Grammar-QuizzesMore PracticesWriting AidsWriting Process › Introductions


Four Types

Story telling


An introduction should:

  1. Introduce the topic.
  2. Indicate how the topic is going to be developed (cause-effect, reasons, examples, classification, description, narration, or explanation).
  3. Contain a thesis statement.
  4. Be inviting and entice the reader to continue after reading the first sentence.




Reveals background information leading to a focused thesis statement.

Birds, pigs, rats and other animals all have special talents which have been used by humans. Birds can talk, pigs can find truffles, rats can run wires through walls for plumbers. But no animal has quite as many special talents as dogs, especially when it comes to helping ranchers.



Unrolls as an eye-witness account.

Rubble from earthquake-stricken houses is lying everywhere.  Precious lives are buried deep within the piles of dirt, concrete and debris.  If rescue workers can locate these souls in time, their lives may be saved.  Dog teams arrive. They will  employ their amazing talents in this emergency situation.


Uses a quote to lead to the thesis statement.

"Never trust a man [that] a dog doesn't like." the proverbs says. This somehow implies that dogs can tell the character of a person before a human can.  In many ways this is true:  dogs have amazing talents when it comes to assessing a person's character.  But how do they do it? Pet behaviorists give the following explanations.


Turn About

Starts with the opposite idea and then moves to the focus.

Max was a cute dog, a Tibetan Terrier with a "winning smile", but he had annoying habit of "lifting his leg" on my furniture whenever I left him alone for more than a couple of hours.  Half-way through our walks, he would roll on his back indicating he had walked far enough. I would have to carry him home. Just when I decided to give him up for adoption, he used his amazing talent as a "chick magnet" to find me the love of my life.



adopt (V) – choose to take care of someone or some project

annoying (Participial Adj) – bothersome, disturbing, troublesome

assess (V) – estimate the value of something or the amount of damage done to it

behaviorist (N) – a professional who studies how and why people and animals act as they do; behave (V) – act; behavior (N) – how someone acts, character

chick-magnet (expression) – something that attracts the attention of young women

debris (N) – the remains of something that is broken down or destroyed, such as materials on the ground after a hurricane.

focus (N) – the central point of attraction or view; (V) to narrow the view to a particular point of interest

funnel (N) – a tool shaped like an upside-down cone, which takes a large amount of

indicate (N) – show, point to, be a sign or evidence of something

habit (N) – routine, customary behavior, repeated action or activity

imply (V) – indicate or suggest something without actually saying it; signify or mean


lifting his leg (expression) – urinating, peeing as male dogs do

liquid or particles (sand, sugar, powder) to and through a smaller opening at the other end so that the contents will fit through the opening of a bottle or jug

talent (N) – special abilities or skills such as playing the piano

truffle (N) – an edible fungus which grows under trees

proverb (N) – a wise saying that is passed down from generation to generation

rancher (N) – a person who raises animals such as cattle or sheep

reveal (V) – to make known, lay open for others to see, show

rubble (N) –  rough amounts of rocks, stones, or building material on the ground; demolished material no longer part of a structure

stricken (Participial Adj) – hit; strike (V) – hit with a hand, tool or force of nature

thesis  (N) – the particular focus (viewpoint or opinion) that a writer chooses to write about on a narrowed topic.  See Topic & Thesis  and Controlling Idea for examples.

unroll (V) – to show little by little, display, reveal








Man's Best Friend



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Do you remember seeing dogs in movies saving lives? Some awaken and rescue their owners from their burning homes.  Some attacked bad guys who were hurting their owners. Others lead their owners to safety.  Still others ran to get help when their owners were trapped.  Dogs have many amazing talents when it comes to rescuing people.

Dogs can do all kinds of tricks and they can rescue people.  It all depends on their owners and whether they train them well.  I wonder how they can do all the things they do?

Once when I was traveling and was at an airport, I saw police dogs sniffing the suitcases.  I was really scared when it started to sniff my suitcase and then it barked at me.  Dogs have many extraordinary talents in law enforcement.

"Dogs wag their tails, not their tongues" my grandmother would say.  She had a beautiful Golden Retriever that we all loved. But it died.  Everyone in the family used to sit, pet and talk confidentially to that dog. We all miss that dog because we have no one safe to tell our secrets to.  Dogs have many extraordinary talents.

Dogs are God's gift to man.  But "truffle dogs" are God's gift to the chef.  Finding this edible fungus that grows in the roots at the base of trees requires cooperation of man and dog.  However, without the "truffle dog's" extraordinary talent, man would be left to dig blindly.

I saw a dog in Macy's and I wondered why they let a dog in a department store.  Then I saw that the dog was guiding a blind person.  Dogs have many talents in helping blind people.