Parts of an essay introduction

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Part I: Attention getter

  • statement that opens your essay, hooking the reader

  • arouse the reader’s interest and set the tone

  • one sentence attention getter is generally inadequate

Types: DO NOT COPY DOWN THE EXAMPLES! Just copy down the type and/or definition.

  1. Quotation

Include source in parenthesis

Example: “A flute,” wrote an early nineteenth-century British critic, “is a musical

weed which springs up everywhere” (Toff, 56).

  1. Framing generalization

General statement which includes the information to be presented

Example: Parents, teachers and students generally agree that A-hour classes are a

valuable option in meeting credit requirements during high school.

  1. Anecdote/event/scenario

Prescribe a specific event or scenario which relates to the topic you are exploring.

Example: A parent-teacher meeting was scheduled on Friday for the struggling student. The mother arrived, impeccably dressed, but indifferent to the lack of effort her child was expending in his calculus class. Without commitment from either the mother or the student, the teacher was unable to provide assistance towards graduation.

  1. Definition

Use this only if the definition is not obvious and your essay topic is unfamiliar to a general


Example: Oxford English Dictionary defines “apparition” as . . . (70).

  1. Statistic or Fact

Example: The Center for Disease Control survey of more than 25,000 adults revealed that 55% do not exercise three times a week . . . (Runner’s World, 12).

  1. Description

Example: It has a body of bronze and wings made from razor blades, and it behaves so much like a bee that it can convince real ones to leave their hive in search of nectar. It is a robot built by Danish and American researchers who study how bees communicate (Scientific American, 47).

  1. Mystery/Intrigue

Talk about the subject without specifically naming it.

8. Metaphor:

Education is the backbone of society. Without it, the structure of a country will become arthritic and destined to be cared for and directed by stronger, more capable entities.

9. Contradiction:

The traditional family is a fragile structure, but it is still a strong foundation for well-adjusted children. The familial structure needs a great deal of nurturing in order to survive the stresses placed upon it from the bombardment of daily impositions.

10. Dramatic or eye-opening statement (could include a statistic):

High school is nothing more than an unnecessary stress imposed on teenagers by a conspiracy of adults. At least that is what many, if not most, teens infer when they rail on about the imposition of academia on their all too important social calendars.

Part II: Background/Transitional Information

  • Connect your attention getter to your thesis sentence.

  • Provide the author and title of the work.

  • Identify unfamiliar terms.

Part III. Thesis statement

  • A thesis statement focuses your writing

  • Thesis = subject + opinion

  • It should never be a question.

  • A specific subject + a specific opinion = an effective thesis statement

Sample thesis statement: Changing the face of the world, the internet has become one of the most important inventions of the 21st century.


Body paragraphs contain the main structure of your essay, including your arguments and analysis of those arguments. Each body paragraph in your essay must include four parts.

Part I: Topic sentence/premise which includes a transition that smoothly links information from the introductory paragraph to the topic of the body paragraph and supports the thesis statement.
Part II: Specific concrete examples or details. This is your support or evidence proving that your topic is valid. You must include at least two concrete examples for each topic sentence. A transition must be used to introduce the second example in the body paragraph. Most frequently, you will also add a quote to support your example.
Part III. Discussion/Elaboration/Analysis comes next. Regardless of what you call it, this is the essential information that explains why the example is a good one and supports the topic sentence.
Part IV. A concluding sentence, which generally summarizes the information in the paragraph.


The concluding paragraph must include the following three parts.
Part I. Restatement of the thesis statement. You should never use exactly the same words in your conclusion as you have used in your introduction. The conclusion must not introduce new material that you have not already discussed in your essay.
Part II. Do not restate all the points you have already made in your essay.
Part III. End with a clincher. The clincher is a statement at the end of your essay that leaves the reader with something to remember. It should also tie your ideas together, and it need not be only a single sentence, nor only one strategy. Examples of clinchers include the following:

  • A prediction

  • A universal statement about the subject that applies to most people

  • A recommendation or call to action

  • A quotation that is relevant to your topic

  • A conclusion or evaluation drawn from the essay

  • An anecdote or metaphor (If you began your essay with this strategy extend it and finish your essay by wrapping it up with the same thread.)

  • A remaining problem—pointing to future issues if current circumstances are not addressed

  • Do not ask the reader a question!

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