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How to write an intro paragraph for an essay: 5 strategies you should definitely try


One of the biggest mistakes in essay writing is neglecting the introductory paragraph. This paragraph is the first step that students take to getting the reader’s attention. Without the intro paragraph, readers will not know what the paper will be about or what the thesis will be. While it seems like the introduction is just decoration to the body of the essay, the introduction provides so much more. Readers need to know what the writer is thinking and how the writer will get there. The formula for introduction writing is clear and easy to follow, but the strategies of getting there vary. Here are a few you should try:

  • Begin with a related quote from a famous person: One of the most enjoyable type of introduction begins with a quotation from a famous person. The first sentence is the quote, the bridge discusses how the quote relates to the thesis. This type of introduction is rather easy for the write because the format of quote, explanation, and thesis make sense.
  • Tell a little story: The anecdote method of introduction writing involves a simple story at the beginning of the paragraph. The anecdote should connect to the thesis and the bridge will explain the connection. Unlike other hooks, the anecdote will take several sentences. The story should get the attention of the reader and not be too complicated to understand.
  • Use a series of three questions: Three really is the magic number and beginning an essay with three related questions is a fun way to start an essay. The questions should be rhetorical and they should be open-ended rather than yes-or-no questions. Once you ask the questions, you move into a transitional sentence and then the bridge where you connect the questions to the thesis.
  • Write a startling statement: There is nothing wrong with shocking the reader into wanting to read your essay. A startling statement often includes a statistic or other biased words that are meant to shock. Follow the statement with an explanatory sentence, then write the bridge and the thesis.
  • Craft a mystery: The introduction is meant to get the reader’s attention, but you can leave that attention in mystery. The first few sentences can craft an image that will grab the reader, but you never reveal what the sentences are really trying to show. Then, the transition sentence connects the mystery to the thesis, which reveals the point of the essay.

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