In this unit you will write introductory paragraphs. Most introductions in all
forms of academic writing (essays, reports, reviews) follow the general to
specific method of organisation.
The benefits of writing good introductions for your assignments are enormous,
for both your reader and you. First impressions are powerful. If your assignment
begins with a well-written introduction, your lecturer will look forward to
reading what follows and will be very clear about your direction and argument.
Just as the topic sentence of a paragraph controls the organisation and
information of a paragraph, so the introduction to an assignment controls the
organisation and information of the whole text.
When you have finished studying this unit you should be able to:
recognise and understand the functional stages of an academic introduction
revise introductory paragraphs in line with academic conventions
write a clear introduction using the conventional format, with a topic
sentence and relevant support sentences.
FEATURES OF INTRODUCTIONS
The following introductions are from a textbook, a journal article, a student’s
essay and a student’s experimental report. While they vary greatly in topic,
length and treatment, they share some features. What are they? Each one has
been analysed briefly in a table to help you make comparisons.
Introduction to section of university textbook (Management)
“What is Management?”
Management is about people. More formally it is the process of achieving organisational goals
through engaging in the four major functions of planning, organising, leading and controlling.
This definition recognises that management is an ongoing activity, which entails reaching
important goals and involves knowing how to perform the four major functions of management
(Carroll & Gillen 1987). We briefly review these major functions before considering their relation
to other aspects of managerial work.
Bartol et al. 1995, p.13
Functional analysis of stages of introduction 1
Management is about people.
Orientation to topic