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How to write a strong introduction to an essay

How to write a strong introduction to an essay

How to write a strong introduction to an essay

Essay writing is a common task in academia. Students have to produce a host of papers within their academic life. Some are more confident about writing an essay. Others can find it daunting and time-consuming and prefer to delegate such tasks to writing services, saying, “I’d better pay someone to write my essay than spend hours trying to write it.”

Right, but regardless of the major, you can’t hide from such an assignment. And sooner or later, you will have to approach it yourself. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to compose a peerless essay and get a satisfactory grade. So let’s start with the introduction, as it is the first paragraph of every paper.  

Understand the Topic and the Question

Knowing the topic and the question will reduce your time working on the introduction. Before diving into the writing part, make sure you know the subject and understand the keywords the question contains. For instance, you may well be asked to define, analyze, explain, describe, compare and contrast, and argue a specific idea. If you are not sure about the meaning, don’t rush to kick off the introduction; take your time to find out what the keyword means.

Carry Out Research

When you are well aware of the topic and the keywords, start researching the area. Exploring the field is helpful, as it will enhance your expertise and accelerate your writing process. Depending on your topic, you may want to visit particular web pages. For instance, papers on agriculture would require looking for appropriate resources, such as online journals and other scholarly literature. 

Whatever source you will find, consider checking the publishing house that released it, the author that wrote it, and the year the article or book was published. Typically, credible sources are published within the last five years by reliable press, like Cambridge University Press, Chicago University Press, Sage Publications, etc. You may also find relevant sources on Jstor, Google Scholar, and ResearchGate.

Learn the Structure of an Introduction

The paper’s structure can differ from one discipline to another. Therefore, it is hard to predict what your essay, including an introduction, should look like. Also, it is crucial to know the word count, as the more extensive the paper’s word limit, the more significant the introduction should be. Overall, it shouldn’t exceed 10% of the general word count. 

Notwithstanding, it would be reasonable to take a closer look at a typical introduction with its essential elements. Knowing them will give you a clear picture of a compelling and coherent intro.


An opening sentence, also known as a hook, usually begins the paper. Its primary aim is to grab the reader’s attention and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. A hook can manifest in various forms. You can build it as an anecdote, misconception, fact, shocking statement, quote, etc. 

Many factors determine the most successful writing strategy. One of them is the audience. Since you aim to impress the readers, it is pivotal to know them and their preferences. You can’t simply tell a joke without knowing the recipient’s moral values. Although you may find the joke neutral and funny, it can still offend the readers. That is why consider analyzing the target audience to learn their age, education, and background. 

Background Information

Background information follows an opening. It usually has no more than a couple of average sentences. Background information is an excellent helper because what can be obvious to you isn’t necessarily clear to the reader. Since you spend a decent amount of time researching the subject, you already know way more than the audience. For that reason, background information comes into play. It sheds light on the topic and provides critical information to help the reader understand the essay’s importance. 

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is often considered the essay’s most salient component. And it is for a reason. A thesis statement (don’t mix it with a thesis, i.e., a B.A. and M.A. final work) comprises points that the entire work develops. A thesis statement concludes the introduction; it is compressed and accurate. Also, it is neither too broad nor excessively detailed. It provides the reader with essential points but leaves some room for development, which is the focal job for the body part. 

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Some Do’s and Don’ts

Essay writing has dozens of caveats, which you should be aware of. Here is the list of some tips and tricks. They will help you build a comprehensive, formal, and straightforward introduction:

  • Stay cautious and use hedgings: In academia, you must think twice before relying on any work. Even though it might seem credible, chances are the source is biased. To remain on the safe side, use hedgings. These are appear, seem, tend, can, may, etc. But don’t exaggerate. Otherwise, your paper will lose a stance.
  • Avoid personal pronouns: If you have ever used personal pronouns in essay writing (barring narrative papers), you must eliminate this habit. Including I, me, and myself will do you no good. Consider staying reasonable and rest upon authoritative thoughts when taking a standpoint. 
  • No “this essay will do this and that”: You don’t have to repeat yourself saying, “In this essay, I will take some actions to prove….” The reader already knows that you are the author and will develop points stated in the thesis statement. 
  • When unsure – double-check: We all can encounter the feeling of uncertainty when writing an essay. And that’s okay. If you have some second thoughts about any point, make sure to check its validity once again. 
  • No need to show off: Students often try hard to make their work distinguished. They try to come up with unique ideas, thinking this determines a high grade. When in principle, simple ideas score the highest point most often. Do not pursue rarity. Your concepts can be expected, but as long as you are confident in your stance and can develop your thoughts clearly, your paper will stand out.

How to write a strong introduction to an essay

Wrapping up, writing an introduction isn’t challenging. As you can see, knowing the structure and following basic principles is what matters the most. Start with analyzing the audience and learning more about the topic. Upon researching the area, proceed to build an opening to engage your readers. After that, include background information so that the audience gets a clear picture of your work.

Finally, write a thesis statement, enumerating critical arguments your essay will develop. Practice makes perfect, so make sure to drill your writing, and you will be able to compose a strong introduction, body, and conclusion shortly.

How to write a strong introduction to an essay