How To Write a Strong Introduction

When you're writing a paper, the introduction is what will make or break your essay. Ensure you write a strong introduction that will keep your audience interested and impressed by following these tips.

Step 1

Come up with your thesis first. Before you start writing your introduction, you need to know what you want to write about in your essay. That means you need to have your thesis thought out first. The thesis is what determines the entire layout of your essay. So it needs to clearly state your point of view, as well as how you will argue that point of view in your essay.

A strong introduction ends with strong thesis. So rather than just stating a fact as your thesis (like ‘John Smith is a good man'), use your thesis to lay out your essay's paragraph structure (like ‘John Smith is a good man because he puts others first, he is generous, and he is passionate about being a good citizen'). Can you see the difference between those two thesis statements? The second one is obviously much stronger, as it contains hints as to what each of your three paragraphs will be about. With a strong thesis statement like that, your introduction will let readers know instantly what you'll be arguing in your essay.

Step 2

Start off your paragraph with a bang. Now that your thesis is written, you need to figure out how you will sculpt your introduction in order to arrive at your thesis. And the first sentence of your paragraph needs to be a strong one in order to get your reader's interest. Avoid being too general with your first sentence (like ‘Some men are good and some are not') Not only is this far too vague, but it's also a pointless statement. People already know this, and it doesn't act as a hook to draw in the reader. Instead, look for an interesting and relevant first sentence that is related to your thesis. Something like ‘God created both good and evil, but when he created John Smith, he had perfection in mind.' This introductory sentence doesn't give away your thesis - it only hints at it. And it's not vague at all. That's the kind of opening sentence that is going to make anyone reading your essay want to continue.  

Step 3

Narrow down your focus from your introductory sentence. After your opening sentence, start to narrow down your thoughts, keeping your thesis in mind. You always want to continue narrowing or focusing your introduction to one key point (your thesis). So as quickly as you can, start to get away from broad statements and really hone in on what your essay will be about. Two or three sentences that lead up to your thesis statement (the last sentence of the introductory paragraph) are all that you'll need.

Step 4

Ensure your paragraph flows smoothly. With a strong opening sentence, a few focused sentences and then your detailed thesis statement, your introduction will be complete. Read through it again several times to ensure that one sentence flows smoothly into the next, and that your argument continues to flow in each sentence to the focused point of your thesis. If you have done this, then you have created a strong introduction that will act as a guide for the rest of your essay.


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