What is an introduction paragraph?

  • Last Edited: December 19, 2018

As the term connotes, an introduction paragraph introduces a paper’s main points by gaining the audience’s interest and then summarizing its purpose in the form of a thesis statement. While every instance will be unique in some way, an introduction paragraph should include the aforementioned opening statement, which can assume the form of a quotation, anecdote, interesting or surprising fact, a pertinent simile or metaphor (i.e., “The uneasy state of racial affairs in the U.S. is the 600-pound gorilla in the room) or rhetorical question (i.e,. “Given the enormous amount of effort directed at reducing racial tensions in recent years, what more should be done to improve race relations today?”). Next, the context or background of the essay should be followed by a solid thesis statement and a concise description of the manner in which the paper is organized. The final element in a good introduction paragraph will include a transition to the body of the paper that follows.

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