4. Writing the introduction

It is important that the reader know what the topic and main arguments are in the introduction. An effective introduction to an argumentative essay should include these three moves.

Introduction section


Introduce topic



Provide background information and overview of arguments


Thesis statement

Get reader’s attention with a dramatic statement or illustration.

Set the context and briefly introduce the arguments around the topic.


State your position on the topic.


Introduction example

The following is an introduction to an essay on the benefits and drawbacks brought by the rise of new media. Notice how the three moves are realized.

The surge in cyber culture and engagement in social networks through a variety of devices is one of the predominant features of the 21st century social landscape. The issue of the implications of the use of this new media has attracted rigorous debate among academics and the public alike.  While some argue that new media has the potential to create a more equal society and strengthen relationships, others are less optimistic and are concerned about the increasing abuse and misunderstanding of information. After examining these arguments, this essay holds the view that the benefits of new media outweigh the disadvantages as increasing cooperation between governments and technology companies on curbing and penalizing the spread of misinformation will gradually result in more responsible online behaviour. 


Introduce topic


Background and overview of arguments


Thesis statement

About this website

EWRite is an open access online literacy platform for PolyU community that has two major objectives:

  • to support PolyU students’ literacy development within and across the disciplines
  • to support subject and language teachers to implement system-level measures for integrating literacy-sensitive pedagogies across the university

This platform provides access to generic genre guides representing typical university assignments as well as links to subjects offered by faculties with specific disciplinary genres and relevant support materials.

The materials can be retrieved by students by choosing the genres that interest them on the landing page. Each set of materials includes a genre guide, genre video, and a genre checklist. The genre guide and video are to summarize the genres in two different ways (i.e. textual and dynamic) to fit different learning styles. The genre checklist is for students to self-regulate their writing process. The genre guide and checklist include links to various ELC resources that can provide further explanation to language items (e.g. hedging and academic vocabulary).

The platform also acts as a one-stop-shop for writing resources for students, language teachers and subject leaders. Information about the English Writing Requirement policy can also be found on this platform. There are training materials for new colleagues joining the EWR Liaison Team.