from the first time they receiveinstruction in English composition that their introductoryparagraphs should accomplish two tasks:
Edit your introduction and thesis as you write. Because ideas develop, change, and grow as you work with them, keep returning to your introductory paragraph and thesis. Edit them as you write your essay. By the end of your paper, be certain that the content of your introduction and thesis statement matches the overall message of your essay.
Tasks: The introductory paragraph to a short essay usually attemptsto do three things:Not every essay does all three in the first paragraph, and the degree towhich an essay declares its structure or methodology may vary widely, dependingon how necessary that information will be to the readers. Sometimes, theentire first paragraph will serve no other purpose than to generate interestin the subject or raise a question, leaving the other tasks for the secondparagraph. However, this kind of opening requires a lot of skill, and youcan lose your readers in the second and third paragraphs if do not makeyour purpose clear.
The introduction paragraph typically has:
An introductory paragraph is the opening in a conventional , , or .
See, first, for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay. The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.The third paragraph of the body shouldcontain the weakest argument, weakest example, weakestillustration, or an obvious follow up to the second paragraph inthe body. The first sentence of this paragraph should include thereverse hook which ties in with the transitional hook at the endof the second paragraph. The topic for this paragraph should bein the first or second sentence. This topic should relate to thethesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The last sentencein this paragraph should include a transitional concluding hookthat signals the reader that this is the final major point beingmade in this paper. This hook also leads into the last, orconcluding, paragraph.The first paragraph of the body shouldcontain the strongest argument, most significant example,cleverest illustration, or an obvious beginning point. The firstsentence of this paragraph should include the "reverse hook" whichties in with the transitional hook at the end of the introductoryparagraph. The topic for this paragraph should be in the first orsecond sentence. This topic should relate to the thesis statementin the introductory paragraph. The last sentence in thisparagraph should include a transitional hook to tie into thesecond paragraph of the body. Introductory paragraphs are the portion of the essay that come before the thesis statement. The Thesis statement is usually the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.