There are three or four ways to approach doing a prose introduction. In this blog we’ll briefly outline each approach and then give a reason or two for rejecting or accepting the approach. It’s up to you to decide what way will serve you best:
Write no introduction – just get straight into writing the essay
Against: You can just summarise a text and start writing the main body of an essay, and as long as you’re always on relevant to the task then there’s little harm in this. But apart from being a good way to introduce your essay, in exam conditions an introduction can help you focus exactly what it is your doing, especially in Higher English.
Write a basic introduction stating only three things
Better than #1: A basic introduction will allow you to state clearly what your essay do which is so important to making your essay a success. (Especially making sure you pick-up the second part of the task and define the theme – see the video.) If you’re a slow writer or worried about getting everything down, this may be the ideal approach, but if you want to impress the marker then there are better approaches.
Write an introduction that includes a summary of the text you’re writing about
Good way to save time: By putting the introduction and summary together you can show off some writing skills summarising the text, and be clear about what your essay will do. If you’re worried about the timing of your essays this is an effective option.
Begin the introduction in a way designed to engage the reader of your essay
Our preferred option: Starting an introduction exploring a little bit of the theme your essay will deal with, or some historical context of the novel, or something personal that is relevant to the task and the novel is a great way to show the examiner that you are an engaged candidate; it also provides an opportunity to show writing skills and to show understanding. This ticks a lot of boxes and makes your essay stand-out.
Here’s a video on the subject: