1 John Introductory article from the ESV Study Bible

Excerpt:

The rhetoric of 1 John is challenging. John rarely sustains a clear line of argument for more than a few lines or verses. He wanders from subject to subject, unencumbered by any discernible outline. Yet if he has no plan, he does follow a pattern: after leaving a subject he often returns to it. His style of thought has been termed circular rather than linear. It has also been termed symphonic, in that he states themes, moves away from them, and then revisits them with variations

JP: Back in 2008 when the ESV Study Bible was released, the publisher released this promotional section of the ESV Study Bible: First John, Online. The 14 page PDF includes a six page introduction to the book. I think you will find this helpful. (Click through the above link to download the PDF)

A much older resource is The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (now in the Public domain). Links to two articles:

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