An Essay Introduction

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            An essay introduction is the doorway into an essay.  The word itself, ‘Introduction’ infers that there is a meeting that is happening.  The meeting is between the reader or audience and the subject matter or content of the essay.  The first thing that the Introduction does is to firmly and broadly establish the thesis or what the essay will be about.  After this has grabbed the reader’s attention, there needs to be some information that will make the reader want to continue reading.  To be effective and efficient the introduction needs to function like a microcosm of the whole essay.

            As a microcosm of the whole essay the introduction will outline what will be in the essay.  For example, if the essay is going to highlight three points about the topic which then the three points should be clearly mentioned in the introductory paragraph.  If you leave the introduction of the separate points till the topic sentence of the content paragraphs alone then the reader may be lost in confusion and boredom.  By telling a reader what you will be covering, the author ensures that the audience will read on.

            After the topics have been included in the introduction the opening paragraph needs to make a smooth transition to the first content paragraph.  The content paragraphs will elucidate the points that were first brought up earlier in the introduction.  Decide therefore which of the main points will be covered first and compose a linking sentence which leads into that topic. Keep in mind that the opening paragraph sets the tone of the entire essay. It not only introduces the topic, but where you are going with it (the thesis).  Do a good job in the opening, and the reader is drawn into the “experience.” of the author. Put effort up front, and rewards are fully reaped.  An example of an introduction to an essay on ‘Idealism’ is provided below.  Note that there are three distinct topics about idealism which are mentioned in sentences five and six.  These are what the individual paragraphs are about.

Sample Introduction on “Idealism”

            What is the meaning of idealism?  Firstly, an ideal is something that exists as an archetypal idea, or the model of how something should be. Idealism, which flows from ideals, according to The Webster’s Dictionary is: the practice of forming ideals or living under their influence.  In every walk of life, idealism will play a part. There is always someone who is striving to achieve the highest possible standard of practice in that field.  Whether it be in formulating plans, or ideas to facilitate a practice, or whether it be practicing the established methods to the letter in order to achieve the optimum results in a venture or an outcome.  Everyone experiences the tug of idealism at some time in their lives in whatever their chosen field of endeavor might be.

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