What is the most haunting nightmare for a writer? Deadlines, writer’s block, competition or is it that after tiring research, long hours of effortful writing and endless editing, the work gets swiped up! Definitely the last one tops the list, right? To pique the interest of the reader and get the minds and eyes hooked to your paper you need a well written introduction for an essay.

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The introduction attracts the reader, exemplifies the motive of the essay and provides a clarity on what to expect out of the paper. It simplifies your ideas and solves the mind webs of the audience. All of this makes the introductory paragraph a crucial part of the essay. Grammarly states “the introduction paragraph is arguably the most important paragraph in the work.” This article will guide you towards composing a good essay introduction and creating an impact with it. Read on for knowing all about how to start an essay the introduction structure, steps, necessary elements and also discover a few tips and dos and don’ts for drafting a perfect introductory paragraph.

Elements of a good introduction:

1. A Hook

Let’s begin by seeing how to start an introduction in an essay. The best and most followed technique is to start with a hook. As the name suggests, a hook is a statement that pulls your reader into the topic. It’s a catchy line at the beginning of the essay. It’s used to attract the reader and grab the reader’s attention.

Here are a few ideas for coming up with an effective hook:

  • A relatable question

Are you the one who gets anxious whenever you hear of assignments?

  • An amusing fact or stats

Nearly 7 in 10 millennials experience FOMO, the most of any age group.

  • A strong statement or declaration

The recently elected government of the U.K. has abolished all the transgender rights.

  • An anecdote

While taking a routine evening walk at a neighbouring park yesterday, I was shocked to see a few young boys, about 15-16 years smoking e-cigarettes. The visual forced me to ponder into the fast aggravating fascination of substance abuse among adolescents.

  • A quote

E.g. “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” -Ernest Hemmingway 

2. Some background information

After bringing your reader in the article, the next step is to acquaint him/her with the basic information and existing research on your topic. The purpose of providing a background is to get the audience in the flow and contextualise your work.  Here, you can give definitions, historical, social or geographical context and summary of prevalent research and theories. Take care to keep it short and relevant.

For instance, the following could serve as background information for an essay on e-waste management:

Disposal of e-waste is an emerging global environmental and public health issue, as this waste has become the most rapidly growing segment of the formal municipal waste stream in the world. E-waste or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) are loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken, electrical or electronic devices. In India most of the waste electronic items are stored at households as people do not know how to discard them. Improper dismantling and processing of e-waste render it perilous to human health and our ecosystem. Therefore, the need of proper e-waste management has been realised.

3. The main idea or the thesis of the paper

The thesis statement simply answers the question “what?” It denotes the central idea of your paper. It should be easy to understand yet strong and engaging. The purpose of writing a thesis statement is to provide your audience with a clear understanding of the issue you will address in your paper. Thesis statement will be used as a lighthouse by your audience for your entire work, so be careful while drafting it. In rare scenarios, especially in long research papers, thesis statements can extend to two to three sentences. However, the thumb rule is to keep it concise and simple.

For example, the thesis for the above stated article will be as follows:

It is necessary to review the public health risks and strategies to combat this growing menace.

The above statement gives a clear overview about the author’s motive behind writing the essay. He/she plans to explore the health hazards caused due to e-waste and suggest the measures that can be taken for its proper disposal.

Your introduction can additionally include:

4. The approach used

This is applicable to scholarly research articles. Different researchers use different options to construct their theory and arguments; for example -surveys, building on previous theories, analytics, etc. The approach you have opted for can be presented in the introduction to prepare your audience for the article.

5. The structure followed

Finally, you can describe the structure you have followed or are planning to adopt in your paper. It outlines the structure of your essay or the step-by-step approach of the article, which helps prepare your audience for reading the rest of the content.

We have got you covered with all the essentials of writing a perfect introductory paragraph. Knowing how to make introductions in an essay is beneficial as it is the first thing your audience will see in your work. A well constructed introduction of an essay will generate a better impression in the readers’ minds from the start and they will proceed further with a positive mindset. So, master the art of writing great introductions and witness your follower count increasing and your work being acknowledged.

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