Your Introduction Matters
Writing a good introduction is not as easy as it seems, in fact, it is the most difficult part to write. However, this should not worry you, as you only need to understand its purpose and structure. The introduction marks the beginning of your essay and sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It is what the readers encounter first and affects their impression of the essay. It is therefore important to keep your readers engaged right from the first word. You cannot accomplish this by merely giving your opinion on the topic. Your introduction should not be more than 10% of your paper. At a minimum, it should give background information, provide definitions for complex terms, indicate the essay plan, and explain the topic and the reason for writing the paper. It may also outline your theoretical approach depending on the type of paper.
Start your introduction from a broad perspective and then gradually narrow it down at the end using an effective thesis statement. Divide your introduction into three parts for more clarity. The first part should grab the attention of the readers. This will make them want to read more and remain engaged throughout. Remember, a poor introduction creates a bad impression even if the other subsequent sections are excellent. Be original and do not include dictionary definitions. It may be tempting to use them but remember that it is an outdated technique that adds no value to your essay. Confirm your topic by interpreting it but do not repeat it in the introduction. An attention-grabbing part can offer a statistic to emphasize the gravity of the issue that the paper seeks to address. You can also provide a quote to inspire your readers to think. The second part should provide background information on the topic. It makes the readers understand why you chose to focus on the topic. It also provides the transition from the first section to the thesis statement. Do not say everything about the paper in the introduction section, save it for the subsequent sections.
The thesis statement is the last section of your introduction. It should be clear, focused, and state the controlling argument. The rest of your paper will prove the argument you make in this section. The thesis statement should reveal your interpretation of the topic and identify what you seek to address. It should respond to the topic or the question that you seek to address to help the readers understand the paper. Sounds difficult, right? Do not worry, you can always adjust your introduction as many times as you want later on after finishing your paper, especially if you feel that your thesis statement is not broad or narrow enough. Better still, if you are struggling with it, you can skip it altogether, start with the other sections, and then finish with the introduction. Start with the easiest sections and have a proper outline for better organization. This approach will save your time and equip you with more information for the introduction.