Mapping out a successful into for any paper

Mapping an Intro with CPR

Think of your introduction as a map. This will be the first part of the paper your reader will see-use it to chart the territory of your argument. Your reader needs a map as an entry point to vour main ideas. Introductions can take many forms, but it's important that they include three main elements:

  • Relevant context
  • A definition of the problem, and
  • Your response to that problem (in that order).

What about the hook?

The hook is just another phrase for giving your reader context that will interest them in your topic. Here are some ways you can give context to draw your reader in:

  • Answer the questions "Why should I read this?" and/or "Why should I care?"
  • Share a relevant truth or statistic.
  • Share a personal anecdote related to your topic.
  • Ask a thought-provoking question.

Intro Tip!

While the introduction is the first thing your reader sees, it can be the last thing you write. Some people find it easier to write an intro once all the main points of the body paragraphs are done. It's all about the journey, not the destination!


Context: You are Here Problem: Where You're Going Response: Where the Road Ends

When we give our reader the proper context for our topics, we are establishing common ground. This is where you create a shared understanding of the basics before you get into the more specific ideas of the project. You want to introduce your reader to a known (or easily knowable) thing.

After you've established the context, it's time to get into your problem. The problem is what you're attempting to figure out in your paper. It can be a lot of things, like a gap in the topic's field, something overlooked, or something misunderstood. Your problem should complicate your context in some way, and suggest to readers that your questions are worth studying and answering.

After the two aforementioned "chunks," your reader is ready to hear your response to this problem (aka your thesis/main claim). It should provide a description of what your paper is covering and should be in response to the Context and Problem you've already established.

A Student Example A Student Example A Student Example

"Where's the beef?"
"Clap on! Clap off!"
"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up."

These are the memorable lines from just three television commercials featuring older people that have aired since I was a child. The process of aging, as it is portrayed in the mass media, is evidently something to avoid, to condemn, or to laugh at, as these three examples suggest.

For as long as I can remember, l've been somewhat averse to those feeble, gray-haired folks, driving too slow and smelling of ointment medication. But why is it that these weak excuses for dislike are enough to carry a decade or more of anti-elderly sentiment for me?

By representing our elders on TV as feeble, absent-minded, stubborn, and helpless, or by simply not representing elders at all, the subtle effects accumulate and add to the poor social conditions many older Americans face today.