Barbara P.
Barbara P.

Essay Introduction - Structure, Examples, and Guidelines

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Published on: Feb 25, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 25, 2022

Essay Introduction

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Writing is surely not everyone’s cup of tea. But, you can always learn how to do it. The first step to learn essay writing is to learn how to start the essay. An essay starts with the introduction paragraph.

The introduction paragraph is the most important part of your essay. By reading your introduction, the reader will decide whether or not they want to read the rest of your essay. So, you do want to make sure that your essay starts with a well-written introduction.

If you plan to write an essay and want to do it well, read this blog further to know more about the essay introduction.

What is an Essay Introduction?

An essay introduction is basically your essay topic in a nutshell. It will set the reader’s expectations about what they are going to read further in the essay. This makes it the most significant part of the essay.

A good essay introduction has a proper structure. It majorly comprises of four parts. They are the attention grabber, the background or topic description, the thesis statement, and the transition sentence.

For a good and proper introduction, it is important that you add all the mentioned parts carefully and make sure that it is well-structured and engaging enough for the readers.

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What is the Purpose of Introduction in an Essay?

You will be able to write an introduction well if you first understand its purpose. Following are the two main deliverables of an introduction paragraph:

  • It should provide an idea to the reader about your essay. It should also explain the context and dimension of the topic briefly.
  • The second purpose of an introduction is to hook your reader to your essay. It should develop the reader’s interest in your essay.

How to Write an Introduction for an Essay?

If you want to write a good introduction while writing a paper, follow the below-mentioned steps:

1. Grabbing the Reader’s Attention

The attention grabber is the first part of the essay. It comprises the first few lines of an essay. If you are thinking about how to start an essay introduction, then a good hook is your answer. There are the following seven types of attention grabbers:

  • Question Hook: You can start your essay by asking a question.
  • Anecdotes: Anecdotes are short stories from your daily life or other observations that indirectly reference your essay.
  • Quotations: You can also start your essay with quotations of famous personalities.
  • Declaratory Statements: Such statements are the writer’s claims that they will prove further in the essay.
  • Descriptive Starting: Descriptive startings are the vivid explanations of the story or the subject discussed in the essay. They are mostly used in narrative or expository essays.
  • Facts and Statistics: Startling facts or stats serve as an excellent hook for your essay. You can state any fact about the topic or a fact that validates your stance.
  • Metaphors: Metaphors are the statements or words that indirectly refer to your topic or subject of discussion.

2. Linking the Attention Grabber with the Rest of the Paragraph

The next step in writing the introduction paragraph is to join or link your hook with the rest of the introduction. You can not simply just write a fact, quotation, story, or metaphor and leave it to the reader to understand. Instead, you should write one or two sentences to briefly describe the hook and state how it explains the topic.

3. Introducing the Topic

After you are done with grabbing the reader’s attention, you will explain your essay’s topic briefly. You can do this in the following ways:

  • State the Larger Context of the Topic: You can introduce the topic by explaining the topic’s general context. For instance, if the essay is about deglobalization, you can start writing how the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted global movement and interaction.
  • Provide the Necessary Background Information: You can also mention the basic history or background of the topic in the introduction. Keep in mind that the background should be just enough to explain the subject matter. It is not a detailed historical description of the topic. So, keep the background brief.
  • Define the Key Terms: Another way to introduce your topic is by defining the key terms in the topic. For example, the topic may consist of terms that only the people of that particular field can understand. Then you should briefly decode the terms and give their small definitions or explanations in your own words.
  • Follow the Order of General to Specific: After writing the attention grabber, do not directly write about your topic. Instead, follow the rule of general to specific. First, explain the larger context, then the specific background of the topic, and then come to the definitions of the key terms.

4. Writing the Thesis Statement

The last part of the introduction structure is the thesis statement. The thesis statement provides the overview of your essay or states your stance on the topic. It should not exceed three to four sentences. The thesis statement is usually written at the end of the introduction paragraph.

