How to Begin an Essay: 13 Engaging Strategies

ThoughtCo / Hugo Lin

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates. It lets readers know what your essay is about and it encourages them to keep reading.

There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are 13 introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.

State Your Thesis Briefly and Directly

But avoid making your thesis a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about...". 

"It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a terrific holiday...." (Michael J. Arlen, "Ode to Thanksgiving." The Camera Age: Essays on Television . Penguin, 1982)

Pose a Question Related to Your Subject

Follow up the question with an answer, or an invitation for your readers to answer the question.

"What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. We might say, it borrows meaning from what it surrounds and sets off, the head with its supremely important material contents, and the face, that register of the soul. When photographers discuss the way in which a photograph reduces the reality it represents, they mention not only the passage from three dimensions to two, but also the selection of a point de vue that favors the top of the body rather than the bottom, and the front rather than the back. The face is the jewel in the crown of the body, and so we give it a setting." (Emily R. Grosholz, "On Necklaces." Prairie Schooner , Summer 2007)

State an Interesting Fact About Your Subject

" The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Chee-up! Chee-up! and bowing like an overpolite Japanese Buddhist trying to tell somebody goodbye...." (David James Duncan, "Cherish This Ecstasy." The Sun , July 2008)

Present Your Thesis as a Recent Discovery or Revelation

"I've finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people." (Suzanne Britt Jordan, "Neat People vs. Sloppy People." Show and Tell . Morning Owl Press, 1983)

Briefly Describe the Primary Setting of Your Essay

"It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed and a pot of drinking water. In some of them brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars, with their blankets draped round them. These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or two." (George Orwell, "A Hanging," 1931)

Recount an Incident That Dramatizes Your Subject

"One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Jeff’s pacemaker turned off,” she said, using my father’s first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked." (Katy Butler, "What Broke My Father's Heart." The New York Times Magazine , June 18, 2010)

Use the Narrative Strategy of Delay

The narrative strategy of delay allows you to put off identifying your subject just long enough to pique your readers' interest without frustrating them. 

"They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl...." (Lee Zacharias, "Buzzards." Southern Humanities Review , 2007)

Use the Historical Present Tense

An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. 

"Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother’s station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy—his and mine—to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. Years from this evening, I won’t actually be sure that this boy sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesn’t matter tonight. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five." (Ryan Van Meter, "First." The Gettysburg Review , Winter 2008)

Briefly Describe a Process That Leads Into Your Subject

"I like to take my time when I pronounce someone dead. The bare-minimum requirement is one minute with a stethoscope pressed to someone’s chest, listening for a sound that is not there; with my fingers bearing down on the side of someone’s neck, feeling for an absent pulse; with a flashlight beamed into someone’s fixed and dilated pupils, waiting for the constriction that will not come. If I’m in a hurry, I can do all of these in sixty seconds, but when I have the time, I like to take a minute with each task." (Jane Churchon, "The Dead Book." The Sun , February 2009)

Reveal a Secret or Make a Candid Observation

"I spy on my patients. Ought not a doctor to observe his patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of hospital rooms and gaze. Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to discover me. But they never do." ( Richard Selzer , "The Discus Thrower." Confessions of a Knife . Simon & Schuster, 1979)

Open with a Riddle, Joke, or Humorous Quotation

You can use a riddle , joke, or humorous quotation to reveal something about your subject. 

" Q: What did Eve say to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden? A: 'I think we're in a time of transition.' The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and anxieties about social change seem rife. The implication of this message, covering the first of many periods of transition, is that change is normal; there is, in fact, no era or society in which change is not a permanent feature of the social landscape...." (Betty G. Farrell, Family: The Making of an Idea, an Institution, and a Controversy in American Culture . Westview Press, 1999)

Offer a Contrast Between Past and Present

"As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I don't care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke." (Garrison Keillor, "Walking Down The Canyon." Time , July 31, 2000)

Offer a Contrast Between Image and Reality

A compelling essay can begin with a contrast between a common misconception and the opposing truth. 

"They aren’t what most people think they are. Human eyes, touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history, are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than your average marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with nature’s facsimile of Jell-O. Your beloved’s eyes may pierce your heart, but in all likelihood they closely resemble the eyes of every other person on the planet. At least I hope they do, for otherwise he or she suffers from severe myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or worse...." (John Gamel, "The Elegant Eye." Alaska Quarterly Review , 2009)

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  • Hookers vs. Chasers: How Not to Begin an Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • How to Write a Great Essay for the TOEFL or TOEIC
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • Contrast Composition and Rhetoric
  • How to Develop and Organize a Classification Essay
  • 6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Personal Essay
  • A Guide to Using Quotations in Essays
  • What Is Expository Writing?

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

types of ways to start an essay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

types of ways to start an essay

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

types of ways to start an essay

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Resources for Writers: Introduction Strategies

Introduction strategies    .

Excluding scientific and technical writing (which often has pre-established formats), most other topics lend themselves to a variety of introductory gambits. Suppose the assignment is to write a literary analysis of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita . Below are several different ways to start that essay. Please note that not all introductions would be appropriate for one particular thesis or approach. But having a repertoire of openings at our disposal often helps lead us to insights we didn’t know we had.

Begin with a quotation

Although this approach can be overused, it can be very effective when you have an appropriate quotation. That quotation may relate directly to the subject or it may be only indirectly related (and thus require further explanation). Do not force a quotation into this spot; if an appropriate quotation is not available, select another method.

  • “The novel Lolita ,” the critic Charles Blight said in 1959, “is proof that American civilization is on the verge of total moral collapse” (45). The judgment of critics and readers in subsequent years, however, has proclaimed Lolita to be one of the great love stories of all time and one of the best proofs that American civilization is still vibrant and alive.
  • “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul” (11). These opening lines of Lolita reveal the essence of Humbert’s complexity and compulsion, his saving grace and his damning passion.

Begin with a concession

Start with a statement recognizing an opinion or approach different from the one you plan to take in your essay.

  • Many critics have pointed to the unrelenting word games and puns throughout Lolita as proof that Vladimir Nabokov’s major concern has always been language and art. Although these subjects certainly loom in all his works, a close examination of Lolita reveals that morality — the way people treat each other — is just as major a concern for him as language and art.

Begin with a paradox

A paradox is a seeming self-contradiction.

  • By 1959 Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita had been banned in several cities as pornographic. Today it is required reading not only in literature courses but also in philosophy courses that explore the nature of love. Since its publication, the novel’s subject has been recognized to be love, not lust; art, not perversion.

Begin with a short anecdote or narrative

  • When the original movie version of Lolita was released in the early 1960s, Sue Lyon, the young actress who starred as the provocative “nymphet” of the title, was judged too young to be allowed to see the movie in the theater.

Begin with an interesting fact or statistic

  • Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov — two acknowledged masters of English prose — were not even native speakers of English. Conrad’s native tongue was Polish; Nabokov’s, Russian.

Begin with a question or several questions that will be answered in the paper

  • How could a book now acknowledged as a masterpiece not only of fiction but also of English prose have been banned when it was published? How could a novel that dealt with love and art be thought of as pornographic? Why would a society so mindful of free speech as America ban any book in the first place?

