Introduction Paragraphs

The Nuts & Bolts Of Essay Writing

Writing The Introduction Paragraph

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How To Write A Intro Paragraph


This is, of course, the most difficult part of any essay due to the fact that you are trying to be somewhat different or witty in the start. Far too many students miss points here because they try to find an easy way out. The good news is that there is a good way to write these that should make your life easier.


Please follow the following path in any essay in my class so that you can get an idea of how to write argumentative essays for a non-English class audience. As you will see the difference is largely focused on evidence. In an English class they often prioritize writing fluidity and tone over organization and factual evidence. In most classes the reverse is true. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you stick to this script so that your essay is organized in a manner that will help you ace essays in non-English related fields in college.



You want to give some level of background history to the point you are trying to make. What do I (as the reader) need to know about what happened before in order to understand the point you are making.


Other Side

This is where you briefly talk about those who disagree with your stance. You are only bringing it up to demolish it later though. This will be your only chance to mention it because you can’t mention counter arguments in the body.



This is a single sentence (ONE) that gives a DIRECT answer for the question/prompt. Please be specific here! Forget the wonderful language you use in English class and focus on a specific answer to the question. 

So How Do You Do This?


This is your time to have a smooth start to the essay. You want to give some background history that is RELEVANT to the history you are about to talk about. What was happening in that region right before the point of the essay that may have led people to make the historical change you are about to cover. You will not get points for rambling about something vaguely associated with the question. It needs to be relevant and purposeful. Start with very broad ideas and get more specific as you get closer to the end (and the thesis). It might be good (depending on the topic) to think in terms of the SPICE categories to brainstorm various reasons why this issue started. It is important to remember that we are NOT proving the thesis in this paragraph though; all material that proves your thesis should be kept for the body paragraph. If it related to the topic, especially if it provides important background information, but does not PROVE your thesis correct, it can be used here.


Other Side

This is the part of the essay that confuses students. You want to show that your issue is complex and could be seen from other viewpoints, but you don’t want to make your essay weak. Due to the restrictions on what you can put into the body of an essay this is the only place in which this can happen without causing issues. So what you are to do is give a few of the facts that others use here, but then quickly shut down this idea in your thesis.


This is THE most important part of your essay. You must make a statement that both answers all parts of the question and that you can support with facts. This should be an informed interpretation of the facts in the case NOT a fact itself (how would you argue it?) or just an opinion. The thesis should be your analysis of all the data in a way that takes a stand and answers the question. It must be clear what you are trying to prove and be something that you can back up through clear facts. 

In answering the question you MUST mention all regions or dates from the question if applicable (although you should do it in a slightly different fashion than the question). Remember to understand the verbs they are using in the question (‘analyze’ means how and why did it happen for instance), because if the thesis doesn’t cover all of this it sets off a chain reaction where you lose points all over your essay.

Take A Stand


What Not To Do

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