How to Write the Introduction of an Essay

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Introduction is the most difficult part of an essay. Students often struggle with it, because they tend to jump into writing without prior preparation: without thinking through the topic, coming up with an interesting thesis statement, and making an outline. However, once the above preparatory elements are in place – starting writing an essay becomes so much easier. Check out this short guide to writing an introduction to an essay to learn even more useful tips.

What is the introduction of an essay

The introduction to an essay is a snapshot of the entire essay’s content, a preview. The goal of introduction is to captivate the reader, to draw their attention, and to motivate them to continue reading further. The introduction has to be compelling, engaging, informative, and constitute no more than 15% of the entire length of an essay.

One can distinguish several elements in an effective introduction of an essay:

  • “Hook” or attention grabber: an engaging statement, anecdote, thought-provoking question, or interesting quote that should immediately capture the reader’s attention.
  • Scope: the limitations of an essay and its boundaries. Usually, scope information is necessary to include in extended essays – the ones that graduate students need to write while studying for their advanced degrees.
  • Preview of main ideas: a brief overview of the main ideas and arguments to be found in the body paragraphs.
  • Background information: a sentence or two about relevant context or background information about the essay’s topic to provide the target audience with the necessary preview of the main part of the essay.
  • Thesis statement: the main argument(s) or central idea clearly and briefly. Typically placed at the end of the introduction, the thesis statement outlines the main point the author will be elaborating on.

How to start the introduction of an essay

An even more difficult part is the beginning of an introduction. Students may spend hours thinking about a good beginning. They simply don’t know how to write the introduction paragraph of an essay.

To avoid such difficulties, we recommend writing down the first idea(s) that come to your mind. Later, once the entire essay is finished (first draft), you can come back to the opening sentences of your introduction and revise them during the editing and proofreading stage.

The opening sentences of an introduction may contain an intriguing question, an interesting fact, an anecdote, or a story from your life – the goal is to captivate the reader, make them want to find the answer to your intriguing question, and read further about your life story.

In the introduction of your paper, avoid using too many details, such as an example, an argument, or an explanation – they all should appear no sooner than the first main body paragraphs.

Follow the link to learn more about how to add more words to an essay

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