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How do I start an essay: 10 techniques to make a strong introduction

A strong introduction is vital to an essay’s success, but many students don’t know how to write one. That’s mainly the fault of early English instructors in a student’s career, who teach a very bland, repetitive, formulaic style of introduction. These ten tips will really help, though.

  1. Write the introduction last
  2. The first thing that anyone looking to improve their introduction to an essay should do is to write the body of the paper first. Writing an introduction is best done after the fact—when the information and tone one intends to introduce has already been determined.

  3. Outline the introduction before writing it
  4. While the introduction may seem to be a simple matter in short essays, it can become far more complex in longer ones. And a complex introduction means that the writer should take the time to create an outline to address that complexity.

  5. Include quotes in the introduction
  6. Far too many students think that it’s unnecessary to use source material in the introduction. However, using source material in the introduction, especially in the form of direct quotes, can really pump it up. Choose a direct quote that directly supports the thesis for max impact.

  7. Mix it up
  8. You know the drill—introduction sentence (topic), thesis, supporting points—but sometimes, presenting these elements a bit out of order can be even better than doing so the traditional way.

  9. Polish that thesis until it sparkles
  10. You think you’re thesis is finished. It’s not. Until you’ve gone over it with a fine toothed comb, there’s probably room for improvement—and that improved thesis will directly affect how well your finished introduction comes off.

  11. Compose your supporting points carefully
  12. Your introduction isn’t a throwaway paragraph. Take the time to make sure your supporting points are clear and established.

  13. Edit, proofread, and edit again
  14. Editing isn’t just for grade school kids. No matter how great you think your first draft is, you need to edit, proofread, and edit again—preferably with the help of a third party.

  15. Treat your introduction like a standalone article
  16. If you’re working on a longer paper and your introduction is multiple paragraphs, treat it as a standalone article in order to channel the focus you need.

  17. Be creative in supporting main points
  18. When you support your main points in the introduction you don’t have to just mimic the support you mention in the main paper. Get creative!

  19. Have an attitude
  20. Let your voice out! Tell your story with some attitude.

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