The Introduction The Paragraph that Hooks Your Reader
The purpose of an introduction is to prepare the reader for the body of writing that comes after it. You know what you are writing about and why. But unless you inform your readers of this in an introduction, they will feel lost and judge your essay to be an unclear piece of work!
Example of an introduction that begins with a provocative question What can we do as a nation to give our younger generation a better sense of citizenship and community responsibility? (The hook)We should consider bringing back a modified version of the draft and adding public service as an alternative to serving in the military. The benefits to our nation would be vast. (Transition to the thesis)All Americans should be required to spend two years either in the military or in a public service project which would increase their sense of belonging to a nation, expand their horizons, and strengthen their sense of global identity. (The thesis statement!)
Example of an introduction that begins with a startling fact(s). Television is so popular that over 128 million sets are now being used in 98 percent of American households. Each week the small screen holds the attention of children under five an average of 23.5 hours and adults 44 hours. (The hook)But far from being the “idiot box” that it is often called, television offers views many benefits.. (Transition to the thesis) Television can be educational, entertaining, and informative. (The thesis statement!)
Example of an introduction that uses an anecdote as a hook When the car accident happened my brother was left with a broken arm, leg, and hip. My mother nearly died due to head injuries. However, we all survived due to the team of emergency medical technicians who responded quickly to scene and provided us with the help we needed. (The hook) After my experience in this car accident, I realized how I could use my interest in helping people through becoming an EMT. (Transition to the thesis) Becoming an EMT requires intense training, hard study, and an dedication to helping others (The thesis statement!)
Example of an introduction that uses an quotation as a hook Henry David Thoreau, an American poet, once wrote, “Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplify, simplify!” (The hook) These words of advice are difficult to follow in a society where a hectic pace of life is the norm and the attainment of more material good is encouraged. The difficulty of following this philosophy is knowing where we should be begin. (Transition to the thesis) If we examine Henry David Thoreau’s life carefully, I believe we will find a number of ways in which to simplify our own lives and yet live richly. (The thesis statement!)