Useful Ideas on How to Start an Essay

The introduction or the first paragraph of any essay is the most important part. That’s because it provides you with a unique chance to grab people’s attention and set the right agenda for the rest of your paper in terms of its content and tone. How to start an essay? Unfortunately, there is no one-fits-all correct way to succeed for all students. It’s possible to start your academic writing in countless ways because you can write essays on a number of subjects. However, there are certain guidelines that can improve your essay introduction if you take them into account.

How to Create a Roadmap for Essays

Start with an attention-grabbing sentence. Although this paper is interesting to you, it doesn’t mean that it will be interesting to the targeted audience. People tend to be picky about what they prefer to read, and it’s hard to impress professors. If your piece of writing doesn’t catch their attention at once, they won’t be interested in reading it. That’s why you should start your paper with the sentence that attracts their attention, but it must be logically connected to the rest of your essay. For example, you can do the following:

  • Start your essay with some little-known statistics or fascinating facts;
  • Start with a catchy description of the image that fits into your essay writing logically.

Telling Readers What Your Paper Is About

Don’t hesitate to draw readers into your essay because a perfect introductory sentence can catch their attention. Keep pulling them into your essay, or they will lose their interest fast. Follow the first sentence with something that logically links your attention-grabbing hook to the rest of your paper. It should expand the narrow scope of the first sentence and focus on a larger context.

In most cases, essays are not descriptive, and they all have a specific purpose beyond them. Some of them may change people’s mind about a given subject and persuade them into taking the necessary action, while others just tell them thought-provoking stories. The main purpose of any essay introduction is telling readers a basic purpose served by the rest of this paper. This way, people can quickly decide whether it’s worth their attention.

Outlining the Structure of Your Academic Paper

How to start an essay easily? Sometimes, it’s great to go a few steps further in the introduction to describe how this piece of writing will achieve its goal. Think about breaking down your essay into specific and distinct sections to make the chosen subject easier to understand for the audience. Students should master this skill because teachers often require doing that, but this method is not always suitable, especially for light-hearted papers, as you may intimidate readers by sharing too much information at once. In this case, simply outline the key topics of discussion to let readers understand the main purpose.

Making a Clear Thesis Statement

In essay writing, a thesis is a single sentence that represents the main point of the whole paper as concisely and clearly as possible. Most assignments require students to include their thesis statement at the end of the essay introduction. All academic papers can benefit from the purpose-defining and concise power of your bold thesis. A general rule is to write it at the end of the essay introduction, but you can put it in other places.

  • When dealing with serious subjects and writing about them in a straightforward manner, stay direct with a thesis statement;
  • In some assignments, you may need to tell readers a story, set the right mood, and illustrate personal topics, so a direct thesis is not suitable.

Setting the Right Tone of Your Paper

The essay introduction is not only the best place to discuss the chosen subject, but it’s also a great place to establish how you will do that. Your writing voice is something that can both encourage and discourage other people from reading your essay. If your tone is pleasing, appropriate, and clear at the beginning of essays, people are more likely to read them. However, if it sounds muddled and mismatched, you’re quite likely to fail. When writing essay introductions, making them shorter is almost always the best rule to follow.

  • If you can share the necessary information in 5 sentences, do it;
  • If it’s possible to use simple words instead of something obscure, do it;
  • If you can get the main message across in a few words, do it;
  • If you can make introductory passages shorter without ruining their clarity and quality, do it.

How to start an essay successfully? Its introduction is the most effective part to get readers into a central idea, but keep it short. Don’t shorten this paragraph so much that it becomes illogical and unclear to the audience.

How to Tailor the Introduction to the Rest of Your Essay

Everything depends on the type of essay that you need to write. Although all academic assignments are unique, there are specific strategies that can help students make the most of their papers based on their type.

  • Argumentative writing

When writing argumentative papers, your main argument must be summarized. This piece of writing argues a certain point of view trying to persuade others into agreeing with it. That’s why you should concentrate on summing up your argument in the essay introduction. This writing strategy can provide readers with a fast rundown of the logic that you use to support your stance.

  • Creative writing

This assignment is more emotionally charged than other types of essays, so you can get away with starting it with some metaphorical statement. Stay attention-grabbing, memorable, and exciting when starting your paper to draw the audience into it. You have enough space to be creative because such essays are not based on any mechanical aspects of academic writing, including outlining the right structure and stating a key purpose. Ensure that the first sentence is compelling without sounding too action-packed.

  • Entertainment and arts writing

When writing book reports, movie reviews, and other similar papers, there are fewer expectations and rules compared to technical writing. However, the beginning of these essays can still benefit from the overarching strategy, so you can get away with some playfulness, but ensure that your overall focus is described in specific and small details.

  • Scientific and technical writing

Not all academic assignments are exciting and interesting, especially when it comes to scientific and technical essays because they serve a number of practical purposes, such as informing readers about serious subjects. That’s why they must be purely informative, so stay critical when writing them and avoid including colorful images, jokes, and other things that aren’t related to your academic task. Such assignments often contain special summaries and abstracts that tell others what they are all about.

  • Journalistic essay writing

How to start an essay of this type? This assignment differs from others and it requires students to address the most important facts first. Make an effort to concentrate on the pure facts of your story instead of sharing your opinion. The introduction of this paper should be more descriptive instead of being persuasive or argumentative. This writing approach allows readers to learn the basics of your story at once.

Effective Strategies to Write Essay Introductions

  • Write an introductory paragraph last

When starting to write essays, many students forget that no one asks them to write the introduction first. You can start anywhere if it suits your purpose and as long as you combine the whole paper together. Skip the introduction if you don’t know how to start or what to write in your essay. Once other paragraphs are ready, you get a better grasp of your subject.

  • Brainstorm

Even the best students can run out of interesting ideas. So, if you have hard times when getting started, try this effective technique. Write down all possible ideas to choose the most suitable ones for your next paper. Try freewriting to start writing about anything that comes to your mind.

The Importance of Revising

The first draft of your essay can be easily improved by revising and reviewing it. This step shouldn’t be neglected if you want to submit a perfect paper. Successful students never turn in their assignments without checking them twice. Revising allows them to find grammar and spelling mistakes, fix different portions of essay writing, get rid of useless information, and so on. This task is even more important for the beginning of your essay where even small mistakes can damage it a lot. Be sure to give your essay introduction a detailed revision.