HOW TO WRITE AN INTRODUCTION FOR AN ESSAY

Abstract: The introduction is like the front porch of an essay, it must be clean, entertaining, and give the visitor a sneak peek at what you are going to show them.

There are many students at different levels that will argue that an introduction is the hardest thing to write. You have to set up the entire essay in a short paragraph and stick a solid thesis statement in there, without making it look too forced. That’s a lot of pressure, and it leaves many dreading the essay.  Relax, there are ways to make it much easier and break it down into sections so that you don’t have to be afraid.

WRITE WHAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT

If you are writing about something that you don’t really care about, it’ll show and your introduction will fall flat. Yes, sometimes you have to write about subjects that may seem dull, but there is always a way to make them more interesting, so find a way to get into the topic, even if it’s just something small, and keep that in mind as you write the introduction (and the rest of essay). That enthusiasm will shine through and make your writing so much stronger that your reader will want to skip ahead they’re so excited.

On that same note, use confident language so that you convey the understanding that you know what you’re doing and can’t wait to show everyone what you’ve learned. This also makes the writing stronger and it may help you feel better too, knowing that you are familiar with everything that there is to know about the subject.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Building on the last section, it’s important to make sure that you’ve done all of the prep work before you sit down to write the essay. That doesn’t mean that you can’t add more resources as you start to move through the body, but don’t sit down and try to work from scratch as you research. But, make sure you’ve read through the primary text several times, and have done research on all of the parts of the topic.

Have your thesis statement ready to insert into the introductory paragraph, so you know that you’ve got your essay nugget all ready to go when the time comes to end the introduction.

TRY A RUNNING START

This is a tactic that gets your mind into the right place to create a lasting introduction.  Some people find that simply starting to write about the topic in a general sense will help them focus and get warmed up to what they’re writing about. Some of the best lines will come from the enthusiasm of getting started quickly like a running start, All you have to do to create a shorter paragraph is cut out a few of the first sentences. This will give a strong and clear introduction.

GET CREATIVE

If you find that your introduction is boring, work at making it more entertaining by opening with a well-known fact, joke or quote that generally applies to your essay topic. This will hook the reader in and have them waiting to see how your essay will turn out.

If you are writing about the poet William Blake, for example, consider starting with a fun fact about his life or his writing. It can be anything that gets the reader thinking “Hmmm, that’s interesting”. This can also help you get a good start on the feeling or mood you want your essay to portray.

CREATE LINKS

It’s all well and good to have a series of sentences that are strong and entertaining, but they have to link together so that you are transitioning from the broad sentences to the thesis statement at the end. There is nothing worse than an introduction that doesn’t flow properly. You don’t want you’re reader guessing and jumping to make the connections.This will set a bad tone over the essay and will leave them confused about what your goal is.

Aim to go from broad to specific, and make sure that all of your sentences relate back to your topic, even if you feel like you’re repeating yourself.  If you keep the reader focused on what you’re writing about, the essay will follow suit.

CONCLUSION

Though essay writing is hard, it’s generally agreed on that introduction writing is the hardest. So, take a breath, give yourself a good amount of time, and see just what you can come out with.  If the first couple tries are bad, don’t worry, all pencils have erasers.  Just give it another go and soon you’ll find the right stride to creating a great introduction.