Chat with a Librarian

Chat Hours

Monday-Thursday

10am-4pm;
5pm-9pm
 CT

Friday 10am-4pm CT
Saturday 11am-3pm CT
Sunday 5pm-9pm CT

Chat Expectations and Guidelines

Submit a Question

Submit Your Question
Your Info
Fields marked with * are required.

Answered By: Cassie Sampson, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: May 27, 2016     Views: 6416

Follow these guidelines when writing an introduction:

Determine your purpose

Define your purpose. Depending on the style of the paper the introduction will need to reflect the proper tone. Is your paper:

  • Narrative

  • Expository

  • Persuasive

  • Descriptive

  • Creative

Pick a topic 

Introduce what the topic of the paper will be and why it is important. TIP: The development of your introduction can make or break your paper. However, you can make the process feel smoother by choosing a topic that you’re familiar with or excites you to learn more about. Here are a few brainstorming tips that can help you to narrow your topic:

  • Free write – Sit down and just start writing. Forget about grammar, and formatting. Just write about whatever comes to mind. How long you spend on this technique is up to you, but soon you will notice all sort of potential ideas.

  • Listing – Make a list of many different topics that come to mind. Choose the one that interests you most.

  • Clustering/Mapping/Webbing – Start with a keyword(s) then branch out with other ideas that compare/contrast, support or disagree with the main idea(s). Take it as far as you can.

  • Ask journalist questions –When you come up with an idea, ask yourself who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Attract your reader's attention

  • A bold statement: George Washington was the greatest American president.

  • Use a rhetorical question: Will America spiral into the depth of Hell because of the 2010 health re-form?

  • Define the problem: The problem with women is men, because …

  • A personal experience: Last year I went on a trip to Washington D.C. While there I took a tour of the White House. It was beautiful. …

  • An interesting quote: “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of others people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher

  • Start with a statistic: In 2009 nearly 1 in 5 children were considered obese.

Example:

How important is an attachment? It is said that without a secure attachment, human development can be severely impaired, and in extreme cases death can occur (Huffman, 2009). Different aspects of attachment have been studied by many researchers, like John Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth, and through their research and an experiment of my own I will show how important attachment is to human development.


Share your thesis (Paper's organization)

The purpose of the thesis statement is to inform the audience, in one sentence, how the chosen topic will develop throughout the entire paper. If you list three points that will support your thesis, you will address each of those three point in your paper in the same order you listed them. (If you find that after you start writing the paper, you have added ideas that were not stated in your thesis you will have to revise your thesis to mirror your paper.)

Example:

How important is an attachment? It is said that without a secure attachment, human development can be severely impaired, and in extreme cases death can occur (Huffman, 2009). Different aspects of attachment have been studied by many researchers, like John Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth, and through their research and an experiment of my own I will show how important attachment is to human development.


The introduction of any paper should normally:

  • Not start with a definition
  • Not provide a lot of background or factual information (that should be saved for the body of the paper)
  • Not be more than one paragraph long
  • Not be convoluted or confusing