Hello, we're discussing introductions. Introductions are really important. They make a first impression on the reader. But even more important than that, they help kind of situation what you're doing for readers. There's a lot of variety in the length of introductions and people often wonder well, how long should my introduction be? Exactly how many paragraphs is it? And I'll say that it depends. It depends what your writing project is, it depends what your disciplinary context is. And so sometimes introductions can actually take two to three whole pages with four, five, six paragraphs. Sometimes introductions are one paragraph of approximately 150 words, sometimes it's a shorter paragraph of perhaps 50 words so it varies. The example that we'll be looking at in this video is from Colvin which is a particular kind of introduction. And his introduction happens to be maybe six or seven paragraphs. Sometimes introductions are really one paragraph and so you should be thinking, make a choice about how long your introduction should be. You want it not to take up too much space because you want to actually get into your argument. But you want to have it take enough space that it does the job that you're hoping it do, which we're going to talk about in a second with the purposes of introductions. The three main elements that I see introductions doing is to hook your reader kind of like a fishing hook. So you want to hook your reader and have him or her caught. In the excitement and joy of your ideas. So they're so interested that they're going to keep thinking about what you have to say. You also want to orient the reader. Orient the reader to the scholarly conversation that you are entering, to the disciplinary frame that you're using, to the argument that you'll be moving toward. These are all ways of orienting the reader to the tone of your piece and then finally, specifically, key terms. I think whatever key terms or concepts are going to be in your writing project more than likely they should be in the introduction to. And you don't necessarily want to say, these are my key terms. But you want to kind of integrate them into the introduction and we'll look at some examples. Before we look at an example of a full introduction, let's look at the opening sentence of some of the scholars that we have read. Opening sentences are so important as important as the title, the next first impression that readers get when they encounter your writing, the purpose of opening sentences is primarily to hook your reader and to orient your reader. It has to do a lot, kind of like those transition sentences that have to accomplish so much and the title that has to accomplish so much. Writing is full of these moments, small moments that really have to do a lot. Let's look at three examples of opening sentences. In December 2006, I began visiting tiny places that produce Everest-size amounts of talent. This is from Coyle, and I would say that he's orienting us to the date and he's adding a little bit of human interest. I began visiting, Everest-size amounts of talent that's all kind of human interest designed to cultivate a hook for readers. It also. Does the job though, of actually orienting readers. Because we know that he's talking about Everest-size amounts of talent. So he has successfully, I think included everything in this opening sentence. Here's Colvin's sentence. What makes Tiger Woods great? And this idea of a question is another strategy for opening sentences that works. Not all questions work in that mode, so you want to think carefully. But also Tiger Woods, something that many readers are going to know his name, some won't but at least some will. You want to start with I think something that's familiar to people. So I think Everest is familiar for most people. Tiger Woods is familiar at least to a large segment of people. Here's Charness and Tufiash's first opening sentence. Experts are sometimes defined as outliers from the general population. Those more than two standard deviations above the mean showing consistently superior performance on representative tasks from their domain. And in this example, I would definitely note that the tone differs from what we've encountered here because of the kind of context in which Charness and Tufiash are writing. But it still effectively does orient readers. We're defining key terms, we have outliers. It's also successfully setting up the disciplinary frame. We know that they're going to be talking about standard deviations and they're approaching it from more of a social science or scientific perspective. So it's doing the work of orienting readers. Here's a full example from Colvin from the article that we read. And I wanted to take you through it briefly so we could annotate it to see exactly what he's accomplishing. This is the first of two slides. We divided his introduction into halves. So I'll read each paragraph and then we can discuss what he's doing so that you can then model your own writing based on what you like or don't like or want to grow, extend or counter I guess in Colvin's introduction. What makes Tiger Woods great? What make Berkshire Hathaway, Charts, Chairman Warren Buffet, the world's premier investor? We think we know, each was a natural who came into the world with a gift for doing exactly what he ended up doing. As Buffet told Fortune not long ago, he was wired at birth to allocate capital. It's a one-in-a-million thing. You've got it or you don't. So here he's hooking the reader with a question and another question. People who are interested in golf are going to be interested in this, people who are interested in investment as well as people who are interested in expertise are going to be interested. He also is starting with what we think. He's taking kind of an assumption. We think we know what causes something, but actually he's going to tell us something different. So this is a matter of curiosity. Oh, you thought you knew something and now we're going to tell you, well it's not so simple. That's another strategy for a hook. So, so far we have question, here's a quote, here's another strategy. We have taking something that's familiar to people and then we also have taking something that's familiar and then kind of showing how it's more complicated or more interesting than you had first thought. Well folks, it's not so simple. For one thing, you do not possess a natural gift for a certain job because targeted natural gifts don't exist. Sorry Warren, you are not born a born CEO or investor or chess grand master. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work but work of a particular type that's demanding and painful. And here, Colvin is doing the job more of orienting readers to his argument. I'll skip the next paragraph. Scientific experts are producing remarkably consistent findings across a wide array of fields. Understand that talent doesn't mean intelligence, motivation or personality traits. It's an inate ability to do some specific activity especially well. British based researchers, Mathew J. Hou at Jane W. Davidson and John A. Slobota conclude in an extensive study the evidence we have surveyed does not support the notion that excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts. And here we are defining terms which is part of what people do in introductions. And also offering an orientation to the scholarly conversation in the frame that Colvin will be using. To see how the researchers could reach such a conclusion consider the problem they are trying to solve. In virtually every field of endeavor most people learn quickly at first then more slowly and then stop developing completely. Yet a few do improve for years and even decades and go on to greatness. In here we have him laying out kind of a problem. This is a curious problem, this is all also designed to hook your reader in. I want to read about this problem, I want to learn how to solve this problem. The irresistible question, the fundamental challenge for researchers in this field says the most prominent of them. Here is another example of scholarly conversation. Professor K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University. And then I'll read the final paragraph. Scientists worldwide have conducted scores of studies since the 1993 publication of a landmark paper by Ericsson and two colleagues. Many focusing on sports, music and chess in which performance is relatively easy to measure and plot over time. But plenty of additional studies have also examined other fields including business. And here, Colvin is showing how it's applicable to all kinds of readers. Again, he's saying, if you read this kind of no matter what field you're interested in, you're going to gain something from reading this work. So he's luring in readers.