Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why Write Your Introduction Last?

Your introduction comprises the most important part of your writing, no matter the length. Without a good “hook”, readers won’t stick around long enough to see what else you have to say.

While writing the introduction first can help you to organize your thoughts, the first draft rarely introduces what your piece turns out to include.

Improve your writing by returning to the opening lines after you’ve created the body text. You must persuade readers that you have written something interesting or useful (or both) to share with them.

Your introduction should tell your readers what questions you’ll answer in the article. You need to let them know what to expect in order to convince them to read the whole piece. If you write the introduction last, you can accurately explain what you’ve discussed.

Avoid clichés and strict definitions. These tell your reader that you’re too lazy to introduce the topic in your own words. If you feel that your subject is obscure enough to require definition, save the specifics for the second paragraph. The introduction should make them want to read it.

Don’t just tell readers what you’re going to tell them. Give them a focused example, ask an intriguing question, offer an attention-grabbing scenario. Find a way to attract the reader to the story that you have to tell, whether fiction or non-fiction. It’s difficult to do that before you write the piece.