Anytime you are introducing an essay, you are introducing an argument for your reader. The best thing is to consider your audience and make a plan—think about what you would have to say to someone who has no understanding of your topic, and give enough information for the reader to understand your thesis.
Your thesis is your main argument, and whatever your argument is for Gilman's story, it's sure to have some ideas present in it that your reader would be unfamiliar with. In the introduction, you need to explain those particulars to the audience without sounding conversational.
The first thing to do when writing any paper is to settle on a thesis, a main argument. For our purposes, I'll create one:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" qualifies as feminist literature because the story explores the challenges of being a woman in the nineteenth century.
Just looking at that thesis, an ignorant reader would most likely need to be introduced to what feminist literature is, what...
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