questions related to an essay

Post two different introductions introducing your topic. Your introductions do not need to contain your thesis, but should adequately introduce your topic and lead toward your thesis. Introductions provide background and context for the essay—they let the reader know what type of essay you are writing and situate him/her in your perspective (your outlook). So, even if the thesis is not explicit in the introduction, the reader should get some sense of your views.

The “job” of introductions is to engage the reader’s interest. This can be accomplished through a variety of creative methods, including the following:

  • Introductions that begin with a question
  • Introductions that begin by providing background information
  • Introductions that describe a scene
  • Introductions that begin with a quote (although, always use a signal phrase—your own words—to lead in to the quote).
  • Introductions that begin with an anecdote (hypothetical or real story) or example (personal or otherwise) that draw the reader in and can be used to persuade the reader of your thesis.

However, there are two general types of introductions, and you will write one of each for this assignment.

1)A typical introduction to an academic paper AND

2) An anecdotal introduction that gets the reader’s attention.

A generic version of an academic essay introduction

might provide a brief historical context for the subject and then lead in to what the essay’s writer has to contribute to knowledge in that field. For example:

Many (scholars/critics/scientists/etc.) have concluded (x), but (x) ignores (these factors/that issue/ this context/etc.), which are (essential/important/helpful) to fully understand (your topic).

An example related to the kind of topic you might be writing about in English 102:

The most formal, general academic paper introduction (no matter if it is one paragraph or two or more) can be roughly divided into these areas:

It begins by paraphrasing ideas from one or more sources (what others have claimed, OR a brief summary of the text you are going to analyze)

It identifies an anomaly, problem, question, or gap in thinking: something these sources have not explained adequately or taken into account, especially as it applies to your subject matter (“joining a conversation “).

It concludes by formulating a thesis—something your paper will go on to develop, explain and support.


Paraphrase and quotes about what other writers have said on this topic

Introduction of a gap or problem

Working thesis

Out of all the steps in the educational process, the institution of high school seems to be scrutinized the most. It is not the value of high school that is necessarily in question. On the contrary, it is discussed so frequently because of its perceived importance and because of the numerous opinions associated with its effectiveness and the way it should be structured. Ted Sizer, an expert on the subject, holds a rather cynical view of today’s high school students. In his essay, What High School Is, he says, “The adolescents are supervised safely and constructively most of the time during the morning and afternoon hours and are off to the labor market. This is what high school is all about” (278). Sizer, like Mike Rose and Jonathon Kozol, believe that high schools need to be seriously rethought. They suggest improvements such as joined curriculums, better facilities, and more naturally structured time schedules. These suggestions might have an impact on the effectiveness of high school, but they fail to address the real reason behind high schools’ mediocre performance as part of the educational process. The perspective I have gained on the subject leads me to believe that there is no right “answer” to the way high schools should be. All of the authors make valid points about secondary education but they all suggest different answers. The diverse nature of high school students and their goals makes deciding on one institution to fit them an impossible (and useless) task.

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