Some general tips on effective introductions

The effectiveness of academic writing depends primarily on good introductions and hence they demand a lot of your attention most of the time. The key components of a good introduction are identification of topic, essential context and the key focus areas of the study. In addition it should be good enough to engage the interest of your readers. Because no two essays are identical, no single formula would be able to generate the introduction we are seeking. But adhering to certain guidelines can surely help to give a suitable beginning to your writing:

General advice about introductions:

  • A lot of students get entangled in the web of creating an effective introduction and hence end up spending most of their time creating that “perfect intro”. Don’t do that and rather channelize your time and efforts better into planning and writing.
  • If you are one of those who prefers to write an introduction as the first thing, know that you may have to correct, compress or rectify it at a later stage when you have finished your document
  • It is better and easier to leave the introduction  for the last stage of the document as then you would  be able to write in primarily in the light of what you have written throughout the document
  • The size of the introduction has a relationship with the length and complexity of your document for instance a document more than 15 pages would require over two page long introduction while a 5 page document would have a half page intro. You must know and justify the length of you document.
  • Do not beat around the bush in an introduction and try to raise your topic in the very first sentence itself. Stay away from generalisations
  • The end of the introduction should be your thesis statement, even though it isn’t a thumb rule, it surely paves a good road map for you.

An interesting and effective introduction should surely include some startling statistics in context to your topic so that the seriousness of your topic is highlighted right in the beginning itself. Including some background information with a brief narrative that should exemplify the reason because of which you chose the topic. It is also a good idea to quote an expert after giving a brief introduction of him or her and mention the common misinterpretation against which your thesis will argue so that the readers become acquainted with it right in the beginning itself.

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