Essay writing: How to write a proper introductory paragraph.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by CadenMann, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. Hello everyone!

    I've been reading through some of my classmates' essays (we have to hand in one soon) and I've noticed that everyone's introductory paragraph is always below average, or mediocre. I've realized that, compared to other classes, everyone's introductory paragraph is weak and does not get to be point. So, with the guidance of multiple courses in English, here is what I consider a proper introductory paragraphs for an English literature essay:

    1. It must begin by arousing the interest of the reader of your essay in a general way.
    2. It states the author and title of the work of literature being discussed.
    3. It must restate the essay task given to you using slightly different wording.

    Here is my example introductory paragraph for an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee:

    The sharing of life lessons passed down from generation to generation is a frequent theme and topic in literature, and creates a bond between characters in novels. In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, we can see a worthy depiction of this. Throughout the novel, Atticus Finch teaches his children Jem and Scout valuable life lessons based on his experience and beliefs that he had learnt from past generations.

    Feel free to add anything on to this, or to correct me anywhere if you think I am wrong somewhere!

  2. What?!!?!?!? This is very eerie.

    1. I just finished that book 2 days ago.
    2. Spoilers! -------------------------
    3. Are you stalking me? :p

    Your intro sounds pretty good.
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  3. 1. I'm only half way through it. =P
    2. I don't like spoilers! =D
    3. Totally.
  4. Great Post!

    Depending on the length of your paper, you may also want to introduce your supporting topics in the introduction. For example if your next three paragraphs are about lessons in (say tolerance, objectivity, and integrity .. it has literally been 15 years since I read this book but stay with me here,) You may want to smush that in right before your closing sentence.
    Deadmaster98 and cadenman2002 like this.
  5. Thank you. I will be sure to include that in the final draft of the essay. :)
    wolffpack58 and cdjs1987 like this.
  6. Bumpers. =)
  7. Egad, I'm reading To Kill a Mockingbird too!
    Tom is found guilty, and Bob Ewell is stabbed.
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  8. Egad, thanks for the huge spoiler! My English teacher will hate you for years! Fear him!
    wolffpack58 and cdjs1987 like this.
  9. Hey, it says "Spoiler" in big letters at the top...
  10. I hate writing...

    The next paper we have to write is a comparison/contrast of "Brave New World" (Dont read, it is soooooo disturbing...) and the movie Gattaca . I am halfway through but still hate writing.

    I still dont have any idea what to write because this book is so disturbing it is hard to pay attention.
  11. Also don't forget the thesis statement at the end of the intro paragraph...
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  12. This is a good intro. But the thesis is still focused only in the book instead of what Harper Lee is trying to portray to the reader. Is she supporting or criticizing this idea and did she effectively portray it?
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  13. Just to throw it out there, but one of the things my teachers have said is that you want to start with a big generic idea and focus it as your intro goes on with the thesis being focused on what you want to write. For the conclusion, you want to start small and grow to tying it into a big idea. I have found this very useful in writing strong intros and conclusions.
    Kephras and cadenman2002 like this.
  14. I happen to be starting To Kill a Mockingbird next week...
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  15. Interesting... I've always had some trouble writing introductory paragraphs, myself. Or at least proper introductory paragraphs, anyway. Its a little hard to think of something new to make the reader want to read my essays, poems, stories, etc. One awkward thing about me is that I have trouble writing nonfiction essays, since I need to use information and stuff, I can't make up anything, and I need to use evidence from the book or article I'm reading. Like, say what If I was reading an article in one of my classes about
    I don't know, say... Tree frogs or something like that. I might need to write a short essay about that. No opinions, just facts, and information. Writing isn't actually the easiest thing out there, you know. ;) Interesting thread! Maybe this thread should be in the Writers Corner instead of the Miscellaneous section, though. Just thinking... :)
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  16. By the way, don't be surprised this is all coming out of a 6th grader... :D
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  17. How to write an essay.
    1. Look up my forum posts.
    2. Find the long ones (the more recent the better).
    3. Imitate.
    Not even joking, on Tuesday I spent half an hour helping out a girl with her GCSE English Controlled Assessment task (a UK thing, it's work spread out through the year which contributes to your GCSE qualifications as opposed to exams) and she went from a grade D to a B. And that's 60% of her GCSE qualification.
    Deadmaster98 and cadenman2002 like this.
  18. When I was first writing research papers I had a hard time. Here is something that helped me a LOT in gathering information and organizing it for my papers.

    Buy a pack of 3x5 index cards, write you facts down, one per card, with your source information on the back (for your bibliography/reference section.) As you develop your ideas, and know what your main topics will be, you can label the cards to make them easier to sort. This way you can shuffle and sort your facts until they are in a logical order for your first draft. ( I know this seems a bit outdated with copy/paste and a word processor.. but it can be more difficult to find and sort your info on screen)
    cadenman2002 likes this.
  19. Here's my example introductory paragraph:

    The legend of the Aikat is an interesting one. Not because it makes any sense, but because of it's origins, which are currently relatively unknown. The work we are discussing today is about the Aikat, and it is known as "Post 9001", created by Electric_Hamster. If focuses on what the hell the Aikat does in it's spare time, and how it's still alive after drinking so many 5 hours energies.

    ^ AS English Language there.
    sambish20 and FDNY21 like this.
  20. I do quite like the example, nice introduction. I don't think my introductions to essays are too bad, but I'll keep these tips in mind when going through my exams, thanks Caden! :)

    As for this... :rolleyes:
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