How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction

The argumentative essay requires you to investigate a given topic, generate, assess and gather evidence then establish your position regarding the topic in a clear and concise manner. To write a great argumentative essay, you must start off with a great introduction. Therefore, if you do not know how to write an argumentative essay introduction, this is the article for you.

In the argumentative essay, the introduction serves as an opening statement to a trial. This means that you are supposed to present the issue/concern at hand, provide background and put the main argument forward in a manner that is reasonable, convincing and knowledgeable.

Tips on how to write an argumentative essay introduction

  • Begin with a hook

The first sentence of your introduction is supposed to get the reader interested in your topic. The best strategies to pique your readers’ interest include starting with a:

  • Personal story
  • Surprising statistic
  • Interesting question
  • Quote

For instance, if your topic is why smoking should be banned from public places, start the introduction by including a statistic from a verifiable source. For example:

“Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year-more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to the World Health Organization”.

This strategy will grab the attention of the reader as you introduce your topic. Read the introduction section on Cigarette Smoking to borrow an idea or two on how to write an argumentative essay introduction.

  • Include background information

The argumentative essay introduction should give the reader background information to work with. Such information helps in setting up and explaining the issue at hand. However, note that this should just be an overview of information that is most important.

For instance, if you decide to write on the motivation behind creation of the Declaration of Independence, you do not want to begin recounting history from the American Revolution of 1492. You need to apply your own discernment and choose enough material that provides a suitable platform for your argument.

Providing background information to your readers is crucial as it makes it possible for you to argue and explain your point. For instance, if your argument is that the United States should never have a military draft, the introduction is supposed to include information regarding the U.S draft history and events that led to its abolishment.

  • Tone

Bear in mind the primary audience of your essay is your instructor. Therefore, maintain an academic and professional tone. While you do not want to fix in big words simply to impress your professor, you certainly want to prove that you are a mature and credible voice capable of making your argument.

Your reader needs to be aware that you took time to study your topic and that you address it in a manner that is fair and open minded. Anyone who knows how to write an argumentative essay introduction understands fully well the importance of using the appropriate tone.

  • Thesis statement

While you should not start presenting any specific evidence in the introduction (it belongs in body paragraphs) you should have a thesis statement. The secret is to ensure that it is not too broad. Often times, students are afraid they will “give too much away” in the thesis statement hence, they write general thesis statements.

In order to compose a well-developed and precise thesis, ensure you read it yourself and that it answers the following questions:

  • So what?
  • How?
  • Why?

For instance, the thesis statement, “Big vehicles are not good for the environment” is very broad. You have to state why big vehicles are bad as well as why it matters. Therefore, a thesis statement that is more effective would be, “Big vehicles harm the society and environment since they are dangerous to small vehicles on the road and costly, and they increase the dependency of America on foreign oil.”

The thesis statement is supposed to:

  • Be a clear, single sentence that sums the point you intend to make
  • Assert your position regarding the stance you have taken- one your reader can argue about.

Consequently, the thesis is not supposed to be a fact. For instance, if you are assigned a general topic of war by your professor, you should formulate a thesis statement as follows:

“The United Nations must be redesigned because it is currently incapable of preventing wars”. The remaining sections of the essay should provide the relevant evidence as well as explain the thesis statement.

Note that as you progress with your writing, the thesis statement might evolve as such, it is important to check it during the process of revision to make sure it relates to the arguments made.

  • Persuasion

Since the essay you are writing is an argumentative one, it is important to start by use of persuasive techniques in your introduction. Begin by proving you are credible. From the start, indicate your research as it shows you have knowledge regarding the topic.

You can have a strong start as well by appealing to the emotions of the readers by use of related anecdote, appropriate joke or a pointed quote. Part of knowing how to write an argumentative essay introduction lies in starting the essay with credibility thus setting an ideal stage for appropriate emotion which increases likelihood of readers been receptive to the arguments you make.

  • What you need to leave out

A good argumentative essay introduction is not about description of arguments or provision of analysis belonging in body paragraphs. Therefore, the introduction should set your point and introduce, rather than leave out evidence supporting it.

Also, though the introduction is the road map for your essay, it is important not to explicitly announce how and what your argument will be. Avoid sentences such as “I am going to prove that…” such statements never add pertinent information to your essay and serve as filler words.

Read the introduction section from the sample essay, Women’s Rights Movement to get a general idea of how to write an argumentative essay introduction.



What you need to remember about writing an argumentative introduction

While writing your introduction, you can either settle for the opinion or situation introduction. No much difference exists between these two though it is important to look at each independently.

Situation Introductions

In this case, you are supposed to write 2 sentences that describe two sides of the current situation while the third sentence should be the thesis. Examples are as listed below:

Example 1: Who is responsible for taking care of old people?

Sentence 1-Where I come from, majority of the old people live with their children happily

Sentence 2-However, it has become increasingly difficult for families to take care of them

Sentence 3-This essay describes some of the predicaments involved with raking care of old people and it discusses who should be responsible

Example 2: Does assistance to poor countries work?

Sentence 1-For the last 50 years, poor countries have received large sums of money from the rich donor countries

Sentence 2- Lives have been improved by some of the money while much of it disappears or fails to make a difference

Sentence 3-In this essay, I will discuss arguments for and against foreign aid.


Opinion Introductions

While writing an opinion introduction, in the first two sentences you state opposite opinions while in the third sentence you say what you will do.

Example1: Does mankind benefit from space exploration?

Sentence for-Majority of people are excited about space exploration

Sentence against-However, there are those who feel it is a great waste of money

Sentence 3-This essay will look at arguments for and those against space exploration

Example 2: Do athletes deserve high salaries?

Sentence 1-Eeryday, we read of new record contracts and salaries earned by sportsmen and women. There are people who do not agree with the huge payments.

Sentence 2-Others believe our sports heroes deserve every penny.

Sentence 3-This essay will look at some of the arguments for and against high salaries earned by athletes

There are other variations as well that you can use to write your argumentative essay introduction such as:

  • Present and past-One sentence regarding a situation in the past and another the situation today
  • Elsewhere and here-One sentence regarding the situation in one place while the other a problem in another location.
  • Other people and you-Once sentence about what you think and another about what others think.

Once you have mastered these guidelines, you should be able to know how to write an argumentative essay introduction without too much of a struggle. You can also follow this link for additional argumentative essay introductions samples.

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