Introductions and conclusions are the parts of the paper I usually take the longest on.
The introduction has quite a few jobs to perform:
- Hook the reader in and make them interested (general statement-ask a question, use a quote, paint a picture)
- Set the right tone for the paper-if it's about a disaster, I don't want to be making jokes, but if it's about The Big Bang Theory, I don't want to be super-serious.
- Tell the reader what the larger prompt is (specific statement)
- Tell the reader what I am writing about (thesis statement)
- Remind the reader what I am writing about (reworded thesis statement)
- Bring up the overall topic again (specific statement)
- Leave my reader something to think about (general statement-ask another question, demand the reader take action, finish painting the picture you started in the introduction)
- Again, the right tone needs to be set. If I'm writing about a major problem, I need my reader to feel like the must act in order to solve the problem-that's serious, so a serious tone should be used.
For my essay on an unattractive object that has special meaning for someone, I tried three different introductions and conclusions. Look below to see the notes I left myself and how each version of the introduction and conclusion got sharper, crisper, and had a better handle on my topic as a whole.
Note: As I practice, I make sure to label my intro/conclusion parts to be sure I have everything I need. These parts of the paper need three sentences minimum but should not give away any of the details you're going to write in the paper, or, in the conclusion, give new information that should have been in the body.
Note: This is not the final draft of my conclusions. If, when I'm writing, I decide that they don't work, I will get rid of them and start over. Sometimes, after you write your paper, your intro and conclusion need to change to fit what you've written.
Time: 20 minutes intro/ 20 minutes conclusion=40 minutes total