Sample Introductions

Which of the following introductions work effectively? Why or why not? (Think about whether the introduction "hooks" the reader, and ask yourself if there is a clear lead-in to the thesis. Also, does the thesis blend in smoothly with the rest of the introduction?).

1. There are many trends in today's society. One trend is body piercing. Many young people are getting everything from eyebrows, to noses, to bellybuttons pierced.

2. Last summer when my twenty-year-old brother announced that he was going to get his ear pierced, my parents were extremely upset. For them, a man with a pierced ear meant he must be homosexual, or, at the very least, a little weird. Ear piercing, however, has become extremely common among both men and women, and it is not unusual to see even famous male football and basketball players with one, or even two, pierced ears. Other kinds of piercings are also becoming more and more common, particularly among young people, and they are getting everything from eyebrows, to tongues, to bellybuttons pierced. Many young people feel that body piercings allow them a way to express their individuality or ornament their bodies in attractive ways, or, in some cases, to refuse to conform to mainstream images.

3. Recently a new body piercing shop opened up in O'Fallon, and for their grand opening they decided to offer body piercing demonstrations out on the sidewalk, piercing everything from people's eyebrows, to noses, to bellybuttons. When I happened to walk by and see a man getting his nipple pierced, however, I felt offended and rather nauseous seeing the gold ring being pushed through his swollen and distended nipple. Unfortunately, many college students seem to find these kinds of piercings sexually attractive or visually interesting, so the trend probably is not going to disappear anytime soon. Body piercings simply reflect the social urge to conform to whatever is new or "hip," as well as deep insecurities and lack of self-confidence. These piercings also show a complete lack of respect for their own bodies.