Begin with relevant background material

Background material should be presented concisely and should be clearly related to your thesis. A rambling discussion of material only remotely related to your main point will confuse and bore your readers.

  • Although he was born in Russia and lived for many years in England, Germany, and France before coming to America in 1941, Vladimir Nabokov is now considered one of the great American novelists of the 20th century. This opinion, however, is not based solely on his mastery of English prose. His novel Lolita has been said to have captured the essence of American life in the 1950s better than any novel written by a writer born in this country.

Begin by stating a long-term effect or effects without immediately stating the cause

  • It caused howls of protest from the guardians of public morality in the 1950s. Indirectly it helped bring about both artistic and personal freedom in the 1960s. Today it is a recognized classic of art and thought — Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita .

Begin with an analogy

  • Like a hurricane that brings fear and panic along with its powerful winds, uprooting trees and disrupting belief in an all-merciful God, so the novel Lolita swept across America in the 1950s, bringing fear and panic that pedophilia would be loosed on the land. Instead, the novel, like a hurricane, blew over trees of thought that were not deeply rooted in American experience, exposing their gnarled premises while helping to clear the way for the artistic freedom of the 1960s.

Begin with a definition of a term that is important to your essay

Avoid simple dictionary definitions. Create an expanded definition that explains how the term applies to your topic and essay.

  • Every few years the ugly charge of “pornography” is aimed at some novel or movie. Never was the term more inappropriately used than in the case of Lolita , yet the taint of that word still lingers in the minds of many when they hear the book’s title. What exactly is “pornography” that it should stir such feelings and be so hated? The problem, of course, is that no one can agree on what pornography actually is. That it has something to do with sex seems clear; beyond that, there is a chaos of opinion. When the small-minded or special-interest definitions are pushed aside, however, we are left with D.H. Lawrence’s provocative definition: pornography is anything that “does dirt on sex.” By that definition, Lolita is the opposite of pornography — it is a celebration of sex and love.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introductions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.

The role of introductions

Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.

Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)

Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.

Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.

Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).

Strategies for writing an effective introduction

Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:

Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)

Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!

Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.

Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.

Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):

  • an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
  • a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
  • a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
  • a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
  • a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?

Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.

How to evaluate your introduction draft

Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what they expect the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.

Five kinds of less effective introductions

1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.

Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.

2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—they do not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.

Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.

Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”

4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.

Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.

5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.

Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.

And now for the conclusion…

Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!

Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on  conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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types of ways to start an essay

How To Start An Essay -The Only Guide You'll Need

types of ways to start an essay

How To Start An Essay

To begin an essay effectively, use a captivating hook, provide context, present a clear thesis statement, outline the essay's structure, transition smoothly to the body, be concise, and revise for alignment with the content. A strong introduction engages readers and sets the tone for your essay.

This guide will help you if you’re stuck, so read on. Starting an essay can be difficult, and we’ve all had major writer’s block occasionally. But we will demystify it and give you all the practical help and guidance you’ll need to power through.

To commence your essay effectively, consider adopting these approaches:

  • Engage Your Audience : Start with an engaging element to capture your audience's interest. This could be an unexpected fact, a provocative query, an impactful quote, or a vivid brief story.
  • Set the Scene : Quickly provide the necessary background to frame your topic, highlighting its significance or intrigue.
  • State Your Central Argument : Articulate your central thesis or primary argument clearly. This will guide the direction of your essay and clarify your purpose to the reader.
  • Preview Your Essay's Structure : Briefly outline the organization of your essay, indicating the key points or arguments you intend to explore.
  • Smooth Transition : Seamlessly lead into the body of your essay with transitional phrases, preparing the reader for the forthcoming content.
  • Keep it Brief and Focused : Maintain brevity and focus in your introduction. Steer clear of extensive details or protracted background exposition.
  • Refine and Enhance : Once your essay is complete, reassess your introduction to ensure it is aligned with the overall content and effectively sets up your topic.

‍ Understanding The Craft: How To Start An Essay

The introduction paragraph can set the ENTIRE tone for your essay, so it’s more than important. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to master it (hopefully).

The level of engagement your audience will feel throughout the essay and if they understand the message you’re conveying can be determined just by reading your introduction.

Remember how crucial an essay introduction is, as first impressions can be lasting. 

Sharp Eye: Analyzing The Prompt 

Before you go your ways to start an essay, you should fully grasp the prompt of the essay. By fully understanding the prompt, you won’t be led astray. Here’s a few simple things to remember: 

Breaking down the question

Deconstruct your prompt to understand it fully. Highlight key terms and consider what each word truly means.

Interpret instructions carefully

Depending on the instructions, you should be aware of the differences in what they’re asking you for.

For example, a prompt that instructs you to “describe” will want different results from a prompt that asks you to “analyze.”

Research first

To help you understand your prompt better, you can do some research. Collect information like background information and the current relevance of the prompt.

This will add context to your understanding of it. This will give you a better and fuller perspective as well. 

Creating A Hook That Hooks

A crucial part of your essay introduction and starting an essay is writing a good hook. Your hook is your attention-grabber, so it needs to literally hook your readers. Be mindful of these tips:

  • Use startling facts to shock readers.
  • Use provocative questions.
  • Use anecdotes or intriguing quotes.
  • Don’t forget to tailor your hook to your audience and your topic.

Writing A Great Thesis Statement 

You don’t know how to start an essay correctly if you don’t know how to write a great thesis statement. 

Need help? Writers at Studyfy will guide you with essay writing if you send a “ write an essay for me ” request, and they’ll do it instantly. Moving along, here’s what you need to keep in mind with your thesis statement:

Thesis concept

A thesis statement is a very clear and concise sentence.

It could be two sentences, too. It sums up and represents the core argument of your essay and serves as a guide for your writing and developing your arguments.

Do initial research to back up your thesis

By collecting evidence, examples, and facts, you can refine your essay and make it more accurate, compelling, and sophisticated. 

Positioning your thesis

Ideally, you’d want to position your thesis statement at the end of your introduction.

It allows for a smooth reading flow, and it introduces the main argument and purpose of the essay before the reader moves on to the body paragraph.

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How To Begin An Essay: Outlining Your Main Points

An outline is like a roadmap. It can guide you and help you remember and set clear expectations for your essay's development. Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Outline your main points in the introduction.
  • Make an outline that helps you write in intriguing detail and keeps your essay introduction concise.
  • Ensure that all points in your introduction paragraph directly back up or relate to your thesis statement.

Techniques For Creating A Dynamic Essay Introduction Paragraph

If you want more techniques on how to start a paper effectively, here are some valuable techniques you can employ in your essay writing. 

As we’ve stated, your essay introduction is a crucial pillar you’ll need to develop, so let’s take a look at more writing tips you can apply to it:

  • Use the ACTIVE Voice : Write in the active voice, where the subject performs the action. Active voice makes your writing clearer, direct, dynamic, and engaging.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes : Steer clear of cliches, generalizations, and irrelevant information. Stay on-topic in your introduction.
  • Set the Proper Tone : Match the tone of your essay introduction with the rest of your essay. If your essay is formal, keep the introduction formal; if it's persuasive, make the introduction persuasive.
  • Smooth Transitions : Ensure a smooth transition from the essay introduction to the body to maintain the flow of your writing

And don’t forget, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this information, you can buy custom essay services on Studyfy right now and get expert help.

