How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph

How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph

Every student should know how to write an essay introduction paragraph because this paragraph is the map that outlines the points and main arguments in an essay to the reader. The introduction is the first paragraph of an essay- This is very important paragraph of an essay because it provides the entry point to the readers. Therefore, it should attract the attention of readers, give them the focus of the essay and convince them to continue reading.

A good essay introduction paragraph should serve the following purposes:

  • Explain the essay context
  • Give the focus of the entire essay
  • Describe the organization and structure of your essay

The type of the essay that you are writing and its length will determine the level of emphasis that you will give these aims. For instance, if you are writing a short essay that does not exceed 1000 words, you do not have the room for providing a detailed context of the essay or its structure. However, a longer essay provides room for such details-

Guidelines on how to write an essay introduction paragraph that serves its purposes

  • Know the context

The essay that you write will be read by an intelligent though uninformed audience. Therefore, start by knowing the context of your essay. This entails knowing the topic’s background, scope and vital definitions. Your introduction should have a broad opening in order to establish the background and subject matter. Do not make it extremely broad but the opening should identify relevant topic as well as the sub-topics. In establishing the scope, you should answer who, when, what, how, where and why questions.

  • Know the focus of your essay

The focus of your essay is described by its thesis statement. The introduction paragraph should have a thesis statement close to its last sentences. However, there is no specific way of writing the introduction or where to place a thesis statement. Sometimes, a thesis statement can be followed by the breakdown of the organization and structure of the essay. Therefore, adapt an order that suits the needs of your essay.

  • Know the structure of your essay

Before writing the introduction paragraph, you should know how you will organize the other paragraphs. This is as important as outlining main points of your essay. Although your introduction should not be a detailed outline, it should signal major landmarks of the essay.

Taking time to plan how you will write your essay is very important because it enables you to write an introduction paragraph that serves these purposes- After the planning phase, you should move to actual writing of the introduction paragraph of your essay.

A step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction paragraph

Use an appropriate technique to attract the attention of your readers

Your introduction should have a hooker that captures the attention of your readers. You can capture the attention of your readers by using different techniques in the introduction paragraph.

They include:

  • Startling information

This can be pertinent facts that illustrate your point in the essay. The information should be verifiable and true. It should also be followed with sentences that elaborate it.

  • Anecdote

Anecdote refers to a story that is used in illustrating a point. It should be straight to the point, relevant and short.

  • Summary information

Summary information is usually few sentences that use general terms to explain the topic of the essay. Such information should lead your readers to thesis gently by being more specific gradually.

  • Dialogue

Two to three exchanges made by speakers can be used in the introduction paragraph to make a point. Although the dialogue should not identify speakers, readers should comprehend the point that is being made.

You can use any of these techniques to attract the attention of your readers while giving them an idea of the focus of your essay-

Provide general information and specifics of your essay

The introduction paragraph should give your readers the general information of your topic. This should lead to specific points that you will make in the essay. This is why you should have a thesis statement at the end of the introduction paragraph. A thesis statement should provide a refined aim or purpose of the essay.

Write a thesis statement

The introduction paragraph of your essay should start with a hooker followed by general information and conclude with a thesis statement- A thesis is one sentence or statement that summarizes the topic of the essay and your viewpoint. The body of the essay should support the stated thesis statement. Therefore, state a thesis statement that will give your essay a focus so that you can avoid adding unnecessary information in the body.

Make your thesis statement concise and narrow. To write a thesis for your essay, think about a major question that is raised by your topic. Create a sentence that serves as an answer to that question. For instance, if you are writing an essay on Modernist Movement, a major question can be, “How are the authors of the 21st century influenced by Modernist movement?” Using a one-sentence answer, develop a thesis statement. Note that your thesis should be narrow to allow you to answer this question in an essay of the specified length.

Edit the introduction paragraph

Before proceeding to the other sections of your essay, edit the thesis statement and the entire introduction paragraph. Since ideas will change, develop and grow as you write your essay, always return to the thesis and the introduction paragraph of your essay throughout the writing process. This way, you will ensure that the overall content or message of the essay matches your thesis statement and the introduction.

Also ensure that your essay is free of filler and fluff. Anything that seems like a huge idea or vague expression should not be included in the introduction.

Essay introduction paragraph samples

When you use essay introduction paragraph samples as your guide, knowing how to write an essay introduction paragraph becomes easier.

Here are introduction paragraph samples that you can use as your guide:

Example One

“Making personal goals and working to realize them keeps me on track while making my life more interesting. I have many goals that I wish to accomplish in life. I am already working towards most of them by attending school and thinking about the career that I would like to pursue. Among my major goals for the next years is to get a good job. To get this job, I intend to complete my studies, come up with a resume and start my job search.”

This introduction starts by introducing the topic in the first sentences and creating interest in the topic. In the third sentence, the introduction provides background information. The last two sentences identify the thesis or main idea of the essay while giving readers a preview of the entire essay. Notice how the introduction moves from general information to specific information. The sentences become more specific from the opening sentences to the closing sentences. Such an introduction shows that the author knows how to write an essay introduction paragraph because ideas flow logically as they become more specific as the introduction unfolds.

Example Two

“On the 1860s’ eve, Italy as a word was not a description of a nation but another geographical area. The peninsula had 8 separate states that were independent. Economically, the entire Europe was surging ahead while Italy lagged behind. This essay will show that at that time, Italy appeared like an unlikely country due to the obstacles that its unification was facing. Such obstacles included distrust and dislike among the states as well as the slowness of Italians’ great bulk to comprehend and accept the Italy idea. Common goals and planning were also lacking among the minorities who were ready to struggle for the unification of their country. The dislikes and disagreements between the independence movement and Il Risorgimento leaders’ exacerbated this situation.”

This is also a great introduction paragraph for an essay. It starts with background information in the first sentence. This is followed by the orientation of the topic in the two sentences that follow. The thesis statement of the essay follows while the other sentences provide the outline of the argument.

Checklist for an essay introduction paragraph

Any introduction that is written by a person who knows how to write an essay introduction paragraph must serve certain purposes.

Check your essay introduction paragraph to ensure that it does the following:

  • Introduce the topic
  • Create interest
  • Give appropriate background information
  • Identify the main idea or thesis
  • Preview the entire essay

Get help with your essay introduction paragraph

If you encounter difficulties while writing an essay introduction paragraph, talk to us for instant assistance. You can also visit the home page of our website for details of our writing services. Alternatively, continue reading for more guidelines on how to write an essay introduction paragraph and samples on this blog.

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