Within the space of a few lines, your introduction should introduce the topic of your essay, your contention and what you intend to discuss. The reader should know just from the introduction what your point of view is, and where the essay will be heading. To introduce the topic for a text response essay, you should mention the title of the text in addition to the author. You should cover all of this information in a few sentences: “The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross, is highly critical of violence, valuing the compassion of characters like Katniss and Peeta while criticising the cruelty and self-interest of others.”
The title of the text should be used in italics or single quotation marks. Only one of these is necessary. You should also refer to the author by their full name the first time you introduce them, and by their surname only for every additional time you mention them, for example: “Ross depicts The Capitol as cruel and uncaring.” WRITING THE INTRODUCTION
1. Show that you understand the essay question by re-writing it in your own words. Don’t simply repeat the key words, but aim to use synonyms. This not only demonstrates your understanding of the topic, but allows you to show how articulate you are.
2. Establish your contention clearly and early on. There should be no confusion as to your take on the essay prompt. If the essay is asking ‘Do you agree?’ – you should make it very clear whether you agree/disagree or partly agree. Other essay prompts may be asking you ‘to what extent do you agree’ or simply to ‘discuss’. Your contention should avoid saying ‘I think’ or ‘I believe’. You should be able to state it confidently and clearly without resorting to the first person. The reader already knows it is your opinion; you don’t need to state the obvious.
3. Perhaps begin with an attention grabber, some startling or interesting information. It could simply be a fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make....
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