3 Things You Should Never Do When Writing an Essay Introduction

Although your essay introduction does not need to be perfect, you should take care to avoid several grossest mistakes. If your readers run into one of them at the start, they can become overly skeptical towards your writing ability and everything you have to say. As a result, your essay may get a lower grade than it deserves. Here is the list of mistakes that can ruin your introduction.

  1. Using weak and trite constructions
  2. Never open your essay with one of the following forms:

    • This is…
    • There are…
    • In this paper, I will discuss…
    • The purpose of this paper is…
    • I’m going to tell you about…

    Such straightforward approaches ruin your essay by demonstrating your lack of writing skill and imagination. Similarly, do not begin your introduction with a statement of generally known facts. If you can come up with no other idea, spice it with a bit of analysis or controversy. Consider “Fast foods are considered to be fattening” against “Fast foods are considered to be fattening, but recent research studies cast doubt on this general view.” Another overused introductory technique is rhetorical questions. Although you may like the idea of starting with a question and then answering it, most instructors hate it. Re-word your interrogation into a statement. For example, “Why would free men in ancient Rome choose to become gladiators?” can easily be transformed into “Free men in ancient Rome became gladiators because…”

  3. Straying off the topic
  4. Do not discuss anything that does not relate to your topic and main point. Read each sentence in your introduction. Ask yourself how it helps to prove your main idea. If you can’t come up with an answer right away, it is better to remove this sentence.

    You have many important things to be included in your introduction – a “hook” for your readers, a strong thesis statement, a brief overview of your sources and major points. There is simply no need to fill it with irrelevant information. Do not mention any point you are not going to discuss further.

  5. Repetition and wordiness
  6. When an introduction has to be a page or several pages long, some students try to meet the word count by repeating the same idea in different ways or adding meaningless words. Do not do it; such attempts to boost the text up are visible and frowned upon.

    Keep your introduction clear and concise. Delete everything that does not add value. If you need to add more words, include more details of your main points.

Posted by November 23rd, 2016