- The Introductory Paragraph
- This is paragraph 1 in your essay. It is the introduction that should get the reader's attention. This is where you tell your readers what you are going to tell them. In this paragraph, you introduce your main idea and controlling statement. Since we are learning to write five-paragraph, you should state the three main points that you intend to discuss. (A five paragraph essay will contain three main points.)
The Ten Commandments of Writing Introductory Paragraphs
(1) The paragraph must be more than one sentence (Refer to Paragraph's Ten Commandments)
(2) Introduce the topic with several sentences that attract the reader's interest. For example, if the essay question is something like this:
"Is reading and writing more important now than it was in the past?"
Introducing the topic would be something like this:
"For ages, reading and writing has been vital aids to the intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth of mankind. But with rapid changes in the society and scientific advancement of human race over the decades, the necessity and importance of reading and writing has increased remarkably...."
(3) Follow your introduction of the topic with a strong thesis statement that is concise and that introduces the three main ideas that will be discussed in the body if the essay. For example it might be something like this:
"First, it is essential for a person to have at least basic knowledge of reading and writing to survive in our society; second, most of jobs require reading and writing as necessary skills; third, to cope up with the rapidly evolving new ideas and concepts, reading and writing have become more important now than ever before."
(4) Each sentence in the introductory paragraph must be complete. This means that the writer should be careful not to write fragments or run-ons.
(5) A thesis statement generally consists of two parts: your topic, and then the analysis, explanation(s), or assertion(s) that the writer is making about the topic.
(6) The kind of introductory paragraph and thesis statement the writer writes depends on what kind of paper the writer is writing. In some kinds of writing, such as narratives or descriptions, a thesis statement is less important, but you may still want to provide some kind of statement in your first paragraph that helps to guide your reader through your paper.
(7) The thesis statement must not be an announcement that simply announces a topic: it should say something about the topic. It is not advisable to write phrases such as "I am going to write about...," "My paper is going to be about," or "I will tell you about..."
(8) Just like in the case of a topic sentence, the thesis statement must neither be too general nor too narrow.
(9) A thesis statement must not be vague; it must have one main point rather than several main points. More than one point may be too difficult for the reader to understand and the writer to support. Here is an example:
"More than one main point: Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world-renowned physicist, and his book is the subject of a movie."
"One Main point: Stephen Hawking's physical disability has not prevented him from becoming a world renowned physicist".
(10) Carefully follow the above 9 commandments.