How to write an essay introduction

An essay introduction is simply the first paragraph of any type of essay. It establishes your point of view and informs the reader of what to expect. An introduction’s key objectives are to:

Let’s first review an engaging essay introduction example and then dive into each of these elements to help you create an introduction that leaves a lasting impression.

Step 1: Analyze an engaging essay introduction

Essay introduction example


According to a recent survey, 70% of employees report feeling stressed about work-life balance. And 50% of employees say they have experienced burnout at work. A statistic hook is a great way to grab the reader’s attention and introduce the topic of your essay. These statistics show that work-life balance is a major issue for many people. Work-life balance is the ability to have a fulfilling career and personal life without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. It’s about finding a way to manage our time and responsibilities in a way that allows us to be successful in both areas. Background information provides context for your essay and helps the reader understand the importance of your topic. As the modern workplace continues to evolve, fostering a healthy work-life balance is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for long-term physical and mental health. Thesis statement is the main idea of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and arguable.

Step 2: Create a hook sentence

The hook sentence is literally first sentence of your introduction. Hook is where you grab the reader’s attention.

So you should spend some time creating an effective hook, for it sets the pace for the whole essay. The hook should draw the reader into your academic essay by conveying an understanding of the topic you’re writing about. As you create a hook, keep these in mind: 

Let’s now examine five different types of hooks you can use to start your essay effectively.

Five types of hooks

There are many types of hooks, so it’s up to you which one seems the best for your introduction.

Here are five types of hooks about an essay on the topic of work-life balance, each with its unique approach to engaging your readers:

A common misconception hook

Start by challenging a common belief or assumption related to your topic. For instance:

A common misconception hook example


“Contrary to popular belief, achieving work-life balance doesn’t always mean working fewer hours. It’s about optimizing the time you have for both work and personal life.” A common misconception hook example
....(introduction continues)

Statistics hook

Use statistical data to highlight a key point or trend relevant to your essay. Mathematical statistics can be an excellent hook for persuasive essays.

Statistics hook example


“According to recent studies, individuals who maintain a healthy work-life balance not only report higher job satisfaction but also tend to be more productive in their roles.” Statistics hook example
....(introduction continues)

Personal story hook

Personal stories will sometimes work as a hook, but only if they can be condensed into a few sentences (for example, in narrative essays).

Personal story hook example


“When I first transitioned to remote work, I discovered the true value of work-life balance. It wasn’t just about flexible hours; it was about reclaiming time for what truly matters.” Personal story hook example
....(introduction continues)

Scenes hook

This sort of hook necessitates the reader to imagine what you’re writing about. When used in descriptive and narrative essays, it works well.

Scenes hook example


“Imagine a world where remote work allows you to seamlessly integrate your career and personal life, creating a harmonious balance that leads to greater overall well-being.” Scenes hook example
....(introduction continues)

Thesis statement hook

Some writers begin by simply stating their thesis statement. The biggest trick here is that there isn’t one at all.

Thesis statement hook example


“In today’s fast-paced world, achieving a sustainable work-life balance is not only essential for individual health and happiness but also critical for workplace productivity and success.” Thesis statement hook example
....(introduction continues)

Each of these hooks has the potential to be a powerful tool for captivating readers and pulling them into your essay.

Step 3: Provide ackground information

Next, provide your reader with the background information because they need to comprehend your subject and argument.

Background information usually comes after the first sentence, which is hook.  This section should provide broad information that is specifically focused and important to your argument.

Why background information matters

Background information serves several critical purposes:

Background/context in introduction


In today’s world, work-life balance is a widely acknowledged concern. Just as smoking is closely linked to lung cancer, the absence of work-life balance is increasingly recognized as a common root of various health issues... Background information/context provided
....(introduction continues)
....(introduction continues)

Step 4: Craft a strong thesis statement

Now is the time to center your attention and demonstrate what you want to say about the subject.

This is your thesis statement, which is a sentence or two that summarizes your main point. It’s usually the last sentence of your introduction. 

A well-crafted thesis statement should have the following qualities:

Now, let’s examine some examples of effective thesis statements.

