Writing an Introduction | Kent State University

Use your introduction as the key to your paper.

Why create a strong introduction?

  1. To draw readers from their world into the writer's world.
  2. To focus readers' attention on the topic and arouse their curiosity about what you have to say.
  3. To specify what you will discuss and what your attitude is.
  4. To provide general background information for your reader.

In order to open up your topic of discussion and help your reader become aware of your purpose, you need a key. The introduction serves a greater purpose than merely beginning the paper. It must clearly and effectively invite the reader to continue reading, enticing them to stay with you.

Purpose of Introductions:

  1. Introduce the topic – Make clear what is discussed in the paper
  2. Present thesis statement – Sum up the main idea in one statement
  3. Fascinate or intrigue your reader by creating interest in your topic

Introduce the Topic:

  1. State what you plan to discuss, argue, or explain. Provide necessary background about your topic.  
  2. Try not to use announcements like, “In this paper, I would like to talk about…,” or statements like “Throughout history…,” or “From the beginning of time…”
  3. General statements imply a lack of specific knowledge about the subject. The goal is to create the impression that this area of discussion is one that you, the writer, know a lot about.

Present Your Thesis Statatement:

  1. A good thesis statement should generally be one or two sentences in the introduction. Be sure that your thesis statement is clear and concise. This will provide an overview of your argument. It may also list the points from your outline that you intend to develop within the body of your paper.  This is your informed opinion which you are going to substantiate. 
  2. One test for the effectiveness of a thesis statement is to see if it fundamentally captures the main point/purpose of your paper. For example: “The introduction is the key to your paper’s success, enticing your reader to interact with your topic.”

Create Interest in the Reader:

  1. Raise a question or pose a problem that you will offer an answer or a solution to.  Intrigue the reader so that he/she will want to see what you have to say.  
  2. Offer an interesting quote, or a fascinating fact, or an anecdote about the subject to open the door to the body of your work.