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How to Write an Excellent Essay Introduction

How to Write an Excellent Essay Introduction

3-minute read

  • 27th September 2022

Love it or hate it, essay writing is a big part of student life. Writing a great essay might seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re staring at a blank document, but there are formulas you can follow to make sure your paper hits the mark.

When you plan your essays , don’t neglect your introduction! It might seem like a trivial part of the paper, but it can make it or break it. A badly written introduction can leave your reader feeling confused about the topic and what to expect from your essay.

To help your writing reach its full potential, we’ve put together a guide to writing an excellent essay introduction.

How to Write an Essay Introduction

An essay introduction has four main steps:

●  Hook your reader

●  Provide context

●  Present your thesis statement

●  Map your essay

Hook Your Reader

The first part of your introduction should be the hook. This is where you introduce the reader to the topic of the essay. A great hook should be clear, concise, and catchy. It doesn’t need to be long; a hook can be just one sentence.

Provide Context

In this section, introduce your reader to key definitions, ideas, and background information to help them understand your argument.

Present Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement tells the reader the main point or argument of the essay. This can be just one sentence, or it can be a few sentences.

Map Your Essay

Before you wrap up your essay introduction, map it! This means signposting sections of your essay. The key here is to be concise. The purpose of this part of the introduction is to give your reader a sense of direction.

Here’s an example of an essay introduction:

Hook: Suspense is key for dramatic stories, and Shakespeare is well-known and celebrated for writing suspenseful plays.

Context: While there are many ways in which Shakespeare created suspension for his viewers, two techniques he used effectively were foreshadowing and dramatic irony. Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints at an event or situation that is yet to happen. Dramatic irony is a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions is clear to the audience or reader, although it is unknown to the character.

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Thesis statement: Foreshadowing and dramatic irony are two powerful techniques that Shakespeare used to create suspense in literature. These methods have been used to keep the reader intrigued, excited, or nervous about what is to come in many of his celebrated works.

Essay mapping: In this essay, I will be detailing how Shakespeare uses foreshadowing and dramatic irony to create suspense, with examples from Romeo and Juliet and Othello.

Pro tip: Essays take twists and turns. We recommend changing your introduction as necessary while you write the main text to make sure it fully aligns with your final draft.

Proofread and Editing

Proofreading is an essential part of delivering a great essay. We offer a proofreading and editing service for students and academics that will provide you with expert editors to check your work for any issues with:

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●  Formatting

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How to write an essay: Introduction

  • What's in this guide
  • Introduction
  • Essay structure
  • Additional resources

The Introduction

An in troduction generally does three things. The first part is usually a general comment that shows the reader why the topic is important, gets their interest, and leads them into the topic. It isn’t actually part of your argument. The next part of the introduction is the thesis statement . This is your response to the question; your final answer. It is probably the most important part of the introduction. Finally, the introduction tells the reader what they can expect in the essay body. This is where you briefly outline your arguments .

Here is an example of the introduction to the question - Discuss how media can influence children. Use specific examples to support your view.

Example of an introduction

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“A relevant and coherent beginning is perhaps your best single guarantee that the essay as a whole will achieve its object.” Gordon Taylor, A Student's Writing Guide

Your introduction is the first thing your marker will read and should be approximately 10% of your word count. Within the first minute they should know if your essay is going to be a good one or not. An introduction has several components but the most important of these are the last two we give here. You need to show the reader what your position is and how you are going to argue the case to get there so that the essay becomes your answer to the question rather than just an answer.

What an introduction should include:

  • A little basic background about the key subject area (just enough to put your essay into context, no more or you'll bore the reader).
  • Explanation of how you are defining any key terms . Confusion on this could be your undoing.
  • A road-map of how your essay will answer the question. What is your overall argument and how will you develop it?
  • A confirmation of your position .

Background information

It is good to start with a statement that fixes your essay topic and focus in a wider context so that the reader is sure of where they are within the field. This is a very small part of the introduction though - do not fall into the trap of writing a whole paragraph that is nothing but background information.

Beware though, this only has to be a little bit wider, not completely universal. That is, do not start with something like "In the whole field of nursing...." or "Since man could write, he has always...". Instead, simply situate the area that you are writing about within a slightly bigger area. For example, you could start with a general statement about a topic, outlining some key issues but explain that your essay will focus on only one. Here is an example:

The ability to communicate effectively and compassionately is a key skill within nursing. Communication is about more than being able to speak confidently and clearly, it is about effective listening (Singh, 2019), the use of gesture, body language and tone (Adebe et al., 2016) and the ability to tailor language and messaging to particular situations (Smith & Jones, 2015). This essay will explore the importance of non-verbal communication ...

The example introduction at the bottom of this page also starts with similar, short background information.

Prehistoric man with the caption "Since the dawn of man..."

Defining key terms

This does not mean quoting dictionary definitions - we all have access to dictionary.com with a click or two. There are many words we use in academic work that can have multiple or nuanced definitions. You have to write about how you are defining any potentially ambiguous terms in relation to  your  essay topic. This is really important for your reader, as it will inform them how you are using such words in the context of your essay and prevent confusion or misunderstanding.

Student deciding if 'superpower' relates to the USA and China or Superman and Spider-man

Stating your case (road mapping)

The main thing an introduction will do is...introduce your essay! That means you need to tell the reader what your conclusion is and how you will get there.

There is no need to worry about *SPOILER ALERTS* - this is not a detective novel you can give away the ending! Sorry, but building up suspense is just going to irritate the reader rather than eventually satisfy. Simply outline how your main arguments (give them in order) lead to your conclusion. In American essay guides you will see something described as the ‘thesis statement’ - although we don't use this terminology in the UK, it is still necessary to state in your introduction what the over-arching argument of your essay will be. Think of it as the mega-argument , to distinguish it from the mini-arguments you make in each paragraph. Look at the example introduction at the bottom of this page which includes both of these elements.

Car on a road to a place called 'Conclusion'

Confirming your position

To some extent, this is covered in your roadmap (above), but it is so important, it deserves some additional attention here. Setting out your position is an essential component of all essays. Brick et al. (2016:143) even suggest

"The purpose of an essay is to present a clear position and defend it"

It is, however, very difficult to defend a position if you have not made it clear in the first place. This is where your introduction comes in. In stating your position, you are ultimately outlining the answer to the question. You can then make the rest of your essay about providing the evidence that supports your answer. As such, if you make your position clear, you will find all subsequent paragraphs in your essay easier to write and join together. As you have already told your reader where the essay is going, you can be explicit in how each paragraph contributes to your mega-argument.

In establishing your position and defending it, you are ultimately engaging in scholarly debate. This is because your positions are supported by academic evidence and analysis. It is in your analysis of the academic evidence that should lead your reader to understand your position. Once again - this is only possible if your introduction has explained your position in the first place.

student standing on a cross holding a sign saying "my position"

An example introduction

(Essay title = Evaluate the role of stories as pedagogical tools in higher education)

Stories have been an essential communication technique for thousands of years and although teachers and parents still think they are important for educating younger children, they have been restricted to the role of entertainment for most of us since our teenage years. This essay will claim that stories make ideal pedagogical tools, whatever the age of the student, due to their unique position in cultural and cognitive development. To argue this, it will consider three main areas: firstly, the prevalence of stories across time and cultures and how the similarity of story structure suggests an inherent understanding of their form which could be of use to academics teaching multicultural cohorts when organising lecture material; secondly, the power of stories to enable listeners to personally relate to the content and how this increases the likelihood of changing thoughts, behaviours and decisions - a concept that has not gone unnoticed in some fields, both professional and academic; and finally, the way that different areas of the brain are activated when reading, listening to or watching a story unfold, which suggests that both understanding and ease of recall, two key components of learning, are both likely to be increased . Each of these alone could make a reasoned argument for including more stories within higher education teaching – taken together, this argument is even more compelling.

Key:   Background information (scene setting)   Stating the case (r oad map)    Confirming a position (in two places). Note in this introduction there was no need to define key terms.

Brick, J., Herke, M., and Wong, D., (2016) Academic Culture, A students guide to studying at university, 3rd edition. Victoria, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Traditional Academic Essays In Three Parts

Part i: the introduction.

An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic essay. If you’re writing a long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:

  • Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
  • Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the essay you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.

Part II: The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your essay:

Main Idea. The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that main ideas are…

  • like labels. They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
  • arguable. They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
  • focused. Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.

Evidence. The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…

  • quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
  • facts , e.g. statistics or findings from studies you’ve conducted.
  • narratives and/or descriptions , e.g. of your own experiences.

Analysis. The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.

Transition. The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.

Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “ T ransition” and the “ M ain Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.

Part III: The Conclusion

A conclusion is the last paragraph of your essay, or, if you’re writing a really long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:

  • Summarizes the argument. Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.
  • For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period .
  • Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region .
  • Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future . You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.

Handout by Dr. Liliana Naydan. Do not reproduce without permission.

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How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

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General Education

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It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!

If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.

In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:  

  • A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
  • An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
  • An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

body-question-mark-think-wonder-cc0

What Is an Introduction Paragraph? 

An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal  essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph. 

So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper. 

Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.

But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.

In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences . 

Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!

body-piece-of-cake

Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!

The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph

In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay. 

Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!

Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook

When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook. 

What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!” 

That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay! 

This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro. 

It’s important to realize  that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay. 

One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way . 

For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this: 

There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans. 

This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.

In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.

Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context

Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about

You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it. 

So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis. 

For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment. 

The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.

Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!

Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis

The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph. 

Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.

Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this: 

Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .

The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!

So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic. 

The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement. 

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How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.

To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.

Example of Introduction Paragraph

While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education. 

Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis

Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay. 

Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis: 

  • Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic? 
  • Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address? 

Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph. 

Does the Intro Have a Good Hook? 

First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting  an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education. 

The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic. 

Does the Intro Give Context?

T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on. 

The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.  

To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.

Does the Intro Have a Thesis? 

Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations. 

However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.

To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:

The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.

Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!  

So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!

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4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph

Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay. 

Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt

If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!

Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!

The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim. 

Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!

Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic

You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific. 

For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!

Instead, you should narrow broad topics to  identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.

So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph . 

body-stack-of-textbooks-red

Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!

Tip 3: Do Your Research

This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers. 

Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context. 

You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers. 

Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts

Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts . 

Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper. 

Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft. 

Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro: 

  • Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
  • Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay? 
  • Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?

Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!

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What's Next?

Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays. 

Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.

Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.

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Write an introduction that interests the reader and effectively outlines your arguments.

Every essay or assignment you write must begin with an introduction. It might be helpful to think of the introduction as an inverted pyramid. In such a pyramid, you begin by presenting a broad introduction to the topic and end by making a more focused point about that topic in your thesis statement. The introduction has three essential parts, each of which serves a particular purpose.

The first part is the "attention-grabber." You need to interest your reader in your topic so that they will want to continue reading. You also want to do that in a way that is fresh and original. For example, although it may be tempting to begin your essay with a dictionary definition, this technique is stale  because it has been widely overused. Instead, you might try one of the following techniques:

Offer a surprising statistic that conveys something about the problem to be addressed in the paper.

Perhaps you can find an interesting quote that nicely sums up your argument.

Use rhetorical questions that place your readers in a different situation in order to get them thinking about your topic in a new way.

If you have a personal connection to the topic, you might use an anecdote or story to get your readers emotionally involved.

For example, if you were writing a paper about drunk drivers, you might begin with a compelling story about someone whose life was forever altered by a drunk driver: "At eighteen, Michelle had a lifetime of promise in front of her. Attending college on a track scholarship, she was earning good grades and making lots of friends. Then one night her life was forever altered…"

From this attention grabbing opener, you would need to move to the next part of the introduction, in which you offer some relevant background on the specific purpose of the essay. This section helps the reader see why you are focusing on this topic and makes the transition to the main point of your paper. For this reason, this is sometimes called the "transitional" part of the introduction.

In the example above, the anecdote about Michelle might capture the reader's attention, but the essay is not really about Michelle. The attention grabber might get the reader thinking about how drunk driving can destroy people's lives, but it doesn't introduce the topic of the need for stricter drunk driving penalties (or whatever the real focus of the paper might be).

Therefore, you need to bridge the gap between your attention-grabber and your thesis with some transitional discussion. In this part of your introduction, you narrow your focus of the topic and explain why the attention-grabber is relevant to the specific area you will be discussing. You should introduce your specific topic and provide any necessary background information that the reader would need in order to understand the problem that you are presenting in the paper. You can also define any key terms the reader might not know.

Continuing with the example above, we might move from the narrative about Michelle to a short discussion of the scope of the problem of drunk drivers. We might say, for example: "Michelle's story is not isolated. Each year XX (number) of lives are lost due to drunk-driving accidents." You could follow this with a short discussion of how serious the problem is and why the reader should care about this problem. This effectively moves the reader from the story about Michelle to your real topic, which might be the need for stricter penalties for drinking and driving.

Finally, the introduction must conclude with a clear statement of the overall point you want to make in the paper. This is called your "thesis statement." It is the narrowest part of your inverted pyramid, and it states exactly what your essay will be arguing.

In this scenario, your thesis would be the point you are trying to make about drunk driving. You might be arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, enactment of stricter penalties, or funding for education about drinking and driving. Whatever the case, your thesis would clearly state the main point your paper is trying to make. Here's an example: "Drunk driving laws need to include stricter penalties for those convicted of drinking under the influence of alcohol." Your essay would then go on to support this thesis with the reasons why stricter penalties are needed.

