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How to write an essay introduction: Tips from experts

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An essay should include an introduction and a conclusion. The value of the body is undeniable as it contains all the arguments by the author. The introduction is also of great significance. It gives the required explanations about the aspects for the body, while the conclusion summarizes everything mentioned in the paper.

A typical introduction is equal to the first paragraph of the work. It informs the readers about what they can expect from the paper. So, the knowledge of how to write an essay introduction is invaluable for the students. Sometimes introductions can be different and there is no definite answer to the question about the efficiency of writing this part. There are still some universal rules the writers should follow. Notably, writers who create custom essays adhere to these rules in terms of academic standards.

How to hook the audience

If you start with a catchy statement or a bright example from your experience, it evokes the curiosity of your readers. If your sentences are complex and long, the readers may get bored at once.

The readers need an original hook to get interested in the subject of your discussion. They should grasp a clear idea of what your work is about. It is natural for your readers to check whether it is interesting to read through all the sections of the paper. So, you should avoid using plain facts, boring statements, and broad claims in the first section.

Which structure can you try? Start with a vivid fact in the first sentence. Then, make the second one more exciting for the readers. Your bold claim about the importance of the raised topic is what the readers need.

Will a definition from the dictionary be a good hook? No. It is either boring as the term is common or it is too complicated for understanding. It is reasonable to start with a bright example.

Some writers state well-known facts and expect them to serve as a hook. Well, it does not work like that. It can be a nice idea to begin your paper with a few words about a typical interpretation of a specific article or book. Then, you may inform the readers that this piece of writing presents an unexpected interpretation.

How to write a thesis statement for a paper

After having studied all the aspects of your future work, you can draft one of the most important sentences in your paper. Your thesis statement specifies the organization of the entire paper. Learn how to start an essay and try to answer the question “What do I plan to prove in my paper?” Once you answer this question, it will be easy for you to write a thesis statement and order all the ideas.

A usual setting for the thesis statement is in the final part of the introductory paragraph. The arrangement of ideas is perfect if you manage to present all the main points in the order in which they are present in the body. Why is that important? Well, it makes your writing easier and facilitates your readers’ experience.

Essay introduction structure

If your essay introduction is strong, your readers may get an idea about the body paragraphs organization.

You give all the major points throughout your work, and an outline of your plans is essential for the readers. You will not manage to give a lot of details in the introductory section. You have to give some hints and point out some key issues.

The following list of questions is a great way of identifying the main principles of your work organization:

  • Is it possible to group the paragraphs by themes? (thematic organization)
  • Are there any comparisons of the elements in the paper? (contrasting organization)
  • Are there answers to several questions, one after another? (sequential organization)
  • Are there any issues presented in the body paragraphs from the oldest to the most recent (chronological organization)?

The authors aim their papers to be readable, and it is easier to do that if the readers know what they should expect from the content.

Essay preview: What is it?

One of the purposes of the introductory section is to present all the key points to be discussed. In case of an argumentative essay, you should give sufficient evidence supporting the introduction, including the thesis statement. Your answer to the main question should have the required back-up.

Your paper is about the background of the Holocaust. Your paper should discuss five key causes presented in two paragraphs. So, it is essential to ensure that the introductory paragraph presents these five causes in brief.

If you work on an essay preview or map, you should give a list of subjects to discuss. In most cases there is a connection between each of the points and the thesis statement. The order of the topics should be the same as it is in the essay itself.

Write your essay first and introduction after that

One of the approaches to academic writing is to work on the body and then get back to the first paragraph. It is easier to summarize the paper after it is ready. Working on the essay, you can write down the ideas for introduction and identify the terms which need definitions for the readers.

If you have already written your introduction and then you work on the body, you may need to revise your first paragraph several times. Even with an outline, you should make some amendments later on.

There is no use in the fillers. Ensure that every idea in the introduction is brief and relevant.

What are the parts of an introduction?

Professors usually evaluate the essay introduction based on several criteria, including content, adherence to instructions, grammar, plagiarism, and others. More so, they check the essay for the structure and its main parts. They are:

  • The key subject. Give the explanations of why it is important.
  • Review of the key arguments. You have to get answers to the main questions of the essay. You should also mention the key approaches and methods in this introductory part to answer the key questions of your essay and show your competence and skills.
  • Definitions of the key concepts and terms. There should be no reason for confusion in the text. You have different readers and all of them should read the text with ease. Interpretation of the terms is important for that.

While writing an essay introduction, consider that the best length of this part should be 5% or 10% of the total essay length. If this part takes a bit more, it is not a problem. This is a common rule not only for the introduction, but also for the graphics, images, and other supplementary details. If you use them in an essay, they can ensure the enhancement of your ideas.

Introduction types

Persuasive introduction

It is written to convince the readers and show your personal viewpoint of the topic. You write to make the readers share your ideas.

Argumentative introduction

You give your individual idea and then support it with the evidence in the main part of the essay.

Compare and contrast introduction

You have to present two sides of the issue. Describe it first and then go on to analysis of the differences.

FAQ

  • Is it a must to have one paragraph only in the introduction? Two paragraphs are also fine although a typical length is one section.
  • What is the main purpose of an introduction? You provide the background details and encourage the readers to read your paper to the end.
  • Can the first sentence be a question? Yes. You can ask questions either at the beginning or at the end of the essay introduction.

Story by Amanda Parkinsons