Proper introduction for essays

Contents:
  1. How Do I Write an Intro, Conclusion, & Body Paragraph?
  2. Importance of a Good Introduction
  3. Introductions & Conclusions
  4. How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay

Learn why people trust wikiHow. There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Narrative Essay Introduction. Expository Essay Introduction. Persuasive Essay Introduction. Identify your audience. The first sentence or two of your introduction should pull the reader in. You want anyone reading your essay to be fascinated, intrigued, or even outraged. You can't do this if you don't know who your likely readers are. If you write directly to your instructor, you'll end up glossing over some information that is necessary to show that you properly understand the subject of your essay.

It can be helpful to reverse-engineer your audience based on the subject matter of your essay. For example, if you're writing an essay about a women's health issue for a women's studies class, you might identify your audience as young women within the age range most affected by the issue. Use the element of surprise. A startling or shocking statistic can grab your audience's attention by immediately teaching them something they didn't know.


  1. Introductions & Conclusions | Ashford Writing Center.
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Having learned something new in the first sentence, people will be interested to see where you go next. If you're not sure, test it on a few friends.

If they react by expressing shock or surprise, you know you've got something good. Use a fact or statistic that sets up your essay, not something you'll be using as evidence to prove your thesis statement. Facts or statistics that demonstrate why your topic is important or should be important to your audience typically make good hooks. Tug at your reader's heart-strings. Particularly with personal or political essays, use your hook to get your reader emotionally involved in the subject matter of your story.

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How Do I Write an Intro, Conclusion, & Body Paragraph?

You can do this by describing a related hardship or tragedy. Offer a relevant example or anecdote. In your reading and research for your essay, you may have come across an entertaining or interesting anecdote that, while related, didn't really fit into the body of your essay. Such an anecdote can work great as a hook.

Particularly with less formal papers or personal essays, humorous anecdotes can be particularly effective hooks. Ask a thought-provoking question. If you're writing a persuasive essay, consider using a relevant question to draw your reader in and get them actively thinking about the subject of your essay. That's exactly what the leaders of the tiny island nation of Guam tried to answer.

Make sure to come up with your own intriguing question.

Importance of a Good Introduction

In most cases, they'll actually hurt by making you look like an unoriginal or lazy writer. For example, "everyone wants someone to love" would alienate someone who identified as aromantic or asexual. Relate your hook to a larger topic. The next part of your introduction explains to your reader how that hook connects to the rest of your essay. Start with a broader, more general scope to explain your hook's relevance. For example, if you related a story about one individual, but your essay isn't about them, you can relate the hook back to the larger topic with a sentence like "Tommy wasn't alone, however.

There were more than , dockworkers affected by that union strike. Provide necessary background information. While you're still keeping things relatively general, let your readers know anything that will be necessary for them to understand your main argument and the points you're making in your essay. If you are writing an argumentative paper, make sure to explain both sides of the argument in a neutral or objective manner.

Introductions & Conclusions

Define key terms for the purposes of your essay. Your topic may include broad concepts or terms of art that you will need to define for your reader. Your introduction isn't the place to reiterate basic dictionary definitions. However, if there is a key term that may be interpreted differently depending on the context, let your readers know how you're using that term. Definitions also come in handy in legal or political essays, where a term may have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used.

Move from the general to the specific. It can be helpful to think of your introduction as an upside-down pyramid. With your hook sitting on top, your introduction welcomes your readers to the broader world in which your thesis resides. Draw your reader in gradually. For example, if you're writing an essay about drunk driving fatalities, you might start with an anecdote about a particular victim.

How to write an introduction

Then you could provide national statistics, then narrow it down further to statistics for a particular gender or age group. Make your point. After you've set up the context within which you're making your argument, tell your readers the point of your essay. Use your thesis statement to directly communicate the unique point you will attempt to make through your essay. Avoid including fluff such as "In this essay, I will attempt to show Your outline should be specific, unique, and provable. Through your essay, you'll make points that will show that your thesis statement is true — or at least persuade your readers that it's most likely true.

Describe how you're going to prove your point. Round out your introduction by providing your readers with a basic roadmap of what you will say in your essay to support your thesis statement. In most cases, this doesn't need to be more than a sentence. For example, if you're writing an essay about the unification of Italy, you might list 3 obstacles to unification. In the body of your essay, you would discuss details about how each of those obstacles was addressed or overcome. Instead of just listing all of your supporting points, sum them up by stating "how" or "why" your thesis is true.

For example, instead of saying, "Phones should be banned from classrooms because they distract students, promote cheating, and make too much noise," you might say "Phones should be banned from classrooms because they act as an obstacle to learning. Transition smoothly into the body of your essay.

In many cases, you'll find that you can move straight from your introduction to the first paragraph of the body. Some introductions, however, may require a short transitional sentence at the end to flow naturally into the rest of your essay. If you find yourself pausing or stumbling between the paragraphs, work in a transition to make the move smoother.

You can also have friends or family members read your easy. If they feel it's choppy or jumps from the introduction into the essay, see what you can do to smooth it out. Read essays by other writers in your discipline. What constitutes a good introduction will vary widely depending on your subject matter. A suitable introduction in one academic discipline may not work as well in another. Take note of conventions that are commonly used by writers in that discipline.

But be forewarned: it shouldn't take up much more than a third often much less of your finished essay. If it does, the essay will lack balance and may read as mere summary or description.

How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay

The corresponding question is "how": How does the thesis stand up to the challenge of a counterargument? How does the introduction of new material—a new way of looking at the evidence, another set of sources—affect the claims you're making? Typically, an essay will include at least one "how" section.

Call it "complication" since you're responding to a reader's complicating questions.