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How to Make a Strong Start of an Essay

The start of your essay is also known as the introduction. The introduction is where your thesis statement is housed. The introduction must grab the attention of the reader. Why? So that they keep reading. As you get older and start to write longer research papers as opposed to simple five paragraph essays you will learn that people often only read the introduction to your paper. They use this experience to determine whether or not they should use their precious time to keep reading. That is why there is so much pressure on students to write a strong start to their essay.

That being said the introduction does not need to be written first. Just because it is important and placed at the start of your essay does not mean you have to write it first. You can save the writing of your introduction until the very end after which you have completed your arguments and found all supporting evidence.

The start of your essay should work in conjunction with the conclusion to frame the body or the argument. You want to ensure that you have a catchy opening quote or a startling fact that relates to your topic. This will serve as a way to grab the attention of your reader. If you present a startling fact they will want to know about it. If you present an interesting quote you may intrigue them and cause them to want to learn more.

Your introduction should go as follows:

  1. It should contain the thesis statement
  2. It should explain to the reader why your argument is important
  3. It should tell the reader what arguments you are going to make or what question you are going to answer
  4. It should tell the reader how you are going to make your argument or answer your question
  5. It should introduce the reader to any background information they need to better understand the arguments that you are making in your body text.

By ensuring your introduction or start to your essay meets all of these requirements you can ensure that readers will get interested.

If you are struggling to write your introduction try reviewing some sample essays and see how they use the introduction to grab the attention of their readers. Note what introductions grabbed your attention and why. Look over some writing guides. Review any notes you have from your textbook or course and see what they have to say about writing a catchy introduction.

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