Thinking about Introductions

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In this discussion, we will focus on the introduction you have crafted for your final paper; we will concentrate on peer-reviewing your introductions here to help you revise your introduction into one that you feel confident about.

So, what is an introductory paragraph? What important function does an introduction serve? How do you craft a strong introduction to your essay — one that at once grabs your reader’s attention, provides important background on your topic (including why the topic is important and relevant), and one that lays out a thesis?

With these questions in mind, please follow these instructions:

1. Begin by posting the Introduction (for your research paper) here by Wednesday of this week.

2. Then respond to at least TWO other students’ posts. Remember your goal here is to help your classmates’ improve their writing, so please give specific, helpful feedback when addressing the questions below. Reminders: Be sure to answer EACH question, and be sure to address the “WHY/WHY NOT” part of each question.

Questions (please respond to ALL of these questions in detail (supporting your ideas with examples from the student’s introductory paragraph):

1. Based on the introduction, would you be interested in reading the rest of the paper? Why, or why not? Focus on the “hook” or opening sentence. Does the writer grab your attention with the opening sentence?

2. Do you know what the writer will attempt to prove in this paper? Why, or why not? Focus on the writer’s debatable thesis statement (ask, “Is the thesis statement debatable?”).

3. Does the thesis statement make a strong claim? Why, or why not?

4. Does the introduction give you (as a reader) enough background on the topic? Why, or why not?

5. Do the sentences within the introduction transition smoothly from one idea to the next? If not, what could improve the fluidity of the introduction and how the sentences build on one another?

6. What other comments/suggestions do you have for the writer?

This discussion is worth 25 points.


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