In addition to your thesis, your introduction can often include a "road map" that explains how you will defend your thesis. This gives the reader a general sense of how you will organize the different points that follow throughout the essay. Sometimes the "map" is incorporated right into the thesis statement, and sometimes it is a separate sentence. Below is an example of a thesis with a "map."

"Because drunk driving can result in unnecessary and premature deaths, permanent injury for survivors, and billions of dollars spent on medical expenses,  drunk drivers should face stricter penalties for driving under the influence." The underlined words here are the "map" that show your reader the main points of support you will present in the essay. They also serve to set up the paper's arrangement because they tell the order in which you will present these topics.

In constructing an introduction, make sure the introduction clearly reflects the goal or purpose of the assignment and that the thesis presents not only the topic to be discussed but also states a clear position about that topic that you will support and develop throughout the paper. In shorter papers, the introduction is usually only one or two paragraphs, but it can be several paragraphs in a longer paper.

For Longer Papers

Although for short essays the introduction is usually just one paragraph, longer argument or research papers may require a more substantial introduction. The first paragraph might consist of just the attention grabber and some narrative about the problem. Then you might have one or more paragraphs that provide background on the main topics of the paper and present the overall argument, concluding with your thesis statement.

Below is a sample of an introduction that is less effective because it doesn't apply the principles discussed above.

An Ineffective Introduction

Everyone uses math during their entire lives. Some people use math on the job as adults, and others used math when they were kids. The topic I have chosen to write about for this paper is how I use math in my life both as a child and as an adult. I use math to balance my checkbook and to budget my monthly expenses as an adult. When I was a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand. I will be talking more about these things in my paper.

In the introduction above, the opening line does not serve to grab the reader's attention. Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. The second sentence is also not very specific. A more effective attention grabber may point out a specific, and perhaps surprising, instance when adults use math in their daily lives, in order to show the reader why this is such as important topic to consider.

Next the writer "announces" her topic by stating, "The topic I have chosen to write about…" Although it is necessary to introduce your specific topic, you want to avoid making generic announcements that reference your assignment. What you have chosen to write about will be evident as your reader moves through the writing. Instead, you might try to make the reader see why this is such an important topic to discuss.

Finally, this sample introduction is lacking a clear thesis statement. The writer concludes with a vague statement: "I will be talking more about these things in my paper."  This kind of statement may be referred to as a "purpose statement," in which the writer states the topics that will be discussed. However, it is not yet working as a thesis statement because it fails to make an argument or claim about those topics. A thesis statement for this essay would clearly tell the reader what "things" you will be discussing and what point you will make about them.

Now let's look at how the above principles can be incorporated more effectively into an introduction.

A More Effective Introduction

"A penny saved is a penny earned," the well-known quote by Ben Franklin, is an expression I have never quite understood, because to me it seems that any penny—whether saved or spent—is still earned no matter what is done with it. My earliest memories of earning and spending money are when I was ten years old when I would sell Dixie cups of too-sweet lemonade and bags of salty popcorn to the neighborhood kids. From that early age, I learned the importance of money management and the math skills involved. I learned that there were four quarters in a dollar, and if I bought a non-food item—like a handful of balloons—that I was going to need to come up with six cents for every dollar I spent. I also knew that Kool-Aid packets were 25 cents each or that I could save money and get five of them for a dollar. Today, however, money management involves knowing more than which combinations of 10-cent, five-cent, and one-penny candies I can get for a dollar. Proper money management today involves knowing interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month.

In the first line the writer uses a well-known quotation to introduce her topic.

The writer follows this "attention-grabber" with specific examples of earning and spending money. Compare how the specific details of the second example paint a better picture for the reader about what the writer learned about money as a child, rather than this general statement: "As a child, I used math to run a lemonade stand." In the first introduction, this statement leaves the reader to guess how the writer used math, but in the second introduction we can actually see what the child did and what she learned.

Notice, too, how the reader makes the transition from the lessons of childhood to the real focus of her paper in this sentence: "Today, however, money management involves knowing…."

This transition sentence effectively connects the opening narrative to the main point of the essay, her thesis: "Proper money management today involves knowing  interest rates, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, estimating my paycheck, and budgeting to make ends meet from month-to-month ." This thesis also maps out for the reader the main points (underlined here) that will be discussed in the essay.

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How To Write An Essay

Essay Introduction

Barbara P

Writing an Essay Introduction - Step by Step Guide

Published on: Dec 26, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

essay introduction

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Many students struggle with writing essay introductions that grab the reader's attention and set the stage for a strong argument.

It's frustrating when your well-researched essay doesn't get the recognition it deserves because your introduction falls flat. You deserve better results for your hard work!

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create engaging essay introductions that leave a lasting impression. From catchy opening lines to clear thesis statements, you'll learn techniques to hook your readers from the very beginning.

So, read on and learn how to write the perfect catchy introduction for your essay.

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What is a Good Essay Introduction?

An introduction is good if it gives a clear idea of what an essay is about. It tells the reader what to expect from the type of academic writing you are presenting. 

However, it should strike a balance between being informative and engaging, avoiding excessive detail that may lead to confusion.

A strong introduction is engaging, attractive, and also informative. It’s important to note that an essay introduction paragraph should not be too short or too long.

Remember, the introduction sets the stage for the body of your essay. So, keep it concise and focused while hinting at the critical elements you'll explore in more depth later.

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How to Write an Essay Introduction?

Crafting an effective essay introduction is essential for capturing your reader's attention and setting the tone for your entire piece of writing. To ensure your introduction is engaging and impactful, you can follow an introduction format.

Here is the essay introduction format that will help you write an introduction for your essay easily. 

1. Hook Sentence 

A hook sentence is a must for the introductory part of an essay. It helps to keep the reader engaged in your content and seek the reader’s attention.  It is an attention-grabbing sentence that develops the interest of the reader. It develops the anxiousness of reading the complete essay.

You can use the following as the hook sentence in your essay introduction:

  • A famous quotation
  • An interesting fact
  • An anecdote

All of the above are attention-grabbing things that prove to be perfect for a hook sentence.

Not sure how to create an attention-grabbing hook statement? Check out these hook statement examples to get a better idea!

2. Background Information 

Once you have provided an interesting hook sentence, it's time that you provide a little background information related to your essay topic.

The background information should comprise two or three sentences. The information should include the reason why you chose the topic and what is the expected scope of the topic. 

Also, clarify the theme and nature of your essay. 

3. Thesis Statement 

A thesis statement is a significant element of not just the introduction but also the whole essay. It is a statement that gives an overview of your complete essay. 

It should be written in such a way that the reader can have an idea about the whole purpose of your essay. 

Before you write a thesis statement for your essay, try looking into some thesis statement examples. It will help you write a meaningful statement for your essay. 

A thesis statement is mentioned after the background information and before the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. The last sentence of the introduction is a transitional sentence. 

Need more information on crafting an impactful thesis statement? Read this insightful guide on writing a thesis statement to get started!

4. Transition Sentence 

To end the introduction paragraph in a good way, a transition sentence is used. This sentence helps to relate the introduction to the rest of the essay. 

In such a sentence, we mention a hint about the elements that we will be discussing next.

Check out this list of transition words to write a good transition sentence.

Essay Introduction Template

Essay Introduction Starters

The introduction of your essay plays a crucial role in captivating your readers and setting the tone for the rest of your paper. 

To help you craft an impressive introduction, here are some effective essay introduction phrases that you can use:

  • "In today's society, [topic] has become an increasingly significant issue."
  • "From [historical event] to [current trend], [topic] has shaped our world in numerous ways."
  • "Imagine a world where [scenario]. This is the reality that [topic] addresses."
  • "Have you ever wondered about [question]? In this essay, we will explore the answers and delve into [topic]."
  • "Throughout history, humanity has grappled with the complexities of [topic]."

Here are some more words to start an introduction paragraph with:

  • "Throughout"
  • "In today's"
  • "With the advent of"
  • "In recent years"
  • "From ancient times"

Remember, these words are just tools to help you begin your introduction. Choose the words that best fit your essay topic and the tone you want to set.

Essay Introduction Examples

To help you get started, here are some examples of different essay types:

Argumentative Essay Introduction Examples

In an argumentative essay, we introduce an argument and support the side that we think is more accurate. Here is a short example of the introduction of a short argumentative essay. 




Reflective Essay Introduction Examples

A writer writes a reflective essay to share a personal real-life experience. It is a very interesting essay type as it allows you to be yourself and speak your heart out.

Here is a well-written example of a reflective essay introduction.



Controversial Essay Introduction Examples

A controversial essay is a type of expository essay. It is written to discuss a topic that has controversy in it. 

Below is a sample abortion essay introduction





Here are some more examples:

Essay introduction body and conclusion

Heritage Day essay introduction

Covid-19 essay introduction body conclusion

Tips for Writing an Essay Introduction

The following are some tips for what you should and should not do to write a good and meaningful essay introduction.

  • Do grab the reader's attention with a captivating opening sentence.
  • Do provide a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines the main argument of your essay.
  • Do give a brief overview of the key points you will discuss in the body paragraphs.
  • Do use relevant and engaging examples or anecdotes to support your introduction.
  • Do consider the tone and style that best suits your essay topic and audience.
  • Do revise and edit your introduction to ensure it flows smoothly with the rest of your essay.
  • Don't use clichés or overused phrases as your opening line.
  • Don't make your introduction overly lengthy or complex .
  • Don't include unnecessary background information that doesn't contribute to the main idea.
  • Don't introduce new information or arguments in the introduction that will be discussed later in the body paragraphs.
  • Don't use informal language or slang unless it aligns with the essay's purpose and audience.
  • Don't forget to proofread your introduction for grammar and spelling errors before finalizing it.

Remember to follow the do's and avoid the don'ts to create an impactful opening that hooks your readers from the start.

Now you know the steps and have the tips and tools to get started on creating your essay’s introduction. However, if you are a beginner, it can be difficult for you to do this task on your own. 

This is what our professional essay writing service  is for! We have a team of professional writers who can help you with all your writing assignments. Also, we have a customer support team available 24/7 to assist you. 

Place your order now, and our customer support representative will get back to you right away. Try our essay writer ai today!

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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How to Write an Essay Introduction: Practical Tips to Improve your Writing

Updated 17 Jun 2024

How to write an essay introduction

To create high-quality academic papers, learners should know their structure and have exceptional writing skills to produce a compelling essay introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion. The beginning of an essay is crucial, as it presents the author’s argument and tells the audience what to expect. Discover the basics of creating great essay introduction and writing tips to help you succeed in your assignments.

What is the introduction of an essay?

The first essay paragraph and the first thing readers will see in your paper is an essay introduction. What is the purpose of this section? It performs two functions:

  • Informing the audience about what an author is going to tell in the article by presenting the essay topic and giving some idea about the essential points;
  • Arousing interest and motivating to read the rest of the text.

There are five introduction requirements in the  essay structure we will consider in detail below:

  • an opening sentence (a hook) to draw the audience’s attention;
  • background information related to the topic;
  • a range of essential points that will be discussed in the essay;
  • general information about time frames, settings, characters, etc.;
  • a precise thesis statement reflecting the essential essay thought.

How long should an introduction be?

There are no strict rules applied to an introductory paragraph when you write an essay . Skilled writers recommend paying attention to the overall length of the essay before defining the introduction length. Thus, while creating a typical five-paragraph essay, it’s better to complete a brief opening clause that doesn’t exceed one paragraph. Still, for longer papers over 30 pages, the introduction can include numerous paragraphs and take up to several pages. On average, the essay introduction length is usually from 8 to 9% of the paper’s total word count.

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The typical three parts of an introduction paragraph

There are three parts of an essay introduction: an essay hook , connections, and a thesis statement. Let’s analyze their meaning and features.

1. Essay hook.

It is the best starter for your introduction, focused on grabbing the audience’s attention. A good hook always consists of a single sentence and may include an impressive fact relevant to the topic, quote, question, anecdote, or summary. While working on this element, you should avoid clichés, generalizations, dictionary definitions, and abstract phrases that contain words like “always”, “everywhere”, etc.

Discover five hook types that are the best for catching the reader’s attention.

  • Personal story;

Write several brief sentences about your life related to the topic, which will work as a great hook, especially in a narrative essay.

“When I gave birth to my first child, I suddenly realized the importance of having the possibility to work part-time from home. There are many benefits of part-time jobs for young mothers, not only for them.”

  • Statistical data;

Delving into numbers is a great method to attract attention, especially when it comes to a persuasive essay.

“According to a recent study, part-time employees are 70% more satisfied with their work-life balance and 40% more likely to stay in the same position, even if they can get a higher salary working full time.”

  • Common misconception;

A perfect method to interest readers is to tell them something they believe, but that is not true.

“Though many think part-time employees are less motivated and productive, this is not true. Due to work-life benefits, such workers are less tired than their colleagues and can work with increased productivity.”

This method is used in narrative and descriptive essays and makes readers imagine situations you’re telling them about.

“Imagine you could work from home 4 hours a day. You would have more free time to spend with your friends and family or enjoy your hobby.”

  • Thesis statement;

It’s also possible to begin your essay directly with the main idea you want to convey to your readers.

“I agree that a person satisfied with life and job will work better.”

After choosing the best hook, you should explain your topic and lead your audience to specific points you will consider in the body of an essay.

