Essay Writing FAQ – Is this a good introduction? How can I improve it?

Dear Ms Tham, I am uncertain if this is a good introduction. I would also like to know how to improve it. Thank you!”

Question: Some people say that the Internet does more harm than good. What is your view?

Technology, including the Internet today has attracted a critical mass of users such that new products and ways of sharing are found and implemented at lightning speed. However, every coin has two sides, and the Internet is no exception. As the 21st century is sometimes referred to as ‘the Era of Network’, which alludes the huge impact of the Internet, it is even more significant to assess it reasonably.

Ms Tham says:

There are 2 areas to improve on for this introduction. Firstly, the clarity of your stand, which is linked to the structure. If you look at the structure of the 3 sentences which comprise your introduction, it is:
1. Background to the Internet (many users so changes occur at lighting speed)
2. Thesis statement (two sides to every coin, so both good and bad)
3. Explanation / Additional thesis statement (we should also access it reasonably)

In your essay, you only mentioned your stand that the Internet does more good than harm in your conclusion, which is incorrect. Your thesis statement that ‘there are two sides to every coin’ is unclear, and what we call sitting on the fence. An argumentative question calls for a clear stand.

To improve the introduction, it should instead have this structure to make your stand clear:
1. Background
2. Further detail to explain why it is good
3. Clear Thesis statement

Secondly, the relevance of the content. The focus in your introduction seems to be on the speed of the introduction of new products and ways of sharing. The content can be focused less on the nature of the Internet (the speed) and more on benefits or harm caused by the Internet (the focus of the question).

So, the introduction can be rewritten as:

In barely over a decade, the Internet has attracted a critical mass of users and has become an indispensable part of our lives. In fact, many would agree that we are at the peak of interconnectivity and seamless communication. While there are some worries about the dark side of the Internet, however I feel that the benefits irrefutably outweigh those concerns.

Bonus Tip for A1
A good writing technique is to refer back to an idea / example / detail in the introduction. For example if you start with an analogy or a metaphor, you can extend the metaphor in your conclusion. This gives the impression that it is a rigorous, well-thought through essay.

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