A recent article from the latest issue of Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing provides pointers on how to write effective introductions that will engage and focus your reader.
The article stresses that introductions are so important because that is where the writer establishes his relationship with the reader. The authors maintain that any introduction, whether to a brief, a memo, or a letter, should not only focus on the document’s substance but should also demonstrate the writer’s competence and credibility.
The article sets forth 3 steps to achieving more effective introductions:
Make your reader "smart" enough to easily absorb the document’s content - You want your readers to think about and assess the information they read. To do that, you must not distract the reader with extraneous material and should use precise language that focuses the reader on exactly what matters. You should also give the reader some sense of your approach to the document by providing a "map," clearly stating your "point" or conclusion.
Make your reader attentive -You want your reader to be willing to read and digest the entire document. Just stating your "legal" point is not enough; the key to getting your reader to pay the kind of attention you want is the more important "practical" point: "how does this legal stuff matter to me?"
Make your reader comfortable - Present your point quickly and avoid wasting your reader’s time on marginally relevant information.
For more, click here for the full article.