2. Connections.

When the first sentences are ready and include a hook, it’s time to give your audience a better understanding of what you will analyze in your essay. In this part, you must list your essential points in the same order you’ll disclose in the body paragraph and move on to your thesis statement. In this part of your introduction, try to answer the following questions:

You'll deliver general information about your subject by answering these questions in several brief sentences. Then, move on to the thesis statement. Use an “upside-down triangle” method when a hook is at the top of your introduction; then, provide a larger explanation of the theme and end with a specific claim. Every following sentence from your introduction has to be narrower than the previous one. It allows you to lead your reader gradually to the central part of your essay. 

3. Thesis statement. 

This part of your essay introduction is the most important, as it provides your readers with a summary of your essay’s main idea that will be discussed in the body paragraph. A good thesis statement should be clear, accurate, and disclosed in one sentence at the end of your introductory section.

Steps to write an essay introduction

Step 1. Engage your reader.

Your essay beginning sets the tone for the whole paper. That’s why it’s necessary to put some effort into creating a good hook. Forget about using long, complicated sentences, common statements, and dry facts. You should also avoid dictionary definitions, especially for obvious terms. Instead, start with a concise, catchy hook that will arouse your reader’s curiosity.

Here is an example of a great hook for an essay about the Internet's impact on people:

“Now, the Internet has a world-changing effect: there is no need to rely on a local community to stay in touch with one another.”

Step 2. Give the background information.

Your audience should know the context to understand your topic and your thoughts better. Let’s see what type of context you may use:

  • Geographical, historical, or social context;
  • Definitions of essential terms;
  • Some words about the debate you’re going to discuss;
  • A summary of research and theories related to your topic.

Deliver your background information without too many details. Just mention some points without their interpretation and return to them later in the body of your essay. The volume of this section depends on the topic and the number of pages of the whole essay.

“The Internet facilitates a global dialogue by connecting people from all over the world. It has brought considerable societal changes, from economic development to cultural exchange. It has opened many new ways of communicating and thinking by giving access to endless sources of information.”

Step 3. Expose your thesis statement.

Now, you should narrow your focus and explain what you will say in the next section. The thesis statement is the most important part of your introduction. It has to include one or two sentences summarizing your argument and conveying your viewpoint.

“There are positive and negative effects of the Internet on society.”

Step 4. Draft your essay structure.

Take your time to think about the structure of an essay introduction. If you write an expanded research paper, it’s better to finish the opening paragraph by indicating what will be explained in each section of your work. After reading the introduction, the audience should clearly understand your argument's direction.

“This essay is focused on discussing the influence of the Internet on global society. First, it describes the role of the wide world web for people and the changes it has brought. Then, it explores the positive and negative impacts of the Internet on our lives.”

Step 5. Revise your text carefully.

When you learn new information, your research focus may change. That’s why a great solution is to take your time with your introductory paragraph until the whole work is done. Make some notes about your introduction and return to it when the body and conclusion are ready. In such a way, your first paragraph will best match the content of your essay.

On our website, you may also find practical recommendations on  how to write a conclusion for an essay and the steps to take to produce an outstanding research paper.

Essay introduction samples for different essay types

Opening paragraphs usually have an identical structure, but their content may differ depending on the essay type and purpose. Discover some essay introduction examples for different essay types.

  • Narrative introduction;

The essential purpose of an author is to tell a story. It comes with an intriguing hook. Every claim from the introduction should be related to the critical moments in the story and have an impact on the story’s outcome. Narrative writing also differs from other essay types by the thesis statement.

“In April 2010, John Bell found himself, at 40, divorced, with no home, no children, and alone in a tiny boat in the Atlantic Ocean. His mobile phone had stopped working, and he’d had no contact with people for weeks. He thought about how it had happened that he’d lost everything and had no idea what to do.”

  • Personal introduction;

A personal essay is a creative nonfiction writing that presents the author’s reflections on their personal experience and tells about the lessons this experience taught. A question, relevant quote, or joke will be great hooks. Then, writers should briefly explain the story’s background and tell what they learned from these experiences.

“Can you tell me something about yourself?” It’s the most challenging question for me. Many people consider it an opportunity to share their achievements with others, but not me. Still, I would try to say some words about myself in the best way possible. I’ll begin with my background and student life, then tell you about who I am and how others see me.”

  • Analytical introduction;

An analytical essay is focused on educating the audience about a particular subject. A great hook for this type is an informative sentence or rhetorical question, which gives the readers hints on the essay’s main point. In the middle of the paper, three pieces of information should confirm the thesis statement.

“What does it mean to be vegetarian? It’s widely accepted that a plant-based diet gives many benefits. Eating animal products carries considerable health risks, whereas a rich plant-based diet prevents and can even treat many modern diseases, including hypertension and cancer. Let’s see what advantages we get when removing animal products from our diet.”

  • Persuasive introduction;

This type of paper is aimed at persuading readers of something. An interesting fact can serve as a perfect hook and the basis for further argumentation. Then, it’s time to deliver three supporting facts that will gradually lead the audience to the main topic. Completing a thesis statement requires summarizing the point of persuasion for the whole text.

“The popularity of online education is constantly growing due to its easy operation and convenience. Still, despite many advantages, the online study system has some disadvantages. In our essay, we’ll investigate the benefits students get from choosing virtual education.” 

Writing tips to create a perfect introduction

Now you know how to write an essay introduction and have some examples to start working with. Discover the key recommendations from our expert essay writers on what to do and not to do when completing your introduction.

Do’s:

✔️  Remember your research purpose, and make sure your opening paragraph corresponds to it.

✔️  Express your creativity by using an engaging hook that will suit your topic and draw the reader’s attention from the first sentence.

✔️  Be clear and precise to make your audience understand your point of view easily.

✔️  If your essay contains complicated terms, explain them in the introduction.

✔️  Show your expertise and subject knowledge.

✔️  Give your audience a basic understanding of what you want to cover in your essay.

✔️  Be concise and try to write a brief introduction that doesn’t exceed 8-9 % of the total length of your paper (for example, 80 words for an assignment of 1000 words).

✔️  Write a compelling and engaging thesis statement.

✔️  Verify whether your introductory part comes with a smooth and logical transition into the body paragraph.

❌  Don’t go overboard with background information in your opening section.

❌  Avoid including unnecessary phrases that are not related to the topic.

❌  Don’t make your first paragraph too expanded (unless your writing piece contains over 30 pages).

❌  Avoid revealing all things in the introduction. Readers love secrets; leave them something hidden to keep them engaged.

❌  Get rid of generalizations and clichés in your paper.

❌  Don’t include too many quotes in your essay.

❌  Avoid the usage of broad and unclear sentences.

Do you need writing help when creating an introduction? Hopefully, there is a great solution for you. Edubirdie is here to provide expert assistance, including the support of academic ghostwriting services . Due to our team, you’ll get to know how to write an introduction for an essay and achieve the best results. We’ll give you valuable recommendations, provide a good introduction sample and polish your content to perfection. Do not hesitate to send us your request; qualified writers will instantly cover all your writing needs.

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Written by Meredith Anderson

Meredith, a dedicated editor at EduBirdie, specializes in academic writing. Her keen eye for grammar and structure ensures flawless papers, while her insightful feedback helps students improve their writing skills and achieve higher grades.

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How to Write an Academic Essay in 6 Simple Steps

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Written by  Scribendi

Are you wondering how to write an academic essay successfully? There are so many steps to writing an academic essay that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here, we outline how to write an academic essay in 6 simple steps, from how to research for an academic essay to how to revise an essay and everything in between. 

Our essay writing tips are designed to help you learn how to write an academic essay that is ready for publication (after academic editing and academic proofreading , of course!).

Your paper isn't complete until you've done all the needed proofreading. Make sure you leave time for it after the writing process!

Download Our Pocket Checklist for Academic Papers. Just input your email below!

Types of academic writing.

With academic essay writing, there are certain conventions that writers are expected to follow. As such, it's important to know the basics of academic writing before you begin writing your essay.

Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

Before you begin writing your essay, you need to know what type of essay you are writing. This will help you follow the correct structure, which will make academic paper editing a faster and simpler process. 

Will you be writing a descriptive essay, an analytical essay, a persuasive essay, or a critical essay?

Read More: How to Master the 4 Types of Academic Writing

You can learn how to write academic essays by first mastering the four types of academic writing and then applying the correct rules to the appropriate type of essay writing.

Regardless of the type of essay you will be writing, all essays will include:

An introduction

At least three body paragraphs

A conclusion

A bibliography/reference list

To strengthen your essay writing skills, it can also help to learn how to research for an academic essay.

How to Research for an Academic Essay

Step 1: Preparing to Write Your Essay

The essay writing process involves a few main stages:

Researching

As such, in learning how to write an academic essay, it is also important to learn how to research for an academic essay and how to revise an essay.

Read More: Online Research Tips for Students and Scholars

To beef up your research skills, remember these essay writing tips from the above article: 

Learn how to identify reliable sources.

Understand the nuances of open access.

Discover free academic journals and research databases.

Manage your references. 

Provide evidence for every claim so you can avoid plagiarism .

Read More: 17 Research Databases for Free Articles

You will want to do the research for your academic essay points, of course, but you will also want to research various journals for the publication of your paper.

Different journals have different guidelines and thus different requirements for writers. These can be related to style, formatting, and more. 

Knowing these before you begin writing can save you a lot of time if you also want to learn how to revise an essay. If you ensure your paper meets the guidelines of the journal you want to publish in, you will not have to revise it again later for this purpose. 

After the research stage, you can draft your thesis and introduction as well as outline the rest of your essay. This will put you in a good position to draft your body paragraphs and conclusion, craft your bibliography, and edit and proofread your paper.

Step 2: Writing the Essay Introduction and Thesis Statement

When learning how to write academic essays , learning how to write an introduction is key alongside learning how to research for an academic essay.

Your introduction should broadly introduce your topic. It will give an overview of your essay and the points that will be discussed. It is typically about 10% of the final word count of the text.

All introductions follow a general structure:

Topic statement

Thesis statement

Read More: How to Write an Introduction

Your topic statement should hook your reader, making them curious about your topic. They should want to learn more after reading this statement. To best hook your reader in academic essay writing, consider providing a fact, a bold statement, or an intriguing question. 

The discussion about your topic in the middle of your introduction should include some background information about your topic in the academic sphere. Your scope should be limited enough that you can address the topic within the length of your paper but broad enough that the content is understood by the reader.

Your thesis statement should be incredibly specific and only one to two sentences long. Here is another essay writing tip: if you are able to locate an effective thesis early on, it will save you time during the academic editing process.

Read More: How to Write a Great Thesis Statement

Step 3: Writing the Essay Body

When learning how to write academic essays, you must learn how to write a good body paragraph. That's because your essay will be primarily made up of them!

The body paragraphs of your essay will develop the argument you outlined in your thesis. They will do this by providing your ideas on a topic backed up by evidence of specific points.

These paragraphs will typically take up about 80% of your essay. As a result, a good essay writing tip is to learn how to properly structure a paragraph.

Each paragraph consists of the following:

A topic sentence

Supporting sentences

A transition

Read More: How to Write a Paragraph

In learning how to revise an essay, you should keep in mind the organization of your paragraphs.

Your first paragraph should contain your strongest argument.

The secondary paragraphs should contain supporting arguments.

The last paragraph should contain your second-strongest argument. 

Step 4: Writing the Essay Conclusion

Your essay conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay and primarily reminds your reader of your thesis. It also wraps up your essay and discusses your findings more generally.

The conclusion typically makes up about 10% of the text, like the introduction. It shows the reader that you have accomplished what you intended to at the outset of your essay.

Here are a couple more good essay writing tips for your conclusion:

Don't introduce any new ideas into your conclusion.

Don't undermine your argument with opposing ideas.

Read More: How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph in 3 Easy Steps

Now that you know how to write an academic essay, it's time to learn how to write a bibliography along with some academic editing and proofreading advice.

Step 5: Writing the Bibliography or Works Cited

The bibliography of your paper lists all the references you cited. It is typically alphabetized or numbered (depending on the style guide).

Read More: How to Write an Academic Essay with References

When learning how to write academic essays, you may notice that there are various style guides you may be required to use by a professor or journal, including unique or custom styles. 

Some of the most common style guides include:

Chicago style

For help organizing your references for academic essay writing, consider a software manager. They can help you collect and format your references correctly and consistently, both quickly and with minimal effort.

Read More: 6 Reference Manager Software Solutions for Your Research

As you learn how to research for an academic essay most effectively, you may notice that a reference manager can also help make academic paper editing easier.

How to Revise an Essay

Step 6: Revising Your Essay

Once you've finally drafted your entire essay . . . you're still not done! 

That's because editing and proofreading are the essential final steps of any writing process . 

An academic editor can help you identify core issues with your writing , including its structure, its flow, its clarity, and its overall readability. They can give you substantive feedback and essay writing tips to improve your document. Therefore, it's a good idea to have an editor review your first draft so you can improve it prior to proofreading.

A specialized academic editor can assess the content of your writing. As a subject-matter expert in your subject, they can offer field-specific insight and critical commentary. Specialized academic editors can also provide services that others may not, including:

Academic document formatting

Academic figure formatting

Academic reference formatting

An academic proofreader can help you perfect the final draft of your paper to ensure it is completely error free in terms of spelling and grammar. They can also identify any inconsistencies in your work but will not look for any issues in the content of your writing, only its mechanics. This is why you should have a proofreader revise your final draft so that it is ready to be seen by an audience. 

