Graduate Writing Center
Introductions, thesis statements, and roadmaps - graduate writing center.
- Citations / Avoiding Plagiarism
- Critical Thinking
- Discipline-Specific Resources
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- iThenticate FAQ
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Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Roadmaps
- Body Paragraphs and Topic Sentences
- Literature Reviews
- Executive Summaries and Abstracts
- Style: Clarity and Concision
- Writing Process
- Writing a Thesis
- Quick Clips & Tips
- Presentations and Graphics
The first paragraph or two of any paper should be constructed with care, creating a path for both the writer and reader to follow. However, it is very common to adjust the introduction more than once over the course of drafting and revising your document. In fact, it is normal (and often very useful, or even essential!) to heavily revise your introduction after you've finished composing the paper, since that is most likely when you have the best grasp on what you've been aiming to say.
The introduction is your opportunity to efficiently establish for your reader the topic and significance of your discussion, the focused argument or claim you’ll make contained in your thesis statement, and a sense of how your presentation of information will proceed.
There are a few things to avoid in crafting good introductions. Steer clear of unnecessary length: you should be able to effectively introduce the critical elements of any project a page or less. Another pitfall to watch out for is providing excessive history or context before clearly stating your own purpose. Finally, don’t lose time stalling because you can't think of a good first line. A funny or dramatic opener for your paper (also known as “a hook”) can be a nice touch, but it is by no means a required element in a good academic paper.
Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Roadmaps Links
- Short video (5:47): " Writing an Introduction to a Paper ," GWC
- Handout (printable): " Introductions ," University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center
- Handout (printable): " Thesis Statements ," University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center
- NPS-specific one-page (printable) S ample Thesis Chapter Introduction with Roadmap , from "Venezuela: A Revolution on Standby," Luis Calvo
- Short video (3:39): " Writing Ninjas: How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement "
- Video (5:06): " Thesis Statements ," Purdue OWL
Writing Topics A–Z
This index makes findings topics easy and links to the most relevant page for each item. Please email us at [email protected] if we're missing something!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Chapter 4: From Thesis to Essay
The Three-Storey Thesis as a Roadmap
Congratulations! Now you are ready to begin structuring your essay. Good news: you already have a logical blueprint in hand in the form of your three-storey thesis.
The next step in the pre-writing phase is creating a roadmap or outline for your essay. Taking the time to review your thesis statement and imagine paragraph-by-paragraph how your essay will flow before you start writing it will help in your revision process in that it will prevent you from writing parts of your essay and then having to delete them because they do not fit logically. You will also find that having a roadmap ahead of time will make the actual writing of your essay faster as you will know what is in each paragraph ahead of time.
A paragraph is a full and complete unit of thought within your essay. When you begin a new paragraph, you are signalling that you’ve completed that idea or point and are moving on to a new idea or point . The simplest way to create an essay outline is to look at your thesis statement, break it into its components, and then give each component its own paragraph by walking through each of the three storeys in sequence. Keep in mind that some components of an argument are more complex than others and may need two (or three or five) paragraphs to complete. But for now we’ll keep it simple and break our thesis into its basic parts. Let’s begin with our previous thesis statement, and then go storey by storey.
Write Here, Right Now: An Interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and Research by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.