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Write an Essay Introduction

Tips on How to Write an Essay Introduction

The first part of an academic essay is to write an essay introduction paragraph. It tells how much you have understood the research questions and how well you will defend it. The introduction also shows your stand on the topic of discussion.

Purpose of an introduction paragraph

  • It creates interest about what you are about to discuss
  • It identifies the main topic of discussion
  • It introduces the topic
  • It gives the background information about the topic of discussion
  • The introduction acts as a preview to the rest of the paper
  • It is the first impression of the paper so it sets the mood for the paper

How to write an essay introduction

  • A good introduction answers the main question. The direction of your research is guided by the thesis statement. A thesis statement is the last sentence in the introduction paragraph. For that reason, the whole paragraph should respond to the question.

The whole paper will be about answering the research question. So, the introduction paragraph should represent your stand on the question.

  • Depending on the research question, you need to establish how broad you should make your opening statement. Remember as broad as make it to be, you have to narrow it down in your thesis statement. Not unless you want to start with a broad view then narrow it down, a broad introduction statement is not commendable.
  • It is a common occurring to find you stranded at the introduction stage. It is so unfortunate that this might take a lot of your time. At times, you may succeed in writing an introduction with a few minutes but then after completing the paper, you realize that your introduction and body are not cohesive. In such instances, you have to revise the body paragraph or the introduction.

To avoid such instances, why not write an essay introduction as the last thing? Of course you will have your thesis in mind; it is the guide for your paper. It is not a must for you to write an essay introduction paragraph as the first thing.

  • If you decide to write an essay introduction paragraph first, it is still okay. But if you find that it is not matching with the rest of the paper, make sure you change it. The two must flow for the paper to make sense.
  • Make the first statement very intriguing. You can use either of the following to start the first paragraph;
  1. A provocative statement but one that is related to the topic of study
  2. An interesting story
  • A vivid anecdote that the reader does not expect
  1. A good example
  2. Use proven statistics
  3. A puzzling scenario
  • An intelligent question
  • Remember that the first statement determines whether the reader will be drawn to the essay or not. Make it relevant, intelligent and thought providing.

What to avoid in an introduction

  • Having a one statement introduction paragraph. The thesis statement is not enough to formulate the introductory paragraph
  • It should not answer a question that is on your title. If it has to, you must include the question that you had asked in the title.
  • It should not start by discussing issues that you will dwell on in the body of the paper. For example, if you are talking about the step of writing an introduction paragraph, it shouldn’t start with the first step.

Why should you write a good introduction paragraph?

  1. It is a good way to attract people to read your paper. Some of the people do not know you so that will be the first thing they will identify with you. It is the first impression. If the introduction is off-the-wall, vague, boring, and error-filled or disorganized, you can be sure no one will be interested in reading your paper. But if it is well-organized, well-written and engaging; your readers will be impressed. They will also expect a great paper.
  2. Your introduction is a road map for your paper. It tells the reader about your topic, the importance of the topic and how you will tackle the paper. It also contains the thesis statement. You should know that as you write an essay introduction, it reveals to the reader about the kind of essay that you are about to write. Is it a causative, explanatory or what kind of essay do you want to write?
  3. It determines whether your readers will read or not read your paper. It also sets the pace for the paper and shapes your readers attitudes.

Which kind of introduction should you avoid?

  1. An introduction that restates the research question. It can get boring for the person reading your paper. Keep in mind that they gave you the question so they already know it. Your aim should be to expound it not to repeat it. When you repeat the question, you are also likely to get stuck at the introduction.
  2. An introduction that begins with a dictionary definition of the words in the question. It is a cliché way of beginning a paper. Remember that the meaning given in the dictionary does not consider the context of the word used in the question. Your definition might not therefore be as accurate considering your context of the word used. If you have to begin your paper this way, then formulate a definition that relates to the context in hand. With a god introduction, your reader can pick the meaning of the word used in case there are any that need to be defined.
  • A placeholder introduction. This is one that has a lot of sentences but they have no particular meaning. There is no thesis statement, introductory statement or even a supporting idea. It’s a flat paragraph that does not draw any attention to the reader.
  1. Introduction paragraphs that use cliché statement such as, ‘throughout the history of man’ end up being empty. They try to trace the origin of something from very long ago. In most cases, you will not be able to relate to the thesis statement. The paragraph will end up being in-cohesive.

Parts of an introduction

Remember in order to write an essay introduction you must include three main parts namely the attention grabber, the information sentences and the thesis statement. The paragraph starts with a very broad view then it narrows down as it approaches the end. The thesis statement is the last statement in an introduction paragraph.

The first statement gives the reader the urge to read the paper, informative or transitional sentences convince the reader to read the essay and a thesis statement gives a summary of what the article is about.

The first part acts as a hook for the reader. It draws their interest to the essay. After drawing their attention, you then explain to them why you are interested in the topic of discussion. This is the second part of the introduction paragraph. It is also known as the transitional part.

It acts as a bridge to the thesis statement. Take this time to link the attention grabber to the topic of study. Explain their relationship and relevance. In most cases, the attention grabber is broad. Now is the time to start narrowing down your thoughts. Provide any helpful information including background information on the topic of study.

The conclusion to the first paragraph comes in form of a thesis statement. It gives a narrowed view on the topic. It explains to the reader what you will focus on as you write the paper. It gives the approach you will take on the paper.

To come up with a good thesis statement, understand the topic. Interact with it through research. Get as much information on the topic in question as possible. Look at the length of the paper the custom your thesis to be able to meet the required length. A broad thesis is good if the paper is long. But if it is short, focus on a narrow thesis. If you find it difficult to come up with a thesis statement, brainstorm on the topic. Write down everything that comes to your mind the check to see if there is a connection between them.

How to establish if your thesis statement is good

  • It must answer the research question
  • It must be arguable otherwise it is a summary of thoughts
  • It must be specific. It is the narrowest part of the introduction paragraph. A general thesis will not make for a good thesis
  • The thesis statement must be cohesive with the body of the essay. If not, change the thesis to suit the body of the essay

How you write an essay introduction determines the perception of the reader. It is a good place to show off your prowess in witting. Your research paper is pegged on how you write an essay introduction. Its cohesiveness to the main body of the paper further pays a significant role. This part of the paper is as important as the conclusion.

 

Please click here to learn about writing a good concluding paragraph of an essay.

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