First and last impressions are among the most important in life. This is also the case in pieces of writing papersfor.sale/. Getting the attention of your audience is the best way to ensure that you keep them for the entirety of your work. And, if they've made it to the end of your text, you want to leave them with an impression. Knowing how to do this though can be a difficult task for some.
In this article we will take a look at different strategies for approaching these two parts of writing. However, regardless of how many techniques you've learned, there are no certainties in these matters. Each introduction and conclusion will be unique to the task the writer is facing.
That is not to say there is nothing that can be said on this topic. Quite a bit, in fact, can be said. Introductions and conclusions are just like any other paragraph, the only difference is that they have some specific tasks to be performed.
IntroductionsRemember: the goal, ultimately, is to lead up to the thesis statement. The reader must be guided through a terrain of possibilities until it finally reaches your thesis - the focus of what is to come. It is inevitable then that all of what is discussed below is about how to get to your thesis. There will inevitably be other systems for doing this. But here are a few more to throw into the mix.
Make it Shakespearean in Magnitude
Shakespeare tended to start his plays in roughly the same way. He aimed to generate interest and capture the attention of the audience, as all writers should. There were two ways he would go about this. Firstly, he would resort to violence, or the threat of violence. The opening of Romeo and Juliette, in which people are biting their thumbs at one another, is a prime example of this. The second way he would generate interest was to appeal to his audience's sense of mystical forces, as the opening of The Tempest does so well.
Despite the seeming disparity in these two types of openings, they share an underlying similarity. Both are depictions of disorder. The action of these plays is based on trying to resolve the tensions introduced in the opening. And this is exactly what you should aim to do in your openings. But, how to do this?
The list of introduction techniques that follows is far from exhaustive, but it will help point you in some useful directions.
It will be useful to keep in mind the patterns of organization listed in an article on macro-organization. These methods of organization are very much applicable.
It is sometimes useful to lead into an essay using a Time pattern of organization. There are a couple of variations you can try along these lines.
For one, you can begin with a time transition indicating the past. An obvious example of this would be "in the past". This allows you to introduce your reader to some important background information on the topic of the paper.
Another approach firmly places your reader in a current issue. This sort of starting point can be indicated using "nowadays," "these days," or even "recently". Using this approach is beneficial if you wish to emphasize the urgency of a dealing with a particular topic.
In both cases, you can begin with an anecdote, a story from the past or present that accurately distills the issues you will be dealing with throughout your paper. This requires that you understand precisely what it is you wish to argue, so that you can correctly identify a story that would be suitable to this sort of task.
Narrowing the Topic
This is perhaps my favorite of the three options presented here, especially for the wary writer. It is a five step process, which is not to say that it is a five sentence process. Each step could take anywhere from a sentence to a small paragraph. Regardless of the length, there will only be five steps:
After you have identified the topic for the reader, developing it is step two. If you defined it the first step, then give and example of it in the second. Or, you could introduce a new detail about the topic that will be relevant in your paper.
Step three and four work together, in a similar way to steps one and two. Introducing the 'plane of choice' simply means explain to the reader what level of abstraction your paper will be dealing with. Will you be taking a macroscopic, mesoscopic, or microscopic look at the topic, And, importantly, what are the possible ways to approach the topic at this level? Dealing with that is step three.
In step four, you can further narrow your scope on the plane of choice. Perhaps focus on and develop the contrary opinion to your own position, so that when it comes time to state your thesis you can begin it with a contrast transition. This will make it stand out more.
Step five is rolling out your thesis statement.
The hook is a trickier method to describe. This is partly because it demands a different sort of intuition and creativity than the first two methods described .The whole point of the hook is to lure people in and keep them reading.
It has a series of steps, though less than the previous method:
There are at least four ways you can accomplish a hook in an academic paper: number one: begin with a deliberately ambiguous phrase, or acknowledge an ambiguity; number two: paraphrase a story that suitably introduces your topic, using your own words as much as possible; number three: cite an statistic; number four: quote another author (though if you choose this option, be sure to place the quote into a context of your choosing because you need to be the authority on the topic). These are the ways of the hook.
Next up, take whatever tension you've created in the hook and develop it somehow, keeping in mind at all times where you're heading. There is too much room for specific guidance here. And, as this is the most free form of the opening techniques, get from the hook to the thesis how ever you'd like.
Finally, state your thesis.
Coordination of Introduction and ConclusionBefore getting to conclusions, I'd like to spend a quick moment on the topic of introduction and conclusion coordination. It will serve you and your paper well to think of these components of your essay as a team. Together, they bookend the body of your paper and should therefore be related to one another.
The particulars of this will vary from paper to paper and are too abundant to cover in detail here. However, after you have written both parts, read them together, back to back. And ask yourself: Do these sound related, connected, belonging to the same paper? Does the conclusion clearly bring to a close the topic that the introduction introduced?
Remember that the topic of the introduction and conclusion should be the same, but they should not say the same thing. Your conclusion should attempt to demonstrate what was proved during the body of the paper. Aim to leave the reader with the impression that what you've shown them has somehow changed what they thought about the topic at the outset of the essay.
When to write the Introduction
It might be helpful to write the introduction last. Why? Well, for one, very often a writer does not know exactly what their paper is arguing or what its final point is until they've concluded writing the body, or even the conclusion. So, it's not always easy to introduce something when you don't quite know what it is that needs introducing.
But, if you have an idea for what belongs there, then write it down or sketch out the idea. You can always come back and flesh it out later, once you've figured out what the rest of the paper is about.
I would always caution my students not to take too long reading an introduction when they were given a time limit to read a passage. The most important ideas the author is sharing will likely be spread throughout the body of the work and not in the introduction. This is not to say that introductions do not serve an important purpose.
Rather, the point is that writers should be aware, just as readers are, that the most significant information is not to be found in an introduction. Thus, give the introduction an appropriate amount of attention when writing your paper, but do not agonize over it.
Conclusion TechniquesYour conclusion should contain the following elements in the following order:
The third step is more difficult and benefits from a certain amount of finesse. There are a few different approaches that I can recommend. One is, if you started the essay with a time transition referring to the past or present, then you can start your last thoughts with a transition indicating the future, such as "in the future", or something more clever, such as "looking ahead".
Another option is to voice your opinion on the topic. In an academic essay, you should refrain from directly referencing yourself, but this does not prevent you from slipping in how you feel about a topic. This is a great place to indicate to the reader how you feel about the topic. You'll just have to figure how do to that without using "I".
The last option is suitable for essays that deal with a problem. In this case, you can finish your paper by broaching the topic of solutions. However, don't get overly involved in them. You just want to indicate solutions on the horizon. You can even combine a solution with a prediction.
Before you write your very last sentences, look at the very first sentence of the essay. What were some key words or ideas that you used there? Choose one or two of these and directly implicate them in your final sentence. This will more or less ensure a composed, united beginning and ending to your work.