|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
ln an essay, article, or book, an introduction (also known as a prolegomenon) is a beginning section which states the purpose and goals of the following writing. This is generally followed by the body and conclusion.
The introduction typically describes the scope of the document and gives the brief explanation or summary of the document. It may also explain certain elements that are important to the essay if explanations are not part of the main text. The readers can have an idea about the following text before they actually start reading it.
ln technical writing, the introduction typically includes one or more standard subsections: abstract or summary, preface, acknowledgments, and foreword. Alternatively, the section labeled introduction itself may be a brief section found side-by-side with abstract, foreword, etc. (rather than containing them). In this case the set of sections that come before the body of the book are known as the front matter. When the book is divided into numbered chapters, by convention the introduction and any other front-matter sections are unnumbered and precede chapter 1.
Keeping the concept of the introduction the same, different documents have different styles to introduce the written text. For example, the introduction of a Functional Specification consists of information that the whole document is yet to explain. If a Userguide is written, the introduction is about the product. In a report, the introduction gives a summary about the report contents.