What do you think of this introduction?

What do you think of this introduction?
This is what the essay is asking me to do:

Describe the Pre-columbian period and the societies that populated the western hemisphere. As you view the pre-columbian societies, do you think the European views correct in the belief that the cultural development of the New World people was inferior to that of western Europeans?

Here’s my introduction:
Pre-Columbia was the period before Columbus in 1492. The term “pre-columbia” refers to the time before Columbus. It was primarily based on indigineous civilizations such as the Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs and so on. Within this period, many societies developed. The three primary societies were Paleo-Indians, Meso-Indians and Neo-Indians. These societies all had distinctive cultures. The Paleo-Indians were the oldest, thus Paleo meaning “old”. There were around from 5000-2000B.C. The Paleo-Indians were hunter gathers. The Meso-Indians were from 1000-500B.C, they were also hunter gathers. On the other hand, the Neo-Indians are the people who entered Trinidad from South America. They spoke Taino and Arawakan.

I agree that the first two sentences are redundant, also, you fail to have a thesis statement, I see nowhere in this introduction where you’ve clearly stated what your essay will focus on. Thesis statements state what you will be investigating in your essay in one sentence, for example, if I were to write an essay on different laptop brands I might say “different laptops such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, and Toshiba have their flaws and attributes.” In that sentence I told you what I was going to talk about and what about them I’d be investigating in a clear and concise manner, though I admit it wasn’t the best thesis. You should state the purpose of your essay clearly and usually the thesis is the last sentence. That way it leads directly into your essay and the reader is well aware of what to expect. You should also go in order of your thesis. For my example, I would start my first body paragraph discussing the attributes and failings of HP.

Also, introductions should start out vague and work their way toward being more specific, ending with the thesis statement, but be careful not to include any of your information from your body paragraphs. Also, just kind of a nitpicky thing, but how many people in your class do you think are going to start with defining the pre-Columbian period? As a teacher that’s got to be dull to read. Try using a generalized example… or put an image into the reader’s mind. Example (again from my computer idea) “A customer goes into a store with the idea of buying a computer and he asks the salesman what a good computer is.” Then you go into more detail saying something kind of like ” This is an experience that most people can relate to but the truth is that what a good computer is for one person is not the same as a good computer for another person.”

In applying my examples to your essay, if you choose to and if you don’t I’ll take no offense, I would suggest thinking from the perspective of one of the conquistadors, since your teacher wants you to contemplate the European views and their degrees of “correctness.”

I hope this helps and now I’m off to the library to find a book on pre-columbian societies because now I’m intrigued.