Let me ‘Introduce’ myself: Writing an Introduction

Introductions are key to a good essay and a good grade. Why? Because they are the first thing an examiner reads and judges you on. Now let me give you a little insight. Examiners, people who mark for the exam board – often teachers, will have potentially read the same answer 300 times. What does this mean? They are bored! Your challenge then is to write an engaging (or at least different) introduction to spark their interest (not easy hence the ‘challenge’).

Now in my experience of marking a lot of essays I think there are a few simple things you can do to catch your readers attention.

  1. Explore what the words in the question actually mean
  2. Add a rhetorical question
  3. Mention the main key names/ topic areas which will be explored in your answer
  4. Finish off the introduction properly
  5. Add a quote or point of interest

Note: You do not need to use all 5 for an effective introduction – just what works for your writing style or the question asked.

For example (this is taken from the old spec but still demonstrates the techniques effectively):Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 20.14.21.png

If you would like to read more examples of Introductions (for new spec) please see: ‘Critically assess the effectiveness of Plato’s arguments for understanding reality’: Student answers, “Natural law provides a helpful approach when dealing with issues surrounding euthanasia”: Student’s Work and Pluralism and Theology: Student’s Work

For further support check out:

To view all available teacher and student materials click on: R.S Resources. This digital goods store will allow you to quickly and safely download all materials (for a small charge). These include PowerPoints, lesson packs (with all worksheets and activities) key knowledge test packs (with answers), essay writing skills pack, revision packs and much more. I am always uploading new materials (as and when I cover them with my students) so it is worth checking regularly. These are all the materials I use with my own students, so they are tried and tested and available for you to download, keep and adapt over the years.


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