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How to Start an Essay That Grabs Readers’ Attention

Are you trying to figure out how to begin an essay? Well, the introduction is crucial. A weak introduction might make a reader lose interest in your essay.

This article covers how to write an introduction. Also, how to start different kinds of essays, including argumentative and expository.

At the end of it, you will be able to start working on your essay.

The Importance of a Good Introduction

First impressions matter. The introduction provides the first impression of an essay.

From the intro, a reader judges the strength of your argument, writing style, and quality of the essay.

So, a good introduction will make a reader thinking highly of you and your analytical skills.

On the other hand, a lousy intro might go as far as stopping someone from reading your essay.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Write an Essay Introduction

An excellent introduction:

  1. Captures the attention of the reader
  2. Provides context or background information on the topic of discussion
  3. Tells the reader the purpose and focus of the essay and the argument you are trying to backup

Step 1: Hook the Reader

The first sentence of your introduction should be a hook. A good hook is interesting, stirs curiosity, and sets the tone for the essay.

The hook should be a sentence or two. It should be catchy but also relevant to the topic.

Let’s say you are wondering how to start an essay with a quote. Look at your topic. Then find something catchy by a famous person related to that topic.

For instance, if your essay is about hard work, you could use the following quote by Mark Twain:

It’s only in the dictionary where success comes before work.

Aside from quoting famous people, other ways to hook a reader include:

  1. Statistics
  2. Lesser-known facts
  3. Rhetorical question
  4. A brief anecdote
  5. A statement debunking a common misconception

However, do not focus much on creativity. Remember, the most important thing is to stir curiosity and lead the reader to your argument and topic.

Step 2: Provide Context and Background Information on the Topic

After hooking the reader, introduce the topic. Providing context allows your reader to understand your topic and thesis statement better.

When providing background information, consider:

  1. The history of the topic
  2. The social context
  3. The current debates, theories, and research on the subject of discussion
  4. Definition of complex terms

You want to give broad information on the topic. However, focus on information relevant to your argument.

More importantly, leave evidence and interpretation of ideas to the body of your essay.

Step 3: State Your Thesis or Purpose of Your Essay

Write the thesis – a statement that presents your main argument. A thesis narrows down the topic to one idea.

It informs the reader of your position on the topic of discussion.

Your thesis could also include a roadmap for the whole essay by briefly mentioning the points you will use to support your argument.

Step 4: Revise and Edit

The best time to revise your intro is after finishing your essay. You are not just checking for grammar mistakes.

You want to make sure the intro matches the rest of the essay. In fact, you should consider writing the introduction last.

As you write the essay and do more research, your perspective on the topic and main argument might change.

Revising the introduction involves:

  1. Ensuring that the first sentence, the hook, is catchy and relevant
  2. Ensuring introduction provides sufficient relevant background on the topic
  3. Checking that you have defined important terms
  4. Making sure that the thesis clearly presents the focus of your essay

How to Start an Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay requires you to explain your personal opinion on a given topic. Your intro, starting with your hook, should clearly present your opinion.

For instance, if you are writing about the death penalty, you could start by saying:

According to recent research, more than 54% of Americans support the death penalty for people convicted of murder.

Then go ahead and provide more information on the history of the death penalty before stating your main thesis.

How to Start an Informative Essay

An informative essay provides an in-depth explanation of a given topic. But regardless of how enjoyable the topic is, you have to make your start piques interest in a reader.

Because this type of essay is about facts more than opinion, it is advisable to start your essay with an interesting fact.

It should be something most readers are not aware of.

How to Start an Expository Essay

An expository is similar to an informative essay – it requires you to expose details on the given topic.

For instance, you could be asked to explain the process of baking a cake.

Start off with a rhetorical question, a piece of statistics, or an interesting fact. Or, get creative and use a quote. Then introduce your topic and state your thesis.

How to Start an Analysis Essay

Like all other essays, begin with a hook. The introduction of an analytical essay should state the title of the literary work under analysis.

It should also provide more information about the book, poem, film, etc. Additionally, it should explain the basis of your analysis and your thesis.

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