5. Create a Transition to the Body of the Essay

The last sentence of the introduction should be a transition sentence. The transition is not a must in all essays. However, without a transition sentence, your introduction paragraph and body paragraph may not look coherent. So, it is recommended to add a sentence giving a slight hint of the first body paragraph.

Essay Introduction Examples

To get a clearer understanding of writing an essay introduction, you should see the examples below.

1. Introduction Example of an Argumentative Essay

“How to write an introduction for an argumentative essay?”

An introduction that argues about the pros and cons of single parenting can have the following introduction:

Are both parents absolutely necessary? Is a father or a mother figure required for a young boy or a girl, respectively? Since always, children with single parents are considered abnormal or different. People think that raising a child single-handedly is very hard, yet the trend has increasingly become popular. There are several examples of children with single parents that have done pretty well for themselves. The debatable topic is the difference in opportunities or abilities of the children who single, or both parents have raised. People, however, need to accept that raising a child has nothing to do with the family structure.This job can be done by a single parent just as well as it can be done by both parents together.

2. Introduction Example of a Descriptive Essay

If you want to write a descriptive essay related to the topic of pollution, then give this sample introduction a read.

Several people prefer cities over villages for living. These urban centers are a hub of all kinds of facilities for humans. However, all cities are majorly facing the curse of air pollution. Air pollution is the most harmful form of pollution. People damage their health in multiple ways by breathing in the polluted air of cities. So, cities may offer several privileges in terms of facilities, but the drawbacks are surely there.

Qualities of a Good Essay Introduction

A good essay introduction should have the following characteristics:

1. Limited Scope

An essay introduction should not be too long to bore the reader. It is not lengthier than the rest of the essay paragraphs as it should not look like a mini-essay itself. It should only highlight the points of your essay briefly. So, always limit the scope of your essay introduction.

2. Must have an Attention Grabber

A reader will be more interested in reading an essay with a good hook at the start rather than that with a plain start. So, whether you are writing an essay for your college or a publication, add an attention grabber in the introduction paragraph.

3. The introduction should provide a Roadmap for your Essay

As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the introduction paragraph is to set the reader’s expectations. So, a good introduction will always provide a brief overview of the essay. It will tell the reader what they are going to be reading further.

4. It Should Depict your Understanding of the Topic

The same topic can be depicted differently by different people. Moreover, if you are doing academic writing, it is essential to let your teacher know that you have understood the topic. Thus, an introduction should be written in a way that shows your understanding and perception of the topic.

5. A Smooth Transition to the Body of the Essay

The introduction paragraph should smoothly offer transition to the body paragraph of the essay. It should not look like a separate chunk. Rather, it should lead the reader towards the body of the essay.

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Characteristics of a Bad Essay Introduction

An essay introduction that will surely get you low grades in your college has the following characteristics. For writing an effective essay introduction, avoid these mistakes.

1. Too lengthy:

A bad introduction is too lengthy. Though an introduction is lengthier than the normal paragraphs, such an introduction is even more voluminous. Sometimes, people also tend to write the introduction in more than one paragraph, which is a wrong practice.

2. Highly Detailed History

The introduction paragraphs should include the background information, but it should not be too detailed. If it gets too historic, then it loses relevancy and becomes boring.

3. No Hook

An introduction not having an attention grabber or an appropriate hook does not leave a good impression. A general reader might not even read your essay without it.

4. Announcement of the topic

You should introduce the topic but should never announce it. For instance, “ Now I am going to talk about my topic of gender equality……..”. This is very informal and should be avoided.

5. Lacks a Clear Thesis Statement

Sometimes people do not include a thesis statement in their essays. In other cases, their thesis statement does not serve the purpose. So, a bad introduction always lacks a clear thesis statement.

Your introduction writing process should be based on the dos and don'ts of the essay introduction mentioned in this blog. You can also take help from the introduction samples to get a better idea.

If you are considering hiring a writing service for your essay then should be your first choice. Our essay writing service has a range of writers who can write your essay for you.

Barbara P.


Barbara P., Literature, Marketing

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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