Apart from describing the nature of the issue you’ll be addressing, your exegesis is also the point in which you want to DEFINE YOUR TERMS.
That is, you want to take the opportunity to define any ambiguous or unclear terms upon which you’ll be relying in your essay as those terms arise in your exegesis.
Because your essays are short, and the goal of these papers is to improve upon your ability to make focused arguments in a way that convinces others to accept your conclusion, you should start by explicitly stating your thesis.
For example, an essay from an intro course in philosophy might begin with the claim: Starting an essay this way is generally recognized as good form.
Although it is offered as a guide, rather than as an official ‘how to’, it is intended to be generally applicable to every essay you ever have to write in every class that you ever take.
There’s nothing mysterious in any of the following – this description is a set of guidelines that you’ve all heard or seen before, though maybe not laid out in exactly this way.
In the interest of clarity, you can also take the opportunity to outline the steps you’ll be taking to reach your conclusion, i.e., present a more complete introduction.
Following the above example, you could say something like: “According to Russell, the correspondence theory of truth does not ask whether a statement such as the one we are considering is true or false, but rather asks what it means for such a claim to be true or false.
I will argue that the correspondence theory is insufficient for evaluating claims about the world when our goal is to determine whether they are true or not, rather than what it means for them to be true.
I will then focus more precisely on the issue of how the truth of such statements are established, showing that the correspondence theory is useless to us when it comes to verifying the truth or falsity of a claim.