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If the question is an ‘either or’ or a ‘how far do you agree’ question, it is useful to set out both sides of the argument briefly in the introduction in preparation for exploring the two sides later in the essay.Think of your introduction as a thumbnail picture of the whole essay.
Anyone, but especially the marker, should know the essay subject and how you intend to prove or disprove it, just from having read just the introduction.
Take the following example: You have been given this assignment: The main purpose of Gothic fiction is to break normal moral and social codes. A strong introduction should read something like this: It is certainly true that many works of Gothic fiction manifest the transgression of normal moral and social codes as their major theme. Now, without reading think about just the size of that paragraph.
Their emphasis on female sexuality, their breaking of the boundaries between life and death and their shocking displays of immoral religious characters would all suggest that this is indeed the case. If a marker were to see an introduction that were any less than that they would automatically know, without even reading a word, that the topic was not going to be well introduced. In general, a short essay will have at least three full paragraphs; a long essay considerably more.
However, it is also important to consider other major aspects of the genre that might be considered equally important in purpose, such as its fascination with the supernatural, its portrayal of artificial humanity and its satirical social attacks. That is not to suggest you simply fill up the paragraph, but that a certain amount of information in the introduction is expected. Each paragraph is a point that you want to make that relates to the topic.
The idea is to give the marker an overview of your argument, to show that your thought process is logical and coherent and that you have carefully thought the question through.
Don’t try to go into any of your key points in depth in your introduction – they will each be covered by a full paragraph later on.Where too many students go wrong in writing their essays is in either failing to plan ahead (not giving sufficient, care, thought, or time to the process) or in not understanding the expectations of essay writing. Imagine yourself walking into your supervisor’s office and requesting that raise.Of these expectations, appropriate and effective essay structure is critical. Almost automatically, your mind formulates a rhetorical structure.But there is something extra important about introductions.Just like going out on a date for the first time, you want the introduction to be just right, almost perfect.Your essay writing can be dramatically improved overnight simply by using the correct essay structure, as explained below.When you are writing an essay, every sentence and every paragraph is important.Here's a signpost sentence example: One important way in which Gothic fiction transgresses normal moral and social codes is in its portrayal of the female heroine.Further sentences in this paragraph would then go on to expand and back up your point in greater detail and with relevant examples.It will be the rarest of markers who withholds judgement until the end.The introduction is something you absolutely must start strong.