Read More: How to Find the Right Academic Paper Editor or Proofreader

When learning how to research and write an academic essay, it is important to remember that editing is a required step. Don ' t forget to allot time for editing after you ' ve written your paper.

Set yourself up for success with this guide on how to write an academic essay. With a solid draft, you'll have better chances of getting published and read in any journal of your choosing.

Our academic essay writing tips are sure to help you learn how to research an academic essay, how to write an academic essay, and how to revise an academic essay.

If your academic paper looks sloppy, your readers may assume your research is sloppy. Download our Pocket Proofreading Checklist for Academic Papers before you take that one last crucial look at your paper.

About the Author

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

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how to write an academic essay introduction example

Examples

Academic Essay

Essay generator.

how to write an academic essay introduction example

When creating an academic essay , it is very important for you to relay a sensible and clear argument to your target readers. Since academic essays are widely used in the field of education and research, you need to ensure that you do both logical, interesting and informative writing . The items that are commonly seen in an academic essay contain insights, actual occurrences, ideas, and facts.

What is Academic Essay?

An academic essay is a structured form of writing that serves the purpose of presenting and supporting a thesis or argument on a specific topic. It is commonly used in educational settings to assess students’ understanding, analytical skills, and ability to research and convey their findings. An academic essay typically follows a clear format, including an introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs that provide evidence and analysis to support the thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points and reinforces the essay’s central argument. This type of essay requires critical thinking and a formal tone, with evidence cited from reputable sources to back up claims made within the text.

Academic Essay Bundle

Download Academic Essay Bundle

A lot of students tend to think that an academic essay, just like any other  college essay , is something that is too technical or defined. However, you can always write one depending on how you perceive a specific topic of discussion or how you interpret an instance or any other subjects. The samples that we have for you can be a great help if you would like to start writing your academic essay already.

Academic Essay Writing Format/ Outline

1. title page (if required).

Includes the essay’s title, the author’s name, and institutional affiliation.

2. Introduction

Hook : Opens with a statement to grab the reader’s interest. Background Information : Provides context for the topic being discussed. Thesis Statement : Presents the main argument or claim of the essay.

3. Body Paragraphs

Each paragraph should focus on a single idea that supports the thesis, structured as follows:

Topic Sentence : Introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Evidence and Analysis : Includes data, quotes, or examples to support the topic sentence, followed by an explanation of how this evidence supports the thesis. Transition : Connects to the next paragraph or idea.

4. Conclusion

Summary of Main Points : Restates the key arguments or findings presented in the body paragraphs. Restatement of Thesis : Reinforces the essay’s main argument in light of the evidence presented. Closing Thought : Offers a final insight, a call to action, or a suggestion for further research.

Example of Academic Essay Writing

The Impact of Social Media on Communication In the digital age, social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, transcending physical boundaries and transforming social interactions. This essay explores the profound impact of social media on communication, examining both its positive advancements and negative implications. While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have enhanced our ability to connect with others, they have also led to a decline in face-to-face interactions and a dilution of personal communication skills. Social media has made it easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family, regardless of geographical distance. A study by Smith and Duggan (2016) found that 75% of internet users utilize social media to maintain relationships with distant family and friends. This widespread use of social media for keeping in touch demonstrates its role as a vital communication tool, bridging the gap between people worldwide. However, the reliance on social media for communication has led to a decrease in the quality of interpersonal interactions. Research by Johnson (2018) indicates a 40% decline in face-to-face conversations among young adults, correlating with increased social media usage. The preference for digital communication over personal interaction suggests a shift in social dynamics, potentially harming relational depth and emotional connections. Moreover, social media has affected our communication skills, particularly among younger generations. A survey by Lee (2019) revealed that 60% of teachers believe social media use has adversely affected students’ writing and verbal communication skills. The informal language and abbreviations common in social media posts and messages are infiltrating academic and professional communications, underscoring the need for a balanced approach to digital interactions. Social media has undeniably transformed communication, offering unparalleled connectivity but also presenting significant challenges. While it fosters global connections, its overuse can undermine personal interactions and communication skills. Balancing social media use with face-to-face communication is crucial for maintaining meaningful relationships and effective communication in the 21st century.

What is an example of academic writing?

Title: The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity

Introduction: Climate change, driven primarily by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, has emerged as a critical global concern. This essay aims to explore the multifaceted impacts of climate change on biodiversity. The effects of rising temperatures, altered weather patterns, and habitat destruction are increasingly evident, with far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and species worldwide.

Body Paragraph: One of the most noticeable consequences of climate change is the shifting geographical ranges of numerous species. Warmer temperatures prompt species to migrate to higher altitudes or latitudes, as they seek habitats that align with their thermal preferences. This phenomenon is evident in various ecosystems, including mountain regions, where alpine plants and animals have progressively moved uphill. These migrations, while adaptive, can disrupt established predator-prey relationships and competition for resources. Such shifts can also lead to reduced biodiversity in lower-altitude regions as some species fail to adapt or relocate successfully.

  • Smith, J., & Johnson, A. (2019). Impacts of Climate Change on Alpine Plant Communities. Environmental Studies Journal , 42(3), 256-270.
  • Wilson, P., & Davis, R. (2020). Climate-Induced Shifts in Animal Distributions: Evidence from a Decadal Study. Ecology and Evolution , 10(12), 5963-5972.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, climate change exerts profound effects on biodiversity, manifesting through shifts in species distributions, altered ecological relationships, and habitat loss. As global temperatures continue to rise, addressing these impacts becomes increasingly urgent. Conservation efforts, sustainable practices, and international cooperation are essential in mitigating the repercussions of climate change on the world’s diverse ecosystems and species.

Academic Essay Topics with Samples to Edit & Download

  • Pollution due to urbanization
  • The environmental causes of smoking
  • The outcomes of global warming
  • Abortion as a controversy
  • Causes of obesity in teenagers
  • Childhood memories
  • Fathers should get equal paternity leave
  • Harmful dogs should be euthanized
  • How does divorce affects children?
  • How does technology affect productivity?
  • Importance of preserving threatened species
  • Parenting styles and motives
  • Political issues in the U.S.
  • Romantic relationships
  • Should schools abolish homework?
  • Violent video games should be banned
  • Ways of protecting the environment

Academic Essay Writing Examples & Templates

1. academic essay example.

Academic Essay Example

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2. Academic Essay for College Students

Academic Essay for College Students

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3. Short Academic Essay

Short Academic Essay

4. Academic Essay Template

Academic Essay Template

5. Academic Writing Essay Template

Academic Writing Essay Template

6. Academic Text Example Essay Template

Academic Text Example Essay Template

7. Academic Essay Writing Examples

Academic Essay Writing Examples

academic-skills.health.herts.ac.uk

8. Academic Essay for College Students Examples

Academic Essay for College Students Examples

9. Narrative Academic Essay Examples

Narrative Academic Essay Examples

learning.hccs.edu

10. Sample Academic Essay Format Example

Sample-Academic-Essay-Format1

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11. Academic Paper Essay Example

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writing.umn.edu

12. Simple Academic Essay Example

Simple-Academic-Essay-Example

cambridgemichigan.org

13. Academic Essay Sample Structure Example

Academic-Essay-Sample-Structure

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14. Short Academic Essay Example in PDF

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15. Free Printable Academic Essay Sample

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16. Sample Academic Essay Example

Sample-Academic-Essay

17. Academic Essay Writing Sample Example

Academic-Essay-Writing-Sample1

18. Free Academic Essay Sample Guide

Academic-Essay-Sample-Guide

intranet.ecu.edu.au

19. Sample Academic Essay Outline

Sample-Academic-Essay-Outline1

lib.uts.edu.au

Are You Ready and Prepared to Create an Academic Essay?

Different types of academic writing require an individual to have a clear thought process within the entirety of idea development. You have to be focused on what you would like to achieve your final written output so you can incorporate successful guides and processes within the activity. Some of the things that you can talk about in an academic essay include the following:

  • Human behavior, characteristics, and emotions
  • Community relations
  • Natural occurrences
  • Language and its effective usages
  • Culture and the arts
  • Academic researchers
  • Relevant cultural phenomenon
  • Photography and other artistic undertakings
  • Human interactions
  • Other subjects that are related to education and academics

Knowing the subject of your article is only one of the initial things that can help you prepare during the writing process. Here are some ways on how you can be ready to write your academic essay:

  • You need to have an order of writing that can easily showcase the flow of your thoughts. You must ensure that you can easily connect with your readers or audience so they can respond to the content of your article. Your academic essay should evoke an emotion that is necessary to spark other ideas, opinions and other kinds of responses.
  • You need to be aware that academic essays differ depending on the educational or academic discipline where they will be used.   There are certain ways that are necessary to be followed in various fields for an academic essay to be deemed effective. With this, always be mindful of the directions or instructions were given to you by the entity who requires you to write an academic essay.
  • You do not need to pattern your writing to the works of others. You can be ready even by just knowing your subject and researching about it. The style of writing that you have can give the most difference to how you write and how you present your work. Always keep in mind that your academic essay should be playful – it must not bore your audience.
  • You must think of your academic essay as an enterprise by using scholastic writing approaches. The conversation that you can create with your readers must be relevant to what is happening nowadays or for the study that specific student groups need. Being able to give focus on the relativity of your written work can make it easier for readers to understand why your academic essay is important within the academic field.
  • You should ensure that your thesis statement is precise, concise, and strong. When you are in the process of developing your academic essay’s thesis, you need to make sure that you are not just basing your write-up on unreliable information. Always refer to evidence, facts, and real data as it can help you strengthen your claims. More so, do not forget to  reference your essays  when necessary.

Things to Remember When Identifying the Purpose of Your Academic Essay

An academic essay always has to be relevant. It needs to be beneficial to a specific group or to the majority of the academic community. The motive of your essay is very important to be considered as it can identify whether you can be of help to the people who need a particular educational reference. Here are a few things that you need to remember when identifying the purpose of your own academic essay:

  • Do not create an academic essay just for the sake of passing it. Your academic essay is more than an assignment or a project. There are some last minute essay writing activities that are done in various fields especially if students think that an academic essay is just a part of their requirements. However, what these students do not know is that an academic essay is a representation of themselves. It showcases the thoughts of the students, what they have learned may it be in class or through self-discovery, and how they are impacted by certain issues and subjects of discussion. This is where the value of a Free Essay and an Informative Essay becomes evident, as both types of essays encourage students to express their understanding and insights on a given topic freely and informatively.
  • Be precise with the purpose of your writing. An academic letter is not just a document that can showcase your mastery when it comes to a particular academic subject. It can talk about a specific subject or it can also be a general paper that can provide a lot of information about your experiences and/or insights. This is where the importance of a Self-Introduction Essay comes into play, allowing you to present a personal narrative that reflects your academic journey and achievements. Similarly, an Expository Essay helps in laying out facts and an unbiased analysis of a topic, further enriching the academic discourse. If you will have a precise purpose when writing an academic essay, there is no doubt that your essay will not be pointless.
  • Always think of the best case that can help you represent your thoughts. Your style of writing, as well as the entire document’s format and content, can help you realize your ideas. This includes the succinctness and clarity often found in a Short Essay , where the challenge is to convey your thoughts within a limited word count effectively. Similarly, a Scholarship Essay requires you to articulate your achievements and aspirations in a way that resonates with scholarship committees, demonstrating your potential and need for financial support. With this, your point of writing can easily be identified by readers. Being able to present your purpose the best way possible can add up to the success of your academic paper.

Developing an Academic Essay

For you to be able to persuade your readers with the content of your academic essay, there is a need for you to present a structure that can easily identify your claims, arguments, observations, and/or factual presentations. Integrating a Student Essay can demonstrate the personal perspective or learning journey of an individual, making your arguments more relatable. Similarly, incorporating a Travel Essay could enrich your essay by providing unique insights and observations from different cultures or environments. Being clear about how you present your idea is essential for people to see the context of your academic essay.

If you have an organized manner of putting together the concepts of your academic essay, then validating your thesis statement can be more evident. To avoid  common essay mistakes  and other negative factors that can affect your desired output, here is a basic guide on how you can develop your own academic essay:

  • Start by creating a strong thesis statement. Identify your stand and make sure to strictly present evidence that can help you claim its authenticity and validity. Reveal evidence after your thesis statement presentation. Your thesis statement serves as your introduction speech . It lets your readers know the topic of your academic essay and what they can expect from the entire article.
  • Establish the context of your essay after your thesis statement. The way that you approach your topic can let readers know whether it is the specific approach that they also need for their undertakings. There are different contexts that can be used within the same subject, so you have to make sure that you will be clear when it comes to identifying the part of the topic that you are going to talk about. This clarity can be achieved through a Descriptive Essay , where vivid descriptions and details about the topic can enlighten and engage the reader. Additionally, understanding the Parts of an Essay is crucial in structuring your thoughts and arguments effectively. Limiting your topic discussion can help you give more focus to what is important for your discussion, ensuring that each part contributes meaningfully to the whole.
  • Create the next paragraphs based on the data that can support your thesis statement. The body of your academic essay can be based on your observations, reviews, statements and research outputs. You can present these items separately through the usage of various paragraphs. However, there are instances where it will be better if you can combine or compare to evidence to make your statements more effective.
  • Conclude. Your conclusion is as important as your introduction. If you believe that you have created a strong introduction, you have to maintain that until the end of your academic essay. Sum up all the information that you have presented so that people can identify whether your conclusion has lived up to the content of what you have written. Your conclusion can also be used to assess whether your thesis statement has been carried within the entirety of your discussion.

