A final note: In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper. In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper.
Although for short essays the introduction is usually just one paragraph, longer argument or research papers may require a more substantial introduction. The first paragraph might consist of just the attention grabber and some narrative about the problem. Then you might have one or more paragraphs that provide background on the main topics of the paper and present the overall argument, concluding with your thesis statement.
Below is a sample of an introduction that is less effective because it doesn't apply the principles discussed above. Everyone uses math during their entire lives. Some people use math on the job as adults, and others used math when they were kids.
The topic I have chosen to write about for this paper is how I use math in my life both as a child and as an adult. I use math to balance my checkbook and to budget my monthly expenses as an adult. When I was a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand. I will be talking more about these things in my paper. In the introduction above, the opening line does not serve to grab the reader's attention.
Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. The second sentence is also not very specific. A more effective attention grabber may point out a specific, and perhaps surprising, instance when adults use math in their daily lives, in order to show the reader why this is such as important topic to consider. Next the writer "announces" her topic by stating, "The topic I have chosen to write about…" Although it is necessary to introduce your specific topic, you want to avoid making generic announcements that reference your assignment.
This technique is not as sophisticated and may distract the reader from your larger purpose for writing the essay. Instead, you might try to make the reader see why this is such an important topic to discuss. Finally, this sample introduction is lacking a clear thesis statement. The writer concludes with a vague statement: "I will be talking more about these things in my paper. However, it is not yet working as a thesis statement because it fails to make an argument or claim about those topics.
A thesis statement for this essay would clearly tell the reader what "things" you will be discussing and what point you will make about them. Now let's look at how the above principles can be incorporated more effectively into an introduction.
My earliest memories of earning and spending money are when I was ten years old when I would sell Dixie cups of too-sweet lemonade and bags of salty popcorn to the neighborhood kids. From that early age, I learned the importance of money management and the math skills involved. I learned that there were four quarters in a dollar, and if I bought a non-food item—like a handful of balloons—that I was going to need to come up with six cents for every dollar I spent.
I also knew that Kool-Aid packets were 25 cents each or that I could save money and get five of them for a dollar. Today, however, money management involves knowing more than which combinations of cent, five-cent, and one-penny candies I can get for a dollar.
Proper money management today involves knowing interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month. The writer follows this "attention-grabber" with specific examples of earning and spending money. Compare how the specific details of the second example paint a better picture for the reader about what the writer learned about money as a child, rather than this general statement: "As a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand.
Notice, too, how the reader makes the transition from the lessons of childhood to the real focus of her paper in this sentence: "Today, however, money management involves knowing…. This transition sentence effectively connects the opening narrative to the main point of the essay, her thesis: "Proper money management today involves knowing interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month.
Introduction Paragraphs—Seven Strategies. Introduction Plus Thesis—How to Combine. The discount for Federal employees and their spouses and eligible dependents will be applied to out-of-state tuition and specialty graduate programs. It does not apply to doctoral programs. This discount cannot be combined with the Completion Scholarship for Maryland community college students or the Pennsylvania Completion Scholarship.
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GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available on the U. An essay is not like a mystery novel which keeps the reader in suspense; it should not slowly reveal the argument to the reader. Instead, the contention and supporting arguments are usually stated in the introduction. That is, introduce the particular problem or topic the essay will address in a general sense to provide context, before narrowing down to your particular position and line of argument.
The introduction usually starts by providing some background information to your particular topic, so the reader understands the key problem being addressed and why it is an issue worth writing about.
However, it is important that this is brief and that you only include information that is directly relevant to the topic. This might also be an appropriate place to introduce the reader to key terms and provide definitions, if required. Instead, make sure that your initial sentence relates directly to the problem, question or issue highlighted by the essay topic. Setting the parameters of the essay is important. State your position on the topic also referred to as your main argument , or contention , or thesis statement.
Make sure that you are directly answering the question and the whole essay question if there is more than one part! Provide an overview of how you are approaching the essay. Whether this ability is something a person is born with, or whether it is something that a person can learn, has been the subject of considerable debate. Kambil has outlined two categories of leadership attributes that help to frame the discussion: 'traits' mostly innate and 'skills' which can be developed through experience or training.
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