So, what exactly can we do to employ smooth transitions? Here are a few helpful pointers: 

  • Employ Transitional Phrases : Use phrases like "this leads us to" or "with that in mind" to facilitate seamless transitions from the introduction to the body.
  • Re-use a Key Term : Consider re-using a key term introduced in the first sentence of your introduction in the last sentence. This creates continuity and maintains smoothness in your writing.
  • Leverage Logical Progression : Organize your points logically to ensure a coherent and clear progression in your essay.

‍ Mastering The Essay’s Introduction

Now you know all that you NEED to know about starting an essay. Let’s go over a brief recap of the key takeaways:

  • Analyze your prompt thoroughly.
  • Create a captivating hook.
  • Use effective transitional phrases.
  • Use logical flow for coherence.
  • Introduce key points and make sure they align with your thesis statement.

We hope this guide has helped you. Don’t forget to seek feedback from professors and peers. They might give you additional tips and insights that can be valuable. 

Did you like our article?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay writing services!

Which strategies can I use to start an essay?

The best way to start an essay is to analyze the prompt thoroughly. This will give you an idea of your essay's general purpose. If you need help, you can pay for an essay right now and get expert help.

The prompt is essential background information for your narrative essay or your persuasive essay introductions, as well as other types of academic writing.

How can I craft a strong thesis statement?

A key component of how to start an essay is a strong thesis statement. You can create a strong one by identifying the key theme/question and then narrowing it down to your main argument.

What's a good way to hook a reader in my introduction? What are good essay introduction examples?

A good way to start an essay is by making a compelling hook in your introduction paragraph. You can start your introduction by providing a shocking fact, a provoking question, an intriguing quote, or a personal anecdote.

To maintain the reader's attention, center your essay writing process, both how the essay begins and the entire essay, around the reader's curiosity. The reader's attention should lead your essay introductions, how you incorporate relevant background information, and write other academic essays.

What are common mistakes I should avoid when writing my introduction?

The best way to start an essay is by avoiding common pitfalls in the introduction. Don't use broad statements or cliches. Don't make your intro too long. Have a clear thesis statement ready. 

When it comes to the intro, whether an argumentative essay introduction or expository essay introduction, what matters is igniting the mentioned reader's attention.

A big mistake is to dull down the reader's curiosity right at the beginning. Instead, open with passion. A few examples might be interesting facts, shocking statistics, or other intriguing ways to get a strong introduction.

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Essay Writing Guide

How To Start An Essay

Last updated on: Jun 10, 2023

Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively with Easy Guidelines

By: Nova A.

13 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Feb 12, 2019

How to Start an Essay

Are you assigned to write an essay assignment for your school? Are you staring at the blank screen, not knowing where to start?

Essay writing can be tough, and knowing how to start an essay effectively is highly important.

Why? Because “the first impression is the last impression?”

Similarly, the impression you make on the reader with your introduction sets the tone for the rest of the text. This makes them decide whether or not they want to invest their time reading it further. So starting effectively is a highly critical part of any paper or essay.

If you are stuck at this stage and unsure how to begin, then this is just the right guide for you.

Let’s dive in! 

How to Start an Essay

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When writing an essay, you must know that there is no hard and fast rule for starting it. There are four main types of essays: argumentative essay , persuasive essay , descriptive essay , and expository essay .

Similar to the different types of essays, there are several different ways to start an essay. However, the most commonly followed way is the hamburger essay method.

This method is also known as the introduction, body, and conclusion. Where the hamburger buns are the introduction and the conclusion. And the main ingredients are the body paragraphs of the essay.

Follow this method to know how to start an essay.

How to Start an Essay Introduction

“How to Start an Introduction for an Essay?”

The introductory paragraphs of any piece of writing hold the most importance. They help to grab the reader’s attention and make them decide whether or not they should invest their time. Similarly, the introduction acts as a roadmap and sets the tone for the content of the rest of the essay.

As we pointed out earlier, there isn’t a set way to start an essay. But the one thing you need to be mindful of is that your introduction should be catchy as well as informative.

To make your work interesting and attract the reader’s attention with the opening line, you must use a hook sentence.

1. Hook and Engage Your Readers

An essay hook is an opening sentence used as an attention grabber for the reader, to make them read further.

However, a hook sentence doesn’t substitute for the introduction. Instead, it opens your essay in an interesting manner. There are different types of hooks that you can use. For instance, you can begin your essay with a quote or by asking some rhetorical questions.

Depending upon the nature and topic of your essay, you can use any of the following hooks:

  • Personal story
  • Common misconceptions

For example, if you are writing a literary essay on Anna Karenina, you start by posing a question like,

“Do you think Anna would still be in love with Alexei if she wouldn’t have committed suicide”? And then answer it in your essay.

Can’t write engaging opening lines for your essay? Here are some interesting hook examples to give you an idea.

2. Provide Some Background Information

After you have hooked the reader, the next step is to introduce the topic to your reader. Inform them about the main idea of your essay and present background information to make your topic clear.

However, make sure not to bombard the reader with extra information at this stage. You don’t want them to get overwhelmed with excess information and stop reading further. Depending upon your essay topic, your background information may include:

  • An outline addressing what are you debating about
  • Definition of key terms
  • Summary of your research topic or theory
  • Any historical, social, or geographical context.

Just give enough information to familiarize them with the whole idea of making it easier to understand. When looking for information on your topic, only use credible and authentic sources.

Performing exhaustive research before beginning writing is an inevitable part of the essay writing process.

3. Add a Thesis Statement

The last component of an essay introduction is a thesis statement. The thesis statement summarizes the entire concept and states the main objective of the essay.

The purpose of the thesis statement is to present your main claim about the topic.

A thesis statement should be arguable and not based on facts that the reader already believes in. Your readers want to read something interesting and engaging. And the only way to do that is to provide them with some new and arguable information.

A good thesis statement is arguable, defendable, as well as informative. You can learn more here about writing a  thesis statement , along with examples.

Once you have successfully started your essay introduction, the next section is the body.

4. Define Your Essay Structure

Ending the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part can give your reader a clear sense of where they are headed.

It is helpful to keep it concise and not too wordy with unnecessary information that would take away from this goal. 

5. Check & Revise Your Essay

A good way to write your introduction paragraph is by waiting until the end of the writing process.

You learn more as you research, and this can change how you want to make an argument for your paper. So it’s best not to start right away with the first thing that comes out because it may be wrong later on.

After writing the essay body and conclusion, you should return to your introduction. Compare the flow of your information. Also, check if your thesis statement in the introduction coincides with justifications in your body and conclusion paragraphs.

After this, also go through your essay to figure out the grammatical mistakes and sentence structure. These seem like minor mistakes, but they can cause great damage to the overall grading of an essay.

How to Start an Essay Body?

“How to Start a Paragraph in an Essay?”

The body paragraphs of the essay hold the main content of the essay. Here you explain your point of view and present the main ideas.

The body is typically made up of three paragraphs. However, they can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and your teacher’s instructions.

The one thing that stays constant regardless of the different essay topics is that each paragraph starts with a topic sentence. The  topic sentence  explains the main idea of a particular paragraph, followed by the explanation and supporting evidence.

