A strong introduction is vital for providing a strong start to an essay. The introduction part is the first part of an essay; therefore, it is important to start strong. A strong introduction grabs your readers attention and interest while telling them what to expect.
The first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay; this sentence is often called the hook. This is because the writer wants to catch the reader and hook them in. Avoid long and dense sentences; instead, start with something clear, concise, and catchy that will spark curiosity. For example, while writing an essay about the history of the Braille writing system, we do not want to start by saying something like, “Braille was a very important invention.” This is because though it tells the readers about what the essay is all about, it is plain and boring. Instead, start with something like, “The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.”
Such sentences are more engaging instead of just stating a topic by making a bold claim about its place and history by linking it to relevant social themes. The phrase “turning point” hints at the big changes you are going to discuss without giving out too much details just yet.
Give your reader the background they need to understand your argument.
Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include the following:
1. Describing the historical or social context
2. Defining key terms
3. Introducing relevant theories or research
4. Setting up the different sides of a debate
However, keep in mind not to go overboard here. Remember to save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.
For example, in the Braille example, first introduce the topic, “The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France.” Then, sketch the social context that the essay will address.
For example, “In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use.”
Now, it is the time to narrow your focus and present exactly what you want to say about the topic. So, let us start with “What is a thesis statement”?
1. Sums up your overall argument in 1-2 sentences.
2. It is the most important part of the introduction.
3. Defines the focus of your essay.
4. A thesis statement is not just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.
1. Clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.
2. Indicate the rationale for your position.
The main point of the essay in the context of Braille is on how to show Braille was a very important invention in history. For example, “As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a ground-breaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but it also helped to change the cultural status of blindness.”
In the above sentences, the thesis statement sums up the two stages of our overall argument: the innovation of a writing system made for blind people in the first sentence, and the social changes it facilitated in the second sentence.
Particularly in longer essays, it is helpful to end the introduction by sign posting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take. In our example, “This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in the nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the development of Braille and its gradual acceptance within the blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on the blind people’s social and cultural lives.”
In the example above, we mapped out the three main parts of the essay, such as the Pre-Braille situation in the nineteenth-century Europe in the first sentence. The development of Braille in education in the second sentence, and the consequences in the third sentence.
Even though the instruction comes at the start of your essay, you do not always have to write it first. If you feel stuck, you can always work on the rest of your essay and then come back to finish your introduction. You just need to make sure that you have your thesis statement to guide you while working on the other parts of your essay.
The aforementioned will help readers to write a strong introduction and thesis statement for their essay. Follow the guidelines properly and ace your essay with a strong introduction.
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