Purposes of Introductions Besides attracting a reader’s attention, an introduction may serve one or all of the following purposes: • Provide background information • Define unfamiliar terms • Introduce the purpose of the paper • Present a thesis statement or argument about the paper’s topic • Preview the main points of the thesis • Provide a brief summary of the topics the paper discusses
Different Types of Introductions You may write an introduction in a number of ways; for example, suppose you were writing a paper opposing smoking in public places. You might compose one of the following types of introductions: Tell a story or anecdote: Share a personal story or a story you have read about a person who died because of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Different Types of Introductions • Provide a startling statistic: Last year, approximately 3,400 adult nonsmokers died from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke. • Start with a short, famous quotation: “Do not smoke without asking permission or sit so near (as in a train) that the smoke might annoy” –Amy Vanderbilt (1908-1974).
Different Types of Introductions • Write as if your position will argue the other side of the topic: Because smoking is legal, Americans have a right to smoke in public places. • Ask a question: Are you aware that secondhand smoke is now a known cause of cancer in humans? • Include interesting facts about the subject: Cigarette smoke may linger in the air for hours, even after the cigarette is extinguished.
Conclusions • Purpose of Conclusions • You do not want to stop writing abruptly after making your last argument. The paper must wrap up your points smoothly and make a good final impression on the readers.
Different Types of Conclusions • Restate the thesis: Secondhand smoke is dangerous to the human body and must be banned in public places. • Summarize the main points of the essay: Banning secondhand smoke in restaurants and public places would save lives and cut down on air pollution. • Ask a question: Do you want to contract lung cancer only because you inhaled smoke from someone else’s cigarette?
Different Types of Conclusions • Offer a quotation: “New research indicates that private research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed the finding during the next two decades” (American Lung Association, par. 13). • Provide an ironic twist, a surprising observation, or a clever ending: I am a former smoker and I now educate others about how important it is that we stop others from inhaling secondhand smoke.
Different Types of Conclusions • Throw out a personal challenge: If you smoke, consider quitting and becoming part of the movement to stop secondhand smoke in public places. • Make a prediction or recommend actions for the readers to take: Next time your state’s ballot contains legislation banning secondhand smoke in public places, please vote yes.