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What is an Introduction in Academic Writing?

Before giving an answer to “what is an introduction in academic writing?”, it is necessary to pose even a more important question: “what is the main purpose of academic work?”. As a rule, an author of academic work has to show their expertise in the subject and persuade readers of some idea with the help of valid and strong arguments. In this matter, the beginning of the essay is the crucial element on their way towards achieving the mentioned goal. The perfect beginning of an essay helps to engage readers and prove the author’s authority. Let’s find out the main tips on how to start your essay in the most effective way.

#1 Establish the Frame and Tone

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The beginning of an essay should focus on the readers and prepare them for the journey of reading the entire essay. Make sure your introductory paragraph helps to focus and orient readers. Introduce the topic and establish the tone of your essay. As for the tone, it is important to mention that you should avoid any informal language and slang neither in the introduction nor in the rest of your work.

In the introduction you can show that, the audience can trust you; formulate a problem (outline a list of questions); establish contact with readers; set up audience, etc. It remains almost the most important task – to interest the audience, that is – to intrigue it from the first words. Because, even when answering questions, you can lose some of the readers who will stop reading your essay. It is important clearly understand what tasks the introduction should perform in each of your essays. It is better to write the introduction (think) already when you have decided on the main part. In this case, you will be able to accurately formulate the task to be performed by the introduction, and therefore to correctly determine its structure. The simplest templates for writing an introduction are usually as follows: Just outline the reason or purpose of your essay. A simple start does not mean strong. The first thing you need to do is understand what task your introduction should perform. Try to make any introduction interesting to the audience, even if you have another task, such as show that the audience can trust you, think about what you can do to make the audience not just trust you, but read intrigued to each word.

The very first sentence is actually the most important since it shows what readers can expect later in your work. Establish the essay’s context by stating a general fact related to the topic or a quote. At the same time, it is better to use quotes when your essay is connected to human disciplines such as sociology, literature, and philosophy. It is also possible to start your essay with a comparison: the current state, the prior state, and how the situation has changed (“ever since” statement). It is also possible to ask a rhetorical question or indicate some statistics to grab your readers’ attention. Remember that it is highly advised to use some sort of hook while opening your introduction. To sum up, the introduction paragraph should set the framework using a hook, information that focuses the readers’ attention on the context, and the thesis. The part of the introduction after the hook can include some background information regarding your topic that serves to establish the context of the research.

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In addition, keep in mind that the type of paper influences how you should write your introductory paragraph.

– an analytical paper

For example, an analytical paper means that a writer should evaluate some issue and provide a multi-faceted view on some particular problem. The thesis of this type of paper should be the presentation of the author’s evaluation to the audience.

– an explanatory paper

An explanatory type of paper serves to explain something to the audience. In this case, the author states the aspect that is about to be explained in detail.

-an argumentative paper

As for an argumentative paper, the author is expected to make a certain claim about some particular topic and justify this claim with specific persuasive arguments in the body of the essay.

#2 Create a Persuasive Thesis Statement

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The next step is to create a thesis statement that would clearly establish your main point. The thesis statement is basically one sentence that expresses what question the author aims to answer, what he or she wants to argue about. The thesis statement should reflect what the paper is about and why the author considers the topic worth covering. It is crucial to place the statement in the end of the introduction to add more emphasis and value to the introduced main idea.

To sum up, your thesis statement should:

  • be clear and easy-to-follow;
  • be connected to the established topic;
  • introduce your main point regarding this topic;
  • be connected to other points and arguments covered in the body of your paper.
  • Be placed at the end of the introduction paragraph.

# 3 Be flexible

It is quite possible to evade the established course. And it is quite ok. The only thing that matters is to reread and update your introduction at the end when the rest of the paper is already.

# 4 Show the importance of your work

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The introduction also should give readers an understanding of why they are reading this article. It goes without saying that the main target of academic works is professors and peers who might be assigned to evaluate their colleagues. Your essay should demonstrate what novelty your work may give to the field of your study. If you struggle with this or any other aspect of writing, try Pro-papers.

As we can see, an introduction is more than just the very first paragraph of the paper. An introduction sets the tone and readers’ expectations for the entire essay. The goal of your introduction is to let your reader know what they can expect from your paper. There are no exact rules regarding the creation of the perfect introduction. However, it is highly recommended to use a hook, establish the focus on the topic, and then introduce the thesis statement.

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