Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Essay and report writing skills

7.4.3 When to write the introduction?

At what stage should the introduction to an assignment be written?

Activity 19

A group of students attending a writing workshop were asked to identify the first task in preparing an assignment. Some answered ‘Writing the introduction’.

  1. Do you agree that writing the introduction should be your first priority when working on your first draft? If you disagree, why?

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of beginning your first draft with the introduction?


People vary in whether they prefer to write the introduction at an early stage or when they have almost completed your assignment.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of beginning the first draft with the introduction.

Advantages Disadvantages
It gets over the barrier of being faced with a blank piece of paper. The main body of the assignment is far more important and needs to be given your full attention.
It clarifies the approach you are adopting in answering the question. The introduction may constrain what you subsequently want to write; once you begin the more detailed drafting, you might find that it takes off in a different direction.
Having set out your approach, it is easier to check that you are adhering to it.
It can help stimulate your thoughts or imagination.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus