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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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How To Write An Essay Introduction: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing a strong introduction is one of the most important parts of crafting a polished essay. The opening paragraph sets the tone for your argument and piques the reader’s interest right from the start. This article will break down the step-by-step process for writing an effective essay introduction, including determining your essay statement, hooking the reader with an attention-grabbing opening, providing an overview of the essay, and revising your writing. Relevant examples will be provided for each step to illustrate how it can be implemented. By following these guidelines and examples to write essay introduction, you’ll be well on your way to starting your essay off strong.

Determine Your Essay Statement:

The foundation of any solid academic paper or essay comes from having a clear, focused statement. Your statement should present the central argument you will explore and prove over the course of the essay. It conveys the perspective or conclusion you have reached regarding the topic at hand and contains the key points or ideas you will analyse in your body paragraphs.

For example, let’s say the topic is police brutality in America . A weak statement might be:

“This paper will discuss police brutality.”

This statement is too broad and does not take a clear stance. A stronger statement could be:

“This paper argues that systemic racism within American police departments has led to disproportionate violence against people of colour and proposes policy reforms such as mandatory de-escalation training, community oversight boards, and bans on chokeholds as ways to promote racial justice and restore trust in law enforcement.”

This statement is clearer, narrower, and takes a definitive position that can be supported over the course of the essay. It outlines the key points that will be analysed in the body paragraphs. Some tips for crafting a strong essay statement include:

  • Narrow your topic to a single, manageable claim rather than a broad topic area. Ask yourself what specific point you want to make or prove.
  • Keep your essay statement concise – usually one sentence that is between 10-15 words. Short, sweet, and right to the point is best.
  • Use definitive language that takes a stance rather than presenting both sides. State your perspective overtly rather than hinting at it.
  • Include elements that will structure your essay, such as key terms, concepts, individuals, events, or works that you will analyse in depth.
  • Place the statement at the end of your introductory paragraph so readers have context before your central argument.
  • Check that your statement gives a sense of direction for the essay by tying back to the prompt or guiding question if one was provided. Make sure any contents or claims mentioned in the statement are logically argued and proven over the body paragraphs.

With conscious effort focused on these strategies, you can craft a crystal clear statement that sets an achievable roadmap for your essay’s structure and analysis. It’s the linchpin that holds everything together.

Hook the Reader:

Now that you have identified your central argument, the next important element is hooking the reader right away with an engaging opening sentence. Your essay introduction only has a few short lines to capture attention and establish a compelling tone – so make them count!

For example, in an essay analysing the themes of power and corruption in George Orwell’s Animal Farm , you may begin with:

“While on the surface a simple fable about barnyard insurrection, George Orwell’s Animal Farm contains deeper parallels to the corruption of the Russian Revolution that have cemented its status as a classic of political satire.”

This opening directly references the subject work and piques curiosity about its deeper significance. Another essay, on debates over police funding, may start with:

“In June of 2020, as national protests against police brutality erupted across America, the Minneapolis City Council made a bold claim – they would dismantle the police department entirely.”

This current events reference establishes relevance while surprising readers on where the introduction may lead. Some other attention-grabbing techniques may include:

  • Quotes, statistics or facts: Drop an interesting snippet of evidence right off the bat to surprise and intrigue readers.
  • Rhetorical questions: Pose an open-ended query to make readers think and get them invested in the topic.
  • Vivid scenarios: Paint a picture with descriptive details to transport readers visually into your world.
  • Counterintuitive claims: Challenge conventional wisdom in a thought-provoking manner from the start.
  • Relevant anecdotes: Share a brief personal story that builds empathy and relevance.
  • Current events: Reference a newsworthy development to show timeliness of discussion.
  • Humour: Start off on a lighter note if your tone allows for a bit of levity to capture smiles.
  • Definitions: Clarify how you are using important terms in an original way.

The goal is to pique natural human curiosity by teasing just enough context without giving everything away. Make readers want to lean in and keep reading to learn more. With practice, you’ll develop your own signature style for captivating opener sentences tailored to your voice and content area.

Provide Overview and Preview:

After generating initial intrigue, use the next couple lines of your introductory paragraph to offer readers direction about where you aim to lead them. Provide a brief overview of key facts and background necessary to establish context for the topic. You can state the main themes, schools of thought, influential figures, opposing viewpoints or any other defining characteristics that help orient readers. Moreover, it’s helpful to give a quick preview of how the remainder of your paper is structured by stating the main supporting points and ideas you will expand upon in subsequent paragraphs. This overview transitions the reader smoothly into the body while retaining suspense about which evidence or analyses might surprise them along the way. You can also state the main themes or ideas that will structure your paper by saying something like:

“This paper examines three prevailing schools of thought on the debate, analyses the flawed assumptions behind popular arguments, and ultimately argues that sustainable policy reforms are necessary to make progress.”

A quick preview helps transition the reader into the body of the essay while retaining suspense about how your unique analysis and evidence will unfold. It gives them direction without revealing all your cards.

For a humanities essay on morality in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, an overview may be:

“This essay explores how Steinbeck portrays the human need for dignity and companionship through the lens of 1930s migrant work. It analyses the complex relationships between George, Lennie, and other characters to ultimately argue Steinbeck uses their plight to comment on the dehumanizing realities of the Great Depression.”

Providing a lightly detailed synopsis serves as a useful roadmap and entices continued learning without “spoiling” your full analysis and argumentative strategies still to unfold. It gives structure without giving everything away too quickly. Try to keep this final sentence of your introductory paragraph under 2-3 concise sentences for optimal impact and flow.

Crafting Your Outline:

As highlighted in the previous sections, it’s crucial your introduction tightly links back to your overall essay’s content and fulfils its signposting purpose. That’s why outlining both your introduction as well as the overall essay structure simultaneously is advised. Determine the flow of ideas for your body paragraphs first so the introduction can adequately mirror that intended progression and put forth clues about what’s to come without fully revealing your hand. Some tips for outlining:

  • Jot down your main points, analyses and support in note form in whatever sequential order makes the most logical sense based on how the evidence flows together.
  • Assign each chunk of information a corresponding letter or number to use as headings to structure the physical writing later.
  • Consider how long you want each body paragraph or section to be – aim for Uniformity but allow flexibility if needed.
  • Fill in any gaps where transitions between ideas may fall flat by inserting more research or brainstorming.
  • Note sources and direct quotations or examples you plan to incorporate with their corresponding place in the outline.
  • Leave space after each point to type out the full paragraphs once you begin physically writing up the essay.

For example, an outline analysing political themes in Shakespeare’s Macbeth may group as:

I. Introduction

Statement: Shakespeare uses…to critique early modern politics etc.

II. Royal Misconduct

A. Ambition

  • Quotes on Lady Macbeth’s speech
  • Examples of Macbeth’s soliloquies

B. Ethical Failures

  • Scene of murdering Duncan
  • Banquo’s ghost

III. Downfall of a Leader

A. Isolation of a Tyrant

  • Macbeth’s madness
  • Example of the witches’ final prophecies

B. Fall from Grace

  • Macduff’s return
  • Scene of final battle

A carefully mapped outline lays the essential roadmap for your essay and ensures each new section builds cohesively upon the last. Returning to review your essay introduction paragraph against this master plan before finalizing it is a great way to guarantee it delivers on signposting duties effectively.

