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How to write an essay intro: the practical significance of the ‘Introduction’ segment

Doubtlessly, the ‘Introduction’ section is one of the most significant parts of each academic paper, regardless of its purposes or specific characteristics. A well-based, laconic and elegantly structured introduction allows readers to familiarize themselves with the main author’s conclusions and ideas before reading the main body of the essay and as a result, decide whether it is worth their attention or not. Surely, one may consider that the presentation of the one’s work is not as important as the work itself. However, it would be a wrong conclusion to suggest that all potential reviewers, readers and critiques would spend their time, trying to understand the main means and concepts of a poorly written and incorrectly structured essay. In fact, one of the most important arguments in favor of this point of view is that all types of academic papers include the ‘Introduction’ part, even those that are targeted at the highly specialized auditory, such as different scientific articles or laboratory reports. Therefore, even if you consider that the content of your papers speaks for itself, you still have to present it in an appropriate way and in accordance with all demands of modern formats and literary styles. Naturally, the reader makes the final decision about the reading of the whole work only after becoming acquainted with the introduction of the essay and this simple practical principle has to be familiar to all students and writers. A splendidly written and comprehensibly organized introduction transforms the ordinary reader’s interest into a passionate desire to read the main part of the one’s essay. In truth, while reading a decent essay introduction the reader should feel neither boredom nor monotony. On the contrary, after finishing a good introduction the reader should feel a certain sense of disappointment that she has not read about this issue before or a sense of joy that she has finally found a perfect piece of material. Naturally, from the author’s viewpoint, no other reader’s emotional and intellectual reactions are welcome. Thereby, the question: ‘how to write an essay intro, which can attract the attention of all the readers?’ is extremely significant to all authors who just begin their writing career and seek new effective methods of writing decent and interesting papers. In order to propose a satisfying answer to this doubtlessly important and simultaneously sophisticated question, we have to understand what is an ‘Introduction’ and what are the main purposes of this part of the essay.

Surely, it is a considerable mistake to suggest that there exists only one correct way of accomplishing this writing assignment. Different authors create completely different concepts and use absolutely different literary styles, achieving comparably satisfying results from the point of view of the informational density of the essay’s introduction, as well as from the point of view of its popularity among the readers. Hence, the question: ‘how to write an essay intro in a generally accepted style?’ is meaningless because a talented writer should test various writing techniques, trying to improve her skills, and it is pretty naïve to consider that one specific style can satisfy all the demands of different writers. Nevertheless, all perfectly written introductions have the same common peculiarity: a well-organized and logically faultless structure. Thus, it is wise to begin with this crucial point of one’s work before writing the main parts of the essay introduction.

How to write an essay intro: a concise guideline about useful practical tips

Thus, what is the ‘Introduction’ part of the standard academic essay? What are the main characteristics of this part? Finally, what are the significant differences between the same structural segments of different types of essays? The introduction is a relatively small segment of the essay that familiarizes the readers with the main purposes of the whole work, demonstrates the certain level of quality of the essay and concentrates the audience’s attention on those problems, issues, hypotheses or phenomena that are studied in the main body of the essay. In other words, the introduction plays a role of a laconic and highly informative excursus, a concentrated essence of the author’s thoughts, which permits the audience to judge the quality of the writer’s work before reading those parts that contain arguments and conclusions. As it has been already mentioned, different types of the specific academic papers require diverse types of introductions in order to be formatted in a correct style. Moreover, it is practically obvious that different types of essays also comprise introductions that considerably differ in styles and formats. Nowadays, there exist three the most ubiquitous and literary correct types of essays: personal, literary and research academic essays. Thereby, a formal and impersonal literary style, which suits perfectly when writing a standard research essay, is unacceptable when working on the introduction of a personal essay that requires a great number of demonstrations of the author’s emotional and intellectually biased reactions.

In fact, the situation with the factual content of the essay intro is quite similar: those writing strategies that are perfect for research essays just do not work for literary essays. With an eye to developing a certain kind of a universal strategy, one has to pay attention to the structure of the essay intro. Firstly, the author describes the significance and topicality of the selected theme. Secondly, she demonstrates a few persuasive examples of the studied problem or phenomenon. Next, according to the nature of the one’s ideas and approaches, one describes the current situation and/or the evolution of the examined topic. Of course, one can skip this part of the text if the studied theme has no rich historical background or its current situation has not been changed during the considerably great period. Surely, in this case, all mannered but obviously meaningless sophistications would only distract the potential audience. Finally, all the important author’s objectives must be represented in the essay introduction; therefore, the author should seek the way to emphasize her ideas in order to focus readers’ attention on those points that show the quality of the paper from the most beneficial angle. It is pointless to accent that the pithiness of the essay introduction, as well as the pithiness of the essay itself, is a key to success - each experienced author perfectly knows about this writing principle. Nevertheless, it is not superfluous to point out that many inexperienced authors understand this recommendation as an unbreakable dogma and, as a result, try to abbreviate even those semantic structures of the essay introduction that are substantial to the readers’ understanding of the writer’s concepts. For example, if one prefers long exquisite sentences and polished metaphors, it is wiser to keep them in the text, attempting to save its linguistic and informational integrity, then remove them from the final version, running the risk of being exposed to the readers’ incomprehension. In other words, all writers attempt to maximally reflect the studied theme, but all of them give slightly different answers to the question: ‘how to write an essay intro?’ from the formal point of view. Thereby, in order to create the essay introduction, which can become of interest to the potential audience, one should use one of the time-tested approaches that concentrate the readers’ attention, not forgetting that these writing methods are desirable, but not mandatory. Here is a concise list of these writing techniques:

  • Demonstrate and accent all innovative approaches that distinguish your essay from the thematically similar papers. In fact, this part has two significant objectives. Firstly, the author shows that she is familiar with all notional or practical works about the studied topic and indicates their influence on her own work. Secondly, by presenting this part of the essay introduction, the author convinces the audience that her work has not only literary but also scientific value.
  • Formulate three-five laconic and literary appropriate questions that reflect your personal interest in the object of study. Obviously, if the readers understand that the author is passionate about the studied theme than their interest in her work grows exponentially. In addition, an ambitious writer would not neglect this useful opportunity to double-check her own concepts.
  • Present the perspective questions and notional approaches offered by your paper. Undoubtedly, an essay that does not propose new ways of dealing with some specific theoretical problem or phenomenon is useless, regardless of its literary refinement. Therefore, a scrupulous writer always remembers that a perfectly composed paper is always an elegant mix of revolutionary ideas and classical compositional techniques.
  • Naturally, after accomplishing all these objectives, one should verify all the conclusions, justify all previously used arguments with trustworthy and easily comprehensible proofs, and correct all inaccuracies with the literary style of the work.
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