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Race & Racism Seminar Guide: Introduction

This LibGuide is designed for Professor Ross's Fall 2016 Race & Racism Seminar Course

Introduction

Introduction

Introductions establish context. In order words, introductions "identify the topic of the paper, locate the topic within the general literature on the subject, announce the thesis, and point toward the support offered and organization followed." (Fajans and Falk 2011).

Skeleton Outline of an Introduction

Introduction Section

  • State the Problem

    • Tell the audience why they should care about your paper

  • Clarify Relevant Issues:

    • What is the Relevant Law?

    • How does it fail to address the problem?

    • Why does it fail to address the problem?

    • Proposed solution

  • Briefly explain the problem's important

  • Give a sample roadmap of paper/comment

    • "Part II sets out X. Part III analyzes X and concludes Y."

How to Approach an Introduction

An author may craft the introduction how he or she sees fit. Traditionally, the author has creative freedom to introduce his or her paper as long as the format provides the necessary contextual information to the audience. Here are a few successful ways to provide an introduction.

Use Narrative, including a Hypothetical

  • Opening a paper/comment with a first-person narrative in ordinary language engages the reader's interest & provides context for the alleged problem that is the point of the paper.
  • Similarly, authors may want to create a hypothetical that provides context for the focus of the paper. A hypothetical can demonstrate how rare/common, simple/complex, or important/irrelevant a problem is, today.

Open or Close with Quotation

  • The quotation is meant to spark the reader's interest by either reflective and learned, or impertinent, humorous, and provocative. (Fajans and Falk (2011).

Begin Quickly & Forcefully

  • Why?
    • To capture your reader’s attention.
  • How?
    • Perhaps use a provocative, wise, or humorous quote.
    • Or use some controversial statement that will draw readers in.
    • Or tell a story (either real or hypothetical)