Guides For Dummies: Writing an Introduction Paragraph for an Essay


There is a well-known saying: good dress helps to impress. No one can deny the fact that an introduction is a dress for an essay. Even a good piece of writing may only get half read if it has a weak opening paragraph. In order to make the readers interested and to show them that you are a good writer; introduce the essay, focus it, and appeal to readers in the first paragraph. It is sometimes necessary to leave the final drafting of the introduction for last, because the focus of the essay may change during the process of writing.

  • Opening Strategies
  • There is always a question of how to start. What makes a good opening? Having a “hook”, a strategy to pique reader’s curiosity, can help you out. You can start your essay with:

  • A rhetorical question:
  • General questions directly addressed to the readers make them wonder whether the answers they give are correct, and they read further into the essay to find out.

  • A keynote quotation:
  • No one can persuade and “hook” better than a famous writer or a politician, so a small quotation from them will make your introduction more appealing and thought-provoking. You should only choose one that is closely related to the subject matter, and make sure you explain it thoroughly.

  • A startling or paradoxical statement:
  • Shock and surprise can also stimulate the reader to read the essay to the end.

  • A powerful image:
  • Imagination, if described correctly, can trigger a set of complex emotions ranging from sympathy to anger. It will make the reader read further just to feel a bit more.

  • Directly address the reader:
  • By addressing the reader directly, the writer involves him or her in the essay, making him or her think over the subject matter and compare the opinion with the writer’s.

  • Humorous remark:
  • Readers are sure to remember an essay that made them laugh their heads off from the very beginning. However, humor should be measured carefully, and included just to create the mood and “hook” the reader’s attention.

If you succeed in choosing the right technique, the “hook” can lead to further development of the idea and successfully introduce the thesis statement. This is usually the last sentence of the essay, and is an axis that unifies the entire essay. Writing it requires a lot of training, but as soon as you master the skill, you will become a proficient writer.

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