Thesis statement examples

Thesis statement example


....(introduction starts)
....(introduction continues)
....(introduction continues)
“Embracing a work-life balance not only enhances individual well-being but also contributes to a more motivated and productive workforce.” This thesis statement effectively summarizes the essay’s main argument. It emphasizes the dual benefits of work-life balance for individuals and organizations, emphasizing improved productivity and well-being. It offers a concise outline of the essay’s topics.

Thesis statement example 2


....(introduction starts)
....(introduction continues)
....(introduction continues)
“The modern workplace must prioritize work-life balance through flexible schedules, remote work options, and stress management programs to promote employee satisfaction and overall success.” This thesis statement includes specific strategies for achieving work-life balance in the workplace in addition to outlining its significance. It sets the stage for a thorough discussion of solutions and their effects on success and employee satisfaction.

Thesis statement example 3


....(introduction starts)
....(introduction continues)
....(introduction continues)
“As individuals adapt to the changing dynamic of work, fostering a healthy work-life balance is no longer a choice but a necessity for long-term physical and mental well-being.” This thesis statement underlines how work is constantly changing and how important work-life balance is to preserving well-being.

Essay introduction examples

Now, let’s examine some examples of  introduction, below you’ll see some examples for narrative, analytical, and persuasive essays. 

My father helped me prepare for school one day when I was thirteen. In the kitchen, we had breakfast together. Hook: Personal story as a hook. He inquired as to if I had brushed my teeth. He took me to the bus stop and wished me a nice day. Context: Background information. It was an ordinary morning, which is what bothers me the most because I never saw him again. Thesis Statement: State your central argument and position

According to the meta-analysis statistic, mobile phones are one of the most commonly used gadgets. Hook: Statistics as a hook. The question of whether mobile phones are unsafe has sparked a debate. Some scholars favor, while others oppose, the use of mobile phones in daily practices because of the advantages they provide, especially in today’s environment. Context: Background information. Mobile phones, in my experience, are risky, and there have been studies and incidents identified as a result of cell phone use that include distracted driving, social isolation, and health issues. Thesis Statement: State your central argument and position

I’ve never been one to exercise in the past. Hook: A personal story as a hook. To be honest, I didn’t care for it, but many of my friends insisted on telling me how great it was every day. I wanted to go to the gym because the social pressure was getting to me Context: Background information. It wasn’t until then that I realized what people meant when they said fitness helps them get organized and maintain a stable physical and mental state. Thesis Statement: State your central argument and position

Key takeaways

Let’s quickly go through the key takeaways of what you should and shouldn’t do while writing your introduction.

How long should my introduction be?

In general, there are no strict guidelines when it comes to the length of an introduction paragraph. The lengths of introductions are normally formed with the average length of the essay in mind by experienced essay writers.

Introduction best practices

Let’s go through some best practices to write an introduction that grabs your reader’s attention, provides context, and establishes the framework for an organized essay.

Things to avoid in introduction

Avoid these common mistakes while writing your essay’s introduction to keep it interesting and effective:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an essay introduction?

The main goals of an essay introduction are to grab the reader’s attention, provide essential background information, and present a clear thesis statement. It establishes the tone for the entire essay and informs readers of what to expect.

How long should an essay introduction be?

The introduction’s length can change depending on the complexity and length of the essay. In general, introductions should be brief; skilled writers advise that they should make up 8% to 9% of the essay’s total word count. Shorter essays might have introductions that are only a few sentences long, whereas longer essays or research papers might have introductions that are lengthy and may even span several pages.

Can I write the introduction before the rest of the essay?

You can write the introduction either before or after the body paragraphs of the essay. Some writers find it beneficial to write the essay’s body before the introduction to clarify their main points and arguments. They then carefully craft the introduction to appropriately reflect the essay’s topic. Some people like to use the introduction as their writing’s road map and start there. The choice depends on your writing style and preferences.

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Ibrahim Akturk
Content editor at Tamara Research. Translation major, huge coffee and baking nerd. Addicted to good music and great articles.