Begin your writing by announcing or introducing your topic. There are different ways to do that:
Direct and no-nonsense approach
e.g. We all have some form of racial prejudice.
e.g. All men are not born equal.
The focus is on clarity and directness, rather than on interest. Place your topic sentence in the very beginning of the first paragraph.
Indirect or delayed approach
e.g. Iron is essential for life. It is required to transport oxygen in the blood, as well as to burn food and body fat. Iron deficiency has long been a health concern in the medical community. But, recently, scientists discovered that excess iron could cause cancer and heart disease.
Identification of the topic is delayed by covering another aspect of the topic first.
e.g. A community college is different from a university in many ways—especially in teaching.
The approach conveys that the content is limited to only one aspect—teaching.
e.g. Do you know why some cancer patients survived, and most did not?
This approach immediately arouses the curiosity and interest of the readers.
e.g. “What is truth?” said jesting Pilate and would not stay for an answer. (“Of Truth” by Francis Bacon)
This approach uses the strategy of amusing the readers with a satirical remark.
Here are some tips on introducing your topic:
Do not make the opening too long, such that it seems to cover everything that will be covered.
Do not make the opening too short, such that the readers do not have time to digest what is about to be discussed.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau