Intros need to accomplish a couple of key goals to achieve its purpose. On one hand, the introduction is the opening and your audience needs to be brought up to speed on the topic. The first section of the intro needs to give your audience background info on the topic/issue. Always keep in mind that your audience does not know about the topic. They have not read the articles, or discussed the topic like you have. You need to get them acclimated to the topic of the essay in the 1st part of the intro. Here are some general questions to ask when mining for a starting point:
What is the topic ? – What is “identity”? Where does it come from? What’s it composed of?
Why is it important ? What does identity “do” for or to a person? How can we benefit or suffer because of our identity?
Why should your audience care about it ? How does being aware of one’s identity and embracing it benefit a person?
How does this topic/issue affect your audience ?
The second goal of an intro is to preview your analysis, your perspective on the topic – your major points that will be elaborated on in the essay. You may have been taught to re-work the Topic Sentences as a way to foreshadow your points. This is essentially the task, but be careful of sounding too repetitive and structured. When you draft this section, understand the points within your Topic Sentences, but don’t have the outline in front of you. Also, it can be less structured than – “here are my three support pts in three sentences”. Use follow-ups to create a better flow.
The last step of the intro is to present a thesis in the final sentence. The thesis should clearly state the your main point in the essay. Work on creating a specific point that employs powerful/direct/unique language. Try to avoid general and bland statements. Remember that it is important to come back and review/rework the thesis multiple times during the writing process.