Remember that the thesis statement does not have to be the first or last line of your introduction. Many students believe that they have to include it as the last line of their introductory paragraph or the first but this is not true. You are free to include it where ever you want so long as it is somewhere in the introduction. If you want to open with a striking quote and lead into your thesis statement and then follow it with a thought provoking question that is your prerogative.
The thesis statement is what tells the reader why your essay matters. The reader should know right off the bat the purpose of your essay. They should know by the time they finish reading your introductory paragraph why it matters and why they should care. They should know what your particular analysis gives to the world.
The introduction should be set up in such a way that it offers the reader a road map. The reader needs a map to show them where they are going throughout the course of your essay. They need to see where your analysis will take them and what they will learn along the way. You should obviously only allude to the points you will be making and not include all of your arguments/evidence in the introduction. You should include roughly one sentence for every paragraph in your body. Each sentence explains a short version of what is included in that particular paragraph.
If you could divide the book/essay into sections, units of meaning, what would those sections be? How are they related to each other? Note that chapters, while they form obvious sections can themselves be grouped.Referring to the text: In writing analytic papers that address any kind of literature, it is necessary to refer to the text (the specific words on the page of the book) in order to support your argument. This means that you must quote and interpret passages that demonstrate or support your argument. Quotation is usually stronger than paraphrase. Remember also that your purpose in writing an essay is not merely to paraphrase or summarize (repeat) what the author has said, but to make an argument about how the make their point, or how they have said what they have said.
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