I need help with an introduction that includes a thesis statement, Im doing a research argument essay on paranormal activity...

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before you begin to write, collect scientific data on your subject, testimony from authorities, and as many facts as possible.

  1. To begin with, you will want to write a brief, direct statement of where you stand on the issue:  This is your position statement , or proposition--the thesis statement of your persuasive essay which indicates two broad, fundamental reason for your position.
  2. Set up a pro-con table.  It is important that you understand and anticipate all the arguments/counterarguments that your issue gives rise to.  Put "Pro" on the left-hand side and "Con" on the right-hand side, then, jot down all the reasons that you have collected.
  3. List arguments and counterarguments.  Using your pro-con table as a basis, write a more extensive list of possible arguments to support your side and a list of possible objections, or counterarguments, for the other side.  Come back to this and check for the validity of your arguments (i.e. be sure you have not used logical fallacies.)  If, as you collect arguments for and against the issue, you come across an opposing argument that you cannot refute, you must acknowledge it and affirm its validity.  (This is called conceding a point.)  It is not a weakness to do this; in fact, it is a sign of strength that demonstrates that you have thoroughly considered all sides and are being fair.

Be sure to write a well reasoned essay with plenty of support that no one can argue with [examples, expert opinions, statistics).  Be sure to deal thoroughly and fairly with counterarguments.

Craft an effective introduction as it is important to make your readers care about the issue from the outset.  Begin with an attention-getting anecdote or example, a surprising statistic, of a rhetorical question [ one that is asked to make people think)  Then, clearly identify the issue, and state your position on it

You may wish to organize your essay by importance with the most significant argument first.  However, sometimes it is effective to move from least to most, saving the "heaviest ammuntion" for the last.

Logical order presents oppononents' positions and then presents your refutations of these arguments through comparison and contrast or rebuttal.

Use both logical appeals, ones made to reason, and emotional appeals.  To develop emotional appeals, think about the evidence you have collected that will speak to your readers' hearts:  Examples, vivid details, anecdotes, and experiences can be used effectively.

Emotional appeals also come from the connotative meanings of words that you choose.  Connotative words are words that can deliver a "punch." Used carefully and sparingly, these words will cause readers to become not just intellectually involved, but emotionally, as well.

Always consider the audience's response, since affecting their opinions is your primary goal.  Think about how much your audience already knows about your issue, and provide background information, if necessary


The conclusion of your essay should leave readers feeling that and issue has been adequately and fairly explored.  You may wish to reword your thesis, or make a statement about what might happen if they do not follow the course of action you recommend.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After you have given your topic a lot of thought you need to figure out a way to let the reader know what the significance of your paper is. The thesis statement is basically going to let the reader know what he or she is to expect out of your paper. It will also open your topic up for debate. With a topic like paranormal activity this will be easy to do because there are people who totally believe in it and those who totally oppose it.

Generally, a thesis statement is one sentence and occurs in the first paragraph of your paper, your introduction. It should be very specific and provide an argument for those who do not agree with you.

In the introduction you will want to give the reader a clear idea of what they are going to be reading. You will want to grab the attention of the reader. Some people even write their introductions last because this way they have a clearer concept of what they have written.