Introductions & Conclusions. Writing an Essay. Introduction Paragraphs. An effective introductory paragraph accomplishes 2 main goals: it captures the reader’s interest it states the main point about your subject or topic . Think of your introductory paragraph in two ways:
3. Use an appropriate quotation. A quotation is an easy and effective device to use--if it is used sparingly. The daily newspapers are a good source of quotations suitable for current topics. If the subject is of a more general nature, the book Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, which you can find in the reference section of the library, may provide appropriate material.
4. State the divisions of the topic. A brief idea of the plan of the essay, if stated in an effective manner, can hint at the interesting points which you intend to cover.
Announce your intentions. Do not flatly announce what you are about to do in an essay.
Dilly-dally. Get to it. Move confidently into your essay. Many writers find it useful to write a warm-up paragraph (or two, even) to get them into the essay, to sharpen their own idea of what they're up to, and then they go back and delete the running start.
When choosing a method for ending an essay, remember that the conclusion should flow naturally out of the body of the paper; it should not appear to be tacked on. An effective conclusion often refers back to an image or anecdote that was used in the introduction, a method which helps to unify the whole essay. Your conclusion should not introduce completely new ideas that need explanation or support.
3. Summarize the major points of the essay. A restatement of the major points--using new words--will help the reader to remember what he has read. A summary is usually most effective in a long essay; it would seem repetitious at the end of a short one.
Use unique and fresh ideas rather than clichés and overworked quotations. An essay on marriage would not benefit from a reminder that love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. "To err is human, to forgive divine" has long since lost its freshness and would add nothing to an essay.
Be confident about your own opinions on a subject and state your ideas with conviction: "I strongly believe . . . " or "This law should be enacted because . . . ." Never apologize for what you write. If you begin your essay with "I don’t know very much about this subject," you will immediately lose the reader’s interest. In addition, if you end with "Of course, other people have different opinions on this subject, and I certainly do not know everything," you will destroy the impact of your essay. If you really do feel unsure about your opinions, change your topic to something that you can be more positive about.
Your introduction should flow smoothly into your body paragraphs just as the conclusion should be an integral part of the whole essay. The introduction should state the topic of the entire essay, and the conclusion should relate to the general topic rather than one specific point.