Introductory Paragraphs: Marathons

Introductory paragraphs can take different styles depending on purpose. Note the variation in the following introductory paragraphs.


The cool breeze lightly touched my face, drying the small beads of sweat that were beginning to form on my forehead. I looked straight ahead, trying to ignore the noise of the crowds who had come to witness the event. This was the day I had been preparing for my whole life. It was the national championship marathon, and I was the only finalist from our school to qualify for the competition. I tried to relax my muscles, but my heart was still pounding inside me, and my stomach tightened as I positioned myself among the runners. I swallowed, took a deep breath, then listening for the sound of the starting gun.


Anyone who has watched or participated in a marathon will quickly notice that not all runners are alike. Some gracefully float by with the finesse of a beautiful swan. Others hobble along like a three-legged donkey. Still others slowly move down the track as if they are on their way to a funeral. From my observations, I would classify marathon runners into four categories: the pros, the health nets, the slowpokes, and the clowns.


There are many types of marathons, and choosing the one that is most suitable for you can be a difficult task. Some famous national marathons require an entrance fee; others are free of charge or donate proceeds to charity. Nearly all of them offer cash prizes to first, second, and third place winners. Often you have to consider things such as location, sponsorship, preparation time and cost. Before deciding which marathon is best for you, it is important to understand the similarities and differences among the various types.

Process Analysis

“Marathon.” The word itself produces excitement or fear in the minds of many people. Most enjoy watching others participate but would never thing of getting involved themselves. Actually, a marathon can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience if you know how to prepare for it. Preparation, of course, does not begin the day before the event. It is a process that involves months, even years of training. In order to be best prepared to run in a marathon, you would follow this simple, five-step method.

Causal Analysis

“And the first place winner is . . .” A broad smile came across my face as the announcer called my name. I stepped up to the platform as the audience cheered in approval. I lowered my head as the mayor placed the shiny gold medal around my neck. I had accomplished my long-time goal: first place in the Brooklyn Marathon. I reflected upon how I was finally able to realize this nearly impossible dream. It was the result of a long and hard struggle that began back in 1998.