I need suggestions on how to write a good introduction.I had to write on essay, with the topic of 'the supernatural in Hamlet; I am not at all familiar with writing essays. I would be greateful if...

I need suggestions on how to write a good introduction.

I had to write on essay, with the topic of 'the supernatural in Hamlet; I am not at all familiar with writing essays. I would be greateful if I could get comments and suggestions on my introduction.

Here's my introduction:


‘To be or not to be’. This is a very famous literary cue, and which characterizes both the play Hamlet and his author William Shakespeare. Hamlet is a tragedy reflecting very much the Elizabethan period in which it was originally played. At that time, the theme of supernatural was very much of use, and not only was it to be found on stage, but also in most of the mentalities, and related to religious beliefs. However, if supernatural is there in most of Shakespeare’s plays, it is here, in Hamlet, recurring all the way throughout the play. It first, used in its most simple and direct form, introduces the audience with the exposition; it creates a spectacular and convincing atmosphere, and it defines the plot and the different characters. Besides, used in another and less obvious form, its many occurrences, undeniably contribute to awake and increase inner feelings within the audience, and it enables the characterization to changes all along the play. Moreover, the supernatural is the key and crucial element that has the power to raise an increasing clime of tension and uneasiness, until the denouement: the relief.




Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that you have many strong points in the introduction featured here.  That being said, I think that you can also find how different people will go in different directions with it.  In terms of a formal introduction, I think that a good lead sentence is critical.  However, I am not entirely sure that the one sentence Shakespearean line is probably the best way to go with it.  If you wanted to go with this start, perhaps something along the lines of, "One of the most lasting and effective cues in literature is Hamlet's line 'To be or not to be."  I also think that much of the detail present is material that might be better used in the actual body of the paper.  Perhaps, reorienting this to discuss how the supernatural was present in other works of the Elizabethan time period would help here.  It is intimated as a theme of the time period, but never quite explored within the time period.  This might be another avenue to pursue in your introduction.  A final point might be that there needs to be a clearer distillation as to your thesis statement.  I don't think it is stated in such a formal way or in as clear of a manner as it could be.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since you appear to have a good grasp of the actual topic of your essay, I would only suggest the following in terms of the first paragraph.  From the way you structured it, I assume that your instructor wants you to have a very clear thesis that will give the reader a road map of your essay including basically introducing each paragraph to come.  You've done that, but I would avoid "undeniably," because you are just begging for your reader to try and deny it, not something you want in your intro.

Also, "characterization to changes," do you mean to write that it allows characterization to change?  Because the way you've phrased it now doesn't make much sense.

Other than that, your opening paragraph appears to be pretty well put together

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The introduction needs to be shortened and tightened up a bit. In an essay, the introduction should just be a jumping off point. It should state your thesis and lay out your basic arguments. You leave the actual proof to the body of the essay itself.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question