Two More Summary Intro Examples:

1. This Intro is not perfect, but it accomplishes the mission (Van Evera's goals 1, 2, 3, and 5) in the Writing Tips handout. Note that the question the paper answers is not explicit, and that therefore the topic is buried in the "My goal..." sentence. The link of the first para to the topic is implied but not made clear.

Intro 1:

            "The world could be closer to nuclear war than at any other time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962." A sense of disorder envelops the world today, due to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Indian and Pakistani nuclear test explosions in 1998, and an increasing number of countries now capable of making and delivering nuclear weapons. Since the 1950's, arms control advocates have pushed for a treaty banning all nuclear explosions. The Partial Test-Ban Treaty (PTBT) of 1963 banned nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater, and in space. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 prohibited non-nuclear weapon states from acquiring nuclear weapons. However, little progress was made toward nuclear disarmament until 1991, when discussions about amending the PTBT to ban all nuclear weapon testing began. These discussions resulted in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

            Although the United States has signed the CTBT, on October 13, 1999, the Senate voted against ratification. Debate continues whether the U.S. should ratify, as the Clinton administration supported the Treaty, while the Bush administration opposes it. My goal is not to argue for or against ratification, but rather make a theoretically informed argument as to why the U.S. has not ratified the Treaty. After explaining the basic tenets of the CTBT, I will use the Prisoner's Dilemma theory to illustrate a major impediment to ratification, which is the nation's concern that others will cheat, especially rogue states. As the Prisoner's Dilemma theory predicts, states will not cooperate, fearing others will cheat, especially when incentives are high. Next I will offer a counter theory, which purports the U.S. has not ratified due to pro-proliferation sentiments. Finally, I will show why this counter theory is unsubstantiated, and does not account for irrational terrorist acts, which the U.S. must consider.

(Imagine 4 footnotes for the above)

2. This one is really quite good. In comparing the two, do you see how asking the question up front makes things clearer and grabs the reader? That's what Sagan did too:

Politics of Illusion

            On April 4th, 1961, President John F. Kennedy approved the final CIA plan to send a band of anti-Castro Cubans to a beach at the Bay of Pigs. Their goal was to move inland and rally support for an anti-Castro revolution that would end the Communist government. The crucial April 4th decision made by the Kennedy administration ranks among the worst foreign policy decisions ever made by a government. When the invasion occurred, nearly everything went wrong. All CIA assurances of success were mistaken and Kennedy took full responsibility for the disaster. What led Kennedy to approve such an ill-fated plan?

            American foreign policy considered Cuba among its sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere. According to the Rational Actor Model, the United States had a strategic interest in disabling Cuban communism. Cuba was the only western nation explicitly allied with the Soviet Empire. Consequently, the CIA devised myriad plans to undermine Cuba's ties to the Soviet Union, and to undermine Castro himself. The Bay of Pigs invasion was not a rushed decision. Kennedy and his core advisors met intensely over three months to plan the invasion. However, it is disturbing that a responsible government, led by top-level intellectuals, could make such a misjudgment. While the Rational Actor Model demonstrates why the US considered action against Cuba, the theory of groupthink better explains why Kennedy chose the Bay of Pigs invasion plan as that action. The group dynamics among Kennedy's advisors played the greatest role in securing the President's approval of the invasion. Groupthink prevailed throughout high-level deliberation and influenced Kennedy's ultimate decision. According to groupthink theory, members of a cohesive group unconsciously develop a mentality that interferes with critical thinking. The members of Kennedy's team were dominated by pressures to conform with the CIA plan. Very little dissent occurred. I will begin by describing the theory of groupthink and making predictions about decisions that result from groupthink. Next, I will analyze three groupthink symptoms that plagued Kennedy's team. Finally, I will consider some complementary factors that influenced Kennedy.

I. Groupthink

            Whenever a policy making group shows symptoms of groupthink, we can expect the group to make a defective decision. Groupthink is a mode of thinking whereby the pressures for unanimity overwhelm members of a group. Pressures to conform compromise rational consideration of alternatives and options....

AND IT GOES ON but note how the piece is laying the theoretical foundation for the argument to follow, summarizing the theory and helping us understand what evidence will be shown in the case study.

DL October 16, 2003