How to Write a Good Essay Introduction

How to Write a Good Essay Introduction
December 03, 2021
Author : Kristy Gardner

The best introduction has four characteristics: it grabs the readers' interest straight away, represents a transition from everyday life to academic study, gives relevant background information about the topic you're going to write about, and contains no unnecessary information whatsoever. If your introduction doesn't fulfill all of the above criteria, you should consider revising it. There are many opinions about how to write an effective introduction for an essay.

Comprehensive Guide on How to Write a Good Essay Introduction

Is It Important to Write a Good Introduction in My Essay?

The importance of a good introduction is that it should grab the attention of the reader. For example, instead of writing "In the following essay, I will argue for/against X," you can grab your readers' attention straightaway by presenting an interesting fact about X or giving a vivid illustration. Without a good introduction, your readers won't understand why they should care about what you have to say. You wouldn't go to work without having dressed up nicely, would you? So don't expect your reader to pay close attention to what you are going to say if you haven't captured his interest in the first few sentences!

Steps Involved in Writing a Good Essay Introduction Paragraph

Open your essay with a quote from a famous person, a surprising fact, or an interesting statistic that piques the reader's interest and makes her want to read on. For instance, in this example, we begin our essay by mentioning how many people in the U.K were surfing the web in 2002: "About 57 million people surfed the Internet in April of last year," which is almost one-fifth of the population!

  • Use slideshows or photos to present a fast-paced succession of images that simultaneously introduce your topic and generate interest. For instance, if you're writing about endangered species of animals, including some pictures of these animals working together with humans (to show their importance to us) as well as photos of their habitats (so that the readers can understand what's at stake).
  • Open your essay with a question that will be answered through the rest of your paper. Let this question set the tone for the whole piece and motivate your reader to keep going until she reaches the end. This, of course, is a good way to engage audience members who are not particularly interested in reading an academic essay from cover to cover – it forces them to pay attention! In the following example, we open our essay by inviting debate on whether video games or movies have more negative effects on kids: "Movies or video games? Which is more harmful?"
  • Start with a story about yourself or someone you know. Suppose your autobiography is interesting and relevant to the topic of your paper. In that case, you can begin your essay with a personal anecdote and then transition into the main part of your text by explaining why this story is an integral part of what you're going to write about.
  • Present a shocking statistic or event that illustrates your thesis statement, which you will expand upon in the rest of your paper (e.g., there are over 16 million abortions worldwide; as many as 40% of pregnancies may end up in abortion). Then immediately state how this issue relates to what you're going to be writing about – it will help engage readers who want some action right away!
  • Open an anecdote instead if you think it will come across better than a cold, hard statistic. Personal narratives are fun and interesting because they concern the life of a real person instead of a faceless number. In this example, we begin our essay by telling an anecdote about Jack from London k who saw his dog being stolen when he left her alone in his car for just 10 minutes.

Steps Involved in Writing a Good Essay Introduction Paragraph

  • Start your paper with a famous quote that directly relates to your topic and then juxtapose it with some other piece of information, for example, another opinion or anecdote, to support your point of view on the matter. For instance: "The pen is mightier than the sword," said Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 in Rienzi but also in Lytton Strachey, he wrote that "people who can't write use a pen as a substitute for the plough".
  • Draw your reader straight into your topic by using questions that are answered later on in your text. This way, you engage readers with an interactive writing style because they start thinking about what might happen next and become invested in finishing your paper. In this example, we open our essay with the question which is going to be discussed further: "Does anyone need a television?"
  • Open with a statement that will immediately grab the reader's attention – for instance, if you're writing about politics or current affairs, mention something from recent news stories or presidential debates, making people curious about what you're going to say next. In our example, we begin with a general statement about what happened in the past and follow it with a direct question: "Why was Britain called the home of freedom?"
  • If you want to start your essay with a quote or an event from history, make sure that you also tie these references to what's happening today – otherwise, you'll risk boring readers who won't see how this information is relevant for them. In the following example, we open our article with a brief description of Ancient Rome and then quickly show how people can learn from its mistakes when wrecking their own cities: "In parties, they smash doors" – this is where I come to my main point – "the windows, mirrors, and furniture; in consequence of such mischief they are soon arrested and brought to justice".
  • If you're having a hard time coming up with an opening statement that will be meaty enough for your whole essay, consider writing a summary at the beginning instead. For instance: "Military conquests dominate the history of Ancient Rome, pathos, and power plays," begins this article in explaining how all future developments in Europe can be traced back to this mighty empire which was so powerful that it eventually collapsed.
  • The main idea of much scientific writing is often presented as a hypothesis or tentative conclusion – if you feel like your paper fits this description, try starting it with the main point you want to make and then backing it up with supporting evidence right away. In our example, the author starts off with a hypothesis that finds support in the following paragraph: "If I were to pick one figure who best represents the Enlightenment, it would have to be Benjamin Franklin."
  • If you're writing about social issues or politics and want your first sentence to immediately engage readers by referencing something that is happening around them at present, open with an interesting question that inspires debate – for instance, asking whether people should take their dog to work or questioning how many genders there actually are. These examples start off with questions that people can easily relate to: "Should dogs go to work?"; "How many genders are there?"
  • Instead of starting straight off with your main point, you can also begin with a brief introduction of your topic – for instance: "A study has been conducted to evaluate the role of e-readers using research from the top universities around the world." In our essay, this is what we want people to read – therefore, it's a good idea to set off on an introductory paragraph that sets out some important points about what will follow underneath.
  • Suppose you're writing about tools or methods that have been used before. In that case, it's always best to start by explaining what they are and why they've been created initially – once again, this is a way of drawing readers into your paper as they can then relate more easily to your topic. In our opening sentence, you first introduce the concept of automated transportation and then go on to explain its main advantages: "Transportation is moving towards a technology-based approach."

Concluding Lines 

If you're having trouble with the first sentence of your essay, try looking at other essays by your peers – see what their beginning statements are like and how they begin engaging readers from the start! In our example, we begin with a direct question that will make people want to continue reading our paper instead of stopping after the first few words: "Wouldn't it be great if all of us could fly?"

Once you've chosen your topic, it will be time to start writing. The introduction is the most important part of an essay because it sets the tone for what comes next and provides valuable information about why this particular topic deserves attention. Don't forget that when crafting your introduction, you should have those four main features in mind. If you are wondering how to write a good essay introduction paragraph, then this is a skill, and it can be learned with our essay writing services via researched-based online sessions. We provide a 1:1 individualised session to every student who comes to us. Our experts are always there to help you with your problems. Grab your chance to learn the most essential essay writing skills. Hurry up! Fill the form now!

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About the Author

Kristy Gardner

Kristy Gardner is a dissertation writing expert and has a master's degree in the English Language from the University of Oxford. Kristy examines how literature and small modules can relate to writing on current events. She has been working as a prominent essay writer at My Assignment Services. Kristy strives to promote literacy across the curriculum. She is passionate about words, grammar, punctuation and style and she loves to engage in debates on different domains of the essay writing.

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