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Developing Introductions

As you develop an introduction to your essay (and you may want to experiment by doing this last instead of first), you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

Who is the likely audience for your essay: The general reader? Young people? Sports enthusiasts? The academic community? Others? Do you think the introduction will appeal to its audience?

What personality do you want to project? Does your writer persona (voice) sound intelligent, bland, humorous, superior, knowledgeable, sarcastic? Is your tone suitable for your subject and audience?

Is the introduction interesting? Informative? Does it lead the reader smoothly into the paper? Does it have a "Hook" to catch the reader?

More suggestions for a good beginning:

• Start with a dramatic incident.
• Start with a contrast.
• Start by telling a story.
• Start by setting the scene.
• Start with a question or problem.
• Start with a description.
• Start by explaining the thesis.
• Start with a brief historical background.
• Start with unusual facts and figures.
• Start with a quotation.
• Start with a definition.
• Start with an idea to be refuted.

Try doing more than one kind of introduction to the same essay and see what a difference it makes! A good beginning will always make your work more interesting. And one last point: an effective way to enhance your essay even further is with an interesting TITLE.

-- Adapted from handout by Instructor Bridge, Chabot College

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