Essay writing length of introduction
Or you can do both: you can ask a question and immediately suggest the answer that your essay will argue. Here's an example from an essay about Memorial Hall.
The fullness of your idea will not emerge until your conclusion, but your beginning must clearly indicate the direction your idea will take, must set your essay on that road. Orient Readers. Orienting readers, locating them in your discussion, means providing information and explanations wherever necessary for your readers' understanding. Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning. Readers who don't have the information they need to follow your discussion will get lost and quit reading. Your teachers, of course, will trudge on.
Supplying the necessary information to orient your readers may be as simple as answering the journalist's questions of who, what, where, when, how, and why. It may mean providing a brief overview of events or a summary of the text you'll be analyzing.
If the source text is brief, such as the First Amendment, you might just quote it. If the text is well known, your summary, for most audiences, won't need to be more than an identifying phrase or two:.
Academic Support: How to Write Essay Introductions
Often, however, you will want to summarize your source more fully so that readers can follow your analysis of it. Questions of Length and Order. How long should the beginning be? The length should be proportionate to the length and complexity of the whole essay. For instance, if you're writing a five-page essay analyzing a single text, your beginning should be brief, no more than one or two paragraphs.
- Some general advice about introductions.
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On the other hand, it may take a couple of pages to set up a ten-page essay. Does the business of the beginning have to be addressed in a particular order? No, but the order should be logical. Usually, for instance, the question or statement that focuses the essay comes at the end of the beginning, where it serves as the jumping-off point for the middle, or main body, of the essay.
Topic and context are often intertwined, but the context may be established before the particular topic is introduced.
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In other words, the order in which you accomplish the business of the beginning is flexible and should be determined by your purpose. Opening Strategies. There is still the further question of how to start. What makes a good opening? You can start with specific facts and information, a keynote quotation, a question, an anecdote, or an image. But whatever sort of opening you choose, it should be directly related to your focus. A snappy quotation that doesn't help establish the context for your essay or that later plays no part in your thinking will only mislead readers and blur your focus.
Be as direct and specific as you can be. This means you should avoid two types of openings:. After working your way through the whole draft, testing your thinking against the evidence, perhaps changing direction or modifying the idea you started with, go back to your beginning and make sure it still provides a clear focus for the essay. Then clarify and sharpen your focus as needed. The background information for a short essay will generally just be one or two sentences.
The general statements should become more and more specific as the introduction progresses, leading the reader into the essay some writers talk about "attracting the readers' attention", though for an academic essay, this is less important. For longer essays, the general statements could include one or more definitions , or could classify the topic, and may cover more than one paragraph. The following is an example of background statements for a short essay given below :.
Although they were invented almost a hundred years ago, for decades cars were only owned by the rich. Since the 60s and 70s they have become increasingly affordable, and now most families in developed nations, and a growing number in developing countries, own a car. These sentences introduce the topic of the essay cars and give some background to this topic situation in the past, the situation now. These sentences lead nicely into the thesis statement see below.
The thesis statement is the most important part of the introduction. It gives the reader clear information about the content of the essay, which will help them to understand the essay more easily. The thesis states the specific topic, and often lists the main controlling ideas that will be discussed in the main body. It may also indicate how the essay will be organised, e.
It is usually at the end of the introduction, and is usually but not always one sentence long. This thesis statement tells us the specific topic of the essay advantages and disadvantages of cars and the method of organisation advantages should come first, disadvantages second. It is, however, quite general, and may have been written before the writer had completed the essay. While cars have undoubted advantages, of which their convenience is the most apparent, they have significant drawbacks, most notably pollution and traffic problems.
This thesis gives us more detail, telling us not just the topic advantages and disadvantages of cars and the method of organisation advantages first, disadvantages second , but also tells us the main ideas in the essay convenience, pollution, traffic problems. This essay will probably have three paragraphs in the main body. Below is a discussion essay which looks at the advantages and disadvantages of car ownership. This essay is used throughout the essay writing section to help you understand different aspects of essay writing.
Here it focuses on the thesis statement and general statements of the introduction mentioned on this page , topic sentences , controlling ideas, and the summary and final comment of the conclusion. Click on the different areas in the shaded boxes to the right to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay. The most striking advantage of the car is its convenience.
When travelling long distance, there may be only one choice of bus or train per day, which may be at an unsuitable time. The car, however, allows people to travel at any time they wish, and to almost any destination they choose. Despite this advantage, cars have many significant disadvantages, the most important of which is the pollution they cause.
Almost all cars run either on petrol or diesel fuel, both of which are fossil fuels.
Format of an Essay
Burning these fuels causes the car to emit serious pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide. Not only are these gases harmful for health, causing respiratory disease and other illnesses, they also contribute to global warming, an increasing problem in the modern world.
In short, pollution is a major drawback of cars. A further disadvantage is the traffic problems that they cause in many cities and towns of the world. While car ownership is increasing in almost all countries of the world, especially in developing countries, the amount of available roadway in cities is not increasing at an equal pace. This can lead to traffic congestion, in particular during the morning and evening rush hour. In some cities, this congestion can be severe, and delays of several hours can be a common occurrence. Such congestion can also affect those people who travel out of cities at the weekend.
Spending hours sitting in an idle car means that this form of transport can in fact be less convenient than trains or aeroplanes or other forms of public transport. In conclusion, while the car is advantageous for its convenience , it has some important disadvantages, in particular the pollution it causes and the rise of traffic jams.
If countries can invest in the development of technology for green fuels, and if car owners can think of alternatives such as car sharing, then some of these problems can be lessened. Union of Concerned Scientists Car Emissions and Global Warming. Like the website?