The introduction is where the examiner first experiences students’ writing and they will form his/her judgement quickly. A poor introduction will require the writer to change the examiners mind in later paragraphs to score well. In addition, introductions are the place where the reader outlines the structure of their essay and can prevent examiners from becoming confused about the direction of an essay.
In the opening sentence of the essay students should state the topic and suggest a reason why the topic is important. Introducing the topic in the first sentence is critical if the reader is to be sure of what the topic of the essay is.
The second sentence is the ideas sentence. This sentence is probably the most critical of the essay and has two functions. This may take the form of rephrasing the question.
The final sentence is to allow the reader to understand the direction of the arguments and the overall structure the essay. The listing of key ideas is very important because it also helps keep the writer focused on the topic rather than drifting and writing about unrelated topics.
At the end of the introduction a reader should know what the topic is, why the topic is important, the key ideas as well as the structure and the aim of the essay. When all of these items are present, the reader is unlikely to become confused about the direction or the content of the essay.