Guidelines for Writing a Preface

A Senior Essay preface typically covers the five broad topics below, one topic at a time: 

  1. Background of the writer:  history, academic preparation and goals, future plans . . .
  2. Why did I choose this topic?  What other topics have I considered, and why have I settled on this one? . . .

  3. How did I carry out your research?  What were my main sources?  Which sources influenced me the most? . . .

  4. What is the essay all about?  What is it not about?  What will a reader gain by reading it?  What audience do I have in mind for this essay?  How is the essay organized?  What are its main conclusions?   What are its weaknesses?

  5. What did I gain/lose from the long process of writing this essay?

  6. Acknowledgments:  At the end, I thank anyone who helped me to get to this point, including my two panelists, if I feel they have done a good job (but I do not thank Moti Nissani, my Senior Essay advisor). 

Good luck!  Moti

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