Skip Nav

How To Write A Good Introduction Paragraph

Post navigation

❶When you state this mistaken belief, make sure to clarify that this belief is inaccurate.

Introduction:




You can't do this if you don't know who your likely readers are. If you write directly to your instructor, you'll end up glossing over some information that is necessary to show that you properly understand the subject of your essay.

It can be helpful to reverse-engineer your audience based on the subject matter of your essay. For example, if you're writing an essay about a women's health issue for a women's studies class, you might identify your audience as young women within the age range most affected by the issue. Use the element of surprise. A startling or shocking statistic can grab your audience's attention by immediately teaching them something they didn't know.

Having learned something new in the first sentence, people will be interested to see where you go next. If you're not sure, test it on a few friends. If they react by expressing shock or surprise, you know you've got something good. Use a fact or statistic that sets up your essay, not something you'll be using as evidence to prove your thesis statement.

Facts or statistics that demonstrate why your topic is important or should be important to your audience typically make good hooks. Tug at your reader's heart-strings. Particularly with personal or political essays, use your hook to get your reader emotionally involved in the subject matter of your story. You can do this by describing a related hardship or tragedy. Offer a relevant example or anecdote. In your reading and research for your essay, you may have come across an entertaining or interesting anecdote that, while related, didn't really fit into the body of your essay.

Such an anecdote can work great as a hook. Particularly with less formal papers or personal essays, humorous anecdotes can be particularly effective hooks. Ask a thought-provoking question. If you're writing a persuasive essay, consider using a relevant question to draw your reader in and get them actively thinking about the subject of your essay. That's exactly what the leaders of the tiny island nation of Guam tried to answer. Make sure to come up with your own intriguing question.

In most cases, they'll actually hurt by making you look like an unoriginal or lazy writer. For example, "everyone wants someone to love" would alienate someone who identified as aromantic or asexual. Relate your hook to a larger topic.

The next part of your introduction explains to your reader how that hook connects to the rest of your essay. Start with a broader, more general scope to explain your hook's relevance. For example, if you related a story about one individual, but your essay isn't about them, you can relate the hook back to the larger topic with a sentence like "Tommy wasn't alone, however.

There were more than , dockworkers affected by that union strike. Provide necessary background information. While you're still keeping things relatively general, let your readers know anything that will be necessary for them to understand your main argument and the points you're making in your essay. If you are writing an argumentative paper, make sure to explain both sides of the argument in a neutral or objective manner. Define key terms for the purposes of your essay. Your topic may include broad concepts or terms of art that you will need to define for your reader.

Your introduction isn't the place to reiterate basic dictionary definitions. However, if there is a key term that may be interpreted differently depending on the context, let your readers know how you're using that term. Definitions also come in handy in legal or political essays, where a term may have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used.

Move from the general to the specific. It can be helpful to think of your introduction as an upside-down pyramid. With your hook sitting on top, your introduction welcomes your readers to the broader world in which your thesis resides.

Draw your reader in gradually. For example, if you're writing an essay about drunk driving fatalities, you might start with an anecdote about a particular victim. Then you could provide national statistics, then narrow it down further to statistics for a particular gender or age group.

After you've set up the context within which you're making your argument, tell your readers the point of your essay. Use your thesis statement to directly communicate the unique point you will attempt to make through your essay. Avoid including fluff such as "In this essay, I will attempt to show Your outline should be specific, unique, and provable.

Through your essay, you'll make points that will show that your thesis statement is true — or at least persuade your readers that it's most likely true. Describe how you're going to prove your point. Round out your introduction by providing your readers with a basic roadmap of what you will say in your essay to support your thesis statement. In most cases, this doesn't need to be more than a sentence.

For example, if you're writing an essay about the unification of Italy, you might list 3 obstacles to unification. In the body of your essay, you would discuss details about how each of those obstacles was addressed or overcome. Instead of just listing all of your supporting points, sum them up by stating "how" or "why" your thesis is true. For example, instead of saying, "Phones should be banned from classrooms because they distract students, promote cheating, and make too much noise," you might say "Phones should be banned from classrooms because they act as an obstacle to learning.

Transition smoothly into the body of your essay. In many cases, you'll find that you can move straight from your introduction to the first paragraph of the body.

Some introductions, however, may require a short transitional sentence at the end to flow naturally into the rest of your essay. If you find yourself pausing or stumbling between the paragraphs, work in a transition to make the move smoother. You can also have friends or family members read your easy. If they feel it's choppy or jumps from the introduction into the essay, see what you can do to smooth it out. Read essays by other writers in your discipline.

What constitutes a good introduction will vary widely depending on your subject matter. A suitable introduction in one academic discipline may not work as well in another.

Take note of conventions that are commonly used by writers in that discipline. Make a brief outline of the essay based on the information presented in the introduction. Then look at that outline as you read the essay to see how the essay follows it to prove the writer's thesis statement. Keep your introduction short and simple. Generally, your introduction should be between 5 and 10 percent of the overall length of your essay.

If you're writing a page paper, your introduction should be approximately 1 page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines for length. These rules can vary at times based on genre or form of writing. Write your introduction after you write your essay. Some writers prefer to write the body of the essay first, then go back and write the introduction. It's easier to present a summary of your essay when you've already written it.

For example, you may realize that you're using a particular term that you need to define in your introduction. Revise your introduction to fit your essay. If you wrote your introduction first, go back and make sure your introduction provides an accurate roadmap of your completed paper. Even if you wrote an outline, you may have deviated from your original plans.

Given the shortness of the introduction, every sentence should be essential to your reader's understanding of your essay. Structure your introduction effectively. An essay introduction is fairly formulaic, and will have the same basic elements regardless of your subject matter or academic discipline. While it's short, it conveys a lot of information. The next couple of sentences create a bridge between your hook and the overall topic of the rest of your essay.

