There are very few students who wouldn’t list introductions as one of the most difficult aspects of writing an essay. Much of this is due to the fact that most of us are unsure about what we should be doing in the introduction. If we don’t know why we’re doing something, what we’re trying to achieve, we shouldn’t be too surprised to find that we’re not particularly good at it. But there’s another reason why most of us are not good at writing introductions: we neglect Stages 1 and 3 (Interpretation and Planning). If we have very little idea what we’re going to be writing, it’s difficult to do a good job of introducing it. However, even with a clear interpretation of the question and a well-structured plan it can be a problem, unless you set simple and clear objectives that you want your introduction to fulfil. The first question readers are going to ask themselves as soon as they begin to read your essay, before they even consider anything else, is ‘Has the writer seen the point of the question?’ In two or three sentences you need to outline the main issues raised by the question, which you will have uncovered in the interpretation stage.
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