An introduction to an essay helps prepare the reader so they know what to expect and so they are ready to follow your structure and your main message. It gives them confidence in your work.

Scroll down for our recommended strategies and resources. 

Map for the reader

An introduction acts like a road map for your reader and lets them know where you will take them and what they will see on the way. Look at this advice on the purposes of introductions and what they should contain:

Why, what and how

A good way to draft your introduction is to answer the following questions: Why are the issues in the brief or title important? What is your position on the issues? And how will you structure your assignment? See the following link for further explanation with some examples:

Write last?

Introductions can be hard to write. This is often because you aren’t quite sure yet what your essay is about and, therefore, what job your introduction needs to do. It can be easier to write it last or put a very rough draft in place to revise later.

Make it count

Sometimes introductions read just like a restatement of the essay title. All you are saying is ‘This essay is going to answer the essay question’. Instead, add value for the reader by telling them how you will answer it, and what specific themes or points you will cover on the way. See the resource below for more phrases that can help to make your introduction useful and purposeful for the reader: