Introductions and Conclusions (Part 2)

First, let’s review some advice from Part 1 of Introductions and Conclusions:

***The most important factor is being aware that you are talking to someone who does not know you and does not know what you think about the material, whether it’s a work you have studied or one you are seeing for the first time.

SO: INTRODUCTIONS MATTER! You need to let the reader know:

  • what particular text(s) you intend to write about
  • what your angle on them is,
  • and even, possibly, how you are going to approach them.

You can be quite basic and straightforward about these matters or you can practice enough with them so that you can write them with a little bit of flair and interest.

When you are writing an introduction to your Written Assignment, you should certainly follow your own path; what works for someone else may not be true to your ‘voice’ as a writer.  However, if you don’t attend to the matters listed above, you may not be putting your reader in the best frame of mind to first, be interested in what you are doing to discuss, or second, be even very clear about what you intend.  This matters: you don’t want the examiner-reader to have to labor over your introduction, trying to figure out what you are talking about, where you intend to go with your argument.

Here are two fairly typical examples of approaches to the challenge of the introduction, one that doesn’t achieve the clarity and interest the best introductions have and one that, even shorter and simpler, achieves the purposes of an introduction to the argument.  There may be some things you can learn from them and from the examiner’s comments.

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