You can use factual evidence to prove your claim or different examples, statistics, and details from the text itself. All these paragraphs should work together to link back to your thesis and to prove it.

How to Start an Essay Conclusion?

The last section of an essay is the conclusion, and this is where most students go wrong. They start it abruptly and leave the reader confused without providing sufficient information.

When writing the  conclusion  for your essay, remember that this will be the last thing you leave your reader with. So, don’t make it vague. Use this opportunity to restate the thesis and summarize the main points.

Remind the reader why your stand on the particular topic was correct. Avoid introducing any new information at this stage.

While we have covered everything about starting your essay, to learn more about the content, here is a complete essay format .

How to Start an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is different from other kinds of essays as the writer uses it to prove his point and convince the readers of his point of view.

It clearly outlines a point, the reasoning behind it, and evidence for the reader to understand your position.

Good argumentative essays should have these key elements:

  • A thesis statement that reflects what you are trying to argue or convey.
  • Reasonable supporting points with examples/logic backing them up.
  • Evidence from experts who can prove your claims.

Below are the steps to start an argumentative essay.

1. Create an Outline

Creating an outline is the very first step of beginning your essay, whether it is an argumentative or any other essay. It will help you in maintaining a clear focus and staying close to the main theme and topic of the essay.

2. Decide the Information You will Add in the Introduction.

Your first paragraph should introduce the topic of your essay, provide background information, and outline what evidence you will present. 

In addition, this part of your paper needs a thesis statement that clearly states why readers should care about the issue at hand.

3. Formulate the Thesis Statement

This is part of your first paragraph. It summarizes the main point and claims in a concise manner, without repeating any information from the input directly.

4. Outline the Main Section of the Essay

Decide about the information that you will add and explain in the main section of the essay. Instead of having everything in your mind only, it is important that you write down everything and stick to the plan.

5. Outline the Conclusion

Make a complete and workable outline for your essay’s conclusion. Make points of the things that you will discuss in your essay’s conclusion and stay close to them.

In simple terms, make an outline of each section and make sure that you follow it completely and properly.

How to Start an Application Essay?

The college essay is not the same kind of essay that you write for your high school English teacher, so it doesn't have to include a typical intro with a thesis statement.

Many students are unaware of this fact. Just as you want to prepare answers for your college interview, here are some ways to start your essay on an engaging and interesting note.

  • Start with a question.
  • Begin your essay with a bold and striking statement.
  • Use an engaging and relevant quote.
  • Begin from the middle of the events.
  • Speak with the reader directly.

Using these ways will help you write an essay that stands out from the competition.

Different Ways To Start an Essay

Now you know the essential elements to consider when starting to write your essay. Following are some of the different ways that you can consider starting your academic essay.

How to Start an Essay With a Question?

Starting an essay with an intriguing question is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get the attention of your readers.

In this way, the reader will think about the essay subject and will want to find out how the author has answered the question.

How to Start An Essay With a Quote?

The internet has made it easy for us to access quotes from writers, historical figures, and scientists. Starting an essay with a quote will help in building the readers’ interest, and you can have their attention immediately.

Make sure to quote someone with credibility, and the quote is also important to have some association with your topic.

How to Start an Essay With a Fun/Interesting Fact?

The start of an essay is a great opportunity for you to start with an interesting fact or statistics. Everybody loves to read interesting and fun facts as they provide some relevant background information about the topic.

For serious essays, you can start with some shocking statistics to immediately grab your reader’s attention.

How to Start an Essay With an Anecdote?

You can also start an essay with an engaging anecdote. Set a short story at the start of an essay that makes your reader curious and ends it by explaining the theme of the topic. In this way, the readers will read further to know more about the topic.

They will think if the starting is this much great, there is definitely something to read in this essay. Anecdote is used more in narrative and descriptive essays. Create an anecdote that stocks the central idea of a topic.

How to Start an Essay Examples

How to Start an Essay about Yourself

How to Start an Argumentative Essay Example

How to Start an Informative Essay

How to Start an Autobiography Essay

How to Start an Essay about a Person

How to Start an Essay about a Book

Mistakes To Avoid When Starting an Essay

Following are some of the things that you should avoid if you want to start an essay in the best possible way.

  • Never start with a definition from a dictionary

The definitions taken from dictionaries or even websites are quite obvious and boring. Other than that, teachers do not recommend using such open-source encyclopedias.

  • Avoid writing a broad and generalized introduction

Set a timer and watch whether your introduction is more than 25-30 seconds long. If it is, then make it short.

If you are still facing difficulty or you’re finding yourself stuck in writer’s block, professional ‘ make my essay ’ service providers at  5StarEssays.com  can help you out.

Whether you need help perfecting a rough draft or need an essay written from scratch, just reach out to our professional writers. They will handle everything for you!

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!

If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:  

  • A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
  • An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
  • An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

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What Is an Introduction Paragraph? 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal  essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph. 

So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper. 

Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.

But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences . 

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!

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Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!

The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph

In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. 

Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!

Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook

When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook. 

What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!” 

That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay! 

This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro. 

It’s important to realize  that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay. 

One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way . 

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this: 

There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans. 

This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.

In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.

Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context

Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about

You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it. 

So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis. 

For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment. 

The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.

Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!

Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis

The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph. 

Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.

Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this: 

Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .

The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!

So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic. 

The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement. 

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How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.

To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Example of Introduction Paragraph

While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education. 

Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis

Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay. 

Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis: 

  • Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address? 

Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph. 

Does the Intro Have a Good Hook? 

First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting  an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education. 

The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic. 

Does the Intro Give Context?

T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on. 

The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.  

To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.

Does the Intro Have a Thesis? 

Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations. 

However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.

To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:

The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.

Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!  

So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!

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4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay. 

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim. 

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific. 

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to  identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph . 

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Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!

Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers. 

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context. 

You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers. 

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts . 

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper. 

Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft. 

Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro: 

  • Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
  • Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay? 
  • Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?

Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!

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What's Next?

Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays. 

Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.

Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

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types of ways to start an essay

Yona Schnitzer

Blank screen. Cursor blinks. Clock ticks. Brain freezes.

You stressfully wonder, “How will I ever finish this essay?”

I’ve been there. 

Every time you write an essay, you want to catch your readers’ undivided attention from the very first word. The opening hook has to be *perfect* — no compromises. 

But, instead of reeling under pressure to come up with this elusively perfect essay hook at the eleventh hour, I’ve found a better way to write great essay hooks. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you what it takes to write the most compelling and attention-grabbing hooks. I’ll also break down six awesome types of essay hooks you can experiment with and share examples to inspire your next opening statement.

What is an Essay Hook?

An essay hook is the opening statement of an essay, written to capture readers' attention and nudge them to learn more about the topic. Also known as a lede or lead, this hook introduces readers to the topic/theme of the essay and piques their curiosity to continue reading. 

The hook creates the entire narrative for your essay. It tells readers what to expect from the rest of the essay and creates context around your main argument or thesis statement. 

6 Types of Essay Hooks You Can Experiment With

I’ve created this handy list of six different types of essay hooks. You can choose the one that best fits your essay’s context and create a stellar opening statement within minutes. 

