The Introduction


The introduction is the broad beginning of the paper that answers three important questions for the reader:

  • What is this paper about?
  • Why I should read it?
  • What arguments will I hear?

The best way to do this is:

  • Set the context –provide background and general information about the topic. Explain the situation so your reader can make sense of the topic and the arguments you make and support.
  • State why your main topic is important –make the reader care and keep reading. Your goal is to create an interesting, clear, and convincing essay people will want to read and discuss.
  • State your thesis –you need a sentence or two stating the position you will support.


Forecasting gives your reader a mini outline of what is to come. If you have a long paper, you may want to forecast how you will support your thesis by outlining the structure of your paper, the sources you will consider, etc. You can forecast your paper in many different ways depending on the type of paper you are writing.


Your forecast could read something like this:

This paper will first examine the barriers to accessing higher education for first generation immigrants. The results from a survey of first-generation high school students are shared. Finally, the discussion examines the Government’s attempt to address these issues and why they have failed due to lack of organization, funding and prejudice.


By adding some details on your specific topic, a forecast will effectively outline the structure of your paper so your readers can more easily follow your ideas.