Tips on How to Write a Good First Paragraph
Writers that create engaging introductory paragraphs are able to keep their readers in mind from start to finish. They take into consideration the pace, tone, information and delivery. If you are able to produce a great introductory paragraph then the rest is a breeze. Here are some tips to follow in order to write a good first paragraph.
What Your Introduction Should Do
Your introduction should serve several functions. Most importantly it should grab your readers’ interest. It should also show your reader the direction and scope of your paper, and be a guide to what they are about to read. It also functions as a way to indicate your focus as well as your point of view and conclusion.
Write the Introductory Paragraph Last
Many writers recommend that you write your introduction paragraph last due to the fact that introductions are often the most difficult to write. This is because you have to consider what your reader should know about your particular topic before starting your thesis statement. By doing this you take the guess work out of what to include in your introduction.
Avoid Cosmic Statements
What is a cosmic statement? It’s a generalization or an idea that is overly broad. Many people say that it is the first couple of sentences that make or break the entire piece, and so keep this in mind when deciding what your first few sentences are going to be. An example of a cosmic sentence is “there are two sides to an issue” or “people disagree on a lot of issues”. To avoid disconnecting your reader from your topic avoids cosmic sentences at all costs.
Avoid Dictionary Definitions
As with cosmic statements, it is also crucial that you avoid starting your introductory paragraph with a definition. For example, if you are writing about diabetes, your readers do not need to know a direct definition of what this is. Instead you should open with a broader idea that will lead your reader to the main point. Looking at a dictionary definition will certainly not get them there.
Move Your Reader Through Your Intro Gradually
You don’t want to shove your reader into your writing without any help. Instead, make sure to take their hand and lead them through your topic. In this way they can be gradually be introduced to your reader to your topic. To do this effectively, you must be well versed in the direction that you want your writing to take.
Don’t Bring Details Into Your Paper Too Soon
You don’t want to start your introductory paragraph with too many details, confusing and swamping the reader. This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to write your introductory paper last, in this way you know the details that you included in your body paragraphs so that you can avoid repeating yourself in your introduction.
Give Enough Background Information
Take into consideration the background information that your readers need to know in order to appreciate your thesis. The perfect place to do this is in your introductory paragraph; however avoid giving too much information, especially if it can be considered irrelevant by readers.
Global to Local
When it comes to writing your introductory paragraph one of the most important things is to think about the progression of your ideas throughout your writing. In general it is a good idea to move from a global idea into local ones. In this way you can use your introductory paragraph as a way to tell your readers what the general idea of your paper is, and then progress to the specifics.
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