Introduction skills: (1) Meet requirements (2) Define/illustrate key terms (3) Signpost

16 05 2011

There are many ways to write a good introduction. This post considers three important skills:

  1. Meet requirements
    Show a clear understanding of question requirements (this includes making your stand and thesis very clear)
  2. Define/illustrate key terms
    These should be defined or illustrated (using examples) clearly
  3. Signpost
    Signpost the body paragraph arguments, as well as the definitions of key terms.

‘Far too much attention is given to beauty products and treatments.’ Do you agree? (2004)

Far too much attention is given to beauty products and treatments because more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned with their outward appearance and some are even obsessed with their looks so much that they go to the extremes of spending money on cosmetic surgery [1]. Thanks to the media, the purpose of beauty products is no longer solely to cleanse the skin but also to whiten, purify, remove wrinkles [BP&T]… [2] The media has instilled and developed in people the desire to look good by constantly broadcasting beauty and make-over [BP&T] programmes and as a result caused people to be always mindful of their own looks and chasing after the ‘ideal’ appearance. Why is this too much? [3] People are now more willing to spend a greater proportion of their income on beauty products and treatments and as a result have compromise their spending on daily necessities. Furthermore, family time or time to socialize is sacrificed as people make use of this time to seek facial and spa treatments [BP&T] [4]. Are all these sacrifices necessary? I think not [5]. I am not saying that giving attention, for example through spending time and money on beauty products and treatments [6] to make one look possibly better, is wrong; what I am saying is we certainly should not be doing so at the expense of our everyday needs and social life [7].

– Zhong Yang, 2T28


Comments and analysis (corresponds to numbers above):

1. Clear stand and thesis (presented as an argument – reason + conclusion)

2. Good attempt at using the ellipsis. Might be more effective if you had more than three things on your list – would give your reader a stronger sense of the endlessness of the list.

3. Yardstick and definition of “too much” is being clearly signposted. Note: signpost could be expressed more elegantly.

4. Content of body paragraphs is being clearly signposted

5. Yardstick defined ( = necessity)

6. “attention” is clearly defined

7. Clarification of stand/thesis; evaluative comment

[BP&T]. Illustration of “beauty products and treatments”

Overall comments:

A very clear introduction which shows good understanding of question requirements. The yardstick is clearly signposted and defined, as are the main arguments that will be presented in the body paragraphs. Key terms (“too much”, “attention”, “beauty products and treatments”) are clearly defined and/or illustrated. Thesis is further clarified to enhance the sense of purpose and confidence in the thesis.




2 responses

30 08 2011

What is an elipsis?

30 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

It’s the “…” punctuation mark.

Sent from my iPhone

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