Edit and Revise:

Like any other part of the writing process, allow time for careful editing and revising your introduction. The advice of trusted writing consultants or professors can highlight areas where clarity or flow could be improved. When editing:

  • Evaluate the strength and focus of your statement. Revise as needed.
  • Check introductory paragraph follows a logical progression from start to finish.
  • Ensure any defined terms, names or background are clearly explained at first mention.
  • Evaluate your opening sentence – is it still an effective hook or could a stronger technique be swapped in?
  • Trim any excess wordiness that does not directly serve orienting the reader.
  • Proofread spelling, grammar punctuation to eliminate issues that break reading flow.
  • Consider reworking sentence structure for variances and eloquent phrasing.
  • Have your introduction mimic the organization and tone of the essay to follow.

Evaluate whether it successfully previews your paper’s substantive content and leave enough for the reader to discover on their own. Getting constructive outside eyes on your introduction is invaluable for perfecting its impact and quality prior to submission. Keep refining until you’re proud of each elegant, cohesive element!

Conclusion:

In conclusion, crafting an introduction is as much an art as a strategic process. With practice and conscious attention to these elements, your opening paragraphs can set the stage for a strong essay that grabs reader attention from the very start and invites them into your perspective. Remember – determination of a focused statement that ties back to the essay’s key aims, hooking curiosity with an intriguing lead sentence, orienting with context and previews of what’s to come, and allowing time for revision will set your work up for success. Following these guidelines for writing an effective introduction lays the foundation for proficient academic and professional communications. Continue challenging yourself to develop your signature voice and writing excellence.

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How to Write the Best Book Introduction (With Checklists & Examples)

  • on Aug 31, 2022
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  • Last update: August 31st, 2022
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Readers might be intrigued by a book standing in the middle of a bookstore lined with shiny artwork. But what will make them flip through the pages after they’ve picked it up? And what will lead them to the cashier to make a commitment to this one book out of countless others? The answer lies in the ‘book introduction’. That’s where the real magic happens: where the author hooks the reader and captures their thoughts, making them feel like what they’re about to read is going to change their life in some way. 

In this article, we are going to cover the purpose of book introductions; the simple steps you can take to write a great one for your book (whether it’s for a work of fiction or nonfiction); and finally, we’ll share some examples by authors who just nailed the assignment!

how to write a book introduction

In this article :

  • What is a book introduction exactly?
  • Why you need a book introduction
  • How to write a book introduction that people will actually read
  • Fiction book introduction checklist (downloadable)
  • Non-fiction book introduction checklist (downloadable)
  • Examples of great book introductions (fiction and non-fiction)

Forward VS Preface Vs Introduction

There are many different elements that make up the “ front matter ” of a book, or the pages preceding the body. We’ve all come across introductions, forewords, and prefaces, and sometimes a book can have a mix of all three. So first, let’s establish the differences between them.

Forewords are usually not written by the author or editor, but rather by someone who is knowledgeable on the book’s subject—preferably a “celebrity” in the field. Forewords represent a way for authors to earn readers’ trust by having someone well-established vouch for these authors and their work. And usually, they are no more than a couple of pages long— just like a letter of reference . 

A preface provides a general overview of a book and is written by the author or editor. It touches upon the author’s reasons for writing the book, how it is written, and why the author is an expert on the subject. What it doesn’t do, however, is offer a close examination of the book’s contents. Think of a preface as the “why” and “how” of a work, but not the “what.” 

Introduction

A book’s introduction, on the other hand, can provide the same overview that a preface does, while also discussing and adding to the subject of the book. It is written by the author and usually offers readers an outline of the book’s contents, letting the readers know what’s to come. In effect, it acts as the “hook”—a  justification for why readers should turn to the first chapter, and also why they should make it all the way to the end. 

Forward VS Preface Vs Introduction

The Purpose of Book Introductions

Before we get into how to write a fantastic book introduction, here are five glorious things that a well-written introduction can do for you:

1. Getting Readers Hooked

Has your book been picked up at a bookstore? Great! The potential buyer is now scanning the first paragraph of your introduction. They’re about to keep flipping through the pages, when, slowly, they pause. Something in that paragraph has caught their attention and they’re now putting down their bag for a minute. That’s the hook . 

2. Convincing Them to Carry On

Not only will a good introduction convince the reader to turn to the next chapter, but it will also give them a sense of wanting to know what’s to come much later on. With the right amount of show-and-tell, your introduction will persuade them that this book is one they should not put away till the end. 

3. Increasing Book Sales

The book industry is a competitive one, and it’s no secret that it takes a lot to market and sell a book. But whether you have a publishing contract or are planning to self-publish , your introduction is one of the most vital sales tools your book will have. As the author, you know what your work has to offer, and with a good introduction, your readers will too.

4. Providing a Bite-Sized Version of Your Work

Reading a book—especially a novel or any other type of long-form work—is an investment on the reader’s part. The introduction is your chance to clearly summarize hundreds of pages in just a few. 

In this way, you’re offering a “trailer” of your work—a bite-sized version that potential readers can quickly digest in order to make the decision to finish reading your book. 

5. Displaying Your Expertise

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing about a niche subject or something that’s been written about thousands of times; either way, you have to convince your readers that you know what you are talking about.

The introduction is a chance to showcase your talents, whether it’s by writing that perfect opening to your mystery novel, or by outlining the research methodology for your book on ancient Egyptian architecture. 

How to Write a Book Introduction 

Now that you know how important a book introduction is, it’s time to know how it’s done. In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to nail yours, and also give you some more specific pointers on how to write introductions for works of fiction and non-fiction. 

Step 1: Don’t Worry about Its Length

It’s normal to wonder if there’s a word limit you should stick to when writing your introduction. The short answer is: there isn’t one. The length of an introduction entirely depends on your subject matter. In other words, how much does the reader need to know about your topic before being convinced to make that purchase?

So instead of trying to fit your introduction into a set number of pages, make a list of the important points a potential reader should know so they would continue reading your book. Using that as your guide, you’ll be able to naturally determine the appropriate length of your introduction as you write it.

Step 2: Choose Your Reader Wisely

Choosing your reader may sound strange, but before an author begins writing, he/she will usually have an ideal reader persona in mind. This reader is one who is interested in your subject, and who will therefore appreciate the work you have done. 

Before writing your introduction, picture your ideal reader and write to them rather than trying to appeal to a general audience. This will make writing your introduction much easier, as you will be catering it to those who would naturally want to read your work.

Step 3: Introduce Your Subject Matter

A good introduction is like a good sales pitch; it should provide the right amount of information to get others excited and motivated to invest. This means book introductions should be concise and informative while showcasing the work’s subject matter.

Here are three questions to consider: 

  • Why is this topic important? 
  • Why should people read about it now? 
  • What are the main things you promise the reader will take away from this reading experience?

Step 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Boast a Little

The introduction is not the place for you to be humble about your experiences and expertise. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should use it just to show off and sing your own praises either. Instead, you have to find the right balance between making yourself relatable to your readers, while simultaneously demonstrating that you are an authority on your subject. 

