ByÂ Angelina Jennifer:
One of the hardest parts of putting together a final project is being able to write a great introduction: how do you focus all of your thoughts on a project, and how do you make sure that you’re covering everything you need? What, then, are some of the best ways in which you can write an excellent introduction for your final project, and how can you make things easier for yourself in terms of planning and structuring your work?
This approach reflects the point that an introduction needs to be, well, introductory – trying to be overly complicated can result in you struggling to find the right information for the project. Try to write down several points, and include clear questions – ‘I’m going to be looking at’ and ‘I hope to find out’ can be a good starting points. Don’t elaborate too much on your argument in the introduction, but just set up what you’re going to be looking at in the rest of the project.
Before writing your introduction, think about whether or not you can summarise your argument and findings into one or two sentences; this can be hard to do, but should make it easier to simplify your introduction, and will prevent you from being bogged down into details. Again, lines like ‘my project showed that’ and ‘I came to the conclusion that’ can make it possible to build up your argument.
You want to grab the reader with a hook that gets them into the text – you might want to use a quote, or even a key or unusual fact from your project. Go over whatÂ you’veÂ written, and try to find something that really stands out – again, this doesn’t have to be too complicated, and if you really can’t find something, just stick to a simple opening like ‘In this essay I’m looking at’ or ‘this project will be examining.’
As Carolyn Mohr points out, great books often find ways to hook you with their opening paragraphs – they use distinctive language or unusual quotes – even if you are writing a science paper, that doesn’t mean that you can’t think about some of the ways in which fiction appeals to you. Try to start with an emotive statement, or start with an argument or question. In terms of structure, encourage curiosity by setting out several questions at the start of your paper.
A lot of people try to start writing their final project by doing their introduction first – this isn’t always the best idea, as you can be overwhelmed by what you’re trying to say. Trying to break down what you need to say can make it much harder to get your head around an introduction. In this case, it’s best to leave your introduction to the end of your project – once you have your findings and a conclusion, then you can just go back and explain what you’re going to be doing in as simple a way as possible.