: All good pieces of writing need a captivating introduction. It is one paragraph that captures your audience's attention and makes them want to read your entire report. It sets the tone for the paper (serious, controversial, sarcastic, etc.), tells your reader what they can expect, and establishes your writing style. It often contains a startling fact, or it may share a short anecdote (story) with your readers that reflects your report topic. Then, when it has succeeded at capturing your reader's attention, it concludes by giving readers your thesis statement.
Many writing textbooks will tell you that you should hold off on writing your introduction until you have the rest of the report written. There is logic in that; after all, how can you 'introduce' what doesn't yet exist? By writing the report first, you will know exactly what you are going to write, and what order you will write it in. You can then echo that in your introduction. For example, if while writing the report you discover that the topics you covered ended up being broken down into five distinct areas, you could then write an introduction that states exactly that. Or, if while researching the topic, you found yourself changing your mind and adopting a totally different point of view on the subject, your introduction could well reflect the fact that people who research this area could very well change their minds on the issue. These are good arguments for waiting to write your introduction until the report is finished.
With that said, this approach does not work for everyone. For some students, creating that introduction solidifies the message of the report in their minds and helps them to stay on track while writing. For them, it may seem awkward to simply 'plunge into' the report body without introducing it first. If you are a competent writer who understands that all writing has three distinct parts (an introduction, a body, and a conclusion), either method of writing your intro would probably work fine. However, if you struggle with writing (of which the hardest part is simply getting started), you may want to hold off on creating a catchy introduction until the report is at least in its rough draft format.
Whether you create your intro up front or wait to write it later on, you will still need to create your thesis statement before you write the rest of the report. Your thesis statement
is one sentence that tells your audience two distinct things: what the topic of your report is, and your opinion of the topic. Your thesis plays an important role in your paper. It promises your reader what the paper will be about, and it serves as a guideline for you as a writer.
In addition to telling your audience what your topic is and how you feel about it, your thesis will also establish that the report is set up as a cause and/or effects essay. For our report on workplace apathy, sample introductions (including the thesis statement) might look like this:
For a report that looks at the Cause of workplace apathy:
As a popular saying goes, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." While this may be true, it is easier said than done. More often than not, employees are frustrated on the job, and that frustration can lead to employee apathy. Apathetic employees are unhappy workers, and their performance may well reflect that. Apathetic workers are less likely to show up for work, more likely to seek employment elsewhere, and are less likely to perform at peek level. Because employee apathy can be devastating for a company's bottom line, a wise employer will recognize the causes of apathy and take steps to prevent it.
For a report that looks at the Effects of workplace apathy:
As a popular saying goes, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." While this may be true, it is easier said than done. More often than not, employees are frustrated on the job, and that frustration can lead to employee apathy. Apathy among employees can be the result of many things--from insufficient pay to no chance for advancement. Whatever the cause may be, a smart employer will take steps to prevent apathy from happening, as its effects can be devastating for a company's bottom line.
For a report that looks at both the Cause and effects of workplace apathy:
As a popular saying goes, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." While this may be true, it is easier said than done. More often than not, employees are frustrated on the job, and that frustration can lead to employee apathy. Apathy among employees can be the result of many things, and it can affect employees on many different levels. A wise employer will be informed on the causes of employee apathy, how such apathy can affect a business's bottom line, and what steps should be taken to prevent it.
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