The main purpose of an introduction is to orient your reader to your argument and where your paper is going. It is your chance to:
A good introduction allows the reader to get a sense of your writing style and argument. It also provides a roadmap for the rest of the paper. While introductions vary by discipline, there are a few general strategies for writing effective introductions.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines freedom as “the condition of being free of restraints.” This definition seems similar to the kind of freedom Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential philosophy develops in Being and Nothingness and Fyodor Dostoevsky writes about in The Brothers Karamazov, which shows that freedom is a concern common to the human experience. When these authors write about freedom, then, they are writing about what it means to be human. As a result, it would seem that Dostoevsky’s book presents a literary account of Sartre’s existential thought.
Why is this ineffective? It opens with a boring dictionary definition; uses unhelpful and overly general phrases like "the human experience"; and uses unassertive language throughout.
“Man is condemned to be free,” writes Jean-Paul Sartre, “because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does” (Being and Nothingness). Sartre’s philosophy, known as Existentialism, is concerned foremost with the nature of our responsibility as free agents in the world. This overwhelming concern with freedom was undoubtedly influenced by Sartre’s experiences during the Second World War under totalitarian regimes. Nearly a century before Sartre developed Existentialism, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s magnum opus The Brothers Karamazov provided a clear illustration of Sartre’s existential philosophy in action through its development of the concepts of authenticity and bad faith.
Why is this effective? It makes effective use of an opening quotation; employs the "funnel" approach; clarifies a key term; uses key terms to lead into the body of the paper; and uses direct, assertive language.