Writing an essay has never been an essay task for students. It even becomes more difficult if you don’t know where to start from. Well, this is because writing an introduction paragraph requires critical skills and thinking. It is one of the essential chapters of the essay and serves as the opening. Your introduction can determine whether a reader will continue reading your paper or not. But is this easy?
Finding the right words or phrases to use in your introduction is crucial to attracting readers’ attention. It should be able to summarize the entire paper in a few words. In it, state the topic, the thesis statement, objectives, and significance of your study. Now, here is how to write a strong introductory paragraph for your essay.
How long is an introduction?
The introduction is meant to set the tone for the essay and attract the reading public’s interest. But how long should it be? Despite its relevance, the introduction should be clear and concise. Ideally, it shouldn’t be more than five paragraphs, and the word count must be within 100 words. You don’t need to throw out all your information in this first chapter. You aim to whet their appetite to want to read more, so stick to that.
What must the introduction entail?
Your introduction chapter should include:
- A hook
A hook is a strong sentence included in the introduction to trigger the reader’s emotion or interest. This can be an exciting statistic not widely known or a powerful quote by a famous person. You may have to review it as and when needed.
- Put into context
This is where you narrow down the topic to your paper’s main idea, start with a little background about the subject, and then go straight to the point.
- Thesis statement
The thesis statement serves as the main argument of the essay and guides you in writing. It is mostly a one-sentence statement that sells out your claims and how you intend to defend them.
How to hook a reader?
So, how do you go about your hook to attract the needed attention? Your hook should be informative and jaw-dropping. It should include:
- Something that sparks controversy or curiosity
- Ask a question about a pertinent issue
- You can use an interesting quote
- Something that creates humor
Your hook should not contain anything that would serve as a disincentive. You know your target audience, so write it to suit their taste.
Things to avoid
Just as you have to ensure that the introduction contains some critical elements and information, you should also avoid unnecessary details. Avoid sentences and phrases that can mare the beauty of your introduction. To this effect, please avoid:
- Clichés: don’t use clichés when making essential points that bring meaning to your paper. Instead, use your own unique words and phrases, and have a strong command on whatever you use. A cliché like, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” has been used for ages and not powerful enough now.
- Definitions: Definitions are not needed in the introduction section unless they are meant to serve a particular purpose. Definitions can be redundant and, more specifically, takes up the space you could have for important information.
- Don’t be ambiguous: your sentences must be clear and concise without creating space for unnecessary elaborations. You should go straight to the point.
- Don’t go into details: You have little space for the introduction, and secondly, the readers should want to read more, therefore, do not throw all your main points in the introduction. Do that in the main body.