essay introduction

This is How to Write an Effective Essay Introduction

An essay introduction is the very first section of your paper, so it determines whether or not your readers will want to read further. If you want to know how to write an introduction for an essay, you should keep in mind that the introduction performs several functions. Its main purpose is to give your readers an idea of what your essay will be about. In the introduction, you can also address the background of your topic, making sure that readers will understand your point.

Most essays require you to answer a question or express an opinion supported by evidence. You should provide a detailed response in the body of the essay, and you should also briefly outline your response from the very beginning. A writer’s response is usually called a thesis statement, and this statement serves as the basis for the whole essay. When writing an essay, you shouldn’t reveal your response slowly. You should state it as early as possible, making sure that people will understand what point you support.

Just like any other section of your essay, the introduction should also have the right structure. The best way to introduce your subject and prepare your readers for the main part of the essay is to present more general information before getting into specific details. Start with a hook that will simply grab your readers’ attention, then present the general topic, explain the context, and provide your thesis statement.

When students need to write an essay and think of what their introduction should look like, the most common question is, how long should an essay introduction be? Well, the length of your introduction depends on the type of essay and word count. Generally, introductions are always short. For example, when writing a five-paragraph essay, your introduction should be one paragraph long.

The Main Elements of an Introduction


Start with a good hook

The introduction should start with an impressive hook that will quickly grab your audience’s attention. Attention-grabbing is the only purpose of the hook so make sure that it’s short but directly related to your subject and thesis statement. If you’re wondering how to write an essay introduction, one of the most important things you should pay attention to is the hook.

You may choose different types of hooks depending on your subject and the type of essay. For example, you can tell your readers a striking fact or ask them a meaningful question. You may also start with a quote from an expert on the topic of your essay or tell an anecdote. Avoid generalizations and clichés because they will make your hook boring. We also suggest that you avoid dry definitions because this approach is overused by students and unoriginal.


Explain the background and context of the issue

If you want readers to understand your point or even agree with it, the first thing you should do is make sure that they actually understand the subject and its context. Your readers should also understand why your topic is important and why you’ve decided to write about it, in the first place. At the same time, you should only focus on the key aspects of your subject and make this part of your essay as brief as possible. Don’t mention any irrelevant details and only focus on crucial things.

The introduction is also a great place to explain the key definitions and terms. When writing about complex or too specific subjects, you may need to make sure that your point will be easy to understand even for people who know little about your subject. Use your introduction to quickly point out the problem and outline your opinion so that your essay will be straightforward and specific. Don’t begin with unnecessary generalizations because they won’t contribute any meaning to your introduction and the essay, in general.


Define the scope

To write an effective hook, you should just choose the right words to start an essay introduction. However, the rest of your introduction should be well thought through. Given that this section is very short, you should make sure that every sentence will contribute to the success of your essay.

Once you’ve presented the overall topic of your essay, you should narrow it down so that your readers will focus on the necessary aspect of the subject along with you. You may write about various complex topics so your readers should know what exactly you’re going to consider and what you’re not going to address in the essay.


State your point

State your point. This is your thesis statement that will serve as the backbone of your argument. All the points that you consider in your essay should be directly related to the thesis statement. The thesis statement should also directly answer the main question of your essay. Before you consider your point in more detail, you can help your readers understand it in a nutshell.

The thesis statement should be concise and specific. It might be one to three sentences long, depending on your subject and the type of essay. However, we recommend that you make it as condensed as possible. Usually, the thesis statement is presented at the end of the introduction.


Outline the main points

Although you shouldn’t get into details in the introduction, you can introduce your main arguments. Provide a brief summary of the most important points. You may mention your main sources and explain the connection between the central topic and your key arguments. You may also mention the most important pieces of evidence that you’ve used to quickly establish credibility. The main thing is not to add too much information. First, you should make your audience want to learn more. Secondly, the introduction should be short.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to write an introduction paragraph for an essay, you can start practicing. As you can see, you should consider many important factors and make sure that your introduction is attention-grabbing, intriguing, and informative. Therefore, there’s no surprise that many people write an introduction when the rest of the essay is ready. This is a great approach because, this way, you can evaluate what arguments and evidence are worth mentioning at the very beginning.

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