Importance of a Well-Defined Thesis Statement in an Academic Essay

A thesis statement is a paragraph or a set of paragraphs that identifies your stand about your subject. There is a need for this statement to be created as it can affect the entirety of your academic paper. Here are some of the reasons why it is important to develop an effective thesis statement before and while writing your academic paper:

  • Your thesis statement is a reflection of your actual idea. This helps you present the point that you would like to make and the message that you actually want to disseminate to your readers. Through a thesis statement, you can organize the evidence that are relevant to your claims based on their relevance to the topic and how you view it as a writer.
  • Your thesis statement can guide you within the entirety of your writing processes. Just because you have already done an initial thesis statement does not mean that you are going to fully stick with it until the end of your writing. There are instances where thesis statements are developed or even changes during the creation of an academic essay depending on how the research about the topic has evolved.
  • Your thesis statement can allow you to establish originality. Since your academic essay can be based on your research findings and observations, your thesis statement can be your platform to specify what you have come up with. Through a well-defined thesis statement, you can set your output apart from other  essay examples that have been written by professionals and other entities in the field of academics.
  • Your thesis statement is one of the items that the audience will look at when referencing for credibility and validity. Academic essays need to have a strong initial impact on readers. This statement can help them be focused on a particular standpoint which can enlighten them about your views and opinions, and how these are essential to be considered.
  • Your thesis statement can help your readers immerse in your academic essay. The material that you will be coming up with can be reviewed by different people. Depending on the field of education where you are currently in, you need to make sure that your readers can see patterns of evidence presented so they can clearly see how you were able to generate and come up with insights. You have to ensure that the thesis statement that you have created contains the most promising thought so you can get the trust or even the acceptance of your readers about your academic essay’s subject.

Guidelines in Writing an Academic Essay

The course materials that you need to talk about within an academic essay can reflect your level of understanding about the subject. Simply put, an academic essay can be an evidence of the depth of your research procedures and all the other activities that you have executed so that you can support the content of your written output. Listed below are some of the guidelines that can be useful to your academic essay writing processes.

  • Always analyze your essay prompt or the question that you need to answer or explain. You have to know whether you are tasked to argue, analyze, or discuss the topic. There will be times where you also need to compare the items present in your subject or explain the underlying factors that can affect your topic.
  • Make sure that you will research about what you will write about . Your academic essay can only be fully-maximized if you can present facts. Primary research may be a helpful bit a more precise review of your research topic can help you gather more information that can be helpful in the development of your content. Always assess your sources of information so you can ensure that they are credible.
  • Create a draft so that you will have a guide when writing your academic essay. If you will be organized when writing your academic essay, you can create an output that is well-curated and comprehensive. With this, your academic essay can provide more impact to your readers. This can also help you gather your thoughts first and identify how you can put them all together in the most cohesive and efficient way possible.

If you still do not feel confident in writing your own academic essay from scratch, then you can refer to templates and samples which you can download online. Doing this will allow you to be more familiar with the common content and basic formats that are usually seen in an academic essay. When using a template as a guide, always make sure that it is applicable to the study that you are practicing or the academic field or discipline where you will use your academic essay.

As a student, there will always be an instance where we will be required to write an academic essay. If you want to create an academic essay that is both outstanding and relevant, always put the items that we have discussed above in mind.

Setting the Stage for Essay Writing Success

  • Understand the Assignment: Carefully read and comprehend the essay prompt or assignment to grasp its requirements and objectives.
  • Topic Selection: Choose a relevant and interesting topic that aligns with the assignment.
  • Research: Gather credible sources and information related to your topic. Take thorough notes and document your sources.
  • Thesis Statement: Develop a strong, clear, and concise thesis statement that presents the main argument of your essay.
  • Outline: Create an outline that organizes your essay into sections, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should have a clear purpose.
  • Writing Draft: Begin writing your essay, keeping the introduction engaging, and ensuring each body paragraph addresses a single point or idea supported by evidence.
  • Citations: Properly cite sources as you write, following a recognized citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).
  • Edit and Revise: Review and revise your draft, focusing on grammar, clarity, coherence, and organization.
  • Proofread: Carefully proofread your essay for errors in spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  • Final Review: Double-check that your essay fulfills the assignment requirements, including formatting, citations, and references.

How do you write an academic essay?

  • Understand the Assignment: Read the essay prompt or assignment thoroughly to grasp its requirements and objectives.
  • Research: Gather relevant sources and information from books, articles, and credible online sources.
  • Plan and Outline: Create an outline with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each section should have a clear purpose.
  • Thesis Statement: Develop a strong thesis statement that presents the main argument of your essay.
  • Introduction: Start with a compelling hook, provide background information, and present your thesis statement.
  • Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph should focus on a single point or idea, supported by evidence or examples. Use topic sentences to introduce the main idea of each paragraph.
  • Citations: Cite sources properly using a recognized citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  • Analysis and Critical Thinking: Analyze and evaluate the evidence or arguments presented, and make connections between them.
  • Transition Sentences: Use transition words and phrases to connect ideas between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points, restate the thesis, and provide a thoughtful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Academic Essay Characteristics

Academic essays are distinguished by several key characteristics that set them apart from other types of writing. These features ensure that essays meet the rigorous standards of academic discourse and contribute effectively to scholarly conversations. Here are the primary characteristics of academic essays:

  • Clear Purpose : An academic essay is written with a clear purpose, often to argue a point, present an analysis, or discuss a research finding. The purpose guides the structure and content of the essay.
  • Structured Format : It follows a structured format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This organization helps present arguments and evidence in a coherent and logical manner.
  • Thesis Statement : A distinctive feature is the thesis statement, a concise summary of the main argument or claim, usually found at the end of the introduction. It sets the direction for the entire essay.
  • Critical Analysis : Academic essays involve critical analysis of ideas, texts, or situations. Writers assess evidence, debate viewpoints, and use logic to develop their arguments.
  • Evidence-Based Arguments : Claims made in academic essays are supported by evidence from credible sources. This includes data, statistics, research findings, and quotations from experts.
  • Formal Tone and Style : The writing adopts a formal tone and style, avoiding colloquial language, personal anecdotes (unless relevant), and slang. It maintains an objective and professional voice.

Types of Academic Writing

Academic writing encompasses a variety of types, each serving a specific purpose and adhering to a particular format. Here are some of the main types of academic writing:

  • Descriptive Writing : This type focuses on describing a character, event, or situation in detail. It’s often used in reports or descriptive essays, where the goal is to provide a clear picture of the subject to the reader.
  • Analytical Writing : Analytical writing breaks down complex information into smaller components for better understanding. It involves comparing and contrasting, classifying, and analyzing causes and effects. This type is common in research papers and literature reviews.
  • Persuasive Writing : Persuasive writing aims to convince the reader of the writer’s viewpoint or argument. It is characterized by a strong thesis statement, clear evidence, and logical reasoning to persuade the reader. Opinion pieces, argumentative essays, and proposals often employ persuasive writing.
  • Expository Writing : Expository writing is used to explain or inform the reader about a specific topic in a clear, concise, and logical manner. It focuses on presenting facts, statistics, and examples without the writer’s personal opinions. This type includes most essays, many types of reports, and certain types of research papers.
  • Reflective Writing : This type involves the writer reflecting on their personal experiences, thoughts, or feelings regarding a particular subject or experience. Reflective writing is subjective and is often used in journals, blogs, and reflection essays in educational settings.
  • Critical Writing : Critical writing evaluates and critiques the work of others, such as books, articles, or artworks. It involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, evidence, and methodologies. Literature reviews, critique essays, and certain types of research papers often require critical writing.
  • Narrative Writing : Although less common in strict academic settings, narrative writing is used in certain disciplines to tell stories or describe events chronologically. Personal statements and some types of qualitative research may employ narrative writing to convey experiences and observations.
  • Report Writing : Reports convey information from a writer to a reader, focusing on facts and evidence. They are structured and include sections like an introduction, methodology, findings, and conclusions. Lab reports, business reports, and technical reports are examples of this type.

Academic Writing Principles

Academic writing is governed by a set of core principles designed to ensure clarity, precision, and rigor in scholarly communication. Understanding and adhering to these principles is essential for effective academic writing. Here are the key principles:

  • Clarity : Writing should be clear and understandable, avoiding unnecessary jargon and complexity to ensure that the reader can easily follow the argument or narrative.
  • Coherence : The text should be logically organized, with a clear structure that guides the reader through the argument or discussion. Each part of the writing should connect to the others in a meaningful way.
  • Conciseness : Academic writing should be concise, conveying ideas in as few words as necessary. This does not mean oversimplifying, but rather avoiding redundancy and verbosity.
  • Objectivity : Writers should strive for objectivity, presenting information and arguments based on evidence rather than personal opinions or biases. This includes acknowledging counterarguments and limitations.
  • Precision : Precision involves using the exact words to convey your meaning and being specific about your claims, evidence, and references. This also means accurately citing sources and providing specific data when necessary.
  • Evidence-Based Argumentation : Arguments should be supported with appropriate evidence, such as data, examples, and citations from authoritative sources. This principle underscores the importance of research and verification in academic writing.
  • Formality : The tone of academic writing is formal, which means avoiding colloquial language, contractions, slang, and humor. Formality also involves using the passive voice where appropriate and avoiding personal pronouns when making general arguments.
  • Citation and Referencing : Proper citation and referencing of sources are fundamental to academic writing. This practice not only gives credit to original authors but also allows readers to verify sources and understand the basis of the evidence presented.
  • Originality and Plagiarism Avoidance : Academic writing must be original and free from plagiarism. This means that writers should produce their own work based on their research and ideas and appropriately cite any sources they use.
  • Critical Thinking : Effective academic writing reflects critical thinking, challenging assumptions, evaluating evidence, and synthesizing ideas from various sources to offer new insights or perspectives on a topic.

How do you start an academic essay sample?

Begin an academic essay sample with a captivating hook, provide context on the topic, and conclude the introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your main argument.

What is the opening line of an academic essay?

The opening line of an academic essay should engage the reader’s interest, introduce the topic, and provide a sense of the essay’s focus and importance.

What not to write in an academic essay?

In an academic essay, avoid personal opinions, emotional language, unsubstantiated claims, informal language, and plagiarism. Focus on evidence-based arguments and adhere to academic standards and conventions.

How do you write an academic essay quickly?

To write an academic essay quickly, start with a clear thesis, outline main points, research efficiently, focus on key evidence, and minimize editing while maintaining proper citations and structure.

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How to Write an Essay Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis

Jul 10, 2024 | 0 comments

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Jul 10, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

 The introductory paragraph of an argumentative essay is where you will present your thesis statement and give the reader a glimpse of the main point your essay will address. This first paragraph is crucial in setting the tone for your essay or research paper. The goal is to hook your readers and provide them with a clear understanding of the argumentative nature of your essay.

This article will provide an example and analysis of how to write an effective essay introduction paragraph. Whether you are a student looking for guidance or a writer seeking to improve your skills, the writing center of this article will help you craft a compelling introduction. Plus, we’re here to write my essay for you if you need further assistance!

We will analyze the various components of an introduction, including how to grab the reader’s attention, present your thesis statement, and outline the main points of your argumentative essay . By the end of this article, you will clearly understand how to write an impactful introduction that sets the stage for the rest of your paper.

Table of Contents

What Is an Introduction Paragraph?

 The introduction paragraph is the first essential part of any paper, whether an argumentative essay, research paper, or any other form of writing. It is where you present your thesis statement and provide an overview of the point of your paper. In an introductory paragraph, you outline what your essay will address and set the tone for the rest of your writing. Writing centers often emphasize the importance of a strong introduction as it sets the stage for the rest of the paper.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

The introduction is the first thing your reader encounters when reading your essay. It’s like the opening sentence of a conversation, setting the stage for what’s to come. A good introduction is crucial because it tells the reader what your essay is about and why they should bother reading it.

Here are a few reasons why crafting a good introduction matters:

  • Good Thesis : The end of the introduction usually includes your thesis statement. This is a concise summary of your main argument or point of view. A good thesis sets the direction for the rest of your essay, so it’s essential to get it right.
  • Giving Background Information : The introduction also gives background information on the topic. This helps the reader understand the context and significance of what you’re discussing.
  • Setting the Tone for the Rest of the Essay : The introduction serves as the blueprint for the entire essay. It establishes the mood, style, and direction of your writing. Whether you aim for a formal, academic tone or a more conversational approach, the introduction lays the groundwork for what follows.
  • Engaging the Reader from the Start : In a sea of information, a captivating introduction acts as a beacon, drawing the reader in and piquing their curiosity. By crafting an engaging opening, you compel your reader to delve deeper into your essay, eager to uncover the insights you offer.
  • Providing a Roadmap for the Essay : Think of the introduction as a GPS guiding your reader through the twists and turns of your essay. It outlines the main points you’ll cover, giving readers a clear sense of the journey ahead. By providing this roadmap, you help readers navigate your ideas and stay on course throughout the essay.

