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Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively
 

Writing your introduction

This section will assist you in writing effective introductions. It examines the typical components of an introduction, provides examples and gives you practice in identifying the different elements.

Your introduction is your first point of contact with your readers, so you want to make a good initial impression.

To do this, you need to give your readers an overview of what your essay is going to argue and how it is going to develop. This will act as a guide for them to follow as they read on through the body of the essay. A well-written introduction will help your readers to make sense of how the information and arguments will develop. Therefore it is important that your introduction is consistent with the rest of your essay. If it is not, your readers will become confused and may not be convinced by your arguments.

Getting started

Don’t try to start by mapping out the perfect introduction. It doesn’t work. Avoid writer’s block by jotting down a few dot points to serve as a temporary introduction. Alternatively, spend your time working up a better plan of your arguments, then start on the body of your essay with confidence. Leave your introduction until last.

After you have written the body of your essay and the conclusion, you will know exactly how you have developed your arguments and what conclusions you have drawn. You will then be in a position to write an introduction that truly reflects what you have written, rather than writing an introduction and finding later that the rest of the essay doesn’t fit.

Of course, writing your introduction last only works when you have time to edit and revise. Don’t try using this technique in exams!

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