How can I write a perfect introduction for an argumentative essay about abortion?

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A "perfect" introduction is not possible.  I could think your introduction is the most brilliant thing that I have ever reader, but another reader (teacher) might think there are missing pieces.  Additionally, your reader may disagree with your introduction and thesis statement.  That will automatically color their ability to give you high praise that says what you wrote is perfect.  

While the above sounds pessimistic, I can definitely help you get started.  I like the fact that you stated your essay needs to be an argumentative essay.  That means you can insert your voice and opinion into the essay.  You can't use "I," but your voice and opinions are expected to be heard.  

The first thing that you need to do is decide whether or not you are for or against abortion.  Once that is determined, your next step is to make a strong thesis statement.  It needs to be one sentence.  For this kind of essay I recommend your thesis statement is the kind that begins with a dependent clause.  Start with the word "although."  "Although proponents of abortion claim that abortion is harmless, abortion is an emotional death for the mother and a physical murder of a child."  If you are for abortion, then flip some of that around.  

The point of the above thesis type, and advantage, is that it is two parts.  In the first part, you admit to your opponent's argument.  You will even spend time discussing it within the body of the essay.  The second part of the thesis is your opinion that you are trying to prove is more correct than the first part.  

Once you have a solid thesis, that will be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.  The first sentence, needs to be your "attention getter."  You need to grab your reader's attention in the first sentence.  If you don't, he/she doesn't want to keep reading.  I recommend one of the four following attention getters.  

  1. Use a quote.  People think they need to pay more attention to something if it's in quotes.  It seems more interesting. 
  2. Use a bold statement.  
  3. Use a definition.  This can be a bit boring, but the definition of abortion might help you make your case. 
  4. Ask a question.  By asking your reader a question, you instantly engage them.  You force them to consider a response right from the beginning. 

Now that your first and last sentences are set, you need to fill in the middle.  Give your reader a taste of what to expect in the body of your essay.  But don't give away too many specifics.  You need to try and summarize what is coming.  With all of that together, your "perfect" introduction will read like this: attention grabbing statement, some info on the topic, and a thesis statement that contains your opinion and main point.