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UMGC Effective Writing Center How To Write a Great Introduction for Your Essay

In this thread we focus on the introduction--one of the most important paragraphs in your entire paper.

Key Points for This Thread

¤ In academic papers, introductions usually have three functions. To:

  1. generate reader interest
  2. narrow focus
  3. present your thesis statement
Image Still for Video: Introduction Paragraph: How to Write a Perfect Introduction Paragraph for Your Essay
Image Still for Video: Put Some Sizzle in Your Introduction: Seven Strategies for a Great Intro Paragraph

7 Strategies for Your Introduction

The video to your left introduced you to seven strategies for writing an effective introduction paragraph, one which captures your reader's interest and introduces the thesis statement. The seven strategies were:

  1. Provide a brief history or factual background of your topic
  2. State the major divisions or main ideas of your paper
  3. Offer an interesting anecdote
  4. Contrast two opposing aspects of a topic and end with the aspect to be discussed in the body
  5. Ask a question to be answered in the body of your paper
  6. Quote an expert
  7. Offer a surprising fact or statistic


Choose one of the seven strategies discussed and use it to write an effective introduction for a project you are currently working on. Be sure to add your paper's thesis as the last sentence of your introduction paragraph. 

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