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How to Write an Introduction for an Essay

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❶Introductions can be tricky.

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Writing a catchy or surprising introduction is a must for a good essay and should leave your audience wanting more.

Gather your material together and review your plan and layout to know exactly what you are going to include in your introduction. It shouldn't contain facts or lots of description as you should save this for the main body. Start with a question, quotation or surprising and controversial statement that will immediately grab the attention of the reader.

Keep in mind that whoever is reading or marking your essay will have many others, so your essay should stand out by grabbing attention from the beginning. Keep the introduction brief by adopting a light tone and staying away from long-winded explanations.

Your introduction shouldn't be a summary of everything in your essay but it should ask the question you are going to answer or explain the problem that you will discuss, without actually doing so. Use correct language and grammar and avoid slang or paraphrasing unless it directly relates to the topic of your essay. Ensure that the introduction is structurally correct and arranged into manageable sentences and paragraphs. Read it through aloud to check it is easy to follow and the words flow naturally together.

Finish with a final statement or question that should lead naturally and automatically to the main body of your essay. Some people prefer to write their introduction after the essay but if you do this, beware of repeating what is going to follow. Leave your audience with a sense of anticipation that makes them want to continue to the end.

For example, writing about the role the First Amendment has played in the history of the United States might lead you to touching on subjects like racism, bigotry or other hot button topics. Including them as a part of your introduction lets readers know you're not shying away from controversy but that you'll be framing it within your stated argument and that you can handle it without using inflammatory language.

The first sentence is often the most difficult for any writer. Don't let that blinking cursor thwart your efforts, though. There's no rule that says you have to write that all important first sentence first. In fact, leaving that until later can be helpful since you may be knee deep in page 7 of your epic term paper when the perfect first sentence comes to you. If you're in the middle of dissecting the role of Anime in the evolution of Western cartoons when inspiration strikes, just type out that baby right where you are — you can always copy, paste and tweak it when you're done.

There are several different ways you can hook your reader's interest when writing your introduction. Planting a hook at the beginning gives you a way to use a common narrative or return to your original ideas throughout the paper which can give the entire essay more flow as well as setting the stage for you to have a convenient way to bring it all together in the conclusion.

Using a hook in the introduction simply refers to writing a sentence that captures the imagination and attention of the reader. This is usually done with the first sentence as well as your final statement.

Using a hook which also sets you up for a common thread throughout the essay is a great way to establish flow. For example, if you're writing about the proliferation of 'everyday celebrity' you can use Andy Warhol's famous quote about 15 minutes of fame for an initial hook and then introduce the rise and fall of any flash in the pan celebrity.

Throughout the essay you can use the time line of that celebrity's career as a way to advance the story and findings of your paper. This not only makes the paper flow better, it also gives the reader a personal interest to follow.

The introduction for a college level paper has a lot of weight on its shoulders. The introduction needs to draw readers in, frame your paper and establish what you want to say. Although it seems the brunt of your work will be contained in the middle sections of your paper, the introduction is your first impression and your chance to get your foot in the door.

Be sure you use all of your writing skills to craft the perfect introduction so that readers will give your paper the time and attention it deserves. We use cookies to provide you with the best experience we can.

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Step 3: Write a clear, focused thesis statement. A thesis statement is essentially a mini-outline of your paper. It tells readers what your paper is about and offers your opinion on the topic. Without a strong thesis, your essay introduction pretty much falls apart.

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Strategies for writing an effective introduction. Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end.

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Do not write an introduction like this; this kind of intro is confusing and makes the reader wonder where exactly you’re going with your essay. Your introduction should provide the reader with a sense of what they should expect out of your essay, not to expound upon every piece of knowledge ever developed by man. An introduction is the most important part of an essay as it sets the standard and lets the reader know what you have in store for them. Writing a catchy or surprising introduction is a must for a good essay and should leave your audience wanting more.

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Introduction of Your Analytical Essay Outline The purpose of your introduction is to get the reader interested in your analysis. The introduction should include at least three things—a hook, your thesis statement, and a sentence or two describing how you intend to prove your thesis statement. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.