Chapter Four

Establish A Shared Context

We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
– Anaïs Nin

Having identified your keyword, key idea, and audience, writing begins. And it begins by writing your introduction.

We all see the world through a slightly different lens because of our individual experiences and expectations. Writing is successful when readers see the world through your lens. So, your introduction must create a common ground for author and audience, a mutual set of meanings and expectations.

This shared context is the foundation for communicating your point of view. It makes your introduction the most important part of your composition.

Create a shared context by identifying your keyword, genre, and goal and by declaring and explaining the link between them. As you compose your introduction, be obvious and specific:

  1. Start With A Descriptive Title
  2. Consider An Epigraph
  3. Set The Stage
  4. Outline Your Key Idea

Sometimes, writers feel that if they are too obvious, all subtlety is lost and their writing appears unimaginative and heavy-handed. They feel like withholding their best idea and building towards a powerful or surprise conclusion.

Resist the temptation. State your goal with precision and detail, make your genre obvious, and outline your main idea in your introduction:

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