How to Write an Introduction:

The introduction of a persuasive essay or paper must be substantial. Having finished it, the reader ought to have a very clear idea of the author's purpose in writing.

Your intro needs to clue the reader in on:

  • where the rest of the paper is headed
  • what the paragraphs in your body will address
  • what is your argument or thesis

Example:

The role of women has changed over the centuries, and it has also differed from civilization to civilization. Some societies have treated women much like property, while others have allowed women to have great influence and power.

What's the problem with this intro?

The author of this paper discussed women in ancient Egypt, classical Greece, medieval France and early Islamic civilization and stressed their variable treatment in these societies. This writer also focused on the political, social and economic roles women have played in Western cultures and the various ways they have found to assert themselves and circumvent opposition based on gender.

Given that, I would rewrite the introduction this way:

The role of women in Western society has changed dramatically over the centuries, from the repression of ancient Greece to the relative freedom of women living in Medieval France. The treatment of women has also differed from civilization to civilization even at the same period in history. Some societies such as Islamic ones have treated women much like property, while others like ancient Egypt have allowed women to have great influence and power. This paper will trace the development of women's rights and powers from ancient Egypt to late medieval France and explore their changing political, social and economic situation through time. All the various means women have used to assert themselves show the different ways they have fought against repression and established themselves with authority and agency.

Let's pick this INTRO apart:

  • Does it follow the 5 Ws?
  • Does it cover the theme of the essay?
  • Does it have a strong thesis or argumentative statement?

Worksheet!