One question that stays persistently in the minds of students throughout their time in college is what an ideal essay introduction should contain. While many different types of papers will require you to approach the introduction differently, some features of an introduction stand out.
An essay introduction should be tactical and should intuit the reader into wanting to delve deeper into the content of your work. An introduction acts as a teaser, giving the reader a reason to look forward to the rest of the paper or book.
For stories, introductions may take different angles, for instance, in a story, the introduction may give the reader a peek into the relevant themes, while in more academic settings, it often contains a thesis statement that lets the reader know what the rest of the work will be about.
In this guide, we explore the details on how to write a top essay introduction. We show you how to write an introduction to a research paper and how to write an introduction for an essay.
Introduction for Research Paper
Contrary to what many students may think, writing an introduction is challenging. This is because there are many variables to be considered before writing the introduction.
Apart from the topic in question, context, and rationale of your research, the length of the paper matters. However, once the introduction is written, it should set the tone for the rest of the paper, capture the reader’s attention and make clear the thesis and hypothesis.
Tips for Writing an Essay Introduction
- Length: It may be tempting to write an introduction that goes on and on, but this may only put the reader off and make you lose marks. Let the introductory paragraph mirror the outline of your paper to help you write a good number of words that does not overwhelm the reader.
- Define the problem: Defining the problem involves telling the reader what the research is about. Logically, the introductory phase of the paper should end with the thesis statement. The reader should, therefore, be aware of the problem and what the paper aims to achieve. Since the conclusion usually refers back to the introduction, it pays to have a good and understandable introduction.
- Organize your introductory section: As you write, you may find that the paper takes a different direction that will eventually require you to adjust your introduction. Do not be afraid to make these adjustments as they are key to enabling the reader to understand what the paper is about. It may be helpful to finish drafting your paper before writing the introduction fully.
What Should be in an Essay Introduction?
- Background to your research: This part of the introductory section shortly sets the scene and warms up the reader’s mind with a brief description of what is previously known in the field. Sticking to only a relevant section of this information is important. This will help lead the reader to the next part of the introduction as outlined below.
- The rationale of the paper: In this part of the paper, the author reveals the aim of their research which may be to fill in gaps in research or to look at a topic that has not been delved into before or improving previous research. This is then followed by the methodology, or how you hope to achieve these results.
- Limitations: Instead of waiting for the reader to get the weaknesses of the study in the discussion section, you can highlight the weaknesses of the study in the introduction. This helps the reader make judgments on the research’s validity.
- Assumptions: Basic principles are set before the beginning of an experiment. You should, therefore, highlight these assumptions and set the record straight from the beginning.
How to an Write an Essay Introduction
The introductory paragraph of an essay acts as an entry point into the paper and should, therefore, include an attention grabber. An attention grabber can be just about anything, as long as it will resonate with the reader in one way or another. Some ideas for an attention grabber/hook for an introduction include:
- Astounding information: Startling information does not necessarily need to be new. However, it needs to be verifiable. Make use of pertinent facts to bring out an interesting introductory paragraph. Follow your topic sentence with two more that will explain your point.
- Dialogue: Apart from startling facts, you can make use of dialogue. You may not identify the speakers, but ensure that you pass the point appropriately. To ensure this type of hook is effective, use a few exchanges (two or three) between the speakers and elaborate using two or three other sentences.
- Anecdote: Anecdotes are short stories used to pass a point. Ensure your anecdote remains brief, precise and relevant to the topic.
- Summarized information: You can choose to explain your topic in general terms and eventually lead the reader to the thesis of the paper. This is also an effective hook method that will earn you marks from your instructor.
This first part acts as an orientation for the rest of the paper, but what makes the picture complete? Aha! You guessed it right, the thesis statement. Imagine the thesis statement as the actual response to the question being asked.
An essay introduction is therefore similar to how a funnel presents itself: wide at the top and narrow at the bottom- starting with the general information then narrowing down to the specifics.
Unlike research introductions, we have established that an essay introduction can be started with a series of different attention grabbers. However, some students may still find themselves in a position whereby they need guidance or help with their essays. It is at this point that we encourage you to make contact with us.
Our qualified and professional team will make the necessary arrangements to see to it that your concerns are fully addressed. We will work with you hand in hand to help you produce a startling introduction that will amalgamate well with the rest of your paper and make you the ultimate achiever.
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