How to Start Off an Essay: Introduction Writing Guide

So much depends on your essay introduction. A good introduction to an essay grabs a reader’s attention while guiding them toward your key arguments and the relevance of your topic and methodology. 

Unfortunately, the introduction often presents a major challenge for students, with many struggling with various ideas on how to start an essay. Read on for a guide on the ideas to cover in your essay introduction and some samples of how to start an essay.

What Should be in the Introduction of an Essay?

The introduction of your essay is aimed at grabbing your reader’s attention and setting a base for the arguments within your paper. Some of the key items to include in your essay introduction include:

  • A hook – the hook is an attention-grabbing statement that highlights the seriousness and relevance of the essay topic. This statement should be relevant to your topic and allow you to smoothly segue into your thesis statement. 
  • Thesis statement – the thesis statement is a sentence highlighting the purpose of your essay and the key topic. this sentence often comes after your hook, helping you to transition to various claims within the body. 
  • Research objectives – when writing a research paper, it is best that you outline the goals for your research paper. This allows readers to gauge the direction taken in investigating your topic, therefore, helping them gauge how well you have exhausted your topic. 

Good ways to start an essay

There are many approaches that you could take when starting an essay. However, various openings are best for different types of essays. Some of the methods to start your essay include:

  1. Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions are common among various ways to start an essay. The questions used are often open-ended and build on the research questions for your essay.

E.g., Are the traditional teaching-learning methods relevant in the modern era? Does teaching a classroom of diverse learners in one common approach ensure optimal learning for all students within the class? What changes should we consider to improve teaching-learning? These popular questions are a clear show of the uncertainty in the productivity of our current education model. In this essay, we will analyse various educational models across some countries and highlight the reasons for peaking success in some and utter failure in others. 

  1. Facts and statistics

Unlike rhetorical questions, facts and statistics highlight the extent of an issue, causing the reader to reconsider their stand on a topic. however, facts should be properly referenced and based on a credible source. 

E.g., Annually, an excess of 60,000 students graduates in programs whose markets are either saturated or non-existent in their countries of residence (Klotz, 2016). This results in a waste of a country’s labour and heaps on the unemployment rate, resulting in larger burdens for the government. What steps should be taken to ensure the relevance of a country’s education to its labour needs? 

This essay will analyse the relationship between a country’s curriculum development and its economic development and recommend changes that can be made to bring about coherence in the education system and labour needs. 

  1. Anecdotes

Often, this essay-opening approach is employed for scholarship essays and personal narratives. The anecdote builds curiosity and also gives your essay a personal touch. 

E.g., Growing up, my father intended to become a doctor to afford his family quality education and provide essential services that were, at the time, absent in our village. Unfortunately, my father’s dream never came to fruition as he lacked the financial wherewithal to pursue further studies and thus settled for menial labour to afford our family’s various needs.

This sacrifice and effort have inspired my drive to pursue psychiatry, not only to fulfil my father’s dream but also to offer help to patients struggling with mental issues. 

  1. Statement of thesis

Another alternative to writing your introduction is to state your thesis statement as it is. This approach is easier and helps you to save time especially when you are working against a fast-approaching deadline. 

E.g., Students should add exercise to their daily routine to manage their body weight and reduce the risk of blood pressure. 

Final take

Your essay opening is crucial in grabbing your reader’s interest. The approaches above are some of the popular ways to start your essay and hook your reader. If you are still confused about how to start your paper, feel free to reach out to our experts for guidance.

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