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How to write a perfect essay introduction

Last updated on April 23rd, 2018 at 05:18 am

How to introduce your essay?

Hello! How’re you? I am the writer here and would be discussing the topic: How to write a perfect essay introduction. This is how you would be how you would introduce the subject when you are giving a speech or lecture. However, writing a perfect essay introduction is very different. There are certain well-structured formats that are easy to follow so that you can be sure you know how to write that perfect essay introduction.

A proper and well thought out introduction is a gateway to an essay. Often, the introductions and conclusions of an essay are the most difficult parts of an essay.  The introduction is what presents to the reader, a synopsis of what he or she is going to encounter in the whole essay.

It influences the reader’s decision to read on or skip the essay. Hence, it is very important that essay introductions be effective at grasping the attention of the reader. This initial hooking and tagging the reader’s attention would encourage the reader to read on and complete the essay.

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An effective introduction needs to have an attention-grabbing fact

A good introduction MUST stand true to the following and must possess the following in the order: a good hook to bait the audience’s attention; background information and central idea around which the essay revolves and has to provide an outline of what you are going to say in the rest of the essay. It must be purposeful and informative and cite the relevant information in an organized fashion.

Without a good attention-grabbing device, your essay will not be able to capture the interest of the readers enough to give it a good look. This is called an essay hook. The hook is like a lure so positioned and attractive enough to grasp the complete attention of the reader. It would pique the interest of the reader to go further into the essay or article. It is like the opening scene in a movie or a book. An attentiongrabbing strategy can be of various kinds: you can choose one, depending on the purpose and intention of your essay. Some strategies include: starting the essay with a brief question, or the elaboration of a fact or statistics, which is supposed to shock or jolt the reader; a personal story or experience; a memorable and relevant quote from a famous person or a piece of writing, the definition of a key term; using a recent event to act as bait like a newspaper headline or flash news; and so on. It can even present an opposite view to a commonly held belief.An important point to be remembered when selecting an essay hook is that it should be pertinent to the topic and can be elaborated to present your point of view on the topic.

An effective introduction needs to provide sufficient context

Once you have introduced a relevant and meaningful attractive fact or sentence to provoke the reader into paying attention, you can delve into the second part of the introduction. This is the background. A good introduction needs to provide sufficient background on the topic and connect it to your starting statement. The background provides the context of the essay and is necessary for the audience to understand the reason why the essay is written. It would lead the reader from the known to the unknown. The background, thus, serves as a kind of connecting link between the topic and the body. The writer needs to use judgment to determine how much of background information should be provided; an overdose of information can prove counterproductive.

The central idea or the thesis is key to an effective introduction

What is central to an effective introduction is the core idea or the thesis. This is what links the whole content together. The idea has to be delineated clearly and it has to be emphasized throughout; else the essay will fail and will appear directionless. The writer has to also convince the audience about the importance of the thesis and why it is of relevance and use to them. The thesis statement should be around one to two sentences in length. There are different ways of writing the thesis statement. It can be direct and explicit in its details and leads the reader directly to the main points of the essay as well as it provides a definite shape, structure, and outline to the essay. The indirect thesis statement does not directly mention the points but rather provides sufficient indicators to the reader, as to what would be the subject of the essay.

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While there are many things which a writer can do to improve and enhance the introduction, some caution is required. While it is okay to add a little background, do not overdo it. Save the rest of the background for the succeeding paragraphs. Also, do not let the introduction run on and on; it is important for the introduction to be short and snappy; systematic and effective. It can vary from a few lines to not more than half or quarter of a page. The rest of the information can be carried over into the remaining part of the body. Ensure that your introductions be as natural as possible—using your own words to convey your point.

The last part of the introduction should reiterate the thesis statement and say what you are expecting to write about it. This should be followed by a brief outline of how the rest of the essay is going to be organized.

Many tutors advise that the introduction should actually be written after the rest of the essay is done. This is a strategic suggestion. This is because the introduction, being a short summary of the rest of the essay, it would be better organized and comprehensive of the content when the essay is completed. Sometimes the essay does not keep to the original plan and tends to deviate according to the information uncovered later. So, if the introduction is written first, it will not include these factors or ideas.

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