Home > Tips Menu > Introduction and Conclusion Tips
|Perhaps no other aspects of writing and presenting cause more
headaches than introductions and conclusions, and perhaps no other parts
of the essay/presentation are as important. Instead of trying to write the
standard five-paragraph essay/presentation introduction and conclusion, though,
you should be attempting to create prose that is as exciting and interesting
as every other part of your essay/presentation.
introduce your thesis and several related points you intend to write about.
MacKinnon, a tenured professor at the University of Michigan and a visiting
professor at the University of Chicago, has recently begun to protest what
she claims are false allegations and defamation. The self-proclaimed radical
feminist now states that she never said the much-attributed comments, “All
sex is rape” and “All men are rapists.” MacKinnon says she has spent 13 years
fighting these lies and now wants to set the record straight.”
begin by telling a brief, true story that relates to your thesis.
Hagen did the right thing. When a friend asked the 13-year-old to dispose
of a dime bag of marijuana, Tyler took the pot to his parents, who contacted
the local sheriff to retrieve the grass. Tyler did exactly what he should
have done. However, when school authorities learned Tyler’s hand had touched
reefer while his feet were on school property, they suspended him for five
days under the district’s strict new zero-tolerance policy.”
begin by quoting startling or interesting numbers related to your thesis.
1994, Network Solutions, the web’s largest distributor of Internet addresses,
assigned 24,000 Internet addresses. In 1998, that number had risen to 1.9
million. In only four years Internet expansion exploded, and it continues
to grow to this day.”
being by asking an important question(s) that you then answer in the text
of your essay.
much freedom do Americans really have? Are we really entitled, as the Constitution
says, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What about freedom of
speech and religion? You might think Americans have a great deal of freedom,
but you’d be wrong. Everyday federal and local politicians pass laws restricting
the freedom of Americans, and often we don’t even know they’re doing it.”
begin by referring to well-known recent events that relate to your thesis.
recent killings at Columbine High School in Colorado brought the country
face-to-face with adolescent violence on a massive scale. But what about
the adolescent killings that occur everyday in America’s inner cities? Why
isn’t there more outrage over those deaths? This disparity is simply another
example of the inherent racism in America.”
begin with a famous or compelling quote that relates to your thesis.
ancient Greek philosopher Plato said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’
However, if Plato were alive today, and saw the rash of self-help books and
people trying to solve their problems on national television, he may decide
that people have been examining their lives long enough—and that perhaps
it’s time people started living their lives instead.”
a nice young man moves in next door to you. He seems clean-cut and clearly
enjoys being around children. Your daughter likes to go over to the man’s
house after school to play with his dog. Now imagine this nice young man
is actually a convicted child molester. Wouldn’t you want to know this? Megan’s
Law, which requires all convicted child molesters to notify local police
when they move into a new area, is an important element in protecting our
You can also
do a combination of introductions, such the above, which features “What if?”
and rhetorical questions. Try a variety of introductions until you find the
most effective and appropriate one.
is a difference between a summary and a conclusion. A summary simply reiterates
the points you made in your essay and is generally considered a boring and
ineffective way to end a paper. A conclusion wraps up your essay in a clear
and interesting way. While there may be some reiteration of previous points,
it does not simply list or repeat what you’ve already written.