Writing Tip #6 - In the beginning: Creating an introduction
Two schools of thought exist for the creation of a paper’s introduction. I write the introduction first and then follow the pattern I have created throughout the rest of the paper. When one of my classmates confessed that she wrote her introductions last, I thought it was nuts! She said that it was easier for her to write the paper and add the introduction later. However you choose to develop your introduction, it must contain the thesis statement. The thesis statement can be one sentence or more. It should contain a concise declaration of the content of the paper. The reader should know, by reading the introduction, exactly what the paper will be about. If you introduce the topic of school reform in your introduction and end up discussing the poor driving habits of school bus drivers, you have gotten off course! Use the introduction as a template for the rest of the paper.
An example of an effective introduction is:
Painting a room is time-consuming work. However, if done properly, an average size room can be painted in an afternoon. Steps can be taken to make the job easier. The first step is to prepare the room for painting. The second step is to ensure that all supplies are on hand. The third step is to use proven painting techniques. Finally, the last step is the clean up and reassembly of the room.
This introduction sets the stage for the rest of the paper. Each step can be a separate paragraph.
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