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The Times


How To Start An Essay

  • Written by The Times

The purpose of an essay's introduction is to capture a reviewer's attention and entice them to keep reading the essay. The first action to achieve is to have a clear understanding of the essay topic to ensure you keep your focus on it. Students often stray from the main argument and start writing about issues that are not of any concern to the topic.

The result? Readers (professors) lose interest in the paper, which results in low marks. With a good understanding of the topic, you'll be able to keep everything in line and enhance your paper's quality. We've curated expert tips on how to write an essay introduction to keep readers engaged. Let's jump in.

New to Studying in Australia?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.  If you’ve always wanted to study in Australia we’re here to give you the tips and tricks you need to hand in the kind of essay your lecturers are expecting.

Open With a Shocking Fact

Sharing an amusing or shocking fact will hook the reviewers. The shocking fact will amuse the reader and keep them interested in knowing more about it. Here's an essay introduction illustration with a good amusing fact to help you understand the importance of the hook: "In a group of 30 people, there is a great likelihood that two have committed serious crimes." If you present this as your hook, someone would be intrigued and want to know more about this fact to validate or reject it, which will keep them glued to the paper.

Ask a Question

Wondering how to begin a paper and keep the reader glued like how an expert from an Australian essay writing service does it? Consider opening with a question. A question invites the reviewer to interact with your paper. Many readers are passive and scheming through your story to understand what you are saying. Posing a question shifts the audience from passive to active readers involved in the conversation. Good introductions for essays engage readers, keeping them reflecting on the answer to the question. An essay intro example with a hook as a question can be: "How often do you measure your blood sugar level?" This hook will intrigue a reader who has never measured their blood sugar level and will be keen to know why you are asking the question.

Use a Quote

When you are wondering how to start an essay introduction, you should note that you can get extra inspiration from other authors. Many famous quotes have been passed on from generations to teach a certain aspect. Everyone loves a famous quote, and if you start your paper with a quote that directly talks to the audience, they will be motivated to continue reading the piece.

Pick Your Tone

After the hook, the next part of the essay intro structure is developing the hook by providing more information. While providing more information, ensure you choose the right tone of voice. If you are writing a persuasive essay on a serious issue, you should not try using a funny tone because it will contradict the message you are trying to convey. The tone also applies to the hook. You cannot use a funny quote and then talk about climate change's effects on food insecurity. Thus, you should look keenly at the topic you are writing about and choose the best tone. 

Provide Background on the Topic

Have you ever read essay introduction examples that kept you anticipating what's coming next? The secret to crafting your introductions to be so captivating, like those examples, is to provide background information on the topic. The introduction essay structure requires a writer to provide background information on their topic. The background could be something like debates on the topic, other important academic works on the matter of discussion, or its significance. Ensure you do not give out too much information because a reader with all the information they need in the first paragraph will not need to continue reading the paper. The essay's body is where you will elaborate on important facts and debates; the introduction merely announces what will be discussed in the body.

Write a Thesis Statement

An essay introduction should end with a thesis statement. This statement presents the overall assertion the paper will make, providing the reviewer with the essay's purpose. The thesis shouldn't be long – one or two sentences are enough. Don't try to go into much detail in your thesis statement, as you are only stating the essay's purpose.

Proofread Your Introduction

You wouldn't be doing your essay justice if you wrote a fire introduction only to have it spoilt by grammatical errors. A famous quote states that error is human, and no matter our best efforts, we always find ourselves making blunders. To ensure your introduction is error-free, read through it after drafting it. Eliminate any errors to keep it flawless.

Practice Frequently

We cannot finish discussing how to start an introduction in an essay without addressing how to become adept at it. To perfect your skills in starting an essay, you need to practice until it becomes a habit. Take time to write an introduction on different topics and share it with your peers to gauge whether you are mastering the skill. Practice makes perfect, and if you take adequate time to practice your trade, you will be a good writer.

Summing Up

How to start an essay is always challenging for many students who don't know what information to include to keep their audience captivated. An essay's intro shouldn't be that hard of a task. The first step to getting it right is to ensure you have a good hook to keep readers interested in reading the rest of the work. A hook can be a quote, question, or even an astonishing fact. After your hook, give background info for more details. Close the introduction with a thesis statement that provides the essay's purpose. Moreover, don't go deep into details in the introduction because the intro only introduces a reader to the essay. Lastly, ensure you constantly practice to perfect your skills.


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