Introductions and Conclusions
Introductions and conclusions are important components of any essay. They work to book-end the argument made in the body paragraphs by first explaining what points will be made (in the introduction) and then summarizing what points were made (in the conclusion).
An introduction works to let your reader know what he or she can expect from your paper. Your introduction should grab your reader's attention, introduce your topic, and explain your purpose.
- Begin your introduction with a "hook" that grabs your reader's attention and introduces the general topic. You can do this with an interesting quotation (that you must cite), an anecdote that captures the topic, a rhetorical question, a direct statement, or an attention-grabbing fact or statistic.
- Next, make a statement or two about the more focused topic that the paper will expand on. This part of the introduction can include background on the topic that helps to establish its context.
- Finally, include your thesis statement. This statement should include your specific topic, your opinion/claim about that topic, and typically, the reasons you have for making that claim. This statement should be packaged so that if it were to stand on its own, it would let your reader would know your specific topic, the claim you make about that topic, and the reasons you have for making that claim.
A conclusion works to remind your reader of the claim and main points of your paper and summarizes what you want your reader to “take away” from your argument. Consider these tips when writing your conclusion:
Begin with your rephrased thesis statement to remind your reader of the point of your paper.
Summarize the points you made in your paper and show how they support your argument; tie all the pieces of your paper together.
- Tell your reader what the significance of your argument might be. Do you want your reader to think differently, question something, or perform some action? Make a recommendation of what your reader should "do" with the information you just gave them.
After you have written your own conclusion, ask yourself:
- If my readers were to only read my conclusion, would they understand my paper's purpose?
- Do I summarize my argument for my readers?
- Do I answer the question "So what, who cares?"
- Do I tie all of my points together?
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