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Pay attention to exactly what the essay prompt asks for.
The only time not to express your own opinion is when you are specifically asked to paraphrase (restate) or summarize other people’s ideas or when asked to objectively (i.e.
without personal bias or opinion) present or analyze data.
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.
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.
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer.
In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.
If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!
Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question: "Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?