Use the introduction to show readers that you’re passionate about your topic, and list the ways in which you bring a unique edge to it. If done correctly, the introduction would be the first step to getting readers to trust you as an author. 

Step 5: Think about Your “Hook”

Now that you have your ideal reader, outline, and expertise all down, it’s time to think about your introduction’s opening paragraph. How are you going to get that reader to pause in the middle of the bookstore? How will you get them to instantly stop skimming and start carefully reading instead? 

That’s where your “hook” comes in. Whether you’re writing a romance novel or a history book, you need to give readers an introduction with some kind of an intriguing story—one that will get them to ask: “And then what happens next?” 

Step 6: Direct Readers to Continue 

So far you’ve nailed the opening and the core of your introduction, and your reader is looking forward to moving on to the next page. Great work. Now it’s time to wrap up your introduction in a way that prompts readers to get to the end of the book. 

How do you do that? You give them a promise that there is a golden nugget to be found later on—whether that promise is explicit or not depends on the type of work you’ve written. 

For example, if you’re writing a work of non-fiction, you can intrigue your readers by hinting at the conclusions they’ll attain by the end of the book. And if you’re working on an introduction to a novel, you can use foreshadowing to keep readers hungry for the climax that is yet to come. 

writing book introduction in 6 steps

Introduction for Fiction Books Checklist

The steps provided above will work for any type of book introduction. Nevertheless, here are some additional tips that are specific to fiction book introductions. 

For the purpose of this section, we have chosen novels as an example of works of fiction. For each tip, we’ve put together a list of questions for you to check off while writing to make sure your introduction is airtight. 

1. Establishing the Setting and Mood

  • Where and in what time period is the novel set?
  • Does your introduction give readers a strong sense of this setting ? 
  • Is it clear what the general mood of the story is? (Is it dark? Mysterious? Romantic?)
  • What details did you use in your introduction to convey this mood?

2. Indicating Your Narrator

  • Who is the narrator in your novel? Is it one of the characters? Or are you using a third-person omniscient or third-person limited narrator?
  • What kind of tone does your narrator adopt? 
  • Does your narrator’s voice effectively draw in the reader?

3. Introducing Your Characters

  •  Have you introduced at least one of your main characters in the introduction? 
  • How does your introduction make that character memorable? 

4. Showing or Foreshadowing the Main Conflict

  • Does your introduction hint at the novel’s main conflict ? 
  • Is the conflict “juicy” enough to make readers want to read on? 
  • Does your introduction give the readers a sense of how the conflict will affect the main character(s)?

5. Exhibiting or Hinting at the Main Themes

  • Can the readers attain an overview of the novel’s potential themes through your introduction?
  • Does the introduction effectively use the literary elements of setting, plot, conflict, and foreshadowing to establish the main themes of the novel?

6. Hooking the Reader

  • Does the introduction leave readers with the question: “What happens next?”

Download Now: Fiction Book Introduction Checklist

Introduction for Nonfiction books Checklist

A good nonfiction introduction will aim to capture the reader’s mind just like a good fiction introduction would. Below is a list of tips and questions tailored specifically to suit works of nonfiction. In this case, we’ll use a standard academic monograph as an example.

1. Introducing the Topic

  • Does the introduction dive straight into the book’s main subject matter?
  • Does the reader know what he/she can expect to learn from this book?
  • Is it made clear why this topic is relevant and important?

2. Outlining the Content

  • Does the introduction provide a clear outline of what each chapter will discuss?
  • Does it provide enough information about the book’s research methodology ? 

3. Asserting the Author’s Credibility

  • Does the introduction justify why you as the author are an authority on the subject matter discussed?
  • Is the tone of the introduction assertive but also inviting, such that readers can feel a sense of trust and relatability?

 4. Identifying a Problem

  • Does the introduction present a problem that the readers can relate to? 
  • Does it clearly demonstrate the effects of that problem on our world today?

5. Making a Promise to the Reader

  • Does the introduction motivate readers by making a promise to provide answers throughout the book? 
  • Is this promise crafted in a way that makes readers want to reach the conclusion of the book? 

6. Showing Your Passion

  • Does the introduction effectively convey your passion for your subject matter? 
  • Does it allow readers to see how important the topic is to you?
  • Do you demonstrate a personal connection to your subject matter?

Download Now : Non-Fiction Book Introduction Checklist

Book Introduction Examples

You now have all the necessary tools to write that winning introduction. All that’s left now is some inspiration to get you going. Below are four samples from great introductions that are sure to help: two from nonfiction titles, and two from works of fiction. 

On Identity by Amin Maalouf [Nonfiction]

non fiction introduction example

The very first line of this introduction instantly conveys the author’s frustrated tone : “How many times” has he been asked to pick a side: French or Lebanese? The expressed frustration makes the author appear “human”, relatable. The reader is also immediately acquainted with the author’s problem : Who is he in the midst of all the languages and cultural traditions he has been exposed to over the years? And why must he choose just one “identity” and stick to it?  

Maalouf’s introduction is also riddled with rhetorical questions that engage the reader, allowing them to question their own views, too. “Would I exist more authentically if I cut off a part of myself?” The reader becomes invested in the author’s struggle—probably because Maalouf’s ideal reader is someone who, like him, has questions about their identity in the face of multiculturalism. 

What makes this introduction great is that despite the fact that Maalouf is evidently frustrated, he already has the solution: he is both Lebanese and American, and he is sure of it because “any other answer would be a lie.” The reader, therefore, trusts that Maalouf has already figured it out, and that his book will show exactly how he reached this conclusion. 

Despite Maalouf’s frustration, which is there to mimic the reader’s own feelings of confusion, there is a promise of resolution that is yet to come. And thus the reader wants to carry on. 

And Still the Music Plays by Graham Stokes [Nonfiction]

non fiction introduction example

The power of this introduction stems from three main elements. Firstly, the author uses the very first line to explicitly state his reason for writing this book; namely, his “increasing wish to say more” about the effects of dementia on people’s lives. 

Secondly, the author gives important background information about dementia and in doing so, sets out the main problem: that neuropathology has failed to explain certain important aspects of the disease. The author then shows how his book aims to provide a solution, which is by adopting a research methodology that focuses on the everyday experiences of people with dementia: “the ‘person-centered’ model.” 

However, Stokes doesn’t get into the details of his method just yet; instead, he appeals to the reader’s sensibilities by adopting an empathetic tone towards his subject matter and making it relatable: “They were like you and me, and then seemingly inexplicably they were struck down.” The author directly addresses his ideal reader , “you,” and hooks them almost as if they don’t have a choice.

Finally, if the author were pitching this book to publishers, he would probably use the last sentence in the introduction’s second paragraph as his tagline : “Extraordinary stories about ordinary people.” Sold!

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee [Fiction]

fiction introduction example

It’s no surprise that Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has been a part of many school curricula for years. What makes the opening of this novel brilliant is how the author manages to effortlessly throw the reader into the heart of the action . Through a flashback to a single event—Jem’s arm injury—the reader is given plenty of information about the setting (the American South), the narrator (Jem’s younger sister), and so many important characters , including Jem, Atticus, and Boo Radley.

