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How to write a nice introduction

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How to write a nice introductory paragraph:
o Offer a synopsis (a brief overview of the work you are writing about) but have it generally tie-in with thesis idea. Otherwise, thesis will seem like an afterthought stuck on at the end.
o Tell if it is a novel, a poem, a play, or short story.
o Tell when and where the work takes place.
o Introduce the main character as well as other characters if they are relevant to the thesis.
o Introduce the title and author very early in the introduction.
o The thesis will be the last sentence. State it in a way that shows what the author is "doing." Note the difference in the following examples:
(Good) In The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger depicts...
(Not so good and kind of lame really) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger depicts...
Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph: o Announce your intentions. Do not announce what you are about to do in an essay. Rather, get into the topic and let your reader perceive your purpose in the topic sentence of your beginning paragraph. In this paper I will . . . The purpose of this essay is to . . .
o Use a dictionary or encyclopedia definition. According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary The dictionary says that... According to Webster's dictionary...
o Begin with an "attention getter" that would be more suitable for a speech.
A lizard walked into a bar... A Chinese proverb states...
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