For Humanities, your introduction should accomplish a few basic goals.  Remember to focus on the purpose of your writing to make sure you do a good job.  Your intro should not occupy too much time or energy and if you’re stuck or having a hard time, it is sometimes easier to go back and write an introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay.

Goals of your introduction:

1. Introduce the time period and the events leading up to the topic of the essay:

For example, if your essay is about Jamestown and the relationship between the Indians and English in Jamestown, you could try to briefly discuss the reasons why the English formed colonies and what was going on in the time period.  You could briefly discuss the fact that other European countries were forming colonies in this time period.

2. State/talk about the question:

Using the example of Jamestown, you could say that in 1622 there was an all out war between the English colonists and the Native Americans ask whether it was inevitable.

3. Clearly worded thesis statement:

Remember that your thesis statement is the overall point you’re trying to convince the reader of in your essay.  It can include the main ideas your will discuss in your essay in order to prove your thesis statement.

Example: (Don’t copy)

After Columbus’ discovery of the Americas, European countries raced each other to establish colonies in the Americas.  Spain and Portugal had a big lead on the rest of Europe but in 1607, England established its first permanent settlement called, Jamestown, Virginia.  Though there were some early conflicts, the English settlers established a somewhat peaceful relationship with the local Native Americans, the Powhatan.  By 1622, however, there was an all out war between the English and the Powhatan and the destructive relationship was set.  Based on the goals, characteristics, and actions of the two groups, conflict in Jamestown was inevitable.


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