For "The Yellow Wallpaper" what is a good essay introduction?

A good introduction will begin with a hook related to one's essay topic. A brief summary of the text, relevant details regarding the cultural context of the story, or even a description of the writer's own life, especially for this story, are also appropriate. A "road map" comprised of two or three sentences that refer to the forthcoming topic sentences and main pieces of evidence should be included. The thesis statement should be the final sentence of the introduction and ought to consist of a claim.

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A good introductory paragraph ought to establish the topic of the essay, setting up the main argument or claim, and it should provide a sort of road map of the essay, referencing the two or three reasons or ways you have to support your claim. It is also a good idea to begin with a "hook" of some sort, an interesting fact or quotation or a provocative question designed to catch the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading.

Since the narrator/protagonist seems to be suffering from postpartum depression, a condition that affects some women who have just had a baby (as she has), you might consider "hooking" your audience with the fact that postpartum depression was not even a scientific diagnosis until the twenty-first century, for example. Women before that time had no idea what was happening to them. Many likely felt that there was something wrong with them as women and as mothers, as the narrator does. However, such a hook would only really be appropriate if this topic were going to come up again in your essay. Generally, you should begin with a hook which you then relate to your general topic.

Next, you can briefly summarize the story or even provide a little background information on the cultural context or the author's own life, which in this case bears a striking similarity with the narrator's. Construct the road map, which ought to refer to the topic sentences of your body paragraphs, and then finish the paragraph with your thesis: some claim that expresses an opinion about the text—such as that it is dangerous to deny women the right to participate in their own treatment plans—that you can defend with evidence (i.e. quotations).

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