How to write an introduction to the essay in FCE exam

Writing an introduction might be quite complicated, especially if you have no clue how to start, what to write, what words to use. On top of that you’re even more puzzled when you see the prompts/notes, as you’re probably not sure if you should write about them in the introduction or main body. So, I’m going to make it simple for you, but before please have a look at the following:

Key elements and tactics of a great introduction:

1. Your introduction has to be clear and concise (2-3 sentences)

2. Sentence 1-2 – Write a sentence introducing the topic and giving some background facts about it

3. Sentence 2-3 – Write your opinion – only if asked (give your answer/opinion in the introduction and not just the conclusion) or write a rhetorical questions that will link your introduction with main body

 

When looking at the topic you should underline key words in order to understand the question better and to find synonyms or brainstorm ideas- this will help you come up with ideas to write about.

Your introduction identifies the subject the essay will discuss- you should indicate in your introduction what question you’ll be answering.

Paraphrase structure of the topic sentence, use synonyms – different words with a similar meaning and move the order of the sentence around, don’t copy exact words from the topic!

You must not start answering the question in the introduction you write this in the main body.

Avoid “In this essay I will discuss”

 

So, there are 3 sentences in the introduction, but what next?

5 steps that stand between you and your perfect introduction.

 

Essay question 1: 

Many people believe that education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?

 

1st step- read the essay question and underline main topic and keywords

 

Many people believe that education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?

 

main topic- development of a country, education

keywords- many people, education, development, country, agree

 

2nd step– find synonyms of the underlined words

 

education- educational system, teaching, learning

many people – our society,  citizens

development-  growth, evolution, growing

important factor – significant element

country-  state, nation

agree- In my opinion, I think,  myself included

 

In here you’ve got a few examples of synonyms, during the exam it’s ok to find just one or two. So that you can use them not only in the introduction but also the main body.

 

3rd step– write the first sentence that deals with the general point of view.

 

Example: 

There are numerous factors contributing to the prosperous economy of any nation ( this sentence looks at the main topic from a general point of view).

 

 

4th step – paraphrase the topic sentence and if possible include your opinion provided the topic asks you to do it.

Some teachers and instructors argue that you shouldn’t state your opinion in the introduction. However, in order for the essay to be coherent it’s advisable to write what your opinion is in the introduction.  If your opinion is not stated in the introduction you have to make sure it’s in the conclusion, this only applies to Yes/No or Opinion essays.

 

Avoid copying phrases from the topic question. Use your own words.

 

Example: 

Nevertheless, our society, myself included, strongly considers academic knowledge as the most significant element of the advance progression of the country’s life. (2nd sentence is actually the paraphrased topic sentence + opinion).

 

Look at the essay question: Many people believe that education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?

vs

example:

Nevertheless, our society, myself included, strongly considers academic knowledge as the most significant element of the advance progression of the country’s life.

 

How has the essay question been paraphrase, what synonyms have been used?

 

Many people our society

believe considers

education academic knowledge

most important factor the most significant element

development advance progression

country country’s life

 

Key element in this stage of the writing process is to find synonyms, as these will help you enormously to write a great introduction.

 

5th step– Rhetorical question that allows you to list the reasons in the main body later on.

This question creates a great link between the 1st and 2nd paragraph plus it provides an intro to the paragraphs in the main body

 

Example:

So on what grounds do many people base their opinion?

 

Here’s the topic question and whole introduction:

 

Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree?

 

There are numerous factors contributing to the prosperous economy of any nation. Nevertheless, our society, myself included, strongly considers academic knowledge as the most significant element of the advance progression of the country’s life. So on what grounds so many people base their opinion?

 

 

Practice makes perfect, so here’s another example:

 

Do you find it difficult to write the introduction and want more help? Please write to us… 

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