Introduction

An introduction serves to establish your stance and set the tone of your paper. This paragraph (under exam condition about three sentences) should be well developed. Begin with a ‘hook’ to grab the reader’s/examiner’s attention. Your thesis sentence, clearly and precisely worded, should be the last or second to last sentence.

A thesis statement states the purpose of the essay. It highlights what your paper will be explaining or arguing.

Examples:

Example of an expository thesis statement:

- Students who do well in universities are exceptional at balancing their social, academic and co-curricular activities.

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

- Students should be allowed to take cellular phones and other communication devices to high school.

A ‘hook’ is the use of information to catch the attention of the reader/examiner. Starting the introduction with a strong/startling statement, an unusual detail, a quotation, statistics, a question or an anecdote that relates to the topic are all means by which you can ‘hook’ your reader.

Examples of hooks:

- It is expected, and in some cases mandated, that students in most universities actively participate in extra-curricular activities.

- According to police reports, 500 students were mugged in the month of April 2010 on their way home from school. Of these 500 students, only 10 had cellular phones in their possession.

Combining the hook and thesis statement:

- It is expected of students in most universities and in some cases mandated, that they actively participate in extra-curricular activities. It is therefore a known fact that students who do well in universities are exceptional at balancing their social, academic and sports life.

- According to police reports, 500 students were mugged in the month of April 2010 on their way home from school. Of these 500 students, only 10 had cellular phones in their possession. Students should be allowed to take cellular phones and other communication devices to high school.

Remember the sole purpose of your introduction, is to set the tone for your essay and grab the attention/interest of your reader. Refrain from padding the paragraph with any information  that will not serve as a means to this end.

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