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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.
Following the thesis, you should provide a mini-outline which previews the examples you will use to support your thesis in the rest of the essay.
Not only does this tell the reader what to expect in the paragraphs to come but it also gives them a clearer understanding of what the essay is about.
Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to the thesis.
The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.
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.
For proof of this, consider examples from both science and everyday experience.
Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible.
In fact, it took him more than 1,000 attempts to make the first incandescent bulb but, along the way, he learned quite a deal.
As he himself said, "I did not fail a thousand times but instead succeeded in finding a thousand ways it would not work." Thus Edison demonstrated both in thought and action how instructive mistakes can be.