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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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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?

Discussion

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.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
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.