How to Start an Essay: 7 Tips for an Eliminative Essay Introduction (2023)

Sometimes the hardest part ofwriting an essayYou're just starting out You might already have an outline and know what you want to write, but you're having trouble finding the right words to make it work. Do not worry; You're not the first person to have to start an essay, and you certainly won't be the last.

Writing an essay is not the same as writing a book. Or write a poem. Or write a scientific research article. Writing is a unique process that involves clear sequence, supporting your positions with quality fonts and engaging language. But it also has one important thing in common with any other type of writing: you need tograb your reader's attentionin the first few sentences.

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Intriguing ways to start an essay

There are many different ways to write an essay introduction. Each has its potential advantages and disadvantages, and each is best suited forcertain types of writing. Although these essay introductions use differentrhetorical devicesand they prepare the reader in different ways, they all achieve the same goal: to hook the reader and induce him to keep reading.

“Fixing” a reader simply means grabbing their attention and making them want to keep reading your work. An essay introduction that successfully hooks readers into one essay will not necessarily draw readers into another essay, which is why it's so important that you understandwhydifferent types of test openings are effective.

Take a look at these common ways to start an essay:

Share a shocking or funny fact

One way to start your essay is with a shocking, unexpected, or amusing fact about the topic you are addressing. This holds the reader's attention and makes him want to continue reading, waiting for an explanation, context and/or deepening on the fact that you presented.

Take a look at these examples of essay introductions that use relevant and compelling facts to grab the reader's attention:

“More than half of Iceland's population believes that elves exist or could exist. While this may sound strange to outsiders, many of us hold similar beliefs that would sound just as strange to outsiders of our cultures.”

“Undergraduate students participating in federal study and work programs earn an average of just $1,794 per year. That's just a little more than the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in our city."

Relevanceis the key here. Make sure the fact you choose is directly related to the topic you are addressing in your essay. Otherwise, you'll feel haphazard, confused, or, at best, pressured in the essay. In either case, it will detract from your entire essay by making it look like you don't have a complete understanding of the subject.

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If you are writing expository text orpersuasive essay, including a shocking or amusing fact in your introduction can be a great way to pique your reader's curiosity. The fact you present may be one that supports the position you defend in the essay, or it may be part of the body of data that explains your expository essay.

Ask a question

By asking a question at the opening of your essay, you are directly inviting the reader to interact with your work. They don't become passive consumers; now they are part of the conversation. This can be a very attractive way to start an essay.

Take a look at these examples of essay openings that use questions to hook readers:

“How many times have you been late for class because you couldn't park? You are not alone: ​​our campus is in desperate need of new parking.”

“How often do you shop at fast fashion stores? These retailers include H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, and other brands that specialize in cheap clothing for short-term clothing.

Asking a question is an effective option for a persuasive essay because it asks the reader to delve into the subject or even choose a side. While it can work in other types of essays as well, it really shines in any essay that speaks directly to the reader and puts them in a position to reflect on what they are asking.

dramatize a scene

Another effective way to write an essay introduction is to dramatize a scene related to your essay. In general, this approach is best used with creative essays such aspersonal statementsand literary essays. Here are some examples of essay introductions that immerse readers in the action through dramatized scenes:

“The rain pounded on the roof, loudly drowning out any conversation we tried to have. I promised them I would play the last song I wrote for guitar, but Mother Earth prevented any concert from taking place that night."


“Imagine you just got off a plane. You're hot, tired, uncomfortable, and suddenly you're stuck."

In addition to creative essays, this type of opening can work when you use emotional appeal to emphasize your position in a persuasive essay. It is also a great tool for a dramatic rehearsal and may just be the first of several scenes dramatized throughout the play.

start with a quote

When wondering how to write an essay introduction, remember that you can always borrow wisdom from other writers. This is a powerful way to start any type of essay. Take a look at these examples:

"'The past is never dead. It's not even past.' —William Faulkner, in his novelrequiem for a nun,our change of perspective from the past is an important theme”.

"'It always seems impossible until it's done.' -Nelson Mandela. Before joining the army, boot camp seemed impossible. But now, it's done."

Just like picking a fact or statistic to open your essay, any quote you choosemust be relevant to the topic of your essay. If your reader has to do a web search for your quote to find out how it relates to the rest of your essay, it's not relevant enough to use. Go with another quote that your text can easily explain.

Present your thesis directly

The most straightforward type of essay introduction is one where you simply state your thesis. Take a look at these examples:

“The frority culture is dangerous and contrary to campus values. Prohibiting is in the interest of the campus community.”

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“We can no longer ignore the evidence; We need climate action now."

By starting your essay this way, you get straight to the point. Think of it like diving into the deepest part of a swimming pool: instead of going down to the deepest part, slowly getting used to the temperature of the water along the way, you're dropping your entire body directly into the cold water. An introduction that directly establishes your thesis can be an excellent choice for an analytical essay.

How to write an essay introduction

Choose the right tone for your essay

You probably shouldn't use a funny quote to start a persuasive essay on a serious topic. Likewise, a statistic that may evoke strong emotions in the reader may not be the right choice for an expository essay because it can be interpreted as an attempt to make a point of view rather than stating facts.

Read the first paragraph of your essay aloud and listen to the tone of your writing. Does the tone of the opening line match the rest of the paragraph, or is there a noticeable change in tone from the first line or two to the rest? In many cases, you can hear whether your pitch is appropriate for your essay. In addition to hearing the correct pitch, use Grammarly'stom detectorMake sure your essay introduction, like the rest of your essay, maintains the correct tone for the topic you are addressing.

When you're stuck, work backwards

Starting an essay can be difficult. If you're so engrossed in how to write an essay intro that you find yourself staring at a blank screen as the clock ticks off, skip the intro and move on to the essay intro.body paragraphs. Once you have some text on the page, it might be easier to go back and write an introduction leading up to that content.

You might even want to start from the end of your essay. If you know where your essay isindo,but not necessarilyhow will you get there write your conclusionfirst. Then write the paragraph that comes before your conclusion. Then write the paragraph before it, working backwards until you reach the introductory paragraph. At this point, writing an effective essay introduction should be easy because you already have the content you need to present.

Polish your essays until they shine

Got a draft of a big essay? Incredible! But don't hit "submit" yet, you're only halfway to the finish line. Make sure you always submit your best work using Grammarly to identify misspelled words, grammatical errors, and places where you can swap different words around to improve the clarity of your writing.


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