Arrangement - write an introduction paragraph background

Malc Prentice

What is "background"?

Introductions do not start with the thesis statement.

Prepare your reader by giving:

1) GB - General Background

Recommended GB phrases for academic essays

Type: Example
"Many": Many people regularly use/drink/buy/wear X without thinking.
"In Japan,": In Japan, it's taken for granted that X, . However...
"Every day": Every day, many/most students use/drink/buy/wear X
"Most": Most people use X every day.
Number: Three million tons of X are used every day (Smith, 1999).
Quote: According to the WWF (2013) the world today is "addicted to oil".
List: 1, 2, 3, and 4 are all products commonly use in Japan. (+SB "All of these")

GB phrases to avoid in academic essays

Type Example Why not academic?
Personal statement "I..."
"When I was young"
No "I".
Good for iBT TOEFL independent, though
A definition "The Oxford dictionary defines imagination as....". Overused and a little lazy.
Many teachers hate this.
A question "Have you ever wondered where geniuses get their ideas?" No talking to readers in academic essays.
Hard to write.

2) SB - Specific Background

Recommended SB phrases

Type Example
One of the most + ADJ One of the most endangered animals is the Harp Seal, which
The most The most common type of Tuna is Bluefin, which...
particularly Plastic bags are a particularly harmful kind of waste.
especially Harp Seals, which live in Tokyo, are especially endangered.
FOllowing a list (GB 1, 2, 3 and 4 are ")+ "All of these are ..."

3) IB - Importance background

Sometimes IB comes after GB, not after SB. It depends on what you're saying is important.

GB IB showing GB is important SB
GB SB IB showing SB is important.

Recommended IB phrases

Examples

Many people use seasoning every day to make their food taste better. One of the most common seasonings used in Japan is salt. However, not all of this is made in an ethical way, and its production can cause problems. This essay first describes salt production in detail, then looks at some problems it causes and some possible solutions to those problems.

Most students in Soka University own at least one leather product. The most common animal used to make this leather is the cow. However, cow leather is often produced in a way that causes suffering for the cows and problems for the environment. This essay first describes how cow leather is made, then looks at some problems it causes and some possible solutions to those problems

In the world, there are 6.3 billion vehicles ("Cars," n.d.), and they all need fuel to drive. Most cars run on fossil fuels, hwoever there are a number of biofuels, of which the most common is made from corn. However, not all of this is made in an ethical way, and its production can cause problems. This essay first describes how corn-based biofuel is made, then looks at some problems it causes and some possible solutions to those problems

Look at the main Intro paragraph page. There are examples of GB, IB and SB at the bottom

What if my topic is already the top level?

Sometimes, you cannot use "one of the most" for SB, because your topic is already at the top level in its category. For example, if your IB is paper, what is your GB? Trees? But trees make so much more than just paper. That's too big! ("In daily life, students use a lot products made from trees" is strange). Instead, try the options below.

Option 1) GB = bigger than topic, SB = topic, IB = problem

In daily life, students use a lot of notebooks, folders, handouts, and books. All of these things are made from paper. However, not all paper is made in an ethical way. As such, this essay first describes paper in detail, then looks at some problems it cuases, and some possible solutions to those problems.

Option 2) GB = TOPIC, SB = problem, IB = example of problem making importance clear

In daily life, students use a lot of paper for things like notebooks and books. However, not all paper is made in an ethical way. For example, some production of paper increases global warming and causes pollution ("Paper," n.d.). As such, this essay first describes paper in detail, then looks at some problems it cuases, and some possible solutions to those problems.

Option 3) GB = Topic, SB = Detail on topic (quantity), IB = problem

In daily life, students use a lot of paper for things like notebooks and books. Around 54000 tonnes of paper are used in Japan every day ("Paper," n.d.). However, not all paper is made in an ethical way. This essay first describes paper in detail, then looks at some problems it cuases, and some possible solutions to those problems.

Quiz


Which of these is NOT a background type?




What should you do in Specific Background?




What should you do in General Background?




What should you do in Importance Background?




What background is this phrase useful for: "This is a problem that needs solving because..."




What background is this phrase useful for: "Every day in Japan, people eat 34 tonnes of Shrimp."




What background is this phrase useful for: "The Borneo Orangutan, a Great Ape which lives mostly on Sumatra, is one of the most endangered animals in the world"