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Introductions and conclusions

Introductions

The introduction to an essay will refer to the essay title and talk about the topic in general terms, giving a broad ‘lead-in’ to what is to be discussed in the essay.

1. Define and limit the scope of your essay.

2. Outline the proposed methods of development of the essay.

3. Set the overall mood and dominant attitude of the essay. In fact, the introduction serves as a preview of what is to come. A preview should be fairly brief, simply offering an indication of what is to come and tempting the reader to want to know more.

Conclusions

A concluding paragraph gives a lasting impression. It should be brief- no longer than a tenth of the essay- but is powerful as it is the last thing the marker reads.

Do!

- Refer back to the question raised in the title.

- Restate the main ideas that the essay has developed.

- Summarise your main points and show how they relate to each other.

- Draw general conclusions.

Don’t!

- ‘Go off’ in a new direction.

- Throw in any comments that are not related to the title.

- Express any new ideas.

Tip: Consider if you need to define any of the key words. If there are multiple understandings of the terms, you may need to say which interpretation you will be using in your essay.