How to write an essay introduction
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
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
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
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
Scenes hook example
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
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.
Pro tipDon’t go through too much detail—you might list things you’ll come back to later but save the facts and analysis for the essay’s main body.
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
Thesis statement example 2
Thesis statement example 3
Essay introduction examples
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.
ImportantWhile there are no clear rules, skilled writers recommend that your introductory paragraph(s) account for 8% or 9% of your essay’s overall word count.
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.