- A good introductory paragraph 1. gets your reader’s attention, 2. introduces your topic, and 3. presents your stance on the topic (thesis).
Right after your title is the introductory paragraph. Like an appetizer for a meal, the introductory paragraph sets up the reader’s palate and gives him a foretaste of what is to come. You want start your paper on a positive note by putting forth the best writing possible.
Like writing the title, you can wait to write your introductory paragraph until you are done with the body of the paper. Some people prefer to do it this way since they want to know exactly where their paper goes before they make an introduction to it. When you write your introductory paragraph is a matter of personal preference.
Your introductory paragraph needs to accomplish three main things: it must 1. grip your reader, 2. introduce your topic, and 3. present your stance on the topic (in the form of your thesis statement). If you’re writing a large academic paper, you’ll also want to contextualize your paper’s claim by discussing points other writers have made on the topic.
There are a variety of ways this can be achieved. Some writers find it useful to put a quote at the beginning of the introductory paragraph. This is often an effective way of getting the attention of your reader:
“Thomas Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” seems contrary to the way he actually lived his life, bringing into question the difference between the man’s public and private lives…”
Hmm. Interesting…Tell me more. This introduction has set off the paper with an interesting quote and makes the reader want to continue reading. How has Jefferson’s public life differed from his private life? Notice how this introduction also helps frame the paper. Now the reader expects to learn about the duality of Thomas Jefferson’s life.
Another common method of opening a paper is to provide a startling statistic or fact. This approach is most useful in essays that relate to current issues, rather than English or scientific essays.
“The fact that one in every five teenagers between the ages of thirteen and fifteen smokes calls into question the efficacy of laws prohibiting advertising cigarettes to children…”
The reader is given an interesting statistic to chew on (the fact that so many children smoke) while you set up your paper. Now your reader is expecting to read an essay on cigarette advertising laws.
When writing English papers, introducing your topic includes introducing your author and the aspect of the text that you’ll be analyzing.
“Love is a widely felt emotion. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas uses the universality of love to develop a connection with his reader…”
Here, the reader is introduced to the piece of text that will be analyzed, the author, and the essay topic. Nice.
The previous sample introduction contains a general sentence at the beginning that bring up a very broad topic: love. From there, the introductory paragraph whittles down to something more specific:
how Dumas uses love in his novel to develop a connection with the reader. You’d expect this paragraph to march right on down to the thesis statement,
which belongs at the end of the introductory paragraph. Good introductory paragraphs often have this ‘funnel’ sort of format–going from something broad (such as love) to something more specific until the thesis is presented.
Try to avoid the some of the more hackneyed openers:
- “Have you ever wondered why…”
- “Webster’s dictionary defines…”
- “X is a very important issue facing America today…”
Subject: Introducing Yourself to Your Instructor
My name is Amit Vaidya. I am from India. I am in my first semester of senior year in Civil Engineering at Clemson University, SC. In this memo, I am going to tell you little bit about my background, interests, achievements and my goals.
I was born in a small village called Bilimora. Bilimora is located about 70 kilometers south of the city of Surat which is 8th largest city in India, in the state of Gujarat. I spent my first 16 years of life in Bilimora. Bilimora is famous for temples, textile mills.
My everyday activities included going to school, playing cricket, watching television, and going to temple at the night time.
I spend my first 16 year of life in Bilimora before moving here in Greenville, SC on August 23, 2002 with my family. I started going to South Side Highschool as a sophomore and was enrolled in ESL program for a year. At South Side, I focused on achieving my goals including learning English language, participating in extracurricular activities, and doing well in all my classes. In my junior year, I had joined Math club, Robotics club and also enrolled in few honor classes. Along with school, I also found a part time job at a local restaurant to help my parents financially. Moving in to a new country and settling there (here) was a huge challenge for me and my family.
I like playing Chess and Cricket. I
always enjoyed reading, writing and doing math. Growing up as a child and until now, (my adulthood) it has been mine (my) and my parents dream for me to become a Doctor or an Engineer.
----- I decided to become a Civil Engineer because I have always been fascinated by looking at the bridges, buildings, and skyscrapers.
------I decided to become a Civil Engineer because I am always fascinated by looking at the bridges, roads, and skyscrapers.
A degree in Civil Engineering enables me to achieve my goals and also gives me an opportunity to make a difference in the community.
I have achieved many different goals in life. Some of my achievements are bigger than the others, which has given me greater satisfaction. The top five achievements that gave me the greatest personal satisfaction includes:
1. Being student of the month in my English class
2. Getting my first job
3. Going to college
4. Learning English language
5. Getting my driver's license
My achievements have helped me to get ahead in life.
I hope to get better at technical communication this term. Five years from now, I want to become a project manager of a construction project, and technical communication is one of the most important skills that a project manager should have. As a project manager, my primary goals are managing people, set budgets, and making decisions of all kinds.
need help with editing and grammar
My name is Amit Vaidya. I am from India. I am in the first semester of my senior year studying Civil Engineering at Clemson University, SC. This sentence makes me a little dizzy with all of the prepositions. You might want to break in into two sentences . . . one telling what you are studying and the other where.I'd like to tell you a little bit about my background, interests, achievements you need a comma here to keep it consistent with the rest of your writing and my goals.
Bilimora is famous for temples,take out the comma and add the word "and" textile mills.
I started going to South Side Highschool high school should be two words) as a sophomore and was enrolled in put either "the" or "an" here ESL program for a year.
Moving in to a new country and was a huge challenge for me and my family.
I like playing Chess and Cricket you don't need to capitalize either chess or cricket. I enjoy reading, writing and doing math.
Growing up as a child and until now, (my adulthood) it has been mine (my) and my parents dream for me to become a Doctor or an Engineer. This sentence is awkward. You might want to reword it to something like: Since I was a child, my parents and I have shared the dream of my becoming a doctor or an engineer.
----- I decided to become a Civil Engineer because I have always been fascinated by bridges, buildings, and skyscrapers.
includes: Should be include
I'll give my ideas to help, along with Eric's ideas.
Here is an idea for this sentence: I spent my first 16 years of life in this city, which is famous for both its temples and its textile mills.
...watching television, and going to temple at night .
While growing up, and even now, it has been my and my parents' dream that I would become a Doctor or an Engineer.
Some of my achievements are bigger than the others, but they all have given me great satisfaction.
Very impressive!! Good luck. :)
first 16 years of my life I spent in
Actually, Quaker_75, "I spent my first 16 years of life" is correct. Your correction introduced an error. In English, the subject comes first in a statement, unless it is preceded by a subordinate clause or the object and subject have been deliberately reversed for a special effect. In this sentence, "I" is the subject, "spent," is the verb, and "first 16 years of my life" is the object.
Subject-Verb-Object is the standard structure.
If I were you, firstly I will think of which one aspect of yourself can mostly attract your Instructor.Then you can emphasize that aspect ,while others you don't need to spend lots of time.
Good luck :-)