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How to write an introduction

Tipps und Tricks zum Verfassen einer Einleitung

Schreiben essay Method Kit introduction analysis composition Englisch Landesbildungsserver Baden-Württemberg


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The purpose of an introduction is to capture a reader's attention and to make them read on. This is why an introduction is often referred to as "a hook".

But how can you manage to hook a reader's attention?

 

First of all, avoid these unimaginative phrases:

·         "In my opinion, …..": It's fine if you have an opinion, but what exactly are you writing about? Give your readers something interesting to get into your essay!

·         "Yes, I think that's true.": WHAT exactly is true? What are you writing about? How are your readers supposed to know?

·         "In this essay I will discuss….": Thanks for letting your readers know, but sorry, this is a terribly boring way to get started.

·         "The cartoon was created by Jane Smith and published on….": Again, thanks for the information, but is this an imaginative way to start an essay? Certainly not (and you can still mention these pieces of information later on in your essay!).

 

Instead, try some of these ideas to hook your readers:

idea

example

rhetorical question

Have you ever wondered why young people are finding it so difficult to live without their smartphones?

 

fact / figures

Recently, a survey revealed that more than two thirds of children aged ten or eleven own a smartphone.

 

human interest story / anecdote

The other day I saw a group of teenagers sitting in a street café. None of them was talking to each other – everyone was busy staring at his or her smartphone.

 

quote

Steve Jobs once said, "Computers will revolutionize the way we learn".

 

 

Then, find a transition to move on to the topic of your essay (e.g. as stated in your task).

idea

example

 

rhetorical question

Have you ever wondered why young people are finding it so difficult to live without their smartphones? They accompany them wherever they go, and a teenager in an area without any Wi-Fi or network seems to have become just another word for 'crisis'. So is it fair to say that these days young people have become addicted to their smartphones?

 

fact / figures

Recently, a survey revealed that more than two thirds of children aged ten or eleven own a smartphone. It is a fact that younger and younger children have access to smartphones these days. But is this trend beneficial to a child's wellbeing? Wouldn't it be much better to keep children away from smartphones?

 

human interest story / anecdote

The other day I saw a group of teenagers sitting in a street café. None of them was talking to each other – everyone was busy staring at his or her smartphone. Twenty years ago, they would have been engaged in a lively discussion. And it is not just teenagers who fall victim to this kind of behaviour. Wherever there are many people in one place, these days most of them will be self-absorbed, looking at their smartphones. So is it right to say that smartphones kill communication?

 

quote

Steve Jobs once said, "Computers will revolutionize the way we learn". And as we can see today, Jobs was not the only person to believe in the educational power of computers. Schools all over the world are computerizing their classrooms on a massive scale in order to help their students increase their academic performance. But the question is whether computers are really able to help students to learn better.

 

Please remember:

  • ·     The transition is supposed to connect your hook to the topic of your essay. So you might explain your hook, offer additional information, make a comparison, ask a rhetorical question etc.
  • You may use a question to state your topic, but there are also other ways (cf. examples).
  • If you have to analyse a cartoon, you could continue with some information about it (e.g. "This is exactly the topic that Jane Smith took up in her cartoon …. published in ….. on……"
  • Begin a new paragraph when you have finished your introduction.

 


 

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