Writing an Introduction: The Map

31 Oct

The introduction is essentially the map for your entire essay but since the hook and the thesis statement have a unique role to play, the bulk of your introduction will function as the directions for your entire paper.


Also referred to as background, this part of your introduction should be 1-2 sentences ONLY. The context sentences are going to provide the larger framework and/or the significance of the topic at hand. Looking back at the assignment and paying special attention to the content requirements and the verbs should be all you need to write this section.


These next 2-4 sentences (this number is entirely dependent on the length of the paper and the instructions from your teacher; if in doubt, ask) are the beginning of the thread of your argument and therefore, can be difficult to write. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating – do NOT write your introduction or conclusion until you’ve completed the rest of your paper.

The context and the map will undoubtedly blend but it’s important to note the distinction. The map section will be YOUR take on your subject. You’ll want to let the reader know how you intend to discuss or analyze your topic.


“A good introduction will:

 show that you are going to answer the question or complete the task
 show that you understand the issues and their implications
 show how you are going to do this by indicating the structure of your answer and making clear the main areas that     you are going to write about (your plan).
 show evidence that you have carried out some research by making a reference to one of your sources
 be totally relevant
 be concise: 8-9% of the total number of words is usually recommended (eg 120 words in a 1500 word assignment).”

The Writing Center is open from Mon-Fri 2:30-4:30pm. You can sign up in the Library – main counter – or email me a day/time at lincolnwriting@gmail.com

One Response to “Writing an Introduction: The Map”


  1. An Essay Writing Tool « LHS Writing Center - November 1, 2012

    […] – the introduction and the conclusion. For the introduction, you’ve got the hook and the map. The conclusion posts will come next […]

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