End your introduction with your thesis statement and a list of the points you will make in your essay to support or prove your thesis statement. I would first narrow your subject down to one sport so you can be more focused. Note that this will likely be an informative essay. After you do this, an interesting hook statement may be an anecdote describing an intense moment in that chosen sport to get your audience interested.

This can be made up or from your own experience with the sport. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 6. An effective hook statement to start your essay about this topic may be a statistic about HIV, or perhaps an anecdote about someone facing this diagnosis and trying to make positive lifestyle changes for their health.

Not Helpful 1 Helpful 5. This is easier said than done of course, but a good intro starts with a quote, fact, or brief story that interests the reader. If it interested you while reading or researching, it's a great thing to start with. Just keep it short and it will be great. Not Helpful 38 Helpful Skip it, write down your main points, and build the body of your essay. Outline or review a few key historical facts that offer the reader any essential information he or she might need in order to understand the topic of the paper.

These pieces of information should not only provide context about the topic, but should also indirectly present the general topic itself. In doing this, you will demonstrate the the reader how your topic fits into the historical account you present in your introduction.

Narrow your thoughts down to a thesis statement. The information provided thus far will be fairly general, so you need to focus the end of your paragraph on a single thesis statement that you will use to define the rest of your paper. With this type of introduction, your thesis statement should cause the reader to view the historical facts you just presented in a specific light or through a specific lens.

In effect, your thesis statement should tell the reader why the facts you presented before it are important to keep in mind.

Briefly summarize the literary work you are writing about. Introduce the key bibliographic facts of the literary work and summarize the main plot or purpose of the work. In the case of a story, you do not need to focus on specific details or give away the ending. You simply need to introduce the basic, overall theme of the story and provide information about the conflict the main character faces. Draw out a general theme from the work. Most literary works have multiple themes that can be addressed, but for the same of your paper, you will need to focus on one theme that relates directly to your thesis.

Connect your summary to the theme in a naturally, sensible manner. Hint at the main sections of your essay. Lead into your thesis by briefly mentioning the main ideas of your essay, which exist to support your thesis. In a sense, you will be narrowing down your broad topic into a more focused, specific thought by slowly presenting ideas that narrow the reader's field of vision until all that reader sees about that literary work are the ideas presented in your paper.

Come out with your thesis statement. Finish the introduction with a focused, single-sentence statement about the thesis of your essay. With this type of introduction, you need to choose a thesis that makes sense within the context of your summary and supporting evidence. If the thesis still seems out of place, go back and rewrite your supporting evidence until the connection your thesis has to the summary of the literary work makes sense.

Ask the reader a question he or she can related to. Address the reader directly by posing a question that is relevant to the topic of the paper. The question should also be something that will catch the attention of most people, thereby painting the topic in terms that a reader can relate to. When choosing a question, you can ask something universal, surprising, or rhetorical. Consider backing up your initial question with two others. The additional questions you ask should gradually narrow the topic down into something smaller and more specific.

Hint at any answer and discuss how your essay will address the answer. You do not need to state the answer in clear terms, but you should use the main points of your paper to guide the reader in a specific direction. Doing this also clues the reader into the approach you intend to take on the question or questions at hand. State your thesis in a single sentence. Your thesis statement will be the closest you get to providing a direct answer to your initial question.

It should state what, specifically, you plan to write about. You do not need to give the reader a clear, definite answer to the question you ask, but if you narrowed your topic down using the three-question method, you should consider using terms or ideas from the final question in your thesis.

Offer a relevant quotation. The quotation can be famous, insightful, or unexpected, but regardless of the content or type you choose, the quotation must have direct relevance to your topic. The quotation can be a famous saying, words from someone famous, a snippet from song lyrics, or a short poem. Do not insert a hanging quote. In other words, the sentence with your quotation in it must contain other content aside from the quotation itself.

Provide context for the quotation while bridging into the topic. Context can who spoke or wrote the words originally, what the words are referring to, the time period the quotation came from, or how the quotation addresses your topic. Note that unless the quotation is anonymous, you must always state who is responsible for it. This context will also introduce the topic of your paper and lead into supporting details that can introduce your thesis.

Come out with a single statement that defines, in clear terms, what your paper is about. The thesis statement for this type of introduction will need to make sense in regards to the quotation you used. You should not use a general quotation that touches on the overall, broad topic but has nothing to do with the specifics of your thesis. Mention something that people mistakenly believe. If this is the case, you can directly call out this mistaken belief in the first line of your introduction paragraph.

When you state this mistaken belief, make sure to clarify that this belief is inaccurate. As soon as you state what the wrong belief is, you need to follow your statement with a sentence about the corrected version or truth of the situation. This sentence should introduce the general topic of the paper and open the path for your thesis statement.

Elaborate slightly on the truth. Provide supporting evidence or facts about your correction to further cement the truth of it in the reader's mind.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Because the introduction is the first portion of your essay that the reader encounters, the stakes are fairly high for your introduction to be successful. A good introduction presents a broad overview of your topic and your thesis, and should convince the reader that it is worth their time to actually read the rest of your essay.

Privacy FAQs

The introductory paragraph of any paper, long or short, should start with a sentence that piques the interest of your readers. In a well-constructed first paragraph, that first sentence will lead into three or four sentences that provide details about the subject or your process you will address in the body of your essay.

About Our Ads

How To Write A Good Introduction Paragraph Writing an introductory paragraph is easier than it may seem. The key to a successful . A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way.

Cookie Info

The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper. A killer opening line and catchy introduction are exactly what you want for your essay. You want to write an essay introduction that says, “READ ME! To learn how to write an essay introduction in 3 easy steps, keep reading!