"In March 2006, I found myself, at 38, divorced, no kids, no home, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I hadn’t eaten a hot meal in two months. I’d had no human contact for weeks because my satellite phone had stopped working. All four of my oars were broken, patched up with duct tape and splints. I had tendinitis in my shoulders and saltwater sores on my backside.
"I couldn’t have been happier. ."
(Roz Savage, " My Transoceanic Midlife Crisis ." Newsweek , March 20, 2011)
Take a look at the information, sensory details and dialog you’ve written down. Choose something from this list as a way to begin your introduction, making sure to mention your topic at either the beginning or the end of the introductory paragraph. If you’re beginning with sensory details about your camping trip, for example, describe what it felt like to eat your hot dog as you smelled the campfire and listened to the crickets chirping, then tell the audience that the camping trip is the happiest memory you have with your family. If you're beginning with dialog, write the conversation you had with your best friend the first time you met her, and end your introduction by stating that you never would have guessed that such a simple conversation would have turned into a friendship that's lasted half your life. In general, the introduction for a standard two-page narrative should be no longer than ten sentences.
1 Historical review: Some topics are better understood if a brief historical review of the topic is presented to lead into the discussion of the moment. Such topics might include "a biographical sketch of a war hero," "an upcoming execution of a convicted criminal," or "drugs and the younger generation." Obviously there are many, many more topics that could be introduced by reviewing the history of the topic before the writer gets down to the nitty gritty of his paper. It is important that the historical review be brief so that it does not take over the paper.