1. Compelling fact or statistic

Lead with evidence and use a powerful fact or statistic as your essay hook. It’s one of the best ways to capture readers’ attention from the start and keep them intrigued throughout your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about the importance of time management for freelancers, you have two options to create your opening sentence:

Generic : “Managing time as a freelancer is no easy feat.”

Impactful : “Nearly 70% of freelancers struggle to effectively divide and manage their time between multiple clients.” 

This data point, linked to the original research, sets a strong tone for your essay and draws people in to read more. It communicates  

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  • Open the Wordtune editor and add your essay title. 
  • Type in any content you've written, click on 'Add spice,' and select the 'Expand on' option.
  • Write 'statistics,' and Wordtune will add relevant data points to your content.

types of ways to start an essay

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2. Bold claim hook

When working on an argumentative essay , I always write with the mindset that nobody has the time to read my thoughts from start to finish. So, I have to get to the point quickly and make a solid argument worth people’s time. 

That's when opening with a bold claim works best. Condense all your views on the topic into a few thought-provoking lines that would make readers go, hmmm…

But remember, you can't open with a claim that people already know and accept as fact. It has to be something original and unique to make your readers tick, nudging them to dive deeper into your essay. 

For example, if you’re writing about water crisis, you have two options to open your essay: 

‍ "In some regions, there is not enough clean water for people to use."
‍ "Imagine a world where every drop of water is a battle, a precious commodity fought over by scores of people and animals alike. This can become a reality as early as 2050."

This bold claim presents a convincing argument about the global water crisis. It also emphasizes the urgency of this argument with a research-backed statistic.

Create a bold claim suggestion using AI

Can’t think of a strong opening sentence for your essay? Wordtune can translate your thoughts into a bold claim and create a compelling essay hook. 

Open your Wordtune editor and write a few lines related to your topic. These sentences should have a consensus among your audience. Then, choose the 'Counterargument' option from the list of suggestions. 

And you’ll have a bold claim for your essay with no effort at all!

types of ways to start an essay

3. Story/Anecdote hook

In all my years of writing, I’ve noticed how stories have a unique effect on people. A good story can resonate with a bigger audience, pique their curiosity, and deliver a more personal message. 

That's why you can cite a personal anecdote or talk about a publicly known story as a good hook for your essay. This hook allows you to play with words and work in more storytelling . 

One of my favorite writing tips applies here: enter the scene as late as possible and leave as early as possible. You have to keep it crisp instead of rambling on and on. 

Consider these two examples:

types of ways to start an essay

Either of these hooks could work fine if we were just writing a personal essay about a move to a new place. But if we’re specifically writing about the sky, the second example is better. It sticks to the point — the sky and the color of the sky — and doesn’t stray into irrelevant details. 

Create a compelling story with AI

I get it—not all of us are natural storytellers. But you can use AI to your advantage to create a concise and exciting story for your essay.  

Wordtune can help you write a short story from scratch or trim down your writing into a quick anecdote. Click on the expand or shorten button to edit your story any way you like. 

types of ways to start an essay

4. Question Hook

Humans have a tendency to immediately look for answers every time they come across fascinating questions. Using questions as essay hooks can reel people into your essay and feed their curiosity.

But questions are also fairly overused in essays. You don't want to use a generic question that makes people say, " Not another question ." 

Instead, think of questions that approach your topic from a fresh angle. This means honing in on what was especially interesting or surprising from your research—and maybe even brainstorming different questions to find the most fascinating one.

For example, if you’re writing about the psychology behind why we buy, you have two options to open your essay:

‍ “Do you know what factors compel us to buy certain things?”

Plugged in :

“Before buying anything, have you ever taken a moment to pause and think about possible reasons driving you to this purchase?”

The latter is more descriptive and creates a realistic scenario for readers to truly think about the topic of the essay.

5. Description hook

A descriptive hook works best when writing an explanatory or opinion-led essay. Descriptive hooks, as the name suggests, illustrate a topic in detail to create context for the essay. It's a good way to build awareness for and educate readers on lesser-known themes.

But a descriptive hook can easily become too plain or unexciting to read. To make it work, you have to write an engaging description using imagery, analogies, and other figures of speech. 

Remember to make your hook reader-friendly by avoiding passive voice, mainstream cliches, and lengthy sentences.

Consider this example:

types of ways to start an essay

Describing a sunset is too cliche, so cross that one off the list. Describing the sky as it is on a normal day wouldn't be shocking or unexpected, so scratch that one, too.

This example creates something unique by using analogies to describe the color of the sky and painting a beautiful picture. 

Write a gripping description with AI

Writing an exciting hook for a boring topic is more challenging than it looks. But Wordtune makes it a breeze with just two steps:

  • Open the Wordtune editor and write your essay topic.
  • Click on Explain or Emphasize and let it work its magic.

You can also change the tone of voice to make the text more in tune with your theme. 

types of ways to start an essay

6. Metaphor hook

One of my favorite essay hooks is to open with a persuasive metaphor to contextualize the topic. Metaphors can help you approach the topic from a completely different lens and wow your readers with interesting insight. 

Metaphors are also super versatile to make your writing more impactful. You can write a one-line metaphor or create a scenario comparing one thing to another and linking it to your topic. 

For example, if you’re writing about the experience of working at a startup, you can open your essay with these two options:

Short & sweet: "Joining a startup is like strapping into a rollercoaster: be ready to witness thrilling highs and sinking drops."

Long & descriptive : “Picture a small sailboat navigating the unpredictable winds and tides in a vast ocean. That’s a startup operating in a massive market. And with the right vision, this journey is filled with risks and rewards.” 

Create a convincing metaphor with AI

Writing good metaphors takes up a lot of creative brain power. You can always use Wordtune to find some extra inspiration if you're out of creative ideas. 

Type your opening line in the Wordtune editor and click on the 'Give an analogy' option. You can ask for as many suggestions as you want till you find the best one! 

types of ways to start an essay

What to Know About Your Essay (and Topic) Before You Write the Hook

Whether you’re writing a research paper on economics, an argumentative essay for your college composition class, or a personal essay sharing your thoughts on a topic, you need to nail down a few things before you settle on the first line for your essay.

‍ Let me break them down for you. 

1. Gain in-depth knowledge of your topic

types of ways to start an essay

Before you start writing your essay, you need to know your topic — not just in name, but in-depth. You don't have to become a subject matter expert overnight. But you do need to research the topic inside out 

Your research will help you:

  • Narrow your focus
  • Build an argument
  • Shape the narrative

Your research insights determine your essay’s structure and guide your choice of hook. 

After organizing your research in a neat outline, think to yourself: ‍Did you uncover a shocking fact? A compelling anecdote? An interesting quote? Any of those things could be your hook.

⚡ ‍ Take action: After finishing your research, review your notes and think through your essay. Mark or make a list of anything compelling enough to be a good lead.

2. Type of essay

types of ways to start an essay

In academic settings, there are generally three kinds of essays:

  • Argumentative: Making the case for a certain stance or route of action.
  • Expository: Explaining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of some phenomenon.
  • Narrative: Telling a true story as a way to explore different ideas.

‍ The type of essay you’re writing is key to choosing the best hook for your piece. 

