Writing_Tools: Introduction_Maker

How to Use this Program

This program will help you to shape your ideas as you are developing the introductory paragraphs of your essay. It will not write the introduction for you, but rather will assist you in organizing your thoughts and claims in a focused and persuasive manner. Prior to using this program, you should already have made significant progress within the research process.

Before you begin

Ensure that you have completed the following:

  • Engaged in Brainstorming
  • Selected specific, supportable topic
  • Completed Preliminary Research
  • Conducted some In-Depth Research
  • Developed a Working Thesis
  • Prepared a Working Outline

Finding a Conversation Partner

Academic work consists of conversations between scholars and schools of thought. The strongest essays are written by students and scholars who recognize that they are contributing to and building upon ideas and arguments that already exist. This program will be useful to you only after you have selected a scholarly text to serve as a conversation partner for your work. In other words: use this program only once you have decided upon a scholarly text--ideally an academic book or peer-reviewed article--that you will treat as a representative of the position or school of thought that your text will be responding to.

If you have not yet chosen a text to be your essay's conversation partner, you will need to do more research on your chosen topic. Visit Google Scholar and your library page to find an appropriate text. If you aren't sure whether a text would be a good candidate to be your essay's conversation partner, be sure to consult with your professor before moving forward.

The Ingredients of a Good Introduction

An effective introduction includes the following components:

  1. Topic
  2. Stance
  3. Rationale
  4. Engagement with Other Perspectives

The Introduction_Maker will help you to clearly articulate each one of these four essential elements. It will produce an introduction that is two paragraphs long. In most cases, this should be fine, but make sure to check your professor's formatting specifications. If you have been directed to write a one-paragraph introduction, then reorganize the material as is appropriate. If you are unclear about whether you have put together your introduction properly, arrange to meet with your professor well in advance of the assignment deadline.

The Introduction_Maker