Introductions and conclusions

Common sense might dictate that the introduction should be written when you start your assignment. No: you write the introduction at the end, as a miniature description of the essay you wrote — not the one you were hoping to write before your ideas changed. So if you write the beginning at the end, what’s the conclusion for? It’s something entirely different. If the introduction is where you survey the battlefield of your ideas from above, pointing out the disposition of the various divisions of infantry and cavalry, then the conclusion is where you lie down after the battle and gaze up at the stars. You’ve argued this, and proved that. But what does it all mean? How does it all come together? And how will this battle shape the greater campaign of which it forms a part?

James McConnachie
20 June 2018