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Resources for Writers

Essays are Like a Conversation, Part 1

Writing an essay is like having a conversation with someone you've never met before: your reader.

If you open an essay with your main argument, your reader might be confused. Without a proper introduction, there is no context to help them understand why you are making your argument or why they should care.

Imagine that you are sitting on a bus, checking your email, when a complete stranger walks up to you and says,

"Dead Poets Society is the best movie ever!"

How would you feel?

An announcement that comes out of nowhere from a stranger can often shock and confuse people. Since they have no way of knowing why the stranger is talking to them or what will happen next, many people may also feel uncomfortable.

You don't want your reader to be shocked or confused when they start reading your essay. Just like in a conversation, you need to introduce your topic before getting to your main point.


"That's cool...I like Frozen...?"

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Introduction Resources

An introductory paragraph should:

  • Grab your reader's attention with a hook or introductory statement
  • Introduce your topic
  • Guide your reader to your main argument or thesis
  • Tell them what you will cover in the rest of the essay

These resources can help you draft the most effective introduction for your essay:

How to Choose a Resource

A globe Great for most writers, especially those in English 10, 20, 30 or above

The letters a, b, and c in a small box Perfect for  English 10 and anyone learning a new writing skill  Good for students in English 10, 20, 30 or higher who do not use English as a first language A book under a magnifying glass Resources for students writing research papers and other upper-level assignments

Want more resources?

Try looking through the subject guides on NorQuest Library's website! Find more writing resources and get information specific to your course or program in these collections managed by librarians and tutors.