Understanding the audience

Understanding the audience is crucial when crafting an effective introduction. It’s like knowing who you’re talking to before you start a conversation. Here’s why it matters:

  • Considering the reader’s knowledge level : Before diving into your introduction, consider what your reader already knows about the topic. Are they experts in the field or newcomers seeking basic information? Tailoring your introduction to match your reader’s knowledge level ensures you balance complexity and clarity.
  • Identifying the reader’s potential biases or preconceptions : Everyone brings their own set of beliefs and perspectives to the table. Acknowledging and understanding your reader’s potential biases or preconceptions allows you to address them head-on in your introduction. Doing so builds trust and credibility with your audience, fostering a more open-minded approach to your essay.
  • Tailoring the introduction to appeal to the reader : Like a good storyteller adapts their tale to captivate their audience, tailoring your introduction to appeal to your reader’s interests and concerns can make all the difference. Consider what aspects of the topic might resonate most with your audience and highlight those in your introduction. Whether it’s tapping into shared experiences, addressing common concerns, or sparking curiosity, tailoring your introduction ensures that it speaks directly to your reader.

How to write an introduction paragraph in 6 steps

Writing an introduction paragraph is like laying the foundation for a sturdy house – it sets the tone and structure for the rest of your essay. Here’s how to nail it in six simple steps:

Step 1: Understand Your Topic : Before you put pen to paper, make sure you clearly understand the topic you’re writing about. Clarity is key to crafting a compelling introduction, whether it’s a college essay or an academic paper.

Step 2: Craft a Strong Thesis Statement : Your thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction. It should briefly summarize the main argument or point of your essay. Keep it concise and specific to guide your reader into your essay’s structure .

Step 3: Grab Attention with a Good Hook : The first sentence of your introduction is your chance to make a memorable first impression. A good hook can be a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact, or a compelling anecdote. Whatever you choose, make sure it grabs your reader’s attention and entices them to keep reading.

Step 4: Provide Context and Background : After your hook, provide some context and background information to orient your reader to the topic you’re writing about. Keep it brief and relevant – you want to set the stage for the rest of your paper without giving too much away.

Step 5: Outline the Essay’s Structure : Give your reader a roadmap of what to expect in the rest of your paper. Briefly outline the main points or arguments you’ll discuss and how they relate to your thesis statement. This helps your reader understand the flow and organization of your essay.

Step 6: Avoid Plagiarism : Remember to write in your voice and avoid copying verbatim from other sources. Plagiarism is a serious offense in academic writing and can undermine the credibility of your work. Be sure to cite any sources you use, and always give credit where it’s due.

To get a better understanding of Ways to Make Your Introduction a Knockout!, read our comprehensive post on How to Start an Essay .

Tips for writing an effective introduction

I.  Start with a compelling quote or anecdote : Engage your reader immediately with a captivating quote or an intriguing anecdote related to your topic. This hooks your reader’s interest and makes them eager to learn more.

II. Pose a thought-provoking question : Stimulate your reader’s curiosity by posing a question that challenges their assumptions or prompts them to think critically about the topic. This encourages active engagement and invites readers to delve deeper into your essay.

III.  Present a surprising fact or statistic : Shock your reader with a surprising fact or statistic that sheds light on the importance or relevance of your topic. This grabs attention and underscores the significance of the issue you’re addressing.

IV. Introduce the topic in a relatable way : Connect with your reader by introducing the topic in a relatable way that resonates with their experiences or interests. This creates a sense of familiarity and relevance, making your essay more accessible and engaging.

V.  Clearly present the thesis statement : Wrap up your introduction with a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines your essay’s main argument or purpose. This gives readers a roadmap of what to expect and helps them navigate the rest of your paper with clarity and purpose.

Common pitfalls to avoid

I.  Being too vague or general : Don’t leave your reader in the dark. Ensure your introduction provides enough clarity and specificity about your topic to pique their interest and set the stage for what’s to come.

II. Overloading the introduction with too much information : While it’s essential to provide context, resist the urge to overwhelm your reader with excessive details in the introduction. Keep it concise and focused, saving deeper exploration for the main body of your essay.

III.  Using cliches or excessively formal language : Your introduction should reflect your unique voice and perspective. Avoid cliches and overly formal language that make your writing stale or impersonal. Instead, strive for clarity and authenticity to captivate your reader.

IV. Failing to connect the introduction to the rest of the essay : Your introduction sets the stage for your entire essay. Ensure it seamlessly transitions into the main body by establishing a clear connection between the introduction and the subsequent sections. This coherence ensures your reader stays engaged and understands the progression of your argument.

Editing and revising your Introduction Paragraph

Editing and revising your introduction paragraph is a crucial step in ensuring your essay gets off to a strong start. Here’s how to approach it:

A. Reviewing the introduction for clarity and conciseness : Take a step back and read your introduction with fresh eyes. Look for any confusing or convoluted sentences that may obscure your main points. Ensure that your language is clear and straightforward and that each sentence contributes to the overall coherence of the paragraph.

B. Seeking feedback from peers or instructors : Don’t hesitate to contact trusted peers or instructors for feedback on your introduction. They can offer valuable insights and perspectives that you may have overlooked. Pay attention to their suggestions for improvement and consider how you can incorporate them to enhance the effectiveness of your introduction.

C. Making revisions to improve the introduction’s effectiveness : Once you’ve gathered feedback, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make revisions. Focus on tightening up your language, refining your thesis statement, and ensuring that your introduction effectively sets the stage for the rest of your essay. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches or structures until you find what works best for your particular topic and audience.

Example of a Strong Essay Introduction Paragraph

Example introduction paragraph :.

Climate change poses a significant threat to our planet’s future. The Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes. As a result, we are witnessing an increase in global temperatures, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense weather events such as hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires. In this essay, we’ll explore the complex dynamics of climate change, its far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and human societies, and the urgent need for collective action to address this global crisis.

Breakdown of Components :

  • Hook : The opening sentence grabs the reader’s attention by highlighting the urgency and severity of the issue. Stating that climate change poses a significant threat immediately conveys the seriousness of the topic and compels the reader to engage with the essay. By stating that climate change poses a significant threat to our planet’s future, the hook immediately establishes the importance of the topic and compels the reader to pay attention. Using strong language like “significant threat” creates a sense of urgency, prompting readers to consider the potential consequences of inaction.
  • Background Information : Following the hook, the introduction provides essential background information on the causes and consequences of climate change. It briefly explains how human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, contribute to the warming of the planet and the disruption of natural ecosystems. This background information helps orient the reader to the topic and sets the stage for a deeper exploration of its complexities. The mention of specific impacts like rising temperatures, melting polar ice caps, and extreme weather events emphasizes the gravity of the situation and underscores the need for immediate action.
  • Thesis Statement : The introduction concludes with a clear thesis statement that outlines the essay’s main focus. It emphasizes the need to examine the multifaceted nature of climate change, its impacts on the environment and human societies, and the imperative for collaborative efforts to mitigate its effects and build resilience. This thesis statement provides a roadmap for the essay, guiding the reader through the key points and arguments explored in the subsequent sections.

Essay Introduction Examples

Argumentative essay introduction example.

In today’s fast-paced digital era, the debate over the role of technology in education has become increasingly contentious. While some argue that integrating technology into classrooms enhances learning outcomes and prepares students for the future, others contend that it poses significant risks to student well-being and academic integrity. In this essay, we will explore both sides of the argument, examining technology’s potential benefits and drawbacks in education. By critically evaluating the evidence and considering stakeholders’ perspectives, we can gain insight into the complex relationship between technology and education in the modern world.

Persuasive Essay Introduction Example

In a world inundated with competing voices and ideas, persuasion is a formidable skill, capable of shaping opinions, influencing decisions, and driving change. From the hallowed halls of academia to the corridors of power, persuasive communication is a potent tool for individuals and organizations seeking to advocate for their causes and win hearts and minds. In this essay, we will delve into the principles of persuasive writing, exploring the strategies and techniques that empower individuals to craft compelling arguments, sway audiences, and effect meaningful transformation. As we embark on this journey, we invite you to consider the power of persuasion and its profound impact on our shared discourse and collective consciousness.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction Example

In the vast array of human experiences, few endeavors are as enlightening or enriching as the act of comparison and contrast. From the earliest civilizations to contemporary times, humanity has sought to comprehend the world by identifying similarities and differences, unraveling patterns, and forging connections between seemingly disparate elements. In this essay, we embark on a journey of exploration and insight, examining two ostensibly divergent subjects through comparison and contrast. By juxtaposing their distinct characteristics, we aim to illuminate the intricacies of human nature, societal dynamics, and the myriad ways individuals and ideas converge and diverge. Join us as we delve into the rich landscape of contrasts and parallels that define our world and shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us.

Descriptive Essay Introduction Example

As the first light of dawn breaks across the horizon, casting its gentle glow upon the stillness of the morning, a world awakens to the symphony of nature’s beauty. In the quietude of dawn, where the air is crisp and the earth is bathed in a soft, ethereal light, every detail of the landscape comes alive with an enchanting allure. From the majestic peaks of distant mountains to the tranquil meadows carpeted in dew-kissed grass, the scene unfolds like a masterful painting, inviting the observer to immerse themselves in its serene embrace. In this essay, we embark on a journey of exploration and wonder, as we delve into the depths of nature’s canvas and unravel the myriad wonders that adorn the tapestry of the natural world. Join us as we wander through the landscapes of our imagination, guided by the gentle whispers of the wind and the enchanting melodies of the dawn chorus, in search of the sublime beauty hidden within nature’s heart.

Get Help With Your Essay Introduction Paragraph

 Are you struggling with your essay introduction paragraph? Don’t worry; Essay Freelance Writers is here to help! Our expert writers are the best in the industry, ready to assist you with crafting a compelling introduction that grabs your reader’s attention from the start. Whether you need assistance choosing the right hook or structuring your thesis statement, we’ve got you covered. Place your order today by clicking the ORDER NOW button above, and let our team of professionals take your essay to the next level. Don’t hesitate—get the expert writing help you need to make your introduction shine!

Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

What is the purpose of an introduction paragraph.

The introduction is the first paragraph of your paper. It sets up your argument and gives the reader a  first impression of the kind of paper you’re writing.

How do I write an effective hook for my introduction?

When writing a hook , draw your reader into your essay, and don’t give too much away. Consider using various  engaging techniques to capture the reader’s attention immediately.

What should be included in the introduction paragraph?

In your introduction, write the introduction of your paper that maps your essay’s main points and tells the reader what to expect in the body of the paper . Ensure that it includes a good thesis statement that outlines the main argument of your essay.

Why is the introduction paragraph important?

The introduction sets up your argument and guides the reader into your essay . It gives the reader a preview of what’s to come and prepares them for the content they will encounter in the rest of the paper.

What is the most important thing to consider when writing an essay introduction paragraph?

The most important thing to consider when writing the introduction is to capture the reader’s attention and summarize the main themes explored in the essay.

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Through my engaging and informative blog posts, I aim to provide helpful tips on topics such as essay writing, research skills, and academic planning, empowering students to thrive in their academic pursuits.

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How to Write an Academic Paragraph (Step-by-Step Guide)

academic paragraph

Unlike creative writing or day-to-day writing, academic writing is highly focused on critical analysis, is typically based on research, and adheres to strict academic conventions. In academic writing, every paragraph seeks to serve the purpose of discussing and sharing information on scientific or scholarly topics with a focused academic community. That is why it is important that each sentence within a paragraph should be relevant and flow in a logically correct and engaging narrative.    

There are different elements that constitute an academic paragraph. Each of these elements works together to present concepts, ideas, and innovative new developments in a coherent manner. Let’s take a look at how to craft an impactful academic paragraph.   

How to write an academic paragraph?  

Any academic writing is centered on a well-formulated main idea or argument. This main idea needs to be developed further, or a research question needs to be answered in a systematic and logical manner. Such a process entails identifying and building points along with relevant supporting evidence to support the main idea.   

In academic writing, the discussion of each of these points is done in separate paragraphs. To aid this process, an outline of your academic assignment can be prepared that helps organize your thoughts and ideas and list the various points or topic sentences to build your argument. A well-articulated and strong paragraph can be developed by ensuring that it contains certain key elements, as discussed below.   

Topic sentence

Each paragraph can have a topic sentence at or near its start. The topic sentence is basically the main point that you will be focusing on in the paragraph. The scope of the topic sentence should be such that it can be discussed and developed in a single paragraph. In reading the topic sentence, the reader should get an idea of the focus of the paragraph.    

Significance

The significance of the point that is being discussed in the paragraph should come out clearly in the ensuing body sentences. This allows readers to understand how it relates to the overall article, thesis, or dissertation.   

What you state in the topic sentence should be backed by evidence. This will depend on your topic, discipline, and nature of the assignment. Evidence can include information drawn from primary sources, such as surveys or interviews that were conducted as part of the study, while secondary sources typically include personal experience based on practice, such as education. You must assess how much evidence needs to be provided to substantiate and prove your point.   

In the rest of the body sentences, the focus should be on your interpretation and analysis of the data and evidence, how these support your argument and the main thesis, and how it is building up to your conclusion. The paragraph can be wrapped up in a concluding sentence that underlines the implications of the evidence.   

4 strategies to enhance academic paragraphs     

In order to achieve clarity and coherence, every paragraph must advance the reader’s understanding of the topic, provide evidence or support for the main argument, and establish connections between ideas. Without this deliberate organization and structure, academic writing can become disjointed, confusing, and less persuasive.   

Using the right transition words

The main purpose of paragraphs is to provide logical sequencing to your ideas and main points. Hence, in moving from one point to another through paragraphs, the use of transition sentences helps in linking ideas presented in one paragraph to the next and previous ones. Transition sentences are usually used either at the beginning or the end of a paragraph.    

