Writing the Introduction. Welcoming readers to your paper. Purpose of the First Paragraph of Any Paper. To attract the reader’s attention—get him/her interested in reading the paper.
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Begin with a short narrative (about 125 words), either personal or objective, one that leads smoothly and logically to the thesis.
Define a key term. If you do this, you may want to start with an “official” definition (from a dictionary or other authoritative source), which you should identify for the reader. You may also want to supplement it with your personal definition of the term.
Make a “shocking statement” or start with a series of “shocking” statistics relevant to the topic.
Although an introduction may be more than one paragraph long, it generally won’t start to develop or give support to the paper’s main point because that’s what the body of the paper is for. An introduction leads up to the main point whereas the body of the paperdevelops andsupports the main point.
Papers less than ten pages generally have a one paragraph introduction.
What is dreaming? Is it a shadow-play, meaningless and fragmentary? Or like a peek inside a fortuneteller’s crystal ball? Or a delicate diagnostic tool for psychiatrists? Through the centuries, dreaming has been looked upon in all three of these ways. Our own generation has added a fourth, a strictly scientific and physiological approach. And beyond all these, stranger than any of them, lies a fifth possibility that is certain to make our current view of dreams fall into the realm of absurdist fantasy.
Many people wonder why there are so many teenage pregnancies, especially now when sex education starts early in grammar school and Planned Parenthood agencies are available for birth control information. Each year one million teenagers become pregnant; nine out of ten teenage mothers keep their babies; girls aged 14-17 form the only group of women in which birth rates have not declined; two-thirds of teenage pregnancies are unintended. Even though our schools offer sex education programs, and public agencies dispense birth control education, there are many deeper reasons why these children are becoming pregnant.
Hillary Rodham Clinton once said, “There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard.” In 2006, when Nancy Pelosi became the nation’s first female Speaker of the House, a woman’s voice finally rang out clearly in American politics. With this development, it appeared that democracy had grown to its truest level ever in terms of women’s equality, but appearances are deceptive. Politics in America is still a man’s game.
Miracle: an occurrence that is unbelievable; something that has no logical explanation. In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the events at the port of Dunkirk in northern France “a miracle of deliverance” (Knowles). The Miracle of Dunkirk was the rescue of 338,226 British, French, and Belgian troops with the help of ordinary British citizens. The power of prayer, and not luck, led to the incredible rescue of over 300,000 Allied troops would be saved to fight again later in World War II.
The entire introduction should logically end at the research question and/or thesis statement. The reader, by the end of the introduction, should know exactly what you are trying to achieve with the paper. In addition, your conclusion will refer back to the introduction.
As you write the paper, you may find that it goes in a slightly different direction than planned. In this case, go with the flow, but make sure that you adjust the introduction accordingly.