How to Write the Introduction for an Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write the Introduction for an Essay

The introduction of an essay is as important as the other parts of an essay. To really get how to write the introduction for an essay right, we must briefly talk about what an essay really is. An essay is a text in which the author exposes and argues his point of view on a particular subject ranging from social, cultural, or political. Essays are typically used in academic settings, but nowadays many authors publish essays that are accessible to everyone. Indeed, the sale of this literary genre has increased a lot in recent years.

Each essay, like each author, is totally different. However, there are basic rules about the structure of an essay, which help make the text accessible and clear to readers. If you are thinking of writing one, knowing how to start your essay, and therefore how to introduce an essay, is a must.

How to introduce an essay

In other to know how to introduce an essay, you should take into consideration, the first part that exposes the reader to the topic to be covered, and this is what comes right after the title of the essay. Readers are not necessarily experts in the subject they are going to read, which is why the introduction should be clear and should show that you are familiar with the subject. To start the introduction for an essay, you can start by defining the basic terms of your subject or recall the historical context or the theories that surround it.

Generally, this type of text is divided into several basic parts, which you absolutely must know to fully learn how to introduce an essay:

  • The introduction (which we will talk about in this article).
  • The development of the text: part in which you will present your ideas, your opinions, your justified and argued agreements and / or disagreements.
  • The conclusion: the part in which you will review all the ideas developed throughout your text, stating your results.
  • Appendices: the appendices may or may not appear in an essay. It will depend on whether you have consulted specific sources, whether you have cited authors and their works, and so on.

There are different types of essays, such as literary, critical, scientific, or narrative essays, which have been discussed previously on this blog. The language and vocabulary of your essay, as well as its purpose, should be appropriate for the genre your essay is going to be a part of. In general, however, all types of essays should contain the same parts.

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How to start the introduction of an essay

The first thing you need to know about how to write an introduction for an essay is exactly what you are going to be talking about. Whether you want to express your opinion and your thoughts on the current politics of a country or want to analyze and share your ideas on consumer society with the whole world, there are many topics to discuss and cover in an essay. The important thing is to be clear about what you want to write about, and why. However, to write an essay, and therefore an introduction, keep these few questions in mind:

  • How you are going to introduce the subject you are going to discuss.
  • What style of writing you will use: Does your essay take the form of a dialogue in which two people ask questions and give answers to the main topic? Or on the contrary, is it a story divided into several chapters, in which are presented the different parts of your reasoning?

Remember that what you say is as important as how you say it, especially if you want your work to be read by as many people as possible.

How to start an introduction is as important a task as writing the essay itself. With a good introduction, you will be able to capture the reader’s attention. To make a good introduction, it’s important to start your essay with a so-called “catchphrase” that will make what you’re going to talk about clear.

If you want the introduction of your essay to be effective, you should consider the following tips:

  • Structure the introduction clearly with distinct paragraphs.
  • Use an academic or more specialized style if the text is intended for experts.
  • If you want to write essays intended for the public, use language which, although formal, can be understood without the need for specialized dictionaries.
  • If you must use a specific term, explain it clearly using notations or illustrative examples.

You should also explain the topic you want to talk about, and at the same time put the reader in the context of your write-up. Let’s examine an introductory example from a college essay, with the topic “Cellphones destroy social relationships.” The appropriate way of starting your text is like this:

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Today, due to the great social and technological changes that we are going through, our interpersonal relationships have been diminished using cell phones and, consequently, social networks. We use all these virtual communication channels to create new friendships, and even romantic relationships. Will there comes a time when technological advances will eventually cancel out or even transform the feelings of human beings? Will we lose our innate communication and social skills to the benefit of others or an exclusively virtual world?”

The idea is to give the reader the opportunity to put themselves in context and, if possible, identify with or understand the problem, idea, or theory that you are going to talk about next.

How to do the introduction of an academic essay

In the case of university or academic essays also called dissertations or thesis, the introduction begins with what is called a “hypothesis.” The entire essay will be premised on answering the questions as proffered in the hypothesis and using it as a guideline to develop and argue your entire essay.

Unlike non-academic essays, it is imperative that you have an in-depth understanding of the topic you want to develop in an academic essay, as well as the opinions of other authors on that topic. For this, it is essential that you do research to understand your subject. For example, if you decide to take an essay on astronomy when your knowledge of the subject is very limited, it would be nearly impossible to have a viable and justifiable essay.

Knowing how to start an introduction for an essay is just as important as knowing what you should never put in that part. Too much information at the start of the text will exhaust the reader’s interest before they turn the first page. Therefore, never include the following in your introduction:

  • Conclusions: The conclusions of your essay should be like icing on the cake. Always leave them for the end.
  • Proposals or solutions to the problems posed: No one knows the solution until they know what the problem is, so don’t be in a hurry and don’t get ahead of the facts

In Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is obvious that crafting a good introductory paragraph to a research paper is imperative to the success of the paper. Hence, knowing how to write an introduction is a must learn skill.

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