State noteworthy facts. With this type of introduction, you provide the audience with some interesting statistics or other facts that stimulate thinking and help set up your presentation. This technique works well when the facts you report are not common knowledge yet are relevant and stimulating. Just be sure to keep the statement brief so that you don’t clutter your opening with too many easy-to-forget details.
Make a list. This introduction involves using a short list of at least three items that have something in common. It usually works best to say the list and then state what the items or people have in common with one another.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. The following is an introduction of what turned out to be a well-written paper, but the introduction was severely lacking:
Says: Multicultural awareness is a key aspect of fitting in well at a university, and admissions officers are very aware of this. Thus, it is an excellent idea to mention how you expanded your cultural sensitivity. Beginning the essay by admitting that you were once less tolerant is a compelling way to demonstrate just how much you have grown as a person.
Not a bad introduction really, but rather scant. I have no idea, for instance, which societies will be discussed or what the theme of the paper will be. That is, while I can see what the general topic is, I still don't know the way the writer will draw the facts together, or even really what the paper is arguing in favor of.
Creative Introduction: A creative introduction catches the reader off-guard with an opening statement that leaves the reader smiling or wondering what the rest of the essay contains.
Most of the advice in this handout pertains to argumentative or exploratory academic essays. Be aware, however, that different genres have their own special expectations about beginnings and endings. Some academic genres may not even require an introduction or conclusion. An annotated bibliography, for example, typically provides neither. A book review may begin with a summary of the book and conclude with an overall assessment of it. A policy briefing usually includes an introduction but may conclude with a series of recommendations. Check your assignment carefully for any directions about what to include in your introduction or conclusion.
This order of introduction elements is not set in stone, however. Sometimes the thesis statement is followed by a breakdown of the essay's structure and organisation. Ultimately, you must adapt the order to suit the needs of each particular essay.
An introduction often ends on the thesis statement. It begins with a broad statement and gradually narrows down until it directly addresses the question:
Here’s an example that a company president might use to talk about major changes happening within the organization: “‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’ These were the words spoken by President Franklin Roosevelt to calm the nation during the trying times of the Great Depression. This is a message I want all of you to remember as we deal with what feels like trying times with the organizational changes that I will talk to you about today.”
Says: Be careful not to make statements in your introduction that seem too exaggerated or unrealistic. After all, no one expects a student to immediately mature on the first day of ninth grade. Moreover, if your reader senses that you attained most of your maturity at the beginning of high school, he or she might be less than impressed with your character development. It would be better to state, "students are expected to enter a new environment in which they must function with far greater maturity."
The most important part of the introduction is the response to the question: the thesis statement. Thesis statements are discussed in detail here: .
Introductions can be tricky. Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. A good introduction presents a broad overview of your topic and your thesis, and should convince the reader that it is worth their time to actually read the rest of your essay. Below are some tips that will make writing an introduction a little less daunting, and help us all to write essays that don’t make our professors want to bang their heads against the wall.