“We take it for granted we know the whole story – We judge a book by its cover and read what we want between selected lines.”
– Axl Rose
We do it, and so do markers. It is no different with your essays, whether they are written in an exam or done as an assignment.
First impressions are lasting impressions.
Therefore, the introduction is the most important part of your essay. From the introduction the marker is making judgements on:
- Your grasp of the subject (how much time you spent asleep in class)
- Whether you understand the essay question (if you don’t you’re stuffed)
- Your competency in English (written academic English not your version of English)
- Your level of intelligence (using a thesaurus doesn’t show you’re smart)
- Your attitude (whether you have the time of your life writing essays)
- The amount of effort you have put in (write lots of quality content; not lots of bullsh*t)
So after the first paragraph the marker can already put you and your essay in a box – it’s an A, B, C, D or N, A, M, E essay.
Make sure they are putting you in the best box because the rest of the of the essay, no matter how awesome, is unlikely to change your mark by much because:
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”