Writing Introductions and Conclusions

 Writing Introductions

 

The introduction, or first body paragraph of an essay, has three main parts to it: the hook (also known as the attention grabber), the transition, and the thesis. 

 The HOOK takes up the most space in your introduction.  Its purpose is to draw the reader in with a famous quote, analogy, statistic or true story.  Please read the four sample hooks below, highlighted in yellow. 

 

The TRANSITION comes next.  Its only purpose is to connect your hook to the topic of your paper.  Read the sample transitions below, highlighted in green. 

 Your THESIS is the very last sentence of your essay.  It is stating, in one sentence, what you are proving.  Thesis statements are always persuasive statements, not questions.  Read the sample thesis statement below, written in red.    

Below are four sample introductions, all written for the same thesis, but utilizing different hooks. 

 

FAMOUS QUOTE: 

 

Indian teacher, philosopher, and royal advisor Chanakya once said, “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”  This quote means that individuals should stay friends with only those among their social class.  Such division is ridiculous and discriminating.  Who cares what one’s class is?  Why must one stick with those considered his or her class?  Classism is the belief that individuals are favored more or less based on their social or economic class.  Classism proves to be the most detrimental form of discrimination in America today.

 

 

ANALOGY: 

 

What if a shopper came home from the grocery store and began unpacking his or her groceries.  This shopper put all of her bananas in one bowl, all of her apples in another, her oranges in a third and her peaches in a forth.  Why divide and classify all four pieces of food?  Are they not all fruit?  Classism is a silly as separating one’s fruit:  it is a pointless task involving effort and drawing on stereotype.  The denotation of classism is to show favor to an individual based on the individual’s social or economic class.  Economic classism is harmful to present-day America.    

 

 

STATISTIC:

 

In 2005, William Thompson and Joseph Hickey surveyed Americans for research titled “The American Class Structure: In An Age of Growing Inequality”.  Thompson and Hickey’s research states that Americans are classified in the following brackets: 1% are Upper Class; 15% are Upper Middle Class; 32% are Lower Middle Class; 32% are Working Class; 20% are Lower Class.  Such division not only separates Americans, but it undermines the value of individualsSuch division is known as classism and is the most harmful type of discrimination in current-day America.

 

TRUE STORY: 

 

“People from Waterford are so trashy,” Jen said as she rolled her eyes.  “I mean, how white trash can they get?  Trash on their lawns, trashy tattoos on their bodies, crowded neighborhoods and all those criminals: I hate Waterford.”  Such stereotyping and hatred stems from a dangerous type of discrimination called classism.  Classism is when you show favor to someone based on his or her economic class.  Classism is hateful and proves to be the most dangerous type of discrimination in present-day America.   

 

Writing Conclusions

 

Writing conclusions are similar to writing introductions because they use similar elements, but in a reverse order.  The conclusion has three main parts: the restating of your thesis, your sum-up, and your final thoughts on the topic of your essay. 

 Signal your conclusion with a transitional word or phrase, like

 

  • Thus
  • In conclusion
  • As you can see
  • Obviously

And then restate your THESIS as the very first sentence of your conclusion.  

 The summary of main points comes next.  Its purpose is to remind the reader of each persuasive point you made.  Sum ups will be several sentences long.  Read the sample sum up below, highlighted in green. 

 The FINAL THOUHTS takes up the most space in your conclusion.  Its purpose is to end the essay on a thoughtful note, while drawing it to a close.  Read the sample below. 

 

Students can do this in one of the following ways:

  • Refer back to your hook, adding any reflective note or lesson learned (NOTE:  this does NOT mean you copy and paste your hook.  That is lazy, and you will have to fix it!)
  • State your opinion on the topic, speaking in the first person
  • End with a memorable story or anecdote

 SAMPLE CONCLUSION:

 

 

In conclusion, classism is a harmful type of discrimination in present-day AmericaOne sees classism when looking at the division of Metro-Detroit.  Similarily, people express classist comments daily when saying someone or some place is trashy.  Last, classism is common when companies like Apple develop discriminatory apps like the Ghetto App.  I feel classism is more common than other types of discrimination.  I was a victim of classism growing up, as people consistently commented on my schooling.  Regardless of what class one comes from, all people should be treated with dignity and respect in this great country of freedom. 

 

 

Want to read more example introductions and conclusions?  Open up the two sample research papers in your digital folder (labeled Sample Research Paper 1 and 2) and read how each writer began and ended their essay.