How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph for any Paper

How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph for any Paper

Every essay or written assignment you write must have an introductory paragraph. Thus, mastering the art of how to write an essay introduction paragraph is an important step in becoming a professional writer. To write a good introduction, consider this paragraph as an inverted pyramid. Here, you start making your point from a broader perspective as you narrow down to the specifics of the presentation.

Because of the role of the introductory paragraph in any written work, it is vital to understand the elements of a good intro. Make it interesting to grab the attention of the reader. A boring introduction will put off the audience. In the sections below, you will find all you need to know about writing essay introductions.

How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph to Grab Readers Attention

Not every introduction is effective. This is why some written works are either appealing or repelling from the opening paragraph. To gain a gain a grip on how to write an essay introduction paragraph, you must understand the three main objectives of an introduction as explained below.

The primary objectives of an introduction are:

  • Give the context of the essay. Though essay readers are always intelligent people, they are likely to be uninformed. Therefore, begin your essay with general information about the topic of discussion, the scope of your essay and basic definitions.

Do not make your intro too broad. Narrow down to specific areas you are covering in your essay. To visualize the scope of your essay, try to answer the question of ‘who’ ‘what’ ‘when’ ‘where’, and ‘how’. Bring out if the essay is limited to a particular period or audience. For definitions, pick on those that are relevant and add value to your introduction.

Example #1

This introduction is an excerpt from an essay titled Culture and Society. It is written by an experienced writer who understands the components of a good essay introduction.

A subculture is a subset of culture, whose members tend to differentiate themselves with a unique identity from that of the umbrella group. These individuals share a cultural identity. Experts warn against viewing a subculture as members of a culture who suffer from inferiority. Thus, subculture is sometimes referred to as co-culture. Culture and society are important elements in giving a holistic identity of people.


From this introduction, the writer contextualizes the essay by giving background information about culture. The author also lays the foundation by defining culture and stating his thesis. This approach holds the readers’ attention to read on.

How an Introduction paragraph Gives Focus to your Essay

Probably the most important element to note when writing an essay introduction is the thesis statement. A thesis refers to the claim or belief you intend to support throughout the paper.

Mostly, a thesis statement comes at the end of the paragraph as the last sentence. Here, you narrow down to the issue you want to address, after telling the reader about the general aspects of the research paper or your piece of work.

  • Functions of a thesis statement
  • Defines the scope of the essay
  • Gives the purpose of the essay
  • Offers directs/gives bearing
  • States your position

Take a look at the following example as you figure out how to write an essay introduction paragraph.

Example #2 Comparing Management and Leadership

Most people use the terms management and leadership interchangeably. They refer to the direction that an organization takes under the guidance of specific people. Because of the changing market environment in terms of competition and consumer behavior, institutions have undergone significant change. The management of a firm is always entrusted to individuals to develop strategic policies and ensure that it achieves set goals and objectives. Whether management and leadership are the same or not, they largely determine the success of an organization.

In the above example of an essay introduction, the writer prepares the readers by introducing the topic, with a brief background and a thesis statement as the last sentence. “Whether management and leadership are the same or not, they largely determine the success of an organization.”

How to write an essay introduction paragraph- importance of an outline and attention grabber

To know how to write an essay introduction paragraph, you must visualize the structure of the whole essay. From the onset of your essay, the reader should see the arrangement of ideas in the body even before getting there.

Outline the main points of your essay from the first paragraph to the conclusion. However, avoid giving excess details, as you will only need key points to grab the attention of your audience.

Why you should have an outline in your introduction paragraph

It shows the organization of your paragraphs:

  • Are your ideas organized chronologically?
  • Are the paragraphs appearing thematically?
  • Does the essay offer sequential answers?
  • Does the essay present elements, which contrast?

Here are examples of essays with nicely written introductions:

With this knowledge, your essay will become more readable because the audience is prepared on what to expect.

Making your essay introduction the ‘attention grabber’

The challenge of writing an introduction is interesting the reader. Are you able to convince the reader to keep reading your work? Besides, do it your own way, to make it interesting.

For example, starting your essay with a dictionary definition is acceptable, but the method is stale. Many authors have overused definitions when introducing their written work.

Consider the following steps on how to write an assay introduction paragraph:

  • Give surprising statistics. Start with startling figures, which say something about the problem you are about to address in the essay.
  • Find an interesting quote. Pick a quote that summarizes your arguments. Here, introduce the person behind your quote.
  • Use rhetoric questions. These questions open up the readers’ mind to start thinking about the topic of discussion from different perspectives.
  • Include anecdote. This is common when you are writing about an issue affecting you. In other words, you introduce your essay with a personal experience or a story about the problem you are addressing in the paper. With this, you will have your readers emotionally hinged to your essay.

Here is another example on how to write an essay introduction paragraph:

This essay on Race and Media has been written in an excellent way. It clearly shows the writer’s proficiency.

Native Americans still consider African Americans as non-citizens of the United States. This notion has been in existence for more than a century, owing to the differences in population. Natives see Black Americans as immigrants who settled in America from other parts of the world, especially Africa at the convenience of the wealthy people. Because of this, African Americans are constantly fighting for their rights as equal citizens. Consequently, several American institutions are neutral when handling matters of public interest. It is worth noting that while the media has played a major role in promoting an equal society in America, it is among the institutions that perpetrate bias.

This introduction gives a brief background of the issue of segregation in the American society. In the thesis, which comes last, the author highlights the media’s role in fueling bias in the USA.

More tips on how to write an assay introduction paragraph

Writing an intro is a process. Take time and think about what your readers expect from you. Here are some guidelines on how to write an essay introduction paragraph that will leave every reader glued until the conclusion.

  • Nail your first sentence. It is the face of your essay. Make it as engaging to the reader as possible. See this sentence as a hook that connects you with your audience. Be so clever at this point that the reader cannot stop reading the rest of the paper. Engage your audience with the interesting things you discovered during your research.
  • Have supporting sentences. The body of your introductory paragraph should explain the first sentence and hook up the reader to the thesis statement, which comes at the end.
  • End with a perfect beginning. Since ideas evolve as you write your paper, go back to your introduction once you are through with your first draft. Check your thesis statement to confirm if it still holds true. Double check your first sentence and add more vigor in it.
  • Length of the introduction. For short essays, especially academic assignments, stick to a single paragraph. Longer papers call for a substantive introduction, which may be of two to three paragraphs. However, the principle is the same. Make it catchy, engaging and appealing.

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