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Essay and research paper writing can be easy. We have handpicked the best writing manuals, guidelines, and tips to help you write better essays.
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A Brief Tutorial on How to Write an Introduction for an Essay
The introduction paragraph to an essay is one of the most important components. A basic introduction should give all the necessary contextual and background information on your chosen topic, in addition to provide a clear and direct thesis statement. Other common elements include answering questions “What,” “Why” and “How.” While some students may be a bit intimidated at first, this brief tutorial should help you write a really good introduction for an essay:
- Grab the reader’s attention from the opening sentence.
Start your essay off on the right foot with a great hook. The opening sentence should grab your reader’s attention and effectively compel him to keep reading your paper and argument. There are many proven techniques, such as starting with a question or a quoting a well-known expert or figure in the field. Write out a few different ideas and select the one with the greatest impact.
- Give your argument some background and context.
You should always write at least two or three sentences in which you give the reader some background and contextual information. Don’t provide in-depth information or a giant history. Simply answer a few questions that explains the “What,” “Why” and “How” of the assignment. You will be able to explore each of these questions more in-depth in the body paragraphs. For now, a few sentences should suffice to get the reader to think about your topic.
- Review the structure of your academic assignment.
A lot of people wait until after they have written a first or second draft to compose the introductory paragraph. This is highly effective because it allows you to review the structure of your body paragraphs and argument and find ways to preview this order and structure for your reader to open your assignment. Look for creative ways to link your background and contextual information with the major discussion points of your body paragraphs.
- Avoid the fluff and get right to a good thesis statement.
Keep your introduction short and simple. One of the most common mistakes students make is putting in too much information that is completely unnecessary and does more to confuse the reader than demonstrate academic writing skill. Avoid the fluff and cut out anything that doesn’t provide information the reader needs to know. After a brief background and context go straight to the thesis statement. A simple and direct sentence is just as effective, if not more so, than a complex sentence.