Adding citations and references

Where supporting evidence is provided from secondary sources, it is crucial to provide citations and references to acknowledge original sources and avoid the risk of plagiarism.    

Ensuring cohesion and flow

Each sentence in the paragraph should be relevant to the point you are conveying. Hence, while writing a paragraph, make sure that you have a topic sentence, body sentences which develop the ideas and provide evidence and interpretation, a linking sentence that links the point to the overall thesis of the assignment, and appropriate transitions. Then, evaluate whether these provide a cohesive whole and logical flow.   

Ideal length

The ideal length of a paragraph varies between 200 and 300 words, but it can be more. Ensure that a paragraph is neither too long nor too short and that there are sufficient explanations and analysis. Overly lengthy paragraphs with huge volumes of information tend to distract and confuse readers from the main argument.   

Once the paragraph has been written, a close reading is needed to assess whether the core idea is being communicated logically and if there is sufficient evidence and analysis. Each paragraph must link seamlessly with the previous ones using transitions. See that each sentence is conveyed coherently and relevant and that the thread of the argument is flowing clearly. By following the basic structure and key elements of academic paragraphs and implementing strategies to enhance clarity, cohesion, and flow, writers can effectively communicate their ideas and engage with scholarly discourse.  

Paperpal is a comprehensive AI writing toolkit that helps students and researchers achieve 2x the writing in half the time. It leverages 21+ years of STM experience and insights from millions of research articles to provide in-depth academic writing, language editing, and submission readiness support to help you write better, faster.  

Get accurate academic translations, rewriting support, grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, and generative AI assistance that delivers human precision at machine speed. Try for free or upgrade to Paperpal Prime starting at US$19 a month to access premium features, including consistency, plagiarism, and 30+ submission readiness checks to help you succeed.  

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How to Write a Good Conclusion: Outline and Examples

How to Write a Good Conclusion: Outline and Examples

Writing a well-structured and insightful concluding paragraph is akin to putting the final cherry on top of a delicious cake – it completes the experience and leaves a lasting impression. Whether you are crafting a paper, a report, or research, creating a persuasive closing paragraph can significantly enhance your work’s influence. This guide delineates the specifics of how to write a conclusion, explores the essential elements of a closure, offers strategies for writing one that resonates, and shares practical tips to sidestep common errors. Read on if writing a summative and logical ending seems challenging to you.

What is a Conclusion Paragraph and Why is it Important?

At its core, a paragraph conclusion serves to recap the major points of your paper and synthesize your primary argument. It serves as a final opportunity to make a memorable impact on your audience. Crafting a logical closure requires skillfully integrating key elements to reinforce the main argument and connect with the wider significance explored in the essay.

Types of concluding paragraphs include:

  • Summative Conclusion : This kind of closing paragraph briefly sums up the central points of the composition or report without adding new details.
  • Synthetic Closure : In this paragraph, the wrap-up statement goes beyond summarization to discuss the more extensive implications or relevance of the concepts expressed.
  • Final Comment : This type of summation, often used in persuasive or argumentative papers, makes a final appeal or recommendation based on the claims presented.

Different kinds of ending paragraphs fulfill various purposes, each aimed at making a strong impression on the reader. For additional assistance with essay writing, let’s say, generating ideas on how to start a conclusion paragraph, consider exploring AI tools such as the Aithor essay generator, available at https://aithor.com/ai-essay-generator .

Conclusion Paragraph Outline

Concluding paragraphs play a vital role in wrapping up an essay or report effectively. If you are wondering how to write a conclusion paragraph, follow our instructions: recap your central idea and major arguments, adding insight. A carefully constructed summation typically consists of three key elements:

  • Thesis Restatement : Begin writing your final paragraph by paraphrasing your central idea in a slightly different way than you did in the intro to reaffirm it.

Example : In a composition advocating for the significance of renewable energy, the summary statement may begin with: "Throughout history, energy sources have been central in shaping societies..."

  • Summary of Key Points : Next, recap the prime points or views earlier discussed in the body sections. This highlights the thesis and briefly reminds the audience of the path taken through your writing.

Example : From solar and wind to hydroelectric power, each renewable energy source offers distinct benefits in mitigating environmental change and reducing dependence on mineral fuels.

  • Final Comment : End your paper with a sentence that leaves a lasting impression or motivates the reader to act, based on the essay's purpose.

Example : As we look ahead to a sustainable future, utilizing sustainable energy not only helps the environment but also boosts the economy and enhances energy security.

To master writing a well-rounded conclusion, remember these essential steps. This conclusion paragraph structure effectively wraps up your paper, reinforces your primary ideas, and leaves an insight.

Strategies for Writing an Effective Conclusion

Crafting a captivating concluding section that resonates with your readers, is crucial for leaving a long-lasting impression. When writing your closing paragraph, consider employing these strategies:

Circle Back to the Intro : Referencing a key phrase or reasons from your opening paragraph can create a sense of cohesion and closure.

Example : If your introduction highlighted a current environmental crisis, your final paragraph could explore how renewable energy could offer a solution to this crisis.

Pose a Thought-Provoking Query : Encourage deeper contemplation by posing an intriguing question related to your essay topic.

Example : How can people and governments work together to speed up using renewable energy technologies?

Offer a Prediction or Recommendation : Based on your central points, suggest what might happen over time or recommend a course of action.

Example : Investing in renewable energy now can pave the way for a more sustainable and cleaner planet for prospective generations.

Connect to a Broader Context: Relate your paper’s topic to a larger issue or ongoing discussion to underscore its significance and relevance.

Example: The shift to renewable energy is not just about reducing emissions; it's part of a global movement towards sustainable development and ecological stewardship.

Avoid Overly Emotional Call-to-Action: While urging action, maintain a balanced tone to avoid coming across as overly emotional or sensational.

Example: Let's come together to adopt renewable energy and forge a more promising tomorrow for future generations.

By employing these techniques, make sure that your ending paragraph not only recaps your central arguments smoothly but also leaves a sense of purpose and inspiration to your readers.

What to Avoid While Writing a Conclusion

When composing your final paragraph, it's crucial to avoid typical pitfalls that may weaken your closing remarks. Consider some common errors:

Adding Fresh Details : Avoid presenting completely new thoughts or examples that haven’t been addressed in the body parts.

Example : In brief, whereas renewable energy has many benefits, nuclear power remains a controversial alternative.

Overusing Clichés or Generalizations : Keep your language fresh and related to your essay’s topic. Avoid clichéd phrases like "In conclusion," as they add unnecessary redundancy to the text.

Example : In essence, it is obvious that renewable energy is the path of the future.

Undermining Your Efforts : The essay’s last paragraph should assert the validity of the thesis, not undermine it.

Example : While my research has limitations, I believe renewable energy is still a practical alternative.

Overly Emotive Call-to-Action: Balance emotional appeal and confidence and avoid being overly dramatic while encouraging action.

Example: We must act now to embrace renewable energy for a sustainable future.

Confusing Summary with Analysis: Differentiate between recapping key points and providing deeper analysis. Reflect on your insights rather than repeating facts.

Example: Briefly, renewable energy benefits the environment and promotes economic stability.

Avoiding such pitfalls ensures – your closing statements contribute positively to the quality of your assignment. How to write a conclusion paragraph efficiently? Stay concentrated, specific, and assertive to generate an insightful closure that enhances your paper's impact.

Useful Phrases When Starting the Conclusion

Transitioning smoothly into your recap can enhance the influence and clarity of your final comments. Check out some useful phrases categorized by their purpose:

1.       Summarizing : "To sum up,...", "In summary,..."

2.       Reaffirming : "It is evident that...", "This reinforces the notion that..."

3.       Reflecting : "Considering these arguments,...", "Taking this into account,..."

4.   Looking Forward : "Considering the future,...", "Moving forward,..."

By using these connectors, you will write a paragraph that coherently wraps up your ideas and leaves stimulating thoughts.

Conclusion Samples with Explanation

Ending your composition and highlighting your focal points is essential to effectively generate a solid final paragraph. Here are two A-level samples, each crafted for different assignment types:

  • Summative Conclusion : To sum up, the investigation of renewable energy sources underscores their key role in addressing environmental change and lessening our reliance on limited resources. Solar, hydroelectric, and wind power – each provide distinct benefits that contribute to sustainability.

Explanation : This closing paragraph summarizes the central points discussed throughout the paper highlighting the paper’s thesis, without presenting new details.

  • Final Comment : As global energy requirements continue to rise, embracing renewable energy not only addresses environmental concerns but also opens avenues for financial prosperity and energy self-sufficiency. By putting resources into renewable technologies today, we set the stage for a more promising future for coming generations.

Explanation : This paragraph goes beyond summarization to underscore the wider implications and prospects specific to the main idea in the final part.

These conclusion examples illustrate how to create a memorable impression by briefly repeating key points and emphasizing broader implications.

In a nutshell, a meticulously crafted summary paragraph comprises three essential elements that elevate the essay’s impact and overall coherence. A well-structured conclusion paragraph outline involves skillfully recapping the central points, reaffirming your thesis, and forming a strong final impression. Also, the assignment’s ending represents your final occasion to provide insight, so make it count. By avoiding typical errors and employing effective tactics, you can guarantee that the closure not only ties your writing together but also resonates with the audience.

Now that you've learned the secrets of writing a closing paragraph, this guide has equipped you with the essential tools to navigate the process, ensuring your piece is succinct, coherent, and insightful. By adhering to these principles, your finale not only serves to reinforce the topic’s relevance but also inspires thoughtful reflection on its critical role in shaping a brighter future for upcoming generations.

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How to Start An Essay- Steps with Examples

Once you have a single idea to anchor your essay, build the entire piece around it. Starting an essay can be challenging; it's like revving up the engine and keeping your ideas flowing throughout. But I've got a foolproof plan for you. In this article I will show you how to start an essay and write a powerful, impactful piece for your class.

What is the Process of Writing an Essay?

Just like any task that requires organization, writing an essay follows a structured process. If you want to ensure that your essay is well-organized and not just a free flow of ideas, consider the following process:

Read and Understand the Prompt: Begin by carefully reading the essay prompt to fully grasp what is being asked of you. Break it down into manageable parts to ensure you cover every aspect in your essay.

Plan Your Essay: Take time to brainstorm and organize your ideas. Creating an outline or a web of your ideas and supporting details will make the writing process much smoother. This will help you structure your essay logically and ensure all your points are well thought out.

Use and Cite Sources: Conduct thorough research to gather information and evidence to support your arguments. Use quotes and paraphrases from credible sources, but always avoid plagiarism by properly citing your sources.

Write a Draft: Start by writing a rough draft. As Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is always crap.” This stage allows you to get all your ideas down without worrying about perfection. Drafts are essential for organizing your thoughts and refining your arguments.

Develop a Strong Thesis: Your thesis statement is the main argument of your essay and the most important sentence you'll write. Make it clear and compelling, setting the stage for your entire essay.

Respond to the Prompt: Once you've refined your draft, ensure that you are directly addressing every part of the prompt. Your final draft should be a polished version of your ideas, with a clear and logical flow.

Proofread: Review your essay carefully to catch any grammatical errors, typos, or awkward sentences. Proofreading is crucial because even small mistakes can undermine the professionalism and clarity of your essay.

What is the Structure of an Essay?

Although more advanced academic papers have their own unique structures, the basic high school or college essay typically follows a standardized five-paragraph format:

1.Introduction

Writing a well-structured essay is crucial for clearly conveying your ideas and arguments. While advanced academic papers may have complex structures, the basic high school or college essay typically follows a standardized five-paragraph format. This format includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion, each serving a specific purpose to guide the reader through your argument.

The introduction paragraph is where you start by grabbing the reader’s attention with an engaging "hook," such as a relevant quote or a surprising fact. Following this, you introduce your thesis statement, which is the central argument or point of your essay. To set the stage for the rest of the essay, you provide a brief preview of the three main points that will be covered in the body paragraphs.

The first body paragraph begins with a topic sentence that introduces the first subtopic related to your thesis. This paragraph includes supporting details or examples that illustrate your point, followed by an explanation of how these details or examples support your thesis. This structured approach ensures clarity and coherence, making your argument more persuasive.

The second body paragraph follows a similar format. It starts with a topic sentence that introduces the second subtopic. Again, you provide supporting details or examples and explain their relevance to your thesis. This repetition of structure helps reinforce your argument and makes it easier for the reader to follow your reasoning.

The third body paragraph introduces the third subtopic with a topic sentence. Just like the previous paragraphs, it includes supporting details or examples and explains how they support your thesis. This consistent format throughout the body paragraphs ensures that each point is clearly presented and thoroughly examined.

3.Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph begins with a concluding transition, such as "in conclusion," signaling that you are wrapping up your essay. You restate your thesis in a new way to reinforce your main argument. Then, you summarize the key points discussed in the body paragraphs, tying them back to your thesis.

Finally, you end with a "global statement" or call to action, leaving the reader with a final thought or suggestion related to your topic. This structured approach to essay writing helps ensure that your arguments are clear, cohesive, and compelling from start to finish.

How to Start an Essay [3 Steps with examples]

Starting an essay can bring a mix of thoughts: how to begin, how to end, what supporting points to use. This confusion often leads students to produce subpar essays. Writing an essay is a process that requires structure, which is why learning how to start an essay is crucial.

