Templates For Essay Introductions

The following student templates support the development of essay writing skills.

Understanding the question [Word 9.1 KB]

This template helps students to break down an essay question so they understand what they need to do before they start to write or research their topic. For more information on breaking down essay questions, see the Essay question page of this site.

Essay plan template [Word 21.57 KB]

This template provides students with a framework for planning an argumentative essay. For more information on essay planning, see the Plan your essay page on this site.

Organising essay ideas [Word 13.46 KB]

This template supports students to physically manipulate and reorder ideas to help with impoving essay structure. For more information on essay structure, see The writing process page on this site.

Note-taking outline [Word 41.36 KB]

This template provides students with a basic note-taking framework. For more information on note-taking, see the Learn page Organise notes on this website.

Bibliography template [Word 19.88 KB]

This template provides a structure students can use to record references they find during the research process. For more information on referencing see Bibliographies and the Research skills sections of this site.

The introduction of the essay

The function of the Introduction is to serve as a 'map' of the essay, outlining to your reader the main argument and points which you develop in your essay. Most introductions begin with an orientation in the form of a brief general statement that leads the reader into the topic showing how the specific topic relates to bigger issues or to the discipline field. This is followed by your thesis statement, which is your concise response to the essay question, then an outline of the argument presented in the essay. You may find it useful to think of an essay's introduction as funnel shaped ­ moving from the general to the specific. Here is an example:

Essay Question: Italy on the eve of 1860 has often been described as an unlikely nation. Why?

On the eve of 1860 the word Italy described not a nation, but a geographical area.The peninsula was split into eight separate states, all independent of one another. Economically, while the whole of Europe seemed to be surging ahead, Italy was lagging behind.At this time, Italy was seen as an unlikely nation because of the many obstacles that lay in the way of unification. The main obstacles were the dislike and distrust between the states and the "slowness of the great bulk of Italians to accept or even comprehend the idea of Italy" (Mack Smith,1968: 2). There was also a lack of planning and common goals amongst the minority of the population that supported and were prepared to fight for a unified country. This was exacerbated by the disagreement and dislike between the leaders of Il Risorgimento, the Italian independence movement.background
orientation to the topic


thesis statement

outline of argument

1This essay has been adapted from material developed by R. Woodward-Kron, E. Thomson & J. Meek (2000) Academic Writing: a language based guide (CD-ROM), University of Wollongong




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