The introduction is the first paragraph of the dissertation and it should contain at least two structures: presentation (or contextualization) of the theme and presentation of the thesis (which is formed by the main ideas of each development paragraph).
Note: We may also consider that the arguments form a third structure, separating them from the thesis. This is just a way of defining concepts. What matters is that the introduction should present the theme and thesis (idea or main ideas of the essay).
Let’s assume that the theme is related to “internet”. So, I need to start my essay by presenting this theme, contextualizing it and presenting it in some way. Here are some examples:
- “The internet is part of modern society and is a defining characteristic of the current generation”.
- “The internet is a reflection of the technological advancement promoted by man, which transcends physical barriers and starts living in a virtual universe without borders”.
- “Just as many inventions have changed man’s history, the internet has proved to be the mark of a new generation and a new culture.”
Note that there are several ways to present the theme. Generally, the best strategy is to work with definitions and concepts and, for that, just ask: what is the internet? What does it provide to society? Think of everything you know about the topic and look for what you know best about it.
Let’s adopt Item 1: “The internet is part of modern society and is a hallmark of today’s culture.”
Now that we have presented the theme, we need to position ourselves on it, that is: we need a thesis (opinion).
The theme “internet” is very broad and we can say a lot about it. But in general (in my opinion), I believe it can serve both good and evil. Therefore, my opinion is: “the internet is good and bad”. From this opinion I will formulate my thesis:
- “The internet has both positive and negative aspects and it depends on its use.”
See what my opinion is: “the internet is good and also bad and it depends on the Internet user”. Now, I need to convince the reader as best I can to accept that opinion. To do so, we need ideas (arguments) and each argument will be explained and developed in each development paragraph. A good way is to think of the thesis as the union of the main ideas of each paragraph of development. That’s why, to start writing essay, we need to plan the text, thinking about what we’re going to write in each paragraph.
As the essay usually has two developmental paragraphs, then I need two arguments to help me convince the reader to accept my opinion.
Argument 1: “the internet is good because it facilitates access to knowledge and information”.
Argument 2: “The internet is bad because it is not very secure, which gives rise to various problems.”
Well then we already have the presentation of the theme and the thesis (along with the arguments). That means we already have our introduction:
- “The internet is part of modern society and is a hallmark of today’s culture. Its main positive aspect is the ease of access to knowledge and information, however its misuse can harm its users in many ways. What characterizes it as beneficial or evil is the way it is used. “
Of course this is not the rule, as each person has their own style of writing.
Notice that we have in this paragraph all the elements necessary to make an introduction. We present both the theme and the thesis and point out the two main arguments that will give rise to the two paragraphs of development. So to write the introduction, we need to have an idea of what we are going to write, and we also need to have an idea of what arguments will be used to defend our opinion. We can not start writing without knowing what we’re going to write.
So before you even start the introductory paragraph, it is important that you make a schematic with all your ideas, by architecting the content of your text, separating the main arguments and the thesis. The introduction should clearly and objectively reveal to the reader the theme, the thesis and, along with the thesis, the arguments that will be developed throughout the dissertation. Remember: you will only submit and state the arguments. That is: you will not develop or explain anything in the introduction.
Then, in a simplified way, we can consider that the introduction has two main structures: the presentation of the theme and the presentation of the thesis. See the video below for another example of how we can use this method to construct the development paragraph.