How to Write an Essay Introduction like a Pro?

June 7, 2018 | GradeMiners
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In the USA, about 30% of college students still have no clue how to write clever essay introductions. You can produce brilliant research and present original findings. But because of dingy introductory phrases and generally lackluster stylistics a professor will dwindle paper’s score. And all you had to do was conceive a wittier introduction and fetch a couple of smoother transitions between essay passages, mainly between the introduction and the main body.

Is it that hard? Not at all! What you need is a sound how-to guide and a trifle of patience. We’ve brought you the tips. This knowledge will pay off with writing A-level essays in a breeze. Patience is on you, though.

Quick overview

Essay introduction serves 3 key goals:

  • Hook readers’ attention and make them keep on reading
  • Familiarize readers with topic’s context and introduce a thesis statement
  • Transit smoothly to the main body where argumentation headquarters

Why it’s so important to grab reader’s interest? Because that’s what an introduction does, according to the textbook. Of course, a professor has to read your essay A to Z and evaluate it. Because that’s what professors are paid for. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the necessity of a proper introduction. On Facebook, for example, no one will read your post if you don’t hook audience’s attention with your opening lines. There’re approximately 3 seconds to pick reader’s interest, so your introduction better be engaging and attention-grabbing. Think of a college essay as a Facebook post that has to bring the audience to your page. Otherwise, why write anything if no one cares to read it? To pull a reader into reading your text, make the introduction count.

5 ways to “hook” reader’s attention

Clichés and generalization are the two foes of a solid introduction. Aim for original presentation of a topic with some witty stylistic moves and unexpected catchwords. Moreover, you have to know your audience. Professors are human beings, too (what a surprise, eh?) They have preferences and likes. And it’s a gambit of a smart student to adjust the writing to these druthers. Basically, we’ve already introduced the very first hook-reader’s-attention technique:

  • Strike the right chords with reader’s heartstrings

The remaining four are the following:

  • Use the element of surprise – Shocking statistics, figures, or facts help grab attention of a reader up to par. Just like we did at the beginning of this article.
  • Ask an enthralling question – Start off your essay with a question that makes those brain gears grind from the start. A single rigid question – gazillions of thoughts.
  • Tell a short topic-relevant story – People love stories and anecdotes. If you know one that will serve as a great opening line, use it. But keep it short and ensure it’s appropriate.
  • Work in a dialogue – Used rarely and mostly in narrative essays, a dialogue is a powerful instrument of grabbing reader’s interest. Dialogues catch the eye in a split second.

Cogitating a sublime thesis statement

Grabbing audience’s attention is the first milestone an introduction reaches. What’s next? Time to build up the context of the research. Offer readers a couple of sentences with background information which will set the tone for the arguments in the main body. Outline what you’re going to dwell upon further on in a paper. Connect the dots regarding the purpose of your writing and present a thesis statement.

What’s a thesis statement? It’s the topic sentence of your essay making the key claim of the entire work. It delivers a clear message of your take on a subject and specifies your position regarding the subject matter. More often than not, students find it difficult to come up with a genuine thesis statement. Topic paraphrase, one-sentence essay summary, judgemental spike, common knowledge, anything but a thesis. Here’re some clues as how to cogitate an armour-piercing thesis statement.

Do’s and don’ts of thesis statement writing

  • DO be specific and showcase a different perspective on a topic; DON’T be wishy-washy and overgeneralizing.
  • DO deliver genuine ideas; DON’T exploit someone else’s speculations.
  • DO rely on solid research based on facts; DON’T be a blabbermouth.
  • DO make sure a reader will want to argue your claim; DON’T make a reader ask “So what?
  • DO fit a thesis in one sentence; DON’T be vague trying to fit in the word count.
  • DO take time to think of hands down a killer thesis; DON’T higgle-piggle.
  • DO place a thesis statement closer to the end of the introduction; DON’T place it anywhere else.
  • DO present a thesis; DON’T introduce a thesis statement at all (which is rather common).

Transitioning smoothly to the main body

As a reader is hooked, familiarized with the context, and triggered by your thesis statement, what comes next? An average student will rush cold turkey to the main body and thesis argumentation. But that’s not completely correct. Head-first academic approach would be inserting a short transitional sentence. Consider it a respite before delving into arguments, supporting evidence, quotes, and academic deduction. Look up the list of transition words and phrases online to get a clue how to smoothly transition from the introduction to the main body, and then to the conclusion.

15 useful essay introduction writing tips

  1. Brainstorm a catchy, attention-grabbing opening line
  2. Focus on the reader
  3. Be a little bit more creative
  4. Fetch 2-3 variants of the opening line to see which is better
  5. Show the variants to various people to learn what works in real life
  6. Present valid background data and state the purpose of a research
  7. Include a one-sentence thesis statement at the end of the introductory passage
  8. Avoid common thesis statement writing mistakes
  9. Re-write a thesis until it’s the definition of “tank-proof”
  10. Cap the introduction with a transitional sentence leading to the main body
  11. Make sure your introduction is about 5-7 sentences long
  12. Introduction is normally 1/10 of the overall essay length
  13. Proofread the introduction aloud until it sounds smooth without any abrupt articulation stops
  14. Write the introduction after the main body
  15. Get an essay writing sample to see how other students write their introductions

The extra tip to give you some serious edge

There’re days when you just can’t. The hook is rusty. A thesis statement doesn’t cut it. And the argumentation is nothing short of feeble. Got into writer’s block exactly when a deadline pops up around the corner? No worries, GradeMiners are ready to help. For a reasonable fee, we’ll fulfil your assignment no questions asked. Spend 5 minutes placing an order and we’ll come up with a Turnitin-ready assignment tailored according to your instructions. Deliver your A-level essay and call it a day. You’ll have so many opportunities to showcase your writing mastery during the course that you’ll have grown tired of it by then!

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