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Chemistry LibreTexts

Crafting an Introduction

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  • Crafting an Introduction



    It’s finally time to begin actually writing your paper!  Your first step should be to write an introduction to your paper.  Any good introduction should accomplish these tasks:

    • Provide an overview of the topic
    • Introduce the reader to the main argument in this paper
    • Interest the reader in the topic and invite them into further reading

    Here are a few strategies you could try for this introduction:

    • Begin with a quotation.  Famous people often have amazing quotations that are associated with them, often illustrating how that person was insightful or influential in our world today.  Find a quotation that you like from your person.  Begin your introduction with that quotation and then elaborate on the core idea of your paper from there.
    • Begin with a story or anecdote.  Often, a single story or incident from a person’s life will provide an interesting insight into the person and who they later became.  Starting with an anecdote can be a really strong way to begin an introduction.
    • Ask a question.  A simple rhetorical question can help to frame your paper and draw your reader in.  Something as simple as, “How would the world be different without Martin Luther King?” can be very effective.

    You’ll also want to avoid a few missteps.  Here are some of the biggest pitfalls to avoid:

    • Don’t explain the assignment.  Pretend you’re not writing this paper for a class.  Pretend you’re just fascinated by the topic and wanted to write an in-depth research paper on it.
    • Don’t say, “In this paper…” or “In this essay…” or anything like that.  Just jump right into your topic without the extra verbiage.
    • Don’t jump into the main information for your paper.  Otherwise your introduction will feel like a body paragraph and your reader will be confused on the topic and where you’re headed with the paper.

    Check out the example introductions linked below for a place to start and then jump right in!