The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures.
He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try.
The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it.
Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly.
You see, the conventions of English essays are more formulaic than you might think – and, in many ways, it can be as simple as counting to five.
Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Body 1 Paragraph 3: Body 2 Paragraph 4: Body 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay.Finally, designing the last sentence in this way has the added benefit of seamlessly moving the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length.Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a "hook" that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position (this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument") on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that.If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question: "Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?A one sentence body paragraph that simply cites the example of "George Washington" or "Le Bron James" is not enough, however.No, following this an effective essay will follow up on this topic sentence by explaining to the reader, in detail, who or what an example is and, more importantly, why that example is relevant. For example, George Washington’s life was extremely complex – by using him as an example, do you intend to refer to his honesty, bravery, or maybe even his wooden teeth?