Although it may initially seem overwhelming, the author is not simply rattling off a bunch of character names. Instead, she subtly hints at the mystery behind them. Who are the Ewells, and what role did they play in Jem’s accident? Who is Boo Radley, and what does it mean to have him “come out”? What is the significance of Simon Finch’s paddling up the Alabama river? These are all questions that will run through the reader’s mind, and the only way to get answers is to read on.    

The art here lies in how the author uses the single occurrence of Jem’s accident to neatly tie together a complex story about racial prejudice and injustice. Thus, the reader is told to anticipate the novel’s climax , and to continue reading in order to find out how it happens. 

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman [Fiction]

fiction introduction example

The strength of this short story’s introduction lies in the simple , conversational way in which it reveals a whole lot of information. From the outset, we immediately find out a number of key things: 

  • The setting : The narrator and her husband are spending the summer away at a mansion. 
  • The mood : There is something eerie and mysterious about this place that has been let so cheaply and previously left unoccupied for so long.
  • The conflict : The narrator is unwell and seems to be afraid to voice her thoughts out loud to her husband.

Talk about conciseness! Every word in Gilman’s introduction is packed with meaning and has an intentional purpose. The narrator and her husband’s tense relationship is immediately brought to the reader’s attention via the simple line: “but one expects that in marriage.” It’s almost like the narrator has given up on the entire institution. 

The first-person narration serves to draw readers in, making them feel close to the protagonist and her point of view. Not only that, but the secrecy of the narrator’s writing (“I would not say it to a living soul”) conveys the sense of reading someone’s diary, or perhaps a secret letter, thus immersing the reader in this writer’s world. 

Gilman’s introduction succinctly and masterfully draws readers in, making them already start to empathize with —or at least express interest in—her main character’s story. 

Concluding Thoughts 

It doesn’t matter if you’re working on the next bestselling novel, or on a book about birds of the Middle East—a well-crafted introduction is your book’s golden ticket. It’s a powerful sales tool and a great hook for people to keep reading your book, and now you have all the information you need to use it effectively.

Your ideal reader is out there, and a great introduction will convince them that yours is the book they should be taking home. All you have to do is start writing!

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Justin Allen

Thanks for sharing the blog. I am a Ph.D. student and also have an interest in writing. I will consider the information when I publish my first book.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introductions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.

The role of introductions

Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.

Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)

Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.

Why bother writing a good introduction?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.

Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.

Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).

Strategies for writing an effective introduction

Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:

Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)

Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!

Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.

Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.

Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):

  • an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
  • a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
  • a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
  • a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
  • a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?

Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.

How to evaluate your introduction draft

Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what they expect the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.

Five kinds of less effective introductions

1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.

Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.

2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—they do not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.

Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.

3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.

Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”

4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.

Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.

5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.

Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.

And now for the conclusion…

Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!

Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on  conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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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.

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Table of Contents

What an Introduction Should Do

What an introduction should not do, the formula for an introduction, example introduction outline, why to write your intro last, how to outline your book introduction.

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

You know why most readers—probably including you—skip book introductions?

Because most authors think the purpose of the introduction is to explain everything they will talk about in the book.

That is boring and wrong.

The purpose of a good introduction is to engage the reader and get them to read the book .

Just because someone is reading an introduction does not mean they are going to finish the book . The thing that scares people off of books is not the price—it’s the commitment of time. People don’t care about $10. They care about spending their time on something that is interesting and engaging to them.

That is the job of the introduction: prove to the reader this book is worth reading. A well done introduction grabs the reader and compels them to keep reading. It pulls them through and makes them excited to start the content, because the introduction has answered the most important question the reader has:

“Why should I read this book?”

  • Get the reader immediately interested in the book
  • Clearly lay out the pain the reader is facing
  • Paint a picture of a better future or a benefit the reader can get
  • Outline briefly what the reader will learn in the book
  • Explain why the author is the expert and authority on this subject
  • Get the reader committed to reading the book
  • Be a summary of the book
  • Try to tell the whole story of something that is already in the book
  • Tell the author’s whole life story
  • Tediously explain exactly what is coming in the book
  • Have a meandering story that the reader doesn’t care about
  • Have too much background
  • Be too long
  • Start at the beginning of the author’s life
  • Have too much autobiography
  • Be entirely about the author and what they want to talk about

The Best Introductions are Formulaic

This is the thing to know about introductions: there is a formula to effective ones, and you should follow it.

Even though it may not seem like there’s a formula, there is one, and if you don’t stick to it, then your readers will feel it, and be upset—even if they don’t know why.

You can be very creative within the boundaries of the formula, but follow the formula and your introduction will work well.

A good introduction is like an interesting sales pitch, not a dry and boring informational piece. Introductions are built from these elements:

  • Hook the reader
  • Tell a story about the reader’s current pain
  • Tell a story about the reader’s potential pleasure
  • Tell them what they’ll learn
  • Describe the author’s background/origin of book
  • Set up the book with a call to action

Part 1: Hook the reader

An introduction has to hook the reader fast. It should grab them by the lapels and force them to pay attention.

Here are examples of hooks. They start average and then get much better:

“Let’s start with a question: Why do certain groups perform better than other groups?”

“You’ve been told a lie. Everything you know about sugar is wrong.”

“I thought I was going to die.”

“We shot dogs. Not by accident. We did it on purpose, and we called it Operation Scooby. I’m a dog person, so I thought a lot about that.”

These all grab your attention. They make you sit up, take notice, and read the next line.

There is not a specific formula to figuring out your hook. These are the three questions we use to help determine what the hook is:

  • What is the most interesting story or claim in the book?
  • What sentence or fact makes people sit up and take notice?
  • What is the intended audience going to care about the most, or be most interested in or shocked by?

Some other things to think about when finding your hook:

  • A great hook is counterintuitive, and it violates expectations or reverses
  • It’s not going to be the first story you think of
  • It’s the story people always ask you about
  • It is never the story that makes you look the best

Often the hook is an anecdote. One powerful way to write an anecdotal hook well is to use the “cinematic” technique: tell it as if you are describing a scene in a movie. At its core, the hook makes the reader sit up and take notice.

Though the first sentence must be effective, the rest of the page and initial story must do the same thing.

An attention-grabbing sentence needs to lead into something that keeps them—a short story, example, statistic, or historical context that introduces the subject in a way that is interesting and exciting—and will engage the reader and compel them to read more, and lead them into the rest of the material.

Part 2: Tell stories about the reader’s current pain

Once you have the reader’s attention with the hook, the introduction next answers the implicit reader question: “Why do I care?”

Basically, what’s the reason the reader went to the bookstore? What problem were they looking to solve?

This is not about giving the reader simple information. It’s not enough to list nothing but boring facts and figures. No one pays attention to that.

People pay attention to stories, especially stories that resonate with their problems, pain, and conflicts. Once they are in touch with those pain points, then they want to hear about solutions that provide relief and pleasure, and maybe even take them somewhere new in their life.

This ties directly into the audience section  you wrote in your positioning. You should know your reader’s pain precisely, because you’ve already told that story once, at least in the abstract. The story or stories in the introduction should dive deep and describe the massive pain the reader is suffering by not taking the advice or lessons in your book. Pain induces action.

Part 3: Tell stories about the reader’s potential pleasure

Once you’ve appealed to the reader’s pain point, then you should tell a story that describes the pleasure that comes from taking the action. Show them why the results are so amazing and that the goal is worth the pain.

