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How to Write an Introduction for Your Essay

The most crucial part of your essay is the introduction: it can tell readers how well your thoughts are put together, how well organized your entire essay is, and how well you write. And if they don’t like what they see...well, they probably won’t read any further. Follow these 6 easy steps to make sure no one will be able to put your essay down.

1) Research, take notes, and outline. Prepare before you actually start writing your introduction. First, do some initial research, which should establish what it is you will be writing about, what issue you will argue for or against, and why you will take this position. Then actively research by taking notes on your topic. Outline the ideas and arguments that you will make so that you’ll know what to include in your introduction. Ideally, you should be able to roughly outline at least three to five ideas or arguments that you can successfully address in your essay. 

2) Indicate your topic. When you write an introduction, you need to clearly indicate the topic (i.e., the subject matter) that you will be writing about. Be careful that you do not confuse your topic with your thesis. For example, if you are writing an essay that argues for renewable energy, you will need to briefly explain or define renewable energy because that is your topic.

3) Set the foundation for the structure. After you have clearly stated your topic, you will need to address how you’ve organized the body of your essay. You should use the notes and outline you made during your initial research and write a few sentences explaining the order in which your essay will be structured. This will be your readers’ road map. They will know where they will be going as they read and in what order your ideas will be presented.

4) Writing the thesis. Every good introduction has a clearly stated thesis. The thesis statement is where you will let your readers know what position you will take on your topic. When you write your thesis, don’t be shy: make a bold and factual statement that expresses your position.

5) Keep it short. An introduction must not be so detailed that it includes everything you...

(The entire section is 570 words.)