Essay Writing

What should an introduction look like?

Is your teen struggling to start an essay for VCE English? Do they have no idea what needs to go into an introduction for a text essay?

Many of our teens struggle with knowing how to begin a length piece of writing like an essay. Where do they start? What do they include? How long should it be?

Here at TSE Tuition, we teach our students the following structure:

  1. Introduce the text facts (text type, title, author/director/playwright, year of publication/performance, etc)
  2. Introduce the text’s themes/characters – stay close to the prompt but don’t use the same words!
  3. State the essay’s contention
  4. Introduce body paragraphs (in order, without listing if possible)

Overall, we teach our students that all introductions, whether for an argument analysis essay or a comparative essay, should take the shape of a funnel. That is, the introduction needs to start with a broad range of content, then over the course of several sentences, those boundaries need to be made narrower and narrower, until it is super specific to the contents of the essay.

This kind of boundary-setting will help prevent our teens from getting penalised for ‘not discussing’ things that the teacher thinks they should be discussing. If the introduction performs its boundary-setting role correctly, it should protect the essay from criticism that they missed points.

Of course, there are many, many ways of writing an introduction, but many teens need a structure to start with! TSE Tuition recommends this structure because it strikes a good balance between structure and flexibility. As students gain more confidence and skill, they can then start playing with the structure to showcase their individuality.

Got a teen who needs more support than you can provide? Contact us today and let’s chat about their needs!

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