Again, this ties into your audience positioning—you already have this story, you did it in your audience section. Dive deep into it and provide more specifics.

Part 4: Tell them what they’ll learn

Once you’ve laid out the pain and pleasure stories and the reader understands what’s at stake for them by reading this book, then you need to explain exactly how you are going to help them solve their pain and get to their pleasure.

Make sure this is so clear and simple that even a seventh grader could understand. It should be as basic as, “I am going to show you precisely how to do this. I’ll walk you through, step by step by step, until you have mastered everything necessary to get your results.”

Part 5: Describe your background/origin of book

Once you’ve hooked the reader, appealed to their pain, and shown them the benefit they can have if they overcome it, now it’s time to explain who you are, why you wrote the book, and why the reader should trust what you have to say.

Essentially, you’ll establish your authority to be their guide, and contextualize the book for them.

The best way to do this again, is to tell a story. Why did you write this book? Why does this subject matter to you? How did you learn enough to be in a position to teach what you know to people? Why are you qualified—even uniquely qualified—to write this book? Why should the reader credit what you have to say?

This is where you can talk about your hero’s journey story—what it took for you to get to this place—because this is where the reader is wondering why they should trust you. After all, if you are going to help them by teaching them so much, they need to know why they should listen to you.

But, and this is very important: remember that the reader doesn’t care about you . They only care about you and your story insofar as it applies to the book and to your expertise. Do not give them an autobiography. Just enough about you to know that they should listen is all it takes.

Part 6: What the book is and is not

This is an optional part of the intro, but many authors like to put this in. By telling the reader what the book is and is not, it sets the right expectations in the beginning. You can do this very simply, mainly by stating what you will not be, and the things they will not get out of it.

Underselling here, just a little, works great.

Part 7: Segue to first chapter

Once you have done all of this, then all that is left is a simple transition to get the reader ready to dive in and start engaging the book.

I know this all seems like a lot, so here is an example intro to help you see how it ties together:

Most authors find the introduction to be the hardest part of the book to write, and that’s why we recommend authors outline it last.

Why is it hardest and better when it’s done last? I tell authors we outline the intro last because we want it to hit hard and entice, and it’s easier to be more effective in that when we already have a specific understanding of the full scope and key messaging of the book.

You can’t effectively tease something if you don’t fully understand how it’s going to play out in practice.

The Scribe Crew

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How to Write an Introduction to a Book

Last Updated: April 11, 2022 Approved

This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 82,627 times.

Books often have an introduction before the first chapter of the book. This text, which is essentially a short chapter, is meant to provide information on what the book is going to be about. It gives background information, talks about why the book is important and gives an overview of the contents.

Developing the Introduction

Step 1 Summarize or outline the book.

  • Think about your main ideas as you are writing notes for your introduction. Sketch out the overall themes of your book, so you have them ready.

Step 2 Start out with a hook.

  • For instance, if you are writing a book on birds, you could begin by telling a childhood story about how you tried to save a stuffed animal bird once by using office tape.
  • Or you could talk about how many birds are in the world as a way of introducing them.

Step 3 Provide an overview of the book at the beginning of the introduction.

  • What’s the point of talking about birds? Why is this book important? Why would someone want to read it?
  • If you can answer those questions in a couple of paragraphs, you’ve got a good start on your introduction.

Step 4 Fill in some more details.

  • Any person picking up the book should be able to determine whether it fits what they need it for, so you should go over the intended purpose of the book in the introduction.

Step 7 Give your reader an idea of who the intended audience is.

  • Basically, you want the right reader for your book, and telling your readers who the audience is will help them figure it out. You don’t have to use the word “audience” in your introduction. Just give an idea of who the book is meant for, such as:
  • “This book uses scientific language, but every term is explained thoroughly. As long as you are willing to learn, you should find this guide helpful even if you don’t have a background in biology.”
  • In those two sentences, you’ve told the reader that they might encounter scientific words they don't know, but that you will give them an idea of what these words mean; you’ve also told them that maybe they should find another book if they don’t want to dig through scientific jargon.
  • However, make sure you follow through on what your promise; that is if you say you are going to define your scientific words, make sure you do.

Step 8 As you get to the end of the introduction, move more towards specifics.

  • Consider providing a summary of each chapter. Not every introduction does this, but it does give your readers an idea of what to expect, which certainly isn’t a bad thing.
  • Since you’ve already made a summary of each chapter for the outline above, read through them to make sure they are appropriate for your readers, and then insert them at the end of your introduction. Try to keep the summaries short, a paragraph or less.

Step 9 Lead into your first chapter.

Experimenting with Different Styles

Step 1 Use scholarly language for a scholarly book.

  • Make your introduction straightforward and to the point, as your readers will be expecting an introduction that progresses in a logical line.

Step 2 Be more creative with short story collections.

  • You can often have a bit more freedom when introducing a book of poetry. In fact, it can be more poetic. However, like an anthology of stories, it really depends on the context.
  • If you are just writing an introduction for an old friend’s book, it can be more poetic and playful, but for a book in an academic setting, it may need to be more informational.

Community Q&A

Donagan

  • Your introduction should be interesting to the reader to continue reading the book. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0
  • Overall, your introduction should draw your readers in, cover what you are going to say in the following chapters, and provide some background information about why you wrote the book. If you cover those topics, you will have done your job in writing an introduction. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 4
  • An introduction can be anywhere from a few pages to a full-length chapter, depending on how much you have to say. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 2

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

You Might Also Like

Write a Book

  • ↑ https://scribewriting.com/write-book-introduction/
  • ↑ https://www.dystopianstories.com/write-book-introduction-hook-reader/
  • ↑ http://writersrelief.com/2010/05/14/how-why-and-when-to-write-an-introduction-for-a-nonfiction-book/
  • ↑ https://writenonfictionnow.com/writing-perfect-introduction-nonfiction-book/
  • http://writersrelief.com/blog/2010/05/how-why-and-when-to-write-an-introduction-for-a-nonfiction-book/
  • http://www.lisatener.com/2009/02/how-to-write-an-introduction-think-like-your-readers/

About This Article

Gerald Posner

There are several approaches to writing an introduction to a book, so you can pick one or a few to help prepare your reader. One way to approach the introduction is to write a short, paragraph-long summary of each chapter. You could also discuss your main purpose in writing the book to help your reader better appreciate your work and why it might be important. Pulling your reader in with a funny story, joke, or interesting fact that relates to the book is another fun way to begin your book. No matter how you introduce your book, toward the end you’ll want to move into more specifics to help the reader transition into the first chapter. To learn how to pick the right style of writing for your introduction, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

Awesome Guide on How to Write an Essay Introduction

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

'I'd like to recall the day I nearly burned myself in flames in my automobile while going 250 mph and escaping the police'. – Thankfully, we don't have a story like that to relate to, but we bet we piqued your interest.

That's what we refer to as an efficient hook. Fundamentally, it's an attention-grabbing first sentence that piques an audience's interest and encourages them to keep reading. While writing an essay, a strong hook in essay introductions is essential.

