How to Write an Introduction Paragraph For an Essay?


Of course, the decision on when to write your introduction is a matter of personal preference. But before you get down to work, make sure you know how to write an introduction for an essay and capture your readers’ attention.

What Is an Introduction in an Essay?

An introduction of an essay is your roadmap for the entire paper. A proper introduction performs two strategic functions. First, it aims to inform the reader about the essay topic and provide some insight into the major essay’s idea. Second, it aims to motivate the reader to go through the rest of your paper. With a well-written introduction, you will make your reader involved right from the very beginning.

How Long Should the Conclusion of an Essay Be?

There are no clear rules about how long an introductory paragraph should be. Ideally, you need to adjust the length of your introduction to the length of the entire paper. For example, if you are writing an essay following a standard structure, you will need to limit an introduction to a single paragraph. But if you are writing an extensive essay, you can have an introduction that consists of several paragraphs or even pages. Generally, it’s recommended to make your essay introduction cover around 8% of the total word count.

Essay Introduction Outline

Before writing an introduction, you should have a clear understanding of what to include there. A good introductory paragraph should have a hook and a thesis statement. Let’s see how you can include all these elements into your piece of writing.

Essay Hook

How to start an introduction paragraph? A hook is one of the most popular introduction starters. It is used to catch readers’ attention with a single sentence. Coming up with a powerful hook requires much creativity, but it’s way easier if you know which attention grabbers to use. Here are some commonly used examples:

  • A statistical fact
  • A surprising fact
  • Use a joke
  • A question
  • A brief summary
  • Start an essay with a quote
  • A popular myth
  • A personal story

At the same time, there are some hooks that need to be avoided. Otherwise, you are at risk of sounding boring or even stupid. These include:

  • A cliché
  • A definition taken from the dictionary word for word
  • A general statement

Once you choose the most suitable hook, you should introduce your main topic and provide some background information on it. After giving a broad explanation of your theme, you can lead the reader into specific points. This way, you will make your story flow as smoothly as possible.


Now, it’s time to give readers a better understanding of what you are going to talk about in your paper. In this part of your essay introduction paragraphs, you should briefly state your major ideas in the same order you’ll use to cover them throughout your paper. The key questions to be answered here include:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • How?
  • Why?

By answering these questions in a few sentences, you will provide the reader with basic information about your topic. If you move from general to specific details step by step, you will keep the narration concise and up to the point.

Let’s say you are writing a paper about the significance of a healthy diet. In this case, you can start it with a question like, “Have you ever thought of how a healthy diet can influence your well-being?” and mention some general facts and statistics.

The Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is probably the most important part of your introduction as your entire essay will revolve around it. The aim of this core statement is to provide the reader with a brief summary of the major problem, namely the aspect you are going to reveal or argue about in the body section of your paper. An excellent thesis statement needs to be interesting and engaging. Ideally, you should add it at the end of your introductory paragraph. In order to have a better idea of how a good thesis needs to be written, check out a sample statement for an essay about the significance of a healthy diet:

“To enhance your overall well-being, you should develop healthy dietary habits that will have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.”

How to Write an Essay Introduction

So, what’s the best way to come up with an introduction essay from scratch? Here are some simple tips for you to follow:

  • Know your topic. Before writing an introduction, make sure to do thorough research on the selected topic. Without having a clear picture of what you want to write about, you won’t be able to create a worthy opening sentence. You need to know enough about your topic to express your opinion to the reader.
  • Set the tone. Whether you want to lead the narration in a formal or informal way, you will need to set your tone in the very introduction. Formal writing will have a polite and unemotional tone since the focus is set on information. Meanwhile, informal writing will have more emotions involved due to the use of slang and figures of speech. Generally, the tone of an introduction will demonstrate the kind of relationship between you and your reader.
  • State the purpose and frame up the context. A good introduction also determines the context and direction for the reader. It must explain why you are writing an essay about this or that topic and what you are going to focus on. Also, you need to explain why your essay is worth the reader’s attention.
  • Express a clear point of view. An introduction must express your attitude to a particular topic. You need to state what you think or how you feel about the subject matter. Ideally, you should do this in a single sentence, namely a thesis. It’s a good idea to put your core statement at the end of the introductory paragraph because readers pay most attention to it.
  • Lead the reader in. Inform the reader about what to expect in the body of your paper. By mentioning all ideas in the introduction, you will let the reader focus on them in the following paragraphs.

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Check Some Essay Introduction Examples

No matter what type of essay you are up to, a strong introduction is crucial for determining the tone of your work. Although an introductory paragraph usually follows the same structure, its content may differ. The difference is defined by the type of essay, the selected topic, and the overall purpose. Feel free to refer to any essay introduction example given below to get some inspiration as you write:

Example #1

These days, childhood obesity is considered to be one of the most serious issues that affect children across the world. It is associated with high mortality risks and chronic conditions in children, such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, as well as psychosocial morbidities. This unhealthy trend has a high possibility to progress to adulthood, leading to immense economic expenditures in health and social security systems. In the United States, almost 19% of all children and adolescents aged 2-18 years were reported to be overweight, while extreme obesity was estimated to reach almost 6%. So, what are the factors that cause childhood obesity in the United States?

Example #2

During the Civil War in the United States, Frederick Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country. Being known for his support of the black race and women’s rights, his eloquence was always positively met by the crowd. Douglass stated that African Americans should be involved in the fight for their freedom. In his speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” on July 5, 1852, Douglass appealed to equal justice and rights, as well as citizenship for black people. He encouraged the audience to continue the work of those people who fought for freedom and democracy on this land. The modern generation considers Douglass’s anti-slavery statements patriotic, just, and reasonable. But despite the end of slavery, a lot of work still needs to be done so that all people could enjoy “life, liberty, and happiness” in the United States.

Example #3

Taking care of others has always been ingrained in me since early childhood. Now that I know that a career in the healthcare sector is right for me, I have cemented my decision to become a registered nurse. Despite being a challenging and demanding career pursuit, nursing can also be rewarding and engaging. I have worked with people of all ages, social backgrounds, and different physical, mental, and learning disabilities. At some point, I realized what kind of a positive impact nurses could have on patients. This observation strengthened my intention to pursue this career path. And I consider the Honors College a great place to have some prerequisites for the nursing program.


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