The Introduction Paragraph

The Introduction Paragraph

        The introduction paragraph is essential to the overall paper because it captures the reader’s attention.  In addition, it gives the reader a sense of what the paper will be about.  In this worksheet, you will discover the different parts of the introduction paragraph and why they are important.

The Hook – uses storytelling, description, or bold statements to capture the audience’s attention.  The hook will always begin the paragraph, which is great because this is where you can be creative.

Example: Imagine the world with no electricity.  How would you survive without television, cell phones, or game systems?  What would you do on a rainy day?

The hook in the above paragraph is good because it calls the reader to action.  The writer demands that the reader imagine the world without electricity.  This works because a call to action involves the reader, which of course is not as boring.

The reader then ponders questions from the author, which the author uses purposely to make his/her audience think.  Do you think that this paper will eventually be about something negative or positive regarding electricity?  These questions keep the reader interested but in order to be successful one doesn’t have to ask questions:

Example: Imagine the world with no electricity.  There would be boys and girls outside playing every day.  Streams and rivers would crowd with swimmers and fishermen.

Again, the call to action is there, only this time the audience is told what to think.  As a writer you have control over what the reader thinks.  You have all the power and can successfully make them imagine whatever you want to: sway them to the way you want to see it.

The Main Ideas – are listed so that the reader has an idea of what will be discussed in the paper.  Main ideas in most cases should be embedded in the hook.  What does that mean?  Your hook and your main ideas should somehow be inseparable.  Check out this example:

Example: Imagine the world with no electricity.  How would you survive without television, cell phones, or game systems?  What would you do on a rainy day?  This wouldn’t even be your biggest dilemma, the economy would suffer, education would diminish and transportation would take longer than ever.

My three main ideas are worked into the hook by one sentence.  The main ideas flow seamlessly and the reader understands that I will be proving these ideas later on in my paper.

The Thesis – The thesis is the main idea of the entire paper and will always come at the end of the introduction paragraph.  This one sentence/statement is what you are trying to prove overall.  It’s also probably the only thing you’ve heard since you’ve been in Middle School, “make sure you have a thesis.”  The thesis is so important because without it your paper will not make sense!

Example: Imagine the world with no electricity.  How would you survive without television, cell phones, or game systems?  What would you do on a rainy day?  This wouldn’t even be your biggest dilemma, the economy would suffer, education would diminish and transportation would take longer than ever.  Without electricity, the United States would be dramatically different.

Look at the thesis statement.  There is no, “I believe,” “in my opinion,” or “I think.”   Everyone who reads your paper will know that you wrote it and saying, “I, my, or us” is inappropriate because its redundant or repeated.  The reason it’s called a thesis statement is because it’s a plain and simple statement!

Why at the end of the introduction paragraph?  My reply would be, if it were the first sentence of the paragraph where do you go from there?  There could be no hook because you’ve already told the reader what it will be about, and right then and there he/she can make a decision about reading it without being sold the purpose of the paper.

 

Summary (in order)

The Hook – 2 to 3 sentences of description, storytelling, or bold statements.

The Main Ideas – Your strongest arguments for your paper (especially if it’s more than 1 page long).  Hints at what you will be discussing later in the paper.  1 sentence.

The Thesis – The overall main idea of the paper.  Is short and direct and does not include I, you, me, us.  Always comes last in the introduction paragraph.

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