Delve into the article if you're wondering how to start an essay with a strong introduction. This is the ultimate guide for writing the parts of a introduction paragraph from our custom dissertation writing service to engage your readers.

Introduction Definition

The introduction paragraph, to put it simply, is the first section of an essay. Thus, when reading your essay, the reader will notice it right away. What is the goal of an opening paragraph? There are two things that an excellent introduction achieves. It initially informs the reader on the subject of your work; in other words, it should describe the essay's topic and provide some background information for its main point. It must also spark readers' interest and persuade them to read the remainder of your article.

To provide you with essay writing services , we only need your paper requirements to create a plagiarism-free paper on time.

How Long Should an Introduction Be

Typically, there are no strict restrictions on how long an opening paragraph should be. Professional essay writers often shape the size of it with the paper's total length in mind. For instance, if you wonder how to make introduction in essay with five paragraphs, keep your introductory sentence brief and fit it inside a single section. But, if you're writing a longer paper, let's say one that's 40 pages, your introduction could need many paragraphs or even be pages long.

Although there are no specific requirements, seasoned writers advise that your introduction paragraph should account for 8% to 9% of your essay's overall word length.

And, if you place an order on our coursework writing services , we will certainly comply with your introduction length requirements.

What Makes a Good Introduction

All of the following criteria should be fulfilled by a strong opening sentence:

  • Start your introduction on an essay with a catchy sentence that draws the reader in.
  • It needs to include baseline information about your subject.
  • This should give readers a sense of the main argument(s) that your essay will address.
  • It must include all necessary information on the setting, locations, and chronological events.
  • By the end of your introduction, make a precise remark that serves as your essay's thesis.

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph

So, what should be in a introduction paragraph? The introduction format essay has three sections: a hook, connections, and a thesis statement. Let's examine each component in more depth.

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph

Part 1: Essay Hook

A hook is among the most effective parts of a introduction paragraph to start an essay. A strong hook will always engage the reader in only one sentence. In other words, it is a selling point.

Let's now address the query, 'how to make an essay introduction hook interesting?'. Well, to create a powerful hook, you can employ a variety of techniques:

  • A shocking fact
  • An anecdote 
  • A short summary

And here is what to avoid when using a hook:

  • Dictionary definitions
  • Generalizations
  • Sweeping statements that include words like 'everywhere,' 'always,' etc.

Once you've established a strong hook, you should give a general outline of your major point and some background information on the subject of your paper. If you're unsure how to write an introduction opening, the ideal approach is to describe your issue briefly before directing readers to particular areas. Simply put, you need to give some context before gradually getting more specific with your opinions.

The 5 Types of Hooks for Writing

Apart from the strategies mentioned above, there are even more types of hooks that can be used:

  • A Common Misconception — a good trick, to begin with, to claim that something your readers believe in is false.

Example: 'Although many falsely believe that people working from home are less productive – employees who get such work-life benefits generally work harder.'

  • Statistics — Statistical facts may provide a great hook for argumentative essays and serious subjects focusing on statistics.

Example: 'A recent study showed that people who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to stay at the same company.'

  • Personal Story — sometimes, personal stories can be an appropriate hook, but only if they fit into a few brief sentences (for example, in narrative essays).

Example: 'When I had my first work-from-home experience, I suddenly realized the importance of having a good work-life balance; I saw plenty of the benefits it can provide.'

  • Scenes — this type of hook requires making the readers imagine the things you are writing about. It is most suitable when used in descriptive and narrative essays.

Example: 'Imagine you could have as much free time as you wish by working or studying from home—and spend more time with your loved ones.'

  • Thesis Statement — when unsure how to do an essay introduction, some writers start directly with their thesis statement. The main trick here is that there is no trick.

Example: 'I strongly believe there is a direct correlation between a healthy work-life balance and productivity in school or at work.'

Part 2: Connections

Give readers a clearer sense of what you will discuss throughout your article once you have given a hook and relevant background information about your essay topic. Briefly mentioning your main points in the same sequence in which you will address them in your body paragraphs can help your readers progressively arrive at your thesis statement.

In this section of your introduction, you should primarily address the following questions:

You may make sure that you are giving your readers all the information they need to understand the subject of your essay by responding to each of these questions in two to three lines. Be careful to make these statements brief and to the point, though.

Your main goal is gradually moving from general to specific facts about your subject or thesis statement. Visualize your introduction as an upside-down triangle to simplify the essay writing process. The attention-grabbing element is at the top of this triangle, followed by a more detailed description of the subject and concluding with a highly precise claim. Here is some quick advice on how to use the 'upside-down triangle' structure to compose an essay introduction:

  • Ensure that each subsequent line in your introduction is more focused and precise. This simple method will help you progressively introduce the main material of your piece to your audience.
  • Consider that you are writing a paper on the value of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In this situation, you may start with a query like, 'Have you ever considered how a healthy work-life balance can affect other areas of your life?' or a similar hook. Next, you could proceed by giving broad factual information. Finally, you could focus your topic on fitting your thesis statement.

Part 3: The Thesis Statement

If you're unsure of the ideal method to create an introduction, you should be particularly attentive to how you phrase your thesis statement.

The thesis of your work is, without a doubt, the most crucial section. Given that the thesis statement of your piece serves as the foundation for the entire essay, it must be presented in the introduction. A thesis statement provides readers with a brief summary of the article's key point. Your main assertion is what you'll be defending or disputing in the body of your essay. An effective thesis statement is often one sentence long, accurate, exact, unambiguous, and focused. Your thesis should often be provided at the end of your introduction.

Here is an example thesis statement for an essay about the value of a proper work-life balance to help you gain a better understanding of what a good thesis should be:

Thesis Statement Example: 'Creating flexible and pleasant work schedules for employees can help them have a better work-life balance while also increasing overall performance.'

Catchy Introductions for Different Essay Types

Although opening paragraphs typically have a fixed form, their language may vary. In terms of academic essays, students are often expected to produce four primary intro to essay examples. They include articles that are analytical, argumentative, personal, and narrative. It is assumed that different information should appear in these beginning paragraphs since the goals of each sort of essay change. A thorough overview of the various paper kinds is provided below, along with some good essay introduction samples from our argumentative essay writers:

Narrative Introduction

  • The writer of a narrative essay must convey a story in this style of writing. Such essays communicate a story, which distinguishes them from other essay types in a big way.
  • Such a paper's hook will often be an enticing glimpse into a specific scene that only loosely links to the thesis statement. Additionally, when writing such an essay, a writer should ensure that every claim included in the introduction relates to some important moments that have significantly impacted the story's outcome.
  • The thesis in narrative writing is usually the theme or main lesson learned from the story.
Narrative introduction example: 'My phone rang, and my mother told me that Dad had suffered a heart attack. I suddenly experienced a sense of being lifted out from under me by this immaculately carpeted flooring. After making it through, Dad left me with a sizable collection of lessons. Here are three principles that I know dad would have wanted me to uphold...'

Still Can't Think of a Perfect Intro?

When assigned to write an essay, students end up with a ton of questions, including 'How to structure an essay?', 'How to choose a good topic?'. Here at EssayPro, we employ only the best essay writers who are committed to students’ success.