A serious argumentative essay can start with a shocking statistic or a bold claim. And an expository essay can open with a descriptive hook while a metaphor hook would work best for a narrative essay.

⚡ ‍ Take action: Go through your list of potential hooks and cross out anything that doesn't fit the type of essay you're writing, whether it's persuasive , argumentative, or any other type.

3. Audience and tone

A best practice I often share with writers is to think of one reader and keep yourself in their shoes . This exercise can tell you so much about your audience — what kind of tone they like, what matters the most to them, what topics interest them, and so on. 

You can use these insights to create a compelling essay hook. Here’s how:

  • For an argumentative essay, you’re trying to convince someone who doesn’t agree with you that what you’re claiming is right or, at least, reasonable. You don’t want to turn them off with snarky or offensive language — but you do want to be authoritative. Your hook should match that tone and support your effort.
  • A narrative essay is likely to welcome more lyrical language, so starting with a colorful description or an anecdote might make more sense than, say, a bold claim or surprising fact. Whatever tone you choose for your narrative essay — comical or gentle or bold — should be used for your hook.
  • ‍ Expository essays can use all sorts of tones and be written to a variety of audiences, so think carefully about the tone that best fits your subject matter. An essay explaining how the human body shuts down when overdosed will likely require a different tone than one on the lives of circus masters in the late 1800s. 

⚡ ‍ Take action: Look at your list. Can you write these potential hooks in a tone that suits your subject and audience?

4. Length of essay

Are you writing a 10-page paper or a three-page reflection? Or is this your senior thesis, pushing over 100 pages?

‍ If you’re writing a shorter paper, you’ll want to keep your hook quick and snappy.  

Readers are expecting a quick read, and they don’t want to spend five minutes only going through the introduction. 

In contrast, you can approach a longer essay — like a senior thesis or a term paper — with a longer hook. Just make sure your hook relates to and supports the core point of your essay. You don’t want to waste space describing a scene that ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of your piece.

⚡ ‍ Take action: If you write out the items on your list, how long will they be? A sentence or paragraph? Perfect. Two to five paragraphs? Unless your essay is on the longer side, you may want to save that information for later in the piece.

‍ Now that you know the basic facts about what you’re writing, let’s look at some approaches you could use to catch those readers — and reel them in.

3 Approaches to Avoid When Writing Hooks 

I’ve read hundreds of essays — enough to recognize lazy writing from the first few words. It’s equally easy for readers to discard your essays as ‘poorly written’ just by reading the first line. 

So, I made a list of three types of essay hooks you want to avoid at all costs because these hooks can only disappoint your readers. 

1. Quotations

Quotes are probably the most overused type of hook in any form of writing. What's even worse is rinsing and repeating the same old quotes from Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela in your essays. 

No matter how powerful a quote sounds, you shouldn’t slap it at the opening of your essay. It doesn’t give readers the excitement of reading something original and looks lazy.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on productivity, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work” – Stephen King
Did you know that consuming 100 gms of sugar can slash your productivity levels by over 50% in a day?  

2. Definitions

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a hook as "a thing designed to catch people's attention." 

If I opened my article with this dictionary definition of a hook, you’d have either dozed off or left this page long back to find something more interesting. 

Here's the thing: definitions put people to sleep. Readers don't want to see a formal, jargon-heavy definition of a topic as the very first line of an essay. Your opening statement should have some personality in it to show readers they're in for an exciting read. 

For example, if you’re writing about happy hormones, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Happy hormones are known to boost the happiness levels in your body by creating positive feelings.
Ever wondered why cat videos make you instantly happy, and ice creams give you an extra dose of energy? It's all about how happy hormones control our brain chemistry.

3. “Imagine this”

Opening your essay with "Imagine this" used to be an interesting way to put your readers in a scenario and set the context for your essay. But now, it's far too cliched and just another lazy attempt to write an essay hook. 

You can create a relatable scenario for users without asking them to imagine or picture it. Use the descriptive hook format with an interesting choice of words to convey the same ideas more creatively.

For example, if you’re writing an essay on preparing for higher studies abroad, here’s what a good and bad lede looks like:

Imagine this: You’ve been applying to multiple universities, writing SOPs, and preparing for exams without guidance. Everything can go south any minute. 
College application season is officially here. But with each passing day, you’re under more and more stress to apply to your chosen colleges and tick all the items off your list.

‍Our Go-To Trick for Writing Catchy Hooks

This opening statement can make or break your entire essay. While I’ve broken down my best tips to create the best essay hooks, here’s a surefire way to write compelling openings :

Go through your notes and either outline your essay or write the whole thing. This way, you’ll know the central thread (or throughline) that runs throughout your piece. 

Once your essay or outline is complete, go back through and identify a particularly compelling fact, claim, or example that relates to that central thread.

‍Write up that fact, claim, or example as the hook for your essay using any of the methods we’ve covered. Then revise or write your essay so the hook leads smoothly into the rest of the piece and you don’t repeat that information elsewhere.

Does your hook spark curiosity in you? 

Did that fact surprise you in the research stage? 

Chances are, your readers will have the same reaction.

And that’s exactly what you want.

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types of ways to start an essay

How to Write an Essay – Best Method Explained

B efore we dive into this article, we highly recommend you check out bestessaywriter.net if you are looking to get your essay written by highly qualified writers with over 30 years of experience. 

Are you passionate about a topic and eager to share it? Write an essay! Do you disagree with a common viewpoint and want to persuade others to see it your way? Write an essay! Are you required to submit a piece of writing to get into your dream college? Write an essay! 

Writing essays is a powerful way to express your thoughts, challenge prevailing opinions, and fulfill academic requirements. Whether you're driven by passion or necessity, crafting a well-thought-out essay can make a significant impact. 

The term "essay" broadly describes any written piece where the author presents their viewpoint on a topic. This can be academic, editorial, or even humorous in nature. Despite the vast number of approaches and topics available, successful essay writing generally adheres to a consistent framework. 

Good essays are structured effectively to guide the reader through the author's arguments and insights. Whether you're exploring complex theories or sharing personal experiences, a clear, logical structure is key to making your essay compelling and coherent. 

In the following sections, we'll dive into that framework and explain how you can apply it to your essays, regardless of their type. But first, let's begin with a basic overview of essay writing. 

How to Write an Essay 

If you are having trouble writing an essay, you can hire an essay writer from BestEssayWriter.net but if you want to learn how to write an essay on your own, we will lay down the exact steps in this guide.  

Steps to write an essay: 

  • Generate Ideas and Choose a Type of Essay : Start by brainstorming potential topics and deciding on the type of essay you want to write, whether it's persuasive, descriptive, expository, or another style. 
  • Outline Your Essay : Plan your essay by outlining each paragraph. This helps organize your thoughts and ensures a logical flow of information. 
  • Write a Rough Draft : Begin with a rough draft, focusing on getting your ideas down on paper. Don't worry about perfect word choice or grammar at this stage. 
  • Edit and Revise : After completing your rough draft, go back and refine it. Pay attention to details like word choice, sentence structure, and overall coherence. 
  • Proofread : Finally, review your essay for any typos, errors, or other issues that might detract from your message. 

