How to write a killer introduction…

An introduction is a very important thing! Along with the conclusion, they act like the “bookends” to a good piece of work, holding everything together. I tend to follow a formula for writing my introductions, that gives me a good safe springboard to work from.
The most basic introduction follows this formula:
  • Write the question as a statement (contrary to popular opinion, this does NOT mean changing a question mark to a full stop!)
  • Following on from this, write your subpoints into a sentence
  • Write a transitional sentence

Below is a silly example to demonstrate. Remember, don’t focus on the words that are used, but rather how I have transitioned a question into a statement to become an introduction.

“Which is the best circus? “

There are many theories about which is the best circus. A detailed analysis and comparison of SUBPOINT 1, SUBPOINT 2, and SUBPOINT 3, will reveal key insights…..etc (you get the point)

Remember, a safe introduction does not neccessarily equate to a boring introduction. A safe introduction will contain all the elements needed to define the question and how you plan to answer it.

Once you’ve nailed the safe introduction, you might want to make it more exciting. Below is a structure that my friend’s lecturer gave to her; it’s a little more complex, but it gives easy definitions for each point in the introduction that you can almost just fill in the blanks to create an interesting and strong introduction. Enjoy!

Hook: one or two sentences to grab the audience and make them listen. Something punchy to grab attention.
Puzzle: this is science not advocacy. We are developing the world. Point out the observation – the interesting element that is unusual, or worthy of investigation.
Focus: hone down to the research question and focus the essay on the subject matter. The question will be how or why
Argument: your explanation of how or why
Plan: explain how the argument will be approached.

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