Introduction Paragraphs Beginning a paper can be one of the most difficult parts of writing a paper. With a few pointers, writing introduction paragraphs can be a breeze! An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of a paper. This paragraph serves as your first impression as a writer. A well-written introductory paragraph should accomplish the following: • • • • orient the reader to the subject matter set the tone for the paper make the audience want to read the paper alert the reader to what they may encounter in the paper When writing your introduction, it is important to make sure that you address the main topic of the paper and provide relevant information that will help enhance the reader’s experience. Introductions are typically 4-6 sentences long and may often include a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one or two sentence statement that condenses main argument or analysis of the paper. Example: strong introduction paragraph: My father divorced us when I was in seventh grade. At that time, I was going through what my mother called my "difficult stage" because my world revolved around school, friends and boys, and "family" was often put on the back burner. I was unprepared for the resulting family crisis; my father, the man who nurtured my passion for art, literature and my love of languages, would no longer be a part of my life. At the time, I thought that I could not go on. Now I realize that my father's rejection, while extremely painful, gave me a resiliency and strength of character that I did not previously know I possessed. This introduction provides intriguing foreshadowing of what the writer may write about in the rest of the paper in a brief, confident, and straightforward manner. Do’s and Don’ts of Introductory Paragraphs DO use a direct approach. Be confident in your writing! DON’T leave room for confusion. A confusing introduction leads to a confusing paper. DO briefly define simple concepts that may be seen in the paper. DON’T be afraid to use humor or surprising facts when appropriate DO end the introduction with a smooth transition into the body paragraphs.