College Writing Tips

College Writing Tip: Essay Introduction

Hey guys! Today I am going over that pesky opening paragraph known as the Introduction!

Are you in a college writing course (or even a High School English class)? Do you hate writing introductions? Do you not know where to start? Well, hopefully I can help!

First, you have to know your topic and the genre of your essay. Are you writing an informative essay, an argumentative essay, an evaluation essay? These will influence how you write. However, no matter what essay you are writing you will need these three elements! Let’s stick with evaluation today. I’m going to do a movie evaluation of The Greatest Showman.

Every introduction needs to begin with a HOOK.

  • A hook can be: a question, a statistic, a rhetorical question, a quote, anything that catches the readers attention and mentions your chosen topic.
  • Here are a couple of examples of a Hook for The Greatest Showman:
    • Statistic – While Rotten Tomatoes gave The Greatest Showman a 55% of the Tomatometer, they conceded that 88% of audiences loved it.
    • Quote – “This is brave. This is bruise. This is me.” These lyrics aptly describe the movie in which they premiered; The Greatest Showman is brave and relatable for many audience members.

Next comes the BRIDGE

  • The bridge should contain background information, bring your reader up to speed on what you are discussing and it should be flavored with your opinion.
  • Here is my sample bridge:
    • The Greatest Showman debuted in 2018 as a whimsical interpretation of the real life of P.T. Barnum. Incredible actors such as Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya play key characters and transform a simple movie into a wonderful musical for the whole family. The movie, while at times straying from historical accuracy, depicts Barnum’s struggles in creating the circus. Barnum, a man with little money, attempts to create wondrous illusions that will bring in crowds and support his family. However, the circus is only the beginning of the story.

Finally, you have to have the THESIS

  • The Thesis is the most important part of the entire introduction and essay. It tells your reader exactly what your essay is about and provides a roadmap for readers. If you do not have a solid thesis, you most likely do not have a solid essay. Since I am evaluating the movie, my thesis needs to argue why The Greatest Showman is good or bad.
  • My thesis:
    • The Greatest Showman is the must-see movie of 2018 due to its impressive cinematography, memorable characters that confront historical prejudices, and beautifully crafted lyrics that will leave audience members feeling happier than they have in weeks.
  • Now, according to my thesis, we know that my body paragraphs will be split into discussing:
    • Cinematography
    • Characters
    • Songs

Here is the Introduction put together:

While Rotten Tomatoes gave The Greatest Showman a 55% of the Tomatometer, they conceded that 88% of audiences loved it. The Greatest Showman debuted in 2018 as a whimsical interpretation of the real life of P.T. Barnum. Incredible actors such as Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya play key characters and transform a simple movie into a wonderful musical for the whole family. The movie, while at times straying from historical accuracy, depicts Barnum’s struggles in creating the circus. Barnum, a man with little money, attempts to create wondrous illusions that will bring in crowds and support his family. However, the circus is only the beginning of the story. The Greatest Showman is the must-see movie of 2018 due to its impressive cinematography, memorable characters that confront historical prejudices, and beautifully crafted lyrics that will leave audience members feeling happier than they have in weeks.

There you have it, the three crucial keys to crafting a competent Introduction!

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