Visual Representation of Effective Introductions

Things to Avoid in Your Introductions

    • General comments about human nature/society.
    • Rambling incoherence designed to fill the paragraph until you get tired of writing.
    • Obviously false stories.
    • Generic, weak questions that are easily answered.
    • Opening with a quotation.
    • Generalized, cliched, trite observations or truisms.
    • Opening with the author/title of the piece as your opening phrase.
    • Don’t open with weak, vague nouns and adverbial phrases. A stronger approach is to open with verbs or vivid adjectives.

Structure of the Introduction

  • Hook: A brief, STAMPy introduction to the piece, one that draws the reader into the rest of the essay. Generally, the hook should be a specific detail that broadens into a more interesting claim.
  • Bridge: A transition sentence that moves from the specific of the hook to the broader topic of the thesis.
  • Thesis: Your central argument, outlining your claim and previewing the arguments you will make in the rest of the piece.

Effective Introductory Approaches (Stamp)

    1. Shock your audience with a statistic. It should be shocking, but plausible.
    2. Tell a story/establish a scenario. (Literary or real) Ideally, this will be bookended in your conclusion.
    3. Analogize with an effective comparison.
    4. Make a good question, one that does not have an easy answer.
    5. Personalize with an effective anecdote.

Sample Introduction


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