Introductions and Conclusions

Emilie Zickel

Intros and conclusions can be the most challenging paragraphs to write in a paper. Some writers save these paragraphs until the very end of their writing process. Some begin with these paragraphs as a way to guide the rest of the paper’s drafting and development. However you choose to draft these two paragraphs, be sure to give them care and attention, as they are each very important parts of any essay.

The intro

This paragraph is the “first impression” paragraph. It needs to make an impression on the reader so that he or she gets interested, understands your goal in the paper, and wants to read on. The intro often ends with the thesis.

Strategies for a Strong Intro

“How to Write an Engaging Introduction,” by Jennifer Janechek, published on Writing Commons, is an excellent resource that offers specific tips and examples of compelling introduction paragraphs.

The Conclusion

Many people struggle with the conclusion, not knowing how to end a paper without simply restating the paper’s thesis and main points. In fact, one of the earliest ways that we learn to write conclusions involves the “summarize and restate” method of repeating the points that you have already discussed.

While that method can be an effective way to perhaps begin a conclusion, the strongest conclusions will go beyond rehashing the key ideas from the paper. Just as the intro is the first impression, the conclusion is the last impression — and you do want your writing to make a lasting impression.

Strategies for a Strong Conclusion

Jennifer Yirinic’s article, “How to Write a Compelling Conclusion,” which was published on Writing Commons, is an excellent resource that can help you to craft powerful and interesting closing paragraphs.