Analytical Introduction

  • Analytical essay introduction format is another popular type. In contrast to a narrative paper, an analytical paper seeks to explore an idea and educate the reader about a topic.
  • Three important facts that support the analytical premise should be included in the middle section of the introduction.
  • A well-researched and well-thought-out claim will form a wonderful thesis because the main goal of this paper is to study the topic and educate readers. It's crucial to remember that this assertion shouldn't initially have any real weight. Although it will still be theoretical, it has to be articulated practically.
Analytical introduction example: “... Hence even though presidents, CEOs, and generals still have their daily schedules full of economic crises and military conflicts, on the cosmic scale of history humankind can lift its eyes up and start looking towards new horizons. If we bring famine, plague, and war under control, what will replace them at the top of the human agenda? Like firefighters in a world without fire, so humankind in the twenty-first century needs to ask itself an unprecedented question: what are we going to do with ourselves? What will demand our attention and ingenuity in a healthy, prosperous, and harmonious world? In a healthy, prosperous, and harmonious world, what will demand our attention and ingenuity? This question becomes doubly urgent given the immense new powers that biotechnology and information technology are providing us with. What will we do with all that power? ...” Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari

Persuasive Introduction

  • To persuade readers of anything is the sole goal of persuasive essay writing. This may be accomplished using persuasive strategies like ethos, pathos, and logos.
  • A hook statement for this paper may be anything from a fascinating fact to even comedy. You can use whatever technique you choose. The most crucial advice is to ensure your hook is in line with your thesis and that it can bolster further justifications.
  • Generally speaking, a persuasive essay must include three supporting facts. Hence, to gradually lead readers to the major topic of your paper, add a quick summary of your three arguments in your introduction.
  • Last, the thesis statement should be the main claim you will be disputing in this paper. It should be a brief, carefully thought-out, and confident statement of your essay's major argument.
Persuasive introduction example: 'Recycling waste helps to protect the climate. Besides cleaning the environment, it uses waste materials to create valuable items. Recycling initiatives must be running all around the world. ...'

Personal Introduction

  • The final sort of academic writing that students frequently encounter is a personal essay. In principle, this essay style is creative nonfiction and requires the author to reflect on personal experiences. The goals of such a paper may be to convey a story, discuss the lessons that certain incidents have taught you, etc. This type of writing is unique since it is the most personal.
  • Whatever topic you choose can serve as the hook for such an essay. A pertinent remark, query, joke, or fact about the primary plot or anything else will be acceptable. The backdrop of your narrative should then be briefly explained after that. Lastly, a thesis statement can describe the impact of particular experiences on you and what you learned.
Personal introduction example: 'My parents always pushed me to excel in school and pursue new interests like playing the saxophone and other instruments. I felt obligated to lead my life in a way that met their standards. Success was always expected on the route they had set out for me. Yet eight years after my parents' separation, this course was diverted when my dad relocated to California...'

Tips for Writing a Winning Introduction Paragraph

You now understand how to do introduction and have specific intro example for essays to help you get going. Let's quickly examine what you should and shouldn't do during the writing process.

  • Keep the assignment's purpose in mind when you write your introduction, and ensure it complies with your instructor's requirements.
  • Use a compelling and relevant hook to grab the reader's attention immediately.
  • Make sure your readers understand your perspective to make it apparent.
  • If necessary, establish key terms related to your subject.
  • Show off your expertise on the subject.
  • Provide a symbolic road map to help readers understand what you discuss throughout the post.
  • Be brief; it's recommended that your introduction make up no more than 8 to 9 percent of the entire text (for example, 200 words for a 2500 words essay).
  • Construct a strong thesis statement.
  • Create some intrigue.
  • Make sure there is a clear and smooth transition from your introduction to the body of your piece.
  • If you're looking for a custom writer , request assistance from the EssayPro team. We know how to write a term paper along with many other types of essays.

Don'ts

  • Provide too much background information.
  • Use sentences that are off-topic or unnecessary.
  • Make your opening paragraph excessively long.
  • Keep some information a secret and reveal it later in conclusion.
  • Employ overused phrases or generalizations.
  • Using quotation marks excessively

Now that you know what is in the introduction of an essay, we recommend reading the information on how to critique an article to gain more academic insight.

If you are still struggling with that, keep in mind that you can always send us your request to get professional assistance from our law essay writing service .

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How To Write An Essay Introduction?

What is the purpose of the introduction in an essay, how to start an essay introduction, related articles.

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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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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!

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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!

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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 . 

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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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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Essay writing: Introductions

  • Introductions
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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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Introduction

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What Makes a Good Literature Paper?

An argument.

When you write an extended literary essay, often one requiring research, you are essentially making an argument. You are arguing that your perspective-an interpretation, an evaluative judgment, or a critical evaluation-is a valid one.

A debatable thesis statement

Like any argument paper you have ever written for a first-year composition course, you must have a specific, detailed thesis statement that reveals your perspective, and, like any good argument, your perspective must be one which is debatable.

You would not want to make an argument of this sort:

Shakespeare's Hamlet is a play about a young man who seeks revenge. That doesn't say anything-it's basically just a summary and is hardly debatable.

A better thesis would be this:

Hamlet experiences internal conflict because he is in love with his mother. That is debatable, controversial even. The rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will be an attempt to show, using specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars, (1) how Hamlet is in love with his mother, (2) why he's in love with her, and (3) what implications there are for reading the play in this manner.

You also want to avoid a thesis statement like this:

Spirituality means different things to different people. King Lear , The Book of Romans , and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each view the spirit differently. Again, that says nothing that's not already self-evident. Why bother writing a paper about that? You're not writing an essay to list works that have nothing in common other than a general topic like "spirituality." You want to find certain works or authors that, while they may have several differences, do have some specific, unifying point. That point is your thesis.
Lear , Romans , and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality. Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality.

Examples

Introduction

Ai generator.

how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

The first paragraph of an essay or research paper is traditionally designated as the introduction, and its purpose is to introduce the subject matter and set the stage for the remainder of the documentary research . Because it’s responsible for both the reader’s first impression and set the stage for the rest of the work, the introduction paragraph , without prejudice to the conclusion paragraph , is arguably the most important paragraph writing in the work.

Writing a strong introductory paragraph is a valuable skill for students and academics to have. Here, we go over all you need to know to create the finest introduction, including what to include and a step-by-step procedure, as well as some samples of introductory paragraphs.

1. Sample Introductions Template

Sample Introductions Template

Size: 76 KB

2. Self Introduction Speech Examples

Self Introduction Speech Examples

Size: 83 KB

 3. Writing an Introduction Template

Writing an Introduction Template

Size: 80 KB

4. Giving an Introduction Speech

Giving an Introduction Speech

Size: 46 KB

5. Writing an Effective Introduction

Writing an Effective Introduction

Size: 106 KB

6. Survey Introduction Example

Survey Introduction Example

Size: 55 KB

7. Personal Introduction Guidelines

Personal Introduction Guidelines

File Format

Size: 82 KB

8. Thesis Statements and Introductions

Thesis Statements and Introductions

Size: 95 KB

9. An Introduction To Error Propagation

An Introduction To Error Propagation

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10. Introduction to Hypothesis Testing

Introduction to Hypothesis Testing

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11. Introduction Types of  Wastes

Introduction Types of Wastes

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What is an Introduction?

