How to Write an
Introduction and Thesis
We are nearing the end of this
• The five paragraph essay consists of
five complete paragraphs.
• The first one being the introduction
• Second, third and forth reserved for
the main body
• The last being the conclusion.
The all important
• The introductory paragraph is the place in which
the writer introduces the reader to the topic. It
is important to make this a clear and limited
statement. This is where the writer grabs the
reader's attention. Because of its purpose, it is
often the first sentence of the paragraph. It is
followed by three subtopics that develop the
• This can be done in a variety of ways....
• Historical review: Some topics are better understood if a
brief historical review of the topic is presented to lead into
the discussion of the moment. Such topics might include "a
biographical sketch of a war hero," "an upcoming execution
of a convicted criminal," or "drugs and the younger
generation." Obviously there are many, many more topics
that could be introduced by reviewing the history of the
topic before the writer gets down to the nitty gritty of his
paper. It is important that the historical review be brief so
that it does not take over the paper.
• Anecdotal: An anecdote is a little story. Everyone
loves to listen to stories. Begin a paper by relating
a small story that leads into the topic of your
paper. Your story should be a small episode, not a
full blown story with characters and plot and
setting...If you do it right, your story will capture
the reader's interest so that he or she will
continue to read your paper. One caution: be sure
that your story does not take over the paper.
Remember, it is an introduction, not the paper.
• Surprising statement: A surprising statement is a
favorite introductory technique of professional
writers. There are many ways a statement can
surprise a reader. Sometimes the statement is
surprising because it is disgusting. Sometimes it is
joyful. Sometimes it is shocking. Sometimes it is
surprising because of who said it. Professional
writers have honed this technique to a fine edge.
It is not used as much as the first two patterns,
but it is used.
• Famous person: People like to know what celebrities say and
do. Dropping the name of a famous person at the beginning
of a paper usually gets the reader's attention. It may be
something that person said or something he or she did that
can be presented as an interest grabber. You may just
mention the famous person's name to get the reader's
interest. The famous person may be dead or alive. The
famous person may be a good person like the Pope, or he or
she may be a bad person like John Wilkes Booth. Of course,
bringing up this person's name must be relevant to the
topic. Even though the statement or action may not be
readily relevant, a clever writer can convince the reader
that it is relevant.
• Declarative: This technique is quite commonly
used, but it must be carefully used or the writer
defeats his whole purpose of using one of these
patterns, to get the reader's interest. In this
pattern, the writer simply states straight out
what the topic of his paper is going to be about.
It is the technique that most student writers use
with only modest success most of the time, but
good professional writers use it too.
Your introduction also needs to
state the three main
subtopics of your paper,
without going into detail.
Now that that’s done lets
take a look at what you
should never put in an
• Apologize... never suggest that you do
not know what you are talking about
by using sentences like...
In my [humble] opinion . . .
I am not sure about this, but . . .
• Announce your intentions....never
state out right that you are about to
write an essay.
In this essay I will....
In my paper I will talk about....
The purpose of this essay is to...
• Use a dictionary or encyclopedia
According to Merriam-Webster's
a widget is . . .
• Dilly-dally. Get right to it. Sometimes
it is useful to write a paragraph to
get yourself started, but once you
have finished your paper all the
unnecessary parts need to be taken
The last line in your introduction also
needs to move the reader completely
from your introduction to your main
body. This is where your thesis
statement comes in. It answers the
question that the topic asks.
By now you should all know the basic
ideas of the brainstorm....but just
Just in case you missed it...
Most of this information can be found
on the following web page:
And to answer the age
old question of...
Why do we have
to write essay
Writing is a part of everyday life, especially if you
are planning to attend university, community
college or any post secondary school.
You will be asked more than once to write an essay in
any of the above mentioned forms of schooling.
They do not give you a second chance to make up a
paper; the better you know it now, the better off
you will be then.
And do not forget, there is an essay on your Exam!!!
But what if I do not plan on
going to university or any
other post secondary
The chances that you will get a good,
well paying job with out some form of
post secondary schooling is slim to
none. And even if you do, then at
some point during that job you will be
required to write some form of
And possibly, for
some, the best
reason why you
need to write
essays in AS
English 10 is...
• Start a new document. Make certain
you follow the directions for page
set-up, header, and heading on the
formatting tab. Type your
introduction and then your body