Introduction Paragraph

This is the first paragraph of an expository compare and contrast composition. It includes a "hook", the two (or more) subjects being compared and contrasted, and the thesis statement sentence about the two subjects. After the "hook", the introduction needs to give enough general information about the two subjects to help the reader understand and care about the information being presented. Information about the two subjects is often provided to make the transition from the "hook" to the thesis statement.

--The "Hook" or Attention Grabber
The "hook" is written in the first paragraph and usually begins the paragraph, because it draws the reader into the writer's position. There are many "hooks" or ways to interest the reader:

Anecdote
Dictionary.com's definition of an anecdote is "a short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical." An anecdote can be a very entertaining and effective opener. It must be short and pithy or the reader's interest may be lost before getting to the point. It might be used to illustrate the issue, situation, or problem being addressed, or it might illustrate the solution being suggested. It must always give purpose to the position and arguments.

Conversation
If kept brief to only a few exchanges, conversation as an opener between two people can effectively make a dry topic seem real and personal to the reader. As with an anecdote, conversation exchanges should be kept short and to the point. They also need to be relevant to the topic.

An Interesting Fact or Statistic
An interesting fact about the topic can be another way to begin an expository composition, particularly if this nugget of information is so unusual that it can't be ignored by the reader. Make sure the fact is accurate and the source of the fact is reliable.

A Quotation
A quotation can be an effective attention grabber, particularly if it is by an expert in the area of the topic.

Exaggerated Information
A statement that is overstated for its effect to capture the reader's interest.
It must have relevance to the topic of the composition.

A Question
A question can engage and draw in the reader. A well-written question helps the reader begin to ponder and see value in reading about the topic of the composition.

--The Topic
The topic is the two subjects being compared and contrasted about which the thesis takes a position or makes an observation in a statement.

--The Thesis
A well-written thesis will include:
A concise statement that presents the writer's observation or position about the two subjects being compared and contrasted.

--The Main Idea Categories
The introduction paragraph may include the three (or more) main idea categories that will be discussed when comparing and contrasting the two subjects in the body paragraphs. These will be in support of the thesis statement observation or position about the two subjects. The main idea categories must be relevant to the writer's thesis statement about their observations or position about the two subjects being compared and contrasted.
The thesis statement and main ideas given in support of that statement will limit the degree to which the two subjects will be compared and contrasted and will define the larger organizational structure of the composition.