How do I write an introduction for an argumentative essay on human trafficking?

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Fortunately, you have chosen a topic that immediately resonates with many people, most of whom are already primed for a reason to detest the practice of human trafficking. The spectrum of people who might support the idea of human trafficking is mercifully small, which makes your task in an argument essay more focused: that is, you can concentrate on an argument that assumes the evils of human trafficking and explore the fact that it is still, despite its already reprehensible nature, an evil that needs to be eradicated.

First, and most important, any argument essay begins with a fair amount of research. You need to read as much as you can (given your time constraints) about human trafficking. Why does it exist? Who are most likely to be the victims? Are certain countries more likely to encourage it? What are the personal and societal consequences of such trafficking? This research becomes the framework of your thinking about the topic and will guide you to the points you want to focus on given the length requirements of your argument essay. You cannot cover every element adequately, but you can explore several elements adequately to support your thesis.

Your introductory paragraph will tell your reader what your subject is, inform them what your view of that subject is, and, most importantly, encourage the reader to read the rest of the essay. How do you accomplish that? One of the most effective ways to begin an argument, especially on a topic such as human trafficking, is to gather as many statistics about human trafficking as you can and begin the essay with a recitation of those statistics. Where does human trafficking occur? What types of people are victims of human trafficking—what gender, what age, what background? Is human trafficking a problem worldwide, or is it limited to specific countries? The advantage of using statistics from credible sources (.gov, .edu, or .org sources) is that they are not arguable—that is, a reasonable person will accept the validity of statistics from credible sources. Facts and figures, by their nature, tend to hook a reader into continuing to read.

A second and equally effective method to hook your reader is to construct a narrative that focuses on a typical person who is a victim of human trafficking. In other words, you briefly tell that person's story and point out that this is a representative experience for those who are victims of human trafficking, using as much detail of that experience as possible. Readers, even those who might not be particularly interested in the topic, are drawn into a subject if they see themselves or someone they know in a particular situation. The main point is to motivate the reader to read further.

At the end of the introductory paragraph, or at the beginning of the second paragraph, you need to state your thesis—your argument about human trafficking. This must be an affirmative statement, not a question. In simple terms, your thesis should not be "Is human trafficking an evil that must be eradicated?" A workable thesis might be something along the lines of "Human trafficking must be stopped wherever it exists because it is a modern form of slavery."

Your thesis statement, whether it concludes the opening paragraph or begins the second, should be as detailed as possible. If you have decided, for example, that there are four elements of human trafficking that you want to discuss, then the thesis should briefly introduce each of those elements. This will be, in effect, your road map to the essay itself and will tell the reader what to expect.

With this particular topic, you will not have much opposition to your point of view—unless, of course, you argue that human trafficking is a good thing—but you can create a kind of opposition by noting in your thesis that you recognize that human trafficking is a very profitable business in some areas of the world. You will argue, however, that the economics doesn't justify the human suffering, so that your reader understands that you are not unaware of the economic "benefits" of human trafficking.

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In an argumentative essay, the writer’s goal is to persuade the reader of the point he or she is making. The point of the essay is called the thesis statement, and the thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the opening paragraph.

In order to persuade the reader, the writer must present the reader with a number of facts, data points, and/or statistics in a cohesive order to support the thesis statement and make a clear argument. The first paragraph is not the place to cram in these data points. Instead, the first paragraph should be used to clearly introduce the reader to the overall topic of the essay: in this case, the first paragraph should clearly define what human trafficking is at the highest level.

From there, the first paragraph should add clarifying details which act as a funnel to make your point more specific until the final sentence, the thesis statement, pinpoints the argument you will make and defend in the body paragraphs. Perhaps the middle sentences in the first paragraph could describe the location of human trafficking, the time period of human trafficking, or its intersection with entities like federal governments or organized crime. This will help set the stage for the reader.

The first paragraph is also used to hook the reader’s interest, so do not be afraid to “shock and awe” the reader in order to pique their interest in the topic.

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The introduction for any argumentative essay should "set the table" for your thesis statement, which usually comes at the end of the introduction. You should include pertinent facts about human trafficking (like the fact that it is one of the largest illegal industries in the world) that make it clear that it is a serious problem, even today.

Of particular importance for the introduction on an essay about human trafficking, though, is the need of a clear definition. There are numerous definitions of human trafficking that can drastically alter the accuracy of statistics and change whether your argument is valid or even relevant. For example, if "human trafficking" only includes the forced moving of one person from one place to another, then it limits what your essay can be about. On the other hand, if you use a broad definition of "human trafficking"—one that includes coerced labor in all of its forms, from prison labor to bonded labor (where a person works to pay off a debt, but the labor gets valued well below the debt's interest rate so the worker will never pay the debt off)—then you also have to take account of numerous other kinds of slavery, which might make it difficult to present a cohesive argument or offer a valid solution.

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In an introduction to an essay, the most important element is the thesis statement.  You should also include a definition of human trafficking.

When writing an essay on any topic, the most important element is the thesis statement.  A thesis statement is one sentence that directly addresses the prompt and explains what you are going to be writing about.

You need to find a direction to go with a broad topic like human trafficking.  You can discuss causes, legal approaches, effects on those involved, or some other direction.  The direction you choose should be clear in your thesis statement.

Another important aspect of an introduction for a paper like this is a definition.  You need to include a definition of human trafficking.  Get your definition from a trusted source.  Here is one from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transfering, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. (www.unodc.org)

Now your introduction has a thesis and a definition.  You can put those in any order.  You also need some kind of hook.  A statistic is a good place to start.  You can also choose an anecdote and tell a personal story, not necessarily yours but of someone affected by human trafficking.

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