HIST 99 DON The Introductory Paragraph All essays have as their purpose to pose a question or an implicit question and answer it. the job of the introductory paragraph of a history essay is to shape the query and finish with the thesis. In a short essay (less than 20 pages), you should endeavor to do this in a paragraph that is not longer than the first page of the essay and shorter, if possible. 1. The Opener : By the end of the first sentence, the reader should have a very good idea of the topical limits of your essay. There are two ways to do this. The easiest way is to create a sentence that includes the place, time, and subject of your essay. The more difficult way is to use a quotation, assert a position, or frame a question that grabs the attention of the reader and gets to the heart of your essay; this is sometimes called a hook. Pretend that your reader has ab-solutely no idea what you are going to write about and think of a way to answer that reader’s curiosity: What on earth is this essay going to be about?
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course HIST 99 at San Jose State.