We'll explore each of these steps in more detail below, but first, let's focus on a crucial element of any effective essay: choosing the right topic. 

Crafting Your Essay's Thesis Statement 

Before you start writing your essay, there are three critical aspects to consider: 

  • Thesis  
  • Type  
  • Audience  

Among these, the thesis is the most crucial. It represents the core argument or main point of your essay. For instance, Bertrand Russell's thesis in "In Praise of Idleness" argues that society overly prioritizes work, neglecting the value of leisure. 

Your thesis statement should encapsulate this central idea. It's what you want your readers to remember most when they finish reading. If you're struggling to define your thesis, ask yourself: "What's the one thing I want my readers to remember?" 

It's best to state your thesis early, ideally in the first few sentences, and to reiterate it throughout your essay, particularly in the conclusion. This repetition ensures that your central idea is clear and resonant. 

The rest of your essay should support this thesis. You can use various forms of evidence to bolster your argument, including empirical data, testimonials, logical reasoning, or persuasive language. The key is to consistently build upon your initial thesis without veering off into unrelated topics. 

The Essay-Writing Process 

Writing encompasses a range of formats, from essays and research papers to novels, poems, screenplays, and blog articles. No matter the format, following an efficient writing process is essential. Even if you begin with a stream-of-consciousness style for your rough draft, a structured system is crucial for revision and refinement. 

Here’s a five-step writing process recommended for essay writing:  

  • Brainstorming : Start by gathering your thoughts. Based on your prompt or thesis, generate as many ideas as you can. This is your chance to think freely and note down everything that comes to mind, knowing you can later discard what doesn’t fit. 
  • Preparing : In this stage, you filter and organize your ideas. Select those that best support your thesis and arrange them logically. This phase also involves outlining your essay’s structure and gathering resources for evidence. If your essay requires citations, now is the time to collect these, following the appropriate style guide (MLA, APA, or Chicago) depending on your academic or publication requirements. 
  • Drafting : Now, you write your first draft. Don’t aim for perfection. The goal is to get your ideas down on paper. Focusing too much on perfecting each word can detract from the overall flow of your essay. 
  • Revising : This involves multiple drafts. Here, refine your essay by enhancing word choice, clarity, and overall flow. Avoid common pitfalls like passive voice and run-on sentences. Tools like Grammarly can be particularly helpful in this stage, offering suggestions for sentence structure and clarity to ensure your writing is concise and readable. 
  • Proofreading : After revising, the final step is proofreading. This is your chance to catch any misspellings, grammatical errors, or formatting issues. Using a tool like Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant can be beneficial for catching these common mistakes, providing instant feedback to refine your essay further. 

This structured approach helps maintain focus throughout the writing process, ensuring that each part of your essay contributes effectively to the whole. 

Essay Structure: An Overview 

The structure of an essay typically adheres to a simple format of introduction, body, and conclusion. However, the content within these sections is what truly makes an essay effective. 

Introduction : The introduction sets the stage for your essay. It follows general writing guidelines but places extra emphasis on presenting the thesis statement prominently, ideally within the first few sentences. By the end of your introductory paragraph, the reader should clearly understand the topic of your essay. Following conventional best practices for writing an introduction will ensure a strong start. 

Body Paragraphs : The body forms the bulk of your essay. Here, each paragraph supports your thesis with evidence. How you organize these paragraphs is crucial. In cases where arguments build on each other, a logical progression ensures clarity and enhances the reader's understanding. It's important to remember that the reader may not be as familiar with the subject as you are, so the structure should aid their comprehension. 

When writing an argumentative essay, the organization of points can vary. You might start with your own argument, presenting evidence before introducing opposing views, or you might begin by addressing the opposition's views and then refute them. The arrangement depends on the strategy you choose: 

  • Aristotelian (Classical) : Focuses on establishing the validity of your position. 
  • Rogerian : Acknowledges the opposing perspectives before presenting a middle ground. 
  • Toulmin : Breaks down arguments into their fundamental parts, including counter-arguments and supporting evidence. 

For simpler essays, a straightforward approach can be effective: 

  • Your Point : Clearly state your argument. 
  • Counterpoint : Introduce opposing viewpoints. 
  • Evidence : Provide evidence that supports your point and/or refutes the counterpoint. 

This basic framework ensures that your essay is not only structured and coherent but also persuasive and comprehensive. 

Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Essay 

The conclusion of an essay serves to effectively summarize and reinforce your thesis, making it digestible and memorable for the reader. It's the final opportunity to solidify your arguments and leave a lasting impression. 

A good conclusion will: 

  • Restate the Thesis : Reiterate your main argument to remind the reader of its importance and relevance. 
  • Summarize Key Points : Briefly recap the major arguments or evidence presented in the body paragraphs to reinforce the thesis. 
  • Offer Closure : Provide a final statement that signals the essay is coming to an end, often linking back to the broader implications of your argument. 

While it's tempting to introduce new ideas or fresh perspectives in the conclusion, it's important to avoid presenting new evidence or arguments that weren't previously discussed. Instead, you can: 

  • Provide Context : Expand on the implications of your thesis in a broader context, suggesting areas for further exploration or the potential impact of your findings. 
  • Reflect on the Journey : Acknowledge any changes in perspective or insights gained through the process of writing the essay. 

The conclusion should leave the reader with a clear understanding of your central thesis and the confidence that the essay has fully explored and supported that thesis. By effectively wrapping up your essay, you ensure that your ideas resonate with the reader long after they finish reading. 

The Five-Paragraph Essay: A Simple Structure 

The five-paragraph essay is a straightforward and efficient structure ideal for short, time-constrained writing tasks. This format is especially useful during exams or when a quick response is required. Here’s how it breaks down: 

  • Introduction Paragraph : This is where you introduce the topic and present your thesis statement. The introduction sets the stage for the discussion and aims to grab the reader's interest. 
  • Three Body Paragraphs : Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea that supports your thesis, elaborated with examples, facts, or arguments. This is the core section where you develop your thesis and make your case to the reader. 
  • Conclusion Paragraph : The conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis in light of the evidence presented. It should bring a sense of closure and completeness to the essay, reinforcing your initial argument and perhaps suggesting broader implications or future considerations. 

While the five-paragraph essay structure may not accommodate more complex or nuanced topics, its simplicity and clarity make it highly effective for straightforward subjects and settings where clarity and brevity are essential. This structure ensures that your essay is organized and coherent, making it easier for the reader to follow and understand your points quickly. 

Understanding Your Essay's Audience 

Knowing who will read your essay is crucial—it influences everything from the tone to the complexity of your language. Your audience can range from a teacher or admissions counselor to your peers or a broader internet audience. Each group has different expectations and preferences that should guide how you write. 

Formality : The level of formality required often depends on your readers. Academic and professional settings typically demand a formal tone, precise word choice, and a structured approach. In contrast, a blog post or a piece for your peers might allow for a more relaxed style. 

Language and Style : Consider the familiarity of your audience with the subject matter. This understanding will determine how much background information you need to provide and how complex your vocabulary should be. For example, technical jargon might be appropriate for a specialist audience but confusing for general readers. 

Use of Language Devices : Devices like emojis can enhance a casual piece by adding personality and aiding emotional expression. However, they are generally inappropriate in formal essays where they can seem unprofessional and out of place. 

