writing your introduction.
In this lesson we were able to talk about the introduction. We established that the introduction is important because it tells your readers what to expect from the paper and it is able to set the limits of what your paper is going to cover. We were also able to talk about the kinds of things which shouldn’t be included in the introduction, such as over-generalizations and a full-on explanation of your methods.
Next we’ll be looking at the last part of the paper: the conclusion. We’ll be discussing what makes a good conclusion and how to go about writing it. Keep reading and learn even more about how to write great compositions in English!