From my experience, the first tip is to analyze the question and begin brainstorming. This is followed by a series of steps I'll discuss to help you craft an essay that communicates your message effectively. Let's explore how to start an essay, including examples, samples, and techniques like opening with a thought-provoking question. Whether you're looking for "how to start an essay with examples" or a "how to start an essay sample," these tips will guide you towards a strong introduction that sets the tone for your entire piece.

1.Writing the Introduction

Your introduction sets the tone for your entire essay. It's your opportunity to grab the reader's attention and provide a roadmap for what's to come. Let's break down the key components following up with how to start an essay examples:

The hook is your opening statement that captivates your audience. It should be intriguing, thought-provoking, and relevant to your topic. A strong hook can take various forms, such as a startling statistic, a provocative question, or a vivid anecdote. The key is to pique your reader's curiosity and make them eager to read more.

a) "Imagine a world where your morning coffee could power your entire house for a day. While this might sound like science fiction, recent advancements in bioenergy are bringing us closer to this reality."

b) "In the time it takes you to read this sentence, over 200 species will have gone extinct. The alarming rate of biodiversity loss is not just a statistic—it's a call to action that we can no longer ignore."

Context / Background

After hooking your reader, provide context that helps them understand the significance of your topic. This background information should bridge the gap between your hook and your thesis statement. Explain why your topic matters, touch on recent developments or historical context, and set the stage for your main argument.

"The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has evolved from the realm of science fiction to a cornerstone of modern technology. Over the past decade, AI has permeated various aspects of our lives, from voice assistants in our homes to complex algorithms driving social media platforms. As AI continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, it raises profound questions about the future of work, privacy, and even what it means to be human. Understanding the implications of this technological revolution is crucial as we navigate an increasingly AI-driven world."

Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the cornerstone of your essay. It clearly articulates your main argument or purpose, providing a preview of what you'll discuss in the body of your essay. A strong thesis should be specific, arguable, and concise. It sets expectations for your readers and guides the structure of your essay.

"This essay will examine the ethical implications of AI development, arguing that while artificial intelligence offers tremendous benefits in fields such as healthcare and environmental protection, it also poses significant risks to privacy, job security, and social equality. By analyzing these challenges and proposing a framework for responsible AI development, I aim to demonstrate that proactive ethical considerations are essential to harnessing AI's potential while mitigating its dangers."

Overview Ending (Optional)

To round off your introduction, you might choose to provide a brief overview of your essay's structure. This can help orient your readers and give them a clear idea of what to expect. However, be careful not to give away too much—you want to maintain some element of anticipation.

"In exploring the ethical landscape of AI, we will first delve into its transformative potential across various sectors. Then, we'll critically examine the challenges and risks associated with widespread AI adoption. Finally, we'll propose a set of ethical guidelines and policy recommendations aimed at fostering responsible AI development. Through this analysis, we'll uncover how balancing innovation with ethical considerations is crucial for creating an AI-enhanced future that benefits all of humanity."

Once we have written our overview ending, our introduction paragraph is complete. Here is an example of an introduction paragraph:

This might initially appear daunting due to its size, but leveraging WPS AI can streamline and condense the content effectively. Here's how you can simplify and refine it:

Step 1: Select your entire introduction paragraph, and then click on the "WPS AI" icon in the hover menu.

Step 2: From the list of WPS AI options, click on "Make shorter" to help reduce the length of your content.

Step 3: WPS AI will display a shorter version of your introduction in a small window; click on "Replace".

Step 4: The introduction paragraph will now be replaced with a shorter version for your essay.

2.Writing the Body

The body of your essay is where you develop your arguments and provide evidence to support your thesis. It's the meat of your essay, where you dive deep into your topic and showcase your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Present and develop the main arguments that support your thesis statement. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea or argument that contributes to your overall thesis. This structure helps your reader follow your logic and understand your points clearly.

Let's say your thesis is about the impact of renewable energy on climate change mitigation. One argument could be:

"The widespread adoption of solar power technology has significantly reduced carbon emissions in countries that have invested heavily in this renewable energy source."

Support each argument with solid evidence that reinforces your point. Evidence can include facts, statistics, research findings, expert opinions, or examples from real-life situations. The stronger and more varied your evidence, the more convincing your argument will be.

"According to a 2023 report by the International Energy Agency, countries with high solar power adoption have seen an average reduction in carbon emissions of 15% over the past five years. For instance, Germany, a leader in solar energy, has cut its carbon emissions by 28% since 2010, with solar power contributing to more than half of this reduction."

Ideas (Paragraphs)

Organize your ideas into coherent paragraphs. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Follow this with your evidence and analysis, explaining how this information supports your argument and relates to your thesis.

Topic sentence: "Beyond reducing carbon emissions, solar power adoption also stimulates economic growth and job creation in the renewable energy sector."

Evidence and analysis: "A study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that solar panel installer will be the fastest-growing job in the United States over the next decade, with an expected growth rate of 52%. This surge in employment opportunities not only helps to offset job losses in traditional energy sectors but also contributes to overall economic resilience. For example, in California, the solar industry has created over 86,000 jobs, boosting the state's economy while simultaneously reducing its carbon footprint."

This structure is followed for each body paragraph added. So, if you think you have 3 sub-topics, you will have 3 body paragraphs, stating the sub-topic followed by evidence to back your argument.

Transitions

Use transitions to link your paragraphs and ideas together smoothly. These can be words or phrases that show how one idea leads to another or how different viewpoints contrast. Good transitions help your essay flow logically and coherently.

"While solar power demonstrates significant benefits for both the environment and economy, it's essential to consider other renewable energy sources that complement its strengths and address its limitations."

Here is how a body paragraph would look like:

3.Writing the Conclusion

Your conclusion is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader. It should tie together all the threads of your essay and reinforce your main points.

Summary / Synthesis

Summarize the main points you have discussed throughout the essay. This reminder helps solidify your arguments in the reader's mind.

"Throughout this essay, we've explored the multifaceted impact of renewable energy, particularly solar power, on our fight against climate change. We've seen how solar technology significantly reduces carbon emissions, stimulates economic growth through job creation, and complements other renewable energy sources. Moreover, we've examined the challenges of energy storage and distribution that come with increased reliance on solar power."

Importance of Your Topic

Explain why your topic is important or relevant. Connect the discussion back to the broader context or implications of your thesis statement.

"The transition to renewable energy sources like solar power is not just an environmental imperative; it's a pivotal moment in human history. As we face the growing threats of climate change, including rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss, our energy choices today will shape the world for generations to come. The widespread adoption of solar and other renewable energy sources offers a path to a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future."

Strong Closing Statement

End your conclusion with a strong closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. This could be a call to action, a prediction, or a thought-provoking question.

"As we stand at this critical juncture, the choice is clear: embrace the power of the sun and other renewable sources, or continue down a path of environmental degradation. By investing in solar technology, supporting policies that encourage renewable energy adoption, and making conscious energy choices in our daily lives, we can harness the immense potential of renewable energy. The future of our planet is bright - if we choose to make it so. Will you be part of this solar revolution?"

The final conclusion, including all the main functions, would look something like this:

Bonus Tips: How to Polish your Essay with WPS AI

The great thing about WPS Office isn't just that it comes equipped with everything a student in any field needs and has all the tools for you to write the perfect essay, but also that WPS AI helps you improve the quality of what you have at hand.

Grammar and Spelling Check:

WPS Office includes advanced grammar and spelling check tools that automatically identify and correct errors. This feature ensures that your writing is free of typos and grammatical mistakes, enhancing the overall readability and professionalism of your essays.

Let's say you have your completed essay open in WPS Office. With the help of WPS AI spell check, proofreading and spell-checking would become much easier. Simply click on "Accept All" to make all the necessary changes.

Style and Clarity Enhancement:

Beyond just fixing errors, WPS AI offers suggestions to improve your writing style and clarity. It helps you refine your sentence structure, choose more precise words, and eliminate unnecessary jargon. This ensures that your arguments are presented clearly and effectively, making your essays more compelling and easier to understand.

Writing Assistance:

WPS AI acts as a writing assistant, providing guidance on how to continue developing your ideas. Whether you’re stuck on how to transition between paragraphs or need help expanding on a particular point, the AI offers suggestions and tips to keep your writing process smooth and efficient. This can be especially helpful in maintaining a logical flow and ensuring that all your points are well-supported and clearly articulated.

FAQs About Starting an Essay

1. what is the purpose of the introduction in an essay.

The purpose of the introduction in an essay is to familiarize the reader with the topic, highlighting its significance and relevance. It captures the reader's interest while providing essential background information. Additionally, the introduction outlines the main points of the essay and presents the thesis statement, which acts as the core argument that forms the foundation of the entire essay. By laying out these components, the introduction clarifies the importance of the topic and prepares the reader for what lies ahead in the essay.

2. What is a topic sentence?

A topic sentence is a statement that conveys the primary idea of a paragraph. It conveys the main point and establishes the paragraph's focus, ensuring that all subsequent sentences are connected to this key idea. Every paragraph in your paper should include a topic sentence to clarify its purpose.

3. Why do I need a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is crucial because it defines the main argument of an essay, guiding the writer's direction and helping the reader understand the central focus. It serves as a roadmap for the content that follows, ensuring that all points are relevant to the main idea.

4. How can I make my essay introduction stand out?

To create a memorable essay introduction, begin with an engaging hook, such as an intriguing fact, a thought-provoking quote, or a vivid illustration. Additionally, ensure that your introduction is concise, focused, and directly related to the main topic of the essay. This approach will draw the reader in and establish a solid foundation for your argument.

Create Compelling Essays With WPS Office

Learning how to start an essay will ultimately help you transform your ideas into a compelling narrative. All you need is a prompt and a topic to craft the best essay possible. Remember to infuse your work with a bit of heart to give it a personalized touch, making your writing truly unique and engaging. WPS Office is an excellent tool to help you achieve a well-crafted essay. It assists in forming proper sentences and generating new ideas, ensuring your essay is both coherent and creative.

With features like grammar and spelling checks, style and clarity enhancement, and writing assistance, WPS Office supports you every step of the way in your writing process. Download WPS Office now and experience its capabilities for yourself. It’s designed to make essay writing easier and more efficient, allowing you to focus on expressing your ideas and arguments effectively.

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  • Parenthetical vs. narrative
  • Multiple authors

Missing information

  • Sources to include

Tools and resources

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APA 7th edition publication manual

How to create APA citations

APA Style is widely used by students, researchers, and professionals in the social and behavioral sciences. Scribbr’s free citation generator automatically generates accurate references and in-text citations.

This citation guide outlines the most important citation guidelines from the 7th edition APA Publication Manual (2020).

  • Cite a webpage
  • Cite a book
  • Cite a journal article
  • Cite a YouTube video

APA in-text citations

APA in-text citations include the author’s last name, publication date, and, if relevant, a locator such as a page number or timestamp. For example, (Smith, 2021, p. 170) . See it as a shorter version of the entry in the reference list .

You should include in-text citations every time you’re quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas or words. In doing so, you give credit to the original author and avoid plagiarism .

Parenthetical vs. narrative citation

The in-text citation can take two forms: parenthetical and narrative. Both types are generated automatically when citing a source with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator.

  • Parenthetical citation: According to new research … (Smith, 2020) .
  • Narrative citation: Smith (2020) notes that …

Multiple authors and corporate authors

The in-text citation changes slightly when a source has multiple authors or an organization as an author. Pay attention to punctuation and the use of the ampersand (&) symbol.

Author typeParenthetical citationNarrative citation
One author(Smith, 2020)Smith (2020)
Two authors(Smith & Jones, 2020)Smith and Jones (2020)
Three or more authors(Smith et al., 2020)Smith et al. (2020)
Organization(Scribbr, 2020)Scribbr (2020)

When the author, publication date or locator is unknown, take the steps outlined below.

Missing elementWhat to doParenthetical citation
AuthorUse the source title.*( , 2020)
DateWrite “n.d.” for “no date.”(Smith, n.d.)
Page numberEither use an or
omit the page number.
(Smith, 2020, Chapter 3) or
(Smith, 2020)

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APA references

APA references generally include information about the author , publication date , title , and source . Depending on the type of source, you may have to include extra information that helps your reader locate the source.

It is not uncommon for certain information to be unknown or missing, especially with sources found online. In these cases, the reference is slightly adjusted.

Missing elementWhat to doReference format
AuthorStart the reference entry with the source title.Title. (Date). Source.
DateWrite “n.d.” for “no date”.Author. (n.d.). Title. Source.
TitleDescribe the work in square brackets.Author. (Date). [Description]. Source.

Formatting the APA reference page

APA reference page (7th edition)

On the first line of the page, write the section label “References” (in bold and centered). On the second line, start listing your references in alphabetical order .

Apply these formatting guidelines to the APA reference page:

  • Double spacing (within and between references)
  • Hanging indent of ½ inch
  • Legible font (e.g. Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11)
  • Page number in the top right header

Which sources to include

On the reference page, you only include sources that you have cited in the text (with an in-text citation ). You should not include references to personal communications that your reader can’t access (e.g. emails, phone conversations or private online material).

In addition to the APA Citation Generator, Scribbr provides many more tools and resources that help millions of students and academics every month.

  • Citation Generator : Generate flawless citations in APA, MLA , and Harvard style .
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  • AI detector: Find out if your text was written with ChatGPT or any other AI writing tool. ChatGPT 2 & ChatGPT 3 supported.
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COMMENTS

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