Tailoring your essay to your audience not only makes your writing more effective but also ensures that it is received and understood as intended. Whether you’re drafting a formal research paper or a casual blog post, considering your audience’s expectations will lead to clearer, more effective communication. 

Exploring the Six Common Types of Essays 

Essays can vary significantly in style and purpose, often dictated by the assignment or the writer's intent. Understanding the different types of essays can enhance your ability to choose the most effective approach for your writing. Here are six common types of essays that you might encounter: 

Argumentative Essay 

Argumentative essays are foundational in academic settings, primarily aiming to assert and defend a position. These essays require you to present a strong case for your viewpoint, making them a staple in many school assignments, especially in college. 

Admissions Essay 

Used in college applications, admissions essays ask you to explain why you are interested in a particular school. This type of essay is your opportunity to communicate your passion, goals, and suitability for a college program. 

Persuasive Essay 

Similar to argumentative essays, persuasive essays aim to convince the reader of a specific viewpoint. However, the key difference lies in the intent; persuasive essays not only present an argument but also seek to persuade the reader to adopt this perspective, often through emotional appeal and logical reasoning. 

Compare-and-Contrast Essay 

This format is ideal for discussing two opposing viewpoints or different aspects of a topic, giving equal attention to each. Compare-and-contrast essays are excellent for exploring the similarities and differences between two subjects, providing a balanced view without bias toward one side. 

Personal Essay 

Personal essays are narrative in nature, often relaying anecdotes or personal experiences. Writers like David Sedaris excel in this form, offering stories that resonate on a personal level. While these essays may have a thesis, it is often more interpretive, reflecting personal growth or insights. 

Expository Essay 

Expository essays are informative, explaining a topic in detail to enhance the reader's understanding. Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, they maintain an objective tone, presenting facts without personal bias. 

Each type of essay serves a different purpose and requires a specific approach. Whether you're arguing a point, sharing a personal story, or providing an objective explanation, understanding these distinctions can help you craft more effective, tailored content. 

Enhancing Your Essay Writing Skills 

Mastering the fundamentals .

To excel in essay writing, especially in academic settings, mastering the fundamentals is crucial. Understanding essay structure and the writing process is essential, but your ability to apply these concepts is what will truly make your essays stand out. Focus on developing your thesis logically and coherently, using an appropriate language style, and ensuring that your references and citations are reliable. For advanced tips that build on these basics, consider exploring more detailed guides on improving your essay skills. 

Getting Feedback 

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to seek feedback. Having someone else review your work can provide new insights and catch errors that you might have missed. This is because working on the same piece can lead to tunnel vision. If possible, exchange essays with a friend for mutual editing, utilize writing centers, or join online writing communities. If these options aren't available, taking a break and revisiting your work with fresh eyes can also be very beneficial. 

The Importance of Grammar and Form 

How you present your ideas can be as important as the ideas themselves. Even a strong, clear thesis can be undermined by poor grammar, confusing structure, or unclear writing. For essays that need to make a strong impact, consider tools like Grammarly Premium, which offers sentence restructuring for clarity, grammar corrections, and readability enhancements. These tools are also invaluable for non-native English speakers looking to refine their language skills. 

Focusing on these elements will not only improve the clarity and persuasiveness of your essays but also enhance your overall writing skills, making your arguments more compelling and your points clearer to your reader. 

How to Write an Essay – Best Method Explained

IMAGES

  1. How To Write an Essay

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  2. 4 Essay Types and How to Distinguish Them

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  3. How to start an essay introduction phrases Fort Walton Beach

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  4. 7 Simple Tips on How to Start an Essay (2024)

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  5. 8 Ways to Start an Essay (with examples)

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  6. Good Ways To Start An Essay

    types of ways to start an essay

VIDEO

  1. How to Start Essay Writing for UPSC Exam

  2. Crafting Research Paper Hooks with Statistics

  3. Essay Writing for UPSC CSE 2024

  4. essay writing 10 tips / you can write a clear, concise, and persuasive essay

  5. 5 Powerful Essay Hook Ideas to Capture Your Reader's Attention

  6. The Hook Factor: Crafting A+ Essay Starters for Research Paper (with examples)

COMMENTS

  1. 13 Engaging Ways to Begin an Essay

    Use the Historical Present Tense. An effective method of beginning an essay is to use historical present tense to relate an incident from the past as if it were happening now. "Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother's station wagon.

  2. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  3. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  4. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Essay writing process. The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay.. For example, if you've been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you'll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the ...

  5. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing ...

  6. Beginning the Academic Essay

    The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. In order to engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay has to accomplish certain business. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient ...

  7. Resources for Writers: Introduction Strategies

    Introduction Strategies. Excluding scientific and technical writing (which often has pre-established formats), most other topics lend themselves to a variety of introductory gambits. Suppose the assignment is to write a literary analysis of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita. Below are several different ways to start that essay.

  8. Introductions

    1. The placeholder introduction. When you don't have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don't really say much. They exist just to take up the "introduction space" in your paper.

  9. How To Start An Essay

    How To Start An Essay. To begin an essay effectively, use a captivating hook, provide context, present a clear thesis statement, outline the essay's structure, transition smoothly to the body, be concise, and revise for alignment with the content. A strong introduction engages readers and sets the tone for your essay. This guide will help you ...

  10. How To Start a College Essay: 9 Effective Techniques

    For many, getting started is the hardest part of anything. And that's understandable. First, because it turns whatever you're doing into a reality, which raises the stakes. Second, because where you start can easily dictate the quality of where you end up. College essays have their own special brand of DTDT.

  11. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    this type of assignment is generally asking you to make some claim about the sources in relation to each other. • Consider the broader goals of the assignment. What kind of thinking is your instructor asking you to do? Are you supposed to be deciding whether you agree with one theorist more than another? Are you

  12. How to Start an Essay

    There are four main types of essays: argumentative essay, persuasive essay, descriptive essay, and expository essay. Similar to the different types of essays, there are several different ways to start an essay. However, the most commonly followed way is the hamburger essay method. This method is also known as the introduction, body, and conclusion.

  13. How to Structure an Essay

    The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay. General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body. The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis.

  14. How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

    The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph. In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement. Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. Below, we'll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an ...

  15. How To Start an Essay That Engages Readers in 5 Steps

    Related: How To Write an Intro Paragraph in 5 Steps (With Examples) 2. Introduce your essay topic. The first step in beginning an essay is introducing the topic you plan to discuss. Use the introduction to establish the context of the topic and highlight the frame within which you aim to discuss it.

  16. How to Write Great Essay Hooks (Tips + Examples)

    Wordtune can do this heavy lifting for you in three easy steps. Open the Wordtune editor and add your essay title. Type in any content you've written, click on 'Add spice,' and select the 'Expand on' option. Write 'statistics,' and Wordtune will add relevant data points to your content. Get Wordtune for free >. 2.

  17. How to Write an Essay

    Generate Ideas and Choose a Type of Essay: Start by brainstorming potential topics and deciding on the type of essay you want to write, whether it's persuasive, descriptive, expository, or another ...

  18. How to Write an Argumentative Essay

    An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion. There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.