The most important parts of a paper are the title page, introduction and conclusion, and of course a thesis statement. To make a good impression, a strong introduction is essential. A concise and strong thesis statement at the end of your introduction paragraph, leading on to the rest of the paper, will help the reader follow a clear direction and read a paper that rocks!
The thesis statement introduction paragraph opens the paper. Most people make up their mind about the piece they are reading at the first several sentences, so it needs to be snappy and capture the reader’s attention. It also needs to set up some context and explain to the reader what they are going to read about and why it is relevant and important.
A few sentences can introduce the paper. This should then lead into the thesis statement to end the introduction paragraph. The body of the paper continues to support and argue your statement.
- Ensure that your introduction dwells upon the rest of the paper. A clearly thought out plan is essential;
- Use your introduction to set up the thesis statement itself, which should be at the end of the introduction. Think of your first sentences as a lead-in within an introduction and make sure that it is profound enough;
- Make your arguments clear. You can introduce supporting points later in the paper, but don’t leave you reader in any doubt of your point of view;
- Make your statement specific and focused. The more focus you can achieve in your introduction, the more you can explore a point in detail and thoroughly rather than cover lots of different points vaguely.
- Ensure that you have evidence to back up your statement. Jot down quotes and page numbers from parts of the plot that can support your thesis statement.
Not to Do
- Don’t put your thesis statement at the beginning of your introduction, as the reader might be confused as to your point or argument by the time they have finished reading it. Instead, set up the paper with a few introductory sentences and end the intro with the thesis statement;
- Don’t be too broad with your statement. An overloaded paper can be really difficult to read;
- Don’t sit on the fence – pick a point and provide strong arguments. Even if your thesis statement is controversial, if it can be backed up with evidence, thus, it is a viable statement;
- Don’t make a claim that can’t be explored with evidence. It’s better not to pluck out a random theme or argument from nowhere! Paragraphs leading on from the introduction should serve to argue and explain your thesis statement.
A lot of people delay their introductions by the very end, or at least jot down trial introductions and thesis statements and then write up the pieces. Once you have explored different arguments, looked at the evidence and played around with the structure of the paper, you can revisit the start of it and make sure it accurately reflects what you have written, and most of all, that it rocks!