Introductions

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All right let’s go right ahead onto our introductions now.

So we’ve discussed titles how to write a good effective title.

We’ve discussed these statements and again I encourage all of you to send me a thesis statement or two

and let me give you some feedback some direct feedback on your thesis statement.

The focus again of your thesis should be to state her claim and to set up the framework for your paper

with the main tip being keep it as narrow or make it as narrow as you can.

But now let’s go on to introductions.

You may be wondering why since most of us know the statement comes at the end of an introduction.

Why are we first now getting two introductions.

And the reason is that without a thesis statement you should never begin to write anything for your

paper OK.

Of course it doesn’t.

That doesn’t include pre-writing pre-writing is to help you develop a thesis statement.

But after you’ve done your pre-writing exercises you should never go onto an outline and never go on

to actually drafting an introduction or the body of your paper without first developing at least somewhat

of a working thesis.

OK well we’ll talk a little bit more about that here in just a moment.

First discuss the purpose of an introduction an introduction has four main purposes first and a good

introduction should catch the reader’s attention.

It should also set the topic up for discussion.

Involve the reader with the paper and make a claim that will be supported throughout the paper.

So there’s the final one meaning of course your thesis statement and that’s it.

An introduction again catch to media attention.

Set up the topic for discussion so you give a little bit of background information of the topic.

Involve the reader with the paper.

So get the reader engaged and invested into wanting to read your paper and then state your thesis statement.

Let’s talk about a couple of parts.

Then to an introduction there’s the opener the middle and then again the thesis.

And just to reemphasize never write the introduction till you’ve already written your thesis this doesn’t

mean you have to have a perfect thesis to start writing but you need to have a draft of a thesis statement

before you begin to write an introduction.

Let’s take each part of the introduction and give you a few tips to do each part Well first in the opener.

This is where you need to catch your readers attention.

It’s also where you begin to set up your topic.

It’s important here though to be to be concise to be to the point.

What I mean by to the point is that a reader should know the general topic of your paper within the

first couple of sentences.

So I should not have to read five or even 10 sentences without already knowing clearly what the general

topic of your paper is going to be about then when you down to the middle portion of the introduction.

The middle portion is where you give a little bit more detail about the background of your topic and

is also where you briefly explain the context of your argument.

OK so this is as we showed in the introduction to our outlining exercise back in our writing process

section.

This is where I could for example provide the popular counter arguments to our national curriculum debate

that would be in the middle of the introduction again here we should be to the point right so we don’t

have so much detail and so much background and so much introduction we just need to give enough so that

when we come to the final part of the introduction our thesis statement.

We’ve provided enough background in enough context that the relevance of the thesis is clear.

And again just as a reminder.

Your thesis statement has those two purposes.

Stating your position clearly and concisely and of providing a framework with these categories right.

The categories of discussion sustaining your position and providing a framework just as you should not

start writing your introduction until you have your thesis statement.

Your entire paper is to work together to support this statement including your including your introduction

so the entire paper is supporting this claim that you put forth in your thesis statement so here’s some

basic do’s and don’ts to come up with some effective introductions.

There are more don’ts than do.

So let’s focus on the do’s first and we’ll worry about the don’ts here in a minute.

First develop a strong thesis before you’re right before writing your introduction.

I’m repeating this over and over again because students often like to draft and right before ever thinking

of what their actual argument is.

Second as a popular thing to do that helps to create an effective introduction there is to use a surprising

statistic.

The only problem is you need to make sure it is accurate so it’s not a time to make up some crazy statistic

so that people gain interest in your paper.

For example seven out of every 10 teenagers cannot read.

I don’t know if that is an accurate statistic but if it was so be a great way to pull your readers attention.

Another strategy is to state alarming information.

Again make sure it is accurate.

An example of this could be.

Mosquitoes kill more people every year than any other animal or this could be information is not general

knowledge or common knowledge and it is alarming in a way.

And again this alarming information just like the surprising statistic pulls the reader and makes them

interested in what you’re going to write.

Finally you need to be patient and allow yourself to write some sloppy first introductions.

We all do it and that’s where the revision process of the last step of revision in the writing process

comes in.

Right so we have to allow ourselves to be patient to do something sloppy the first couple of times until

we revise it to our polished product.

Finally let’s get onto some don’ts.

The first don’t never state the obvious.

For example teenagers love to have fun.

Everyone knows that.

I see this so often in my student papers that we begin with this big broad general obvious statement.

The next don’t is never begin with a generalization for example.

Since the beginning of time people have used tools.

You’re probably laughing at this but you’d be surprised how often I see an obvious or very general statement

about all time or all history or all literature.

All people never use such general terms in an introduction or in the rest of your paper.

Next don’t give unnecessary details summarize the plot to some type of research or of the story or present

irrelevant information.

For example Harry Potter is a British novel about a boy wizard who learns more and more about his magical

powers until he finally defeats the antagonist.

Never do this type or give this type of information an introduction that’s boring and makes the reader

say DE and makes us simply not want to read your paper.

Next ask the question that your thesis answers.

For example turning to our discussion on national curriculum that you know that the mandatory national

curriculum curriculum is not as effective as it seems.

So if you ask the question that your thesis answers it kind of gives the reader the the idea of what’s

the point of reading your entire paper if you’re already asking the questions and already providing

all the answers.

What you need to do instead is to provide your thesis that gives your readers the opportunity to ask

questions about your thesis.

That’s what will gain the reader’s curiosity or their interest and make them want to read through your

paper to see how you’ve proven your thesis or proven your claim.

And finally never give a history of your research.

For example after weeks of research in the library I found two excellent books and three articles that

discuss the nation’s curriculum.

Although this might be interesting to you might be a good personal note of how you did your research.

In most cases it is very bland and very boring.

Never give a history of your personal research into the topic and that’s it if you fall the points in

the do section of the slide and avoid the don’ts.

Especially if you develop a strong thesis statement you’re bound to have a strong introduction which

will gain your readers interest which will set up the topic for discussion.

Get the reader involved with the paper and then you’ll make the claim that the rest of your paper will

support.

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