Writing the introduction to an essay can often be the hardest part of the process. Until you get those first few words and sentences written, you can experience total writer’s block and confusion. We have all been there staring blankly at the computer with no words written. The following are tips to help you write a killer introduction for your essay:
Get the reader’s attention: Your essay will be one of many and you want it to stand out right from the start. You can either allude to your topic or introduce the topic immediately with one of the following to hook your reader:
- Question: Introduce a question but don’t answer until the body of the essay.
- Quotation: Use a quote that is relevant to your topic.
- Statistic: The number should not be common knowledge so your reader is interested. Also, make sure the statistic is correct.
- Controversial statement: Start with a sentence that is known to get people engaged in the topic.
- Anecdote: Use a short story to introduce the topic to your reader.
- Problem: Pose a problem, but wait until the body of the paragraph to answer it.
- Metaphor or simile: Liken your topic to something the reader can relate to.
- Comparison: Pick something to compare your topic with that will be familiar to the reader.
- Definition: Define a word relative to your topic so you can speak to its meaning later on.
Introduce your topic: If your initial hook isn’t quite long enough or only alludes to your topic, give some background information on your topic or why you are writing about it. Leave long explanations for the body and never say “This essay is about…” or “I am writing this essay because…”
Thesis statement: The most important aspect of your introduction is the thesis statement. The thesis statement sets the tone and how you will develop your argument on the topic for the body of the essay. Keep in mind the following attributes when structuring your thesis:
- Contains a subject and an opinion.
- Narrows your topic down to the specific question or focus of the paper.
- Is the last sentence of the introduction.
- Supports your topic with evidence you will speak to in the body paragraphs.
- Avoids obvious conclusions so the reader has a reason to read on.
- Avoids first person.
Hopefully these tips and attributes of a good introduction to your essay will help the writing process commence a little quicker. If you have any good tips to writing a killer introduction, feel free to leave them in the comments!