Your introduction basically makes or breaks your whole essay. It will determine whether the reader will continue reading to listen to what you have to offer. A catchy introduction is all what you need to keep your readers hooked. It should be clear and simple enough for the reader to understand what you are saying but it should also spark some curiosity as to what else they can find out from you.
There are many ways you can easily come up with a catchy and interesting introduction without having to think about it too much and this is what will be discussed here in length.
Why Writing a Great Introduction Matters
You have already figured out that you need to have a great introduction, but it may not be clear as to why you need this.
Think of it as a first impression kind of thing. If you are meeting someone for the first time, you want them to see the best out of you right from the moment they first glance at you to the very first words you utter. All these need to be the best you can give and that is what your essay introduction should do.
Whenever you find an article that seems interesting, you will decide whether or not you will continue reading it through the very first lines you read. If it does not seem interesting enough or it seems to give away a large portion of the information in the very first lines, chances are you will not finish reading it.
It takes time to understand and master how to create a great introduction; however, you will need to practice a lot using different essays since it is the only way you will learn.
The 3-Step Strategy: How to Write an Introduction for Your Essay
- Make Your First Sentence Catchy
Human beings crave mystery. They enjoy reading something that will create an image in their minds and leave a pleasing memory. That is exactly what your very first line should accomplish. It can only be three or four words, but should create an even bigger image in the minds of your readers.
Of course the kind of introduction that you opt for should be in line with the kind of essay that you are writing. This means that there are some kinds of introductions that will not work in some essays and you need to remember this.
Your tone and language from the very beginning should explain the kind of essay that you are writing. No matter the kind of style you opt for, you need to ensure that you remember your topic and execute it with that in mind.
If you are writing on a serious topic such as an argumentative essay, you need to get straight to the point in a concise manner. Do not write general statements that do not clearly point to what you will be discussing. The best way to do this is by using some statistics which will validate the statement that you will make. Remember the voice that you should use in such formal essays, it should be second or third person.
Informal essays such as an evaluation need you to approach the topic from a direct angle which is why you can use first person when writing. There is more freedom here since you can choose a short tale, a saying or even a question that you will answer in your discussion later on.
Important points to note when writing an informal essay introduction include:
- Making a conclusive statement. A lot of students confuse creating mystery and leaving the reader hanging. Some introductions, instead of making the reader want to know more due to curiosity, leave the reader with so many unanswered questions. To avoid this, make statements that are conclusive. If you want to create curiosity, then the reader should be asking “then what?” and not “so what?”
- Do not use direct definitions. Do not directly define a word using the dictionary definitions of the same. It makes your work boring and very difficult to read. If you choose to start with a definition, simplify it or incorporate it in a relatable example, this makes it easier for the reader to understand.
- Your introduction should be concise and concrete. General, sweeping statements make a rather boring introduction and chances are that your reader will stop reading at the end of that sentence. It is better to choose a particular aspect of your discussion and start with that. Give valuable information that the reader will want to find out more about. Use credible statistics or citations that will add value to your work.
- Introduce What You Will Be Writing About
Here you need to reveal what your paper is all about. It should give valuable information to the reader about what you need them to know about your topic and why it is important for them to do so. Narrow down your point of focus to something of interest that your readers need to know and expound on it.
For example if you are writing about a certain book, it is better to focus on key characters in the book and their impact to the events of the book rather than giving general information about it. This allows the reader to know more about the book in an interesting and relatable way such that even if they have not read it, they can relate with what is being discussed.
If you choose to focus on a number of lead characters, then you need to get more information about them so that you give concrete information about how they made the whole book better through their roles. Do not go overboard when examining the characters and end up mentioning every single character in your story. This will confuse your evaluation essay and make it obsolete so only pick the important characters to help you develop your essay.
Examine them in a simplified way but make sure that you are actually adding value to the reader. If unsure of what to write about, you should compose a draft, read it through then modify it depending on what you want to achieve.
- Write A Great Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a window to what you will be talking about in your essay. It offers a glimpse into your topic and outlines the parts that you will be covering in the essay.
A thesis also brings together your whole introduction and basically gives it meaning. This means that without it, you will just be writing a bunch of words that no one will understand or read since nobody want to spend time reading something that will not add value to them.
A no point should your thesis statement deviate from your topic. It is better that it be short but easy to read and focused to the main point.
Points to note when writing a thesis statement:
- Do not state the obvious. A thesis statement should inform the reader about what you intend to discuss in that paper. This means that it should impart knowledge to the reader so making vague and obvious statements about the paper will not work in your favor. Make it objective and short. Anything else can be discussed in the body.
- Showing rather than saying. A lot of students opt to say what they mean rather than showing it. Saying is usually done through unnecessary definitions and explanations that may give your work volume, but it will not be beneficial to your readers in any way. For example when you make a statement that says that something is best, the reader will wonder why you chose this. Illustrating how your option is best will communicate what you want and leave the reader satisfied with your introduction.
Having done this, you can then put together your introduction in a crisp and clear manner that will answer all the initial questions that your reader may have when they are reading your work. Illustrate and say what you mean so that your introduction can basically have enough substance to explain to the reader why they should continue reading your essay or any other written work.
Why You Should Consider Ending With The Introduction
You may say that the definition is in the name, which basically means that you should always start with the introduction. There are certain instances that this is required and others when it is not.
Writing your introduction after you have written your whole essay may be the best way to ensure that it is objective and clear. This is more so helpful when you are dealing with a topic that you are not well conversant with since you may not really know how best to handle it.
It will give you a creative idea of a line you can use to start your essay since you will have covered the topic conclusively. However, for you to pull this off, you will need to start your essay long before it is due. This will give you ample time to think about what you will write in the body before you can come up with a catchy introduction for your essay. However, if you find this difficult to do, you can always go the traditional way of starting with your introduction then later on write the body and conclude.
Now you know what you should include in your introduction; however, you also need to know what not to include in your introduction for it to stay sharp and readable:
- Detailed thesis statement. As stated above, this is the introduction of your topic and what it is about. However, you should not completely explain what you will be discussing since this is the best way to pre-empty your essay. You will end up mentioning everything in the beginning such that you won’t have anything to discuss in the body or end up having to repeat what you have already said.
- Too many examples. So you have learned that you need to illustrate what you are saying to keep the interest of the reader. However, do not overdo the examples and the illustrations since this will make your introduction confused and bulky. Keep it short and simple such that whoever is reading it may understand what you are talking about from the very beginning.
- Don’t leave the reader hanging. Curiosity is a great thing; however you should not develop questions in the mind of the reader that you will not be able to address later on in your body. This will leave the reader feeling confused and you will lose their interest instantly. Technical details. Don’t mention numbers or any technical data – no matter what your essays is about. Remember that stories are the most powerful way to penetrate the human mind, so aim for something that sparks interest in your reader’s mind. Go for something unique, give them a hint and expand from there.
Giving your essay a great introduction is the best thing you could do for your readers and also yourself especially if you are writing a paper for school. Find out the best ways to bring out the best things about your essay in the start since this is what is going to grab the attention of the reader.
If you are having problems creating a great introduction for your essay, you can ask for help from our professional essay writers who will point you towards the right direction. You can also read more articles and books to find out different ways of how to write an introduction which you will later on use in your essays.