Essentially, the introduction serves to prime the reader for the rest of your work. A piece’s opening paragraph establishes the tone, voice, and writing style the reader may anticipate from the rest of the piece. The reader won’t be able to grasp your paper’s aim and main points unless they have the context provided by your introduction.

How to make a good Introduction?

An author’s tone and the requirements of the assignment (for instance, an essay can benefit from an amusing start, while a research paper would be better off with a more formal tone) determine how the document’s introduction is structured. It doesn’t matter what sort of paper you’re writing or what kind of writer you are; a solid introduction always has a hook, some background for context, and a thesis statement or primary argument.

Step 1: Establish the level of seriousness and style you’d want to use throughout your work.

Usually, the subject matter will dictate the tone: Writing an introduction for a report follows a different set of rules than writing an opening for an English essay. Even within essays of the same genre, there are linguistic boundaries; slang, for instance, might work in a reflective piece but not in an academically serious arguing one.

Step 2:  Write your thesis statement.

Despite their brevity, thesis statements are often the single most crucial phrase in any given piece of writing. If your thesis statement is well-stated, your readers may utilize it as a point of reference for the essay as they read further.

Step 3: Think about what your reader needs to know about the context.

Provide some background on the discussion itself, even if your issue is an instance of abstractionism like an ethical dispute. How long has the ethical discussion been going on? Was there a particular occurrence that sparked it? In order to prevent your reader from feeling as if they are missing anything, information like this might assist create the scene.

Step 4: Think of a good hook.

The most challenging aspect of writing an introduction is likely to be coming up with a catchy hook. Although the body of your paper may consist mostly of providing facts, the introduction’s hook often demands you to spin a yarn out of thin air.

Step 5: Don’t feel rushed when you write a rough draft of your introduction.

If you become nervous just thinking about writing your introduction, don’t worry. As the introduction is traditionally the first section written, that’s where you start.

Step 6: Revise your introduction after you’ve written your whole paper.

After writing the first draft of your paper, you may find that you need to make some adjustments to the overall structure; if this is the case, be sure to update the introduction to reflect these changes. Editing for things like spelling and punctuation errors becomes much simpler when the first draft is complete.

How do I start my introduction?

The best introductions include all three of these elements: a hook to get the reader interested, some context for the issue so they can follow along, and a thesis statement that succinctly and clearly conveys your major argument.

What is a good introduction?

It is common practice for an essay’s opening to provide background information about the issue at hand, before moving on to outline the more narrowly focused arguments that will be developed in the essay’s body.

What is a good opening sentence for an essay?

You should just provide a brief overview of your subject and explain its significance. Optionally, you may additionally offer some of the essay’s supporting arguments or examples. No need to go into great detail here; this is only an introduction to your issue, not a thesis statement.

In conclusion , it takes time and effort to learn how to write an excellent introduction. It’s possible that you’ll have to rewrite them multiple times before you’re happy with the final product. Keep in mind that if you can hold on to just a few more readers, the effort will have been well worth it. You may also check out our free article on examples of essay writing and  How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay .

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  3. How to write an academic introduction / Academic English UK

    how to write a good introduction for an essay on a book

  4. How to Write an Introduction For an Essay: Guide With Examples

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  5. How to write an Essay Introduction (5-Step Formula) (2024)

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  6. How To Write A Great Introduction Paragraph For An Essay

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Great Book Introduction: Step-by-Step Guide

    How to Write a Great Book Introduction: Step-by-Step Guide. Many nonfiction books begin with an introduction that previews their subject matter, structure, and core arguments. When properly crafted, a book introduction invites potential readers to invest in its content.

  2. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  3. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Hook your reader. Step 2: Give background information. Step 3: Present your thesis statement. Step 4: Map your essay's structure. Step 5: Check and revise. More examples of essay introductions. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

  4. How To Write An Essay Introduction: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Determine Your Essay Statement: Hook the Reader: Provide Overview and Preview: Crafting Your Outline: Edit and Revise: Conclusion: Writing a strong introduction is one of the most important parts of crafting a polished essay. The opening paragraph sets the tone for your argument and piques the reader's interest right from the start.

  5. How to Write the Best Book Introduction (With Checklists & Examples

    Step 3: Introduce Your Subject Matter. A good introduction is like a good sales pitch; it should provide the right amount of information to get others excited and motivated to invest. This means book introductions should be concise and informative while showcasing the work's subject matter.

  6. PDF Introductions

    Harvard College Writing Center 1 Introductions The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis). Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it.

  7. Introductions

    1. The placeholder introduction. When you don't have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don't really say much. They exist just to take up the "introduction space" in your paper.

  8. How to Write 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.

  9. How to Write a Book Introduction That People Will Actually Read

    What an Introduction Should Do. Get the reader immediately interested in the book. Clearly lay out the pain the reader is facing. Paint a picture of a better future or a benefit the reader can get. Outline briefly what the reader will learn in the book. Explain why the author is the expert and authority on this subject.

  10. How to Write an Introduction to a Book: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    9. Lead into your first chapter. At the end of your introduction, provide a transition into your first chapter by telling the reader what is coming next, such as: "Now that we have the introductions out of the way, continue onto the first chapter to start learning about scissor-tailed flycatchers!". Part 2.

  11. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    Harvard College Writing Center 5 Asking Analytical Questions When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a

  12. Awesome Guide on How to Write an Essay Introduction

    What Makes a Good Introduction. All of the following criteria should be fulfilled by a strong opening sentence: Start your introduction on an essay with a catchy sentence that draws the reader in. It needs to include baseline information about your subject. This should give readers a sense of the main argument(s) that your essay will address.

  13. How to Write a Great College Essay Introduction

    Good example. I wiped the sweat from my head and tried to catch my breath. I was nearly there—just one more back tuck and a strong dismount and I'd have nailed a perfect routine. Some students choose to write more broadly about themselves and use some sort of object or metaphor as the focus.

  14. How to write an essay: Introduction

    An introduction 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.

  15. How to Write an Introduction Paragraph in 3 Steps

    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.

  16. How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

    Step 3: Writing a title and introduction. To start your literary analysis paper, you'll need two things: a good title, and an introduction. The title. Your title should clearly indicate what your analysis will focus on. It usually contains the name of the author and text(s) you're analyzing. Keep it as concise and engaging as possible.

  17. Introductions

    Essay writing: Introductions. "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 ...

  18. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing ...

  19. Introduction

    Lear, Romans, and Zen each view the soul as the center of human personality. Then you prove it, using examples from the texts that show that the soul is the center of personality. This handout provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and ...

  20. A Perfect Introduction to Your Essay Writing

    And you need to understand, that an introduction writing mechanism is the same as for assignment, as for narrative essay. Just try to understand it! From this perspective a good introduction will focus on the following points: Tense Pairs Several language areas play a major role in the essay introduction. They help to put accents in the essay text.

  21. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  22. Introduction

    The first paragraph of an essay or research paper is traditionally designated as the introduction, and its purpose is to introduce the subject matter and set the stage for the remainder of the documentary research.Because it's responsible for both the reader's first impression and set the stage for the rest of the work, the introduction paragraph, without prejudice to the conclusion ...