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The thesis statement is the most direct answer to this question, and the rest of the introduction gives us enough context to make sense of that answer.Let’s take as an example the following introduction to a comparative essay: William Shakespeare’s sonnets 115 and 116 have long been seen as a pair.Students often think that an introduction to an essay is a bit like a billboard, flashing “Read me! ” Like false advertising, such introductions begin with the most grandiose claims, promising something interesting for everyone.
In what follows we provide some strategies for writing effective introductions.
A good introduction seeks to answer a particular question.
The following introduction creates tension by asking how a novel can be both comical and terrifying at the same time: has a rather nonsensical plot.
Gabriel Syme, a neurotic poet and detective, infiltrates an anarchist cell only to discover that his fellow conspirators are all policemen.
For instance, an essay on the Black Lives Matter movement might follow up its introduction with some general body paragraphs on the history of race relations in the United States.
Focus on the big picture first and save many of the details for later.If your research question is a good one, your introduction will have an element of tension.Since you’re trying to address a problem or solve a conundrum, there is something at stake.The research question can be the instructor’s question or your own.Either way, check that your introduction is focused entirely on answering this question.This ludicrous plot leads to many comical situations, including the novel’s final sequence, where the character of Sunday escapes on an elephant, rides on a fire engine, and throws a strange party at his house.Yet these comic moments are also frightening, and the novel is appropriately subtitled “A Nightmare.” This odd mixture allows Chesterton to depict the absurdity of the universe, an absurdity that might lead atheists to despair but for Chesterton provides a glimpse of God’s unique sense of humour.The main thing is to introduce your essay’s argument, and if you’re passionate about the point you’re making, your reader will be too.Let’s first review what not to do in your introduction!As you can see, the tension is resolved at the end: the odd mixture of comedy and nightmare is said to create an absurdity that for Chesterton points to God.So ask yourself: does my introduction raise a problem? When writing your essay, the introduction is often best saved for last.