Strong Introduction

How you introduce yourself is important. The old and still popular, but revised cliché still serves a significant role today: “First impressions are important.” The way you dress, speak, present all of your qualities, and leave a conversation are all important. What makes it important? For whom is it important? The person you are in conversation with finds it important. The interviewer of the job you want believes it to be important; the company as a whole finds it important. Your own friends find it important that you present yourself well when going out on the town with them. It may not be important to you that you make a good first impression, a good first “introduction,” but it is important, nevertheless, to someone else.

In comparison, how you introduce yourself through your paper’s introduction is important. When your professor reads your essay, he or she is also reading you. If you present a sloppy appearance, physically, and you present this same appearance in the writing of your paper, then you have planted a seed in your professor’s brain that you are sloppy. She believes that you don’t care about doing a good job or taking the time necessary to construct well-structured and grammatically correct sentences.

However, if you present yourself in a suit and tie, or formal business wear, and you present this same appearance in your paper, then you have also planted a seed in your professor’s brain that you care about how she and others perceive you. You know that doing a good job takes time and that you have allowed time to be a factor in your writing the paper as well. As a result, your paper reflects this kind of thinking. In other words, you care.

The introduction is very important to a paper. You either keep us or lose us in the introduction. It doesn’t matter how well you incorporate quotes and examples throughout the paper. If you haven’t defined the introduction, then your thesis will also lack definition. If you don’t provide the direction for the reader at the beginning, he or she will care less about anything in the middle or at the end. Pique our interests in the beginning and we will be loyal to the end.  This is the sentiment of a professor who writes “Strong Introduction” in the margins.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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