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        How to Start an Essay: 4 Introduction Paragraph Examples

        • calenderJul 17, 2023
        • calender 8 min read

        Staring at a blank page, not knowing how to start your essay introduction can certainly be daunting! You may spend hours pondering over the introduction of your essay, while the deadline draws closer each day. However, the formula for a great introduction paragraph is not that complex.

        Different types of essays use different forms of introductions. But a good introduction should grab the reader’s attention from the get-go! It should also equip the reader with essential background information and acquaint them with the main idea of your essay.

        In this article, we’ll guide you on how to start off an essay with a bang. We’ll also brief you on a few essay introduction examples. Let’s start by understanding how to write an introduction for an essay.

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        How to start an essay

        In order to understand how to start an essay, we need to first take a look at its different components. The introduction to an essay consists of three main parts:

        1. Hook: Attractive opening line that draws the reader’s attention

        2. Background information: Relevant information that revolves around the thesis statement

        3. Thesis statement: The main argument or idea of your essay

        You can also provide an overview, which gives the reader a glimpse of what is to come. But make sure that this structure is very brief. 

        There are several ways to start an essay. But, any changes to the content of your essay may lead to significant revisions in your introduction. 

        We suggest that you simply develop a rough thesis statement and save the essay introduction paragraph for the end. Once you have completed the rest of your work, you can use the following steps to understand how to start an essay introduction:

        1. Begin with an attractive hook

        In order to understand how to start an introduction in an essay, we must first focus on the hook. An effective opening statement, or a “hook”, aims to intrigue the reader. An attractive opening statement essentially hooks the reader to your essay. It should be fairly concise but should still provide insight into the main point of your essay. 

        Although the goal of the opening statement is the same for all essay types, different essays use different types of hooks. Since essay types are highly diverse, an opening statement that works for one type of essay may not always work for the other. Hence, it’s crucial to refer to different types of opening statements. 

        Let’s understand this with the help of the following opening statements:

        A. Interesting fact or statistic

        Begin your essay with a shocking, seemingly unbelievable fact that makes the reader want to delve further into your essay. This type of opener is especially useful for persuasive and expository essays

        A key thing to consider while using this opener is to make sure it ties to the rest of your introduction. Relevancy is key to an effective opener. 

        Let’s take a look at a few examples:

        The richest 1% of the world’s population owns more wealth than the remaining 99% combined. As the gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of society continues to widen, questions about fairness, social mobility, and the sustainability of such a system become increasingly critical to address.

        Approximately 450 million people worldwide are currently living with mental health disorders, yet stigma and discrimination persist, preventing many from seeking the help they desperately need.

        The universe is estimated to contain more than 2 trillion galaxies, each harboring billions of stars. With such mind-boggling vastness, the question arises: Are we alone?

        B. Question

        Wondering how to start an introduction in an essay using a unique format? Just ask a question! Starting off your essay with a question makes your essay more interactive, as it directly addresses the reader. It adds an element of interest to your essay making it much more engaging as compared to a passive, boring statement. 

        It also encourages the reader to form their own opinion on a particular topic. This type of opener is best suited for persuasive and argumentative essays

        Here are a few examples: 

        Are we playing with nature’s blueprint while unlocking unprecedented medical breakthroughs? Delving into the ethical considerations surrounding genetic engineering opens up Pandora’s box of questions about the balance between scientific progress, ethical boundaries, and the long-term consequences for humanity.

        Is personal privacy a casualty of the digital age, or can we strike a balance between technological convenience and safeguarding our personal information? Examining the implications of surveillance, data collection, and cybersecurity challenges us to reassess the boundaries of privacy in an interconnected world.

        Can machines truly possess intelligence and consciousness? Exploring the ethical and philosophical implications of AI raises fundamental questions about the nature of humanity and the boundaries of technological advancement.

        C. Dramatized opening

        We’ve already taken a look at how to start an essay introduction for different types of academic essays. Hence, we must also figure out how to start a paragraph in an essay when it comes to creative writing. 

        Innovative and dramatic opening statements are key factors in creative essay types. These openings are used to create a scene that the reader can step into. 

        This type of opening is commonly used in personal essays, narrative essays, and descriptive essays. However, they can also be used in persuasive essays to put across your point. 

        Let’s take a look:

        In the depths of a moonlit forest, a lone figure emerged, carrying the weight of a secret that would unravel the very fabric of their existence.

        Nestled amidst emerald green hills, a quaint village exuded an old-world charm. Its cobblestone streets were lined with charming cottages adorned with cascading flowers.

        The ancient ruins stand stoic and weathered, their crumbling stone walls echoing the whispers of history. For centuries, this city has invited visitors to step back in time and unravel their enigmatic stories.

        D. Impactful quote

        Another key technique to kick off your opening statement is to impart knowledge from experts. This can be done with the help of a powerful quote that foreshadows the theme and topic of your essay. 

        This technique is highly versatile and can be used for all essay types. However, it is key to take into account that your opening quote is relevant to the rest of your essay. An unrelated quote may have the opposite effect and may confuse the reader!

        Here are a few impactful opening quotes:

        According to Winston Churchill “The Industrial Revolution was a revolution of profound consequences, an age of wonders that turned the wheels of progress and forever changed the course of human history.” According to the recent evidence, this statement seems to ring true.

        “The pain of mental illness knows no boundaries of age, and in the battle against depression, it is our duty to lend a helping hand and provide a ray of hope to the young souls navigating through the darkness.” A profound statement quoted by first lady, Michelle Obama. Mental health disorders affect millions of people worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the global burden of mental health as a significant public health challenge. However, many people do not receive the necessary mental health care they need due to various social, and economic barriers.

        As famous anthropologist Jane Goodall correctly pointed out, “Genetic modification holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of life, but we must tread cautiously, for with great power comes great responsibility.” While genetic modification holds tremendous potential to improve agriculture, healthcare, and overall human well-being, we can’t turn a  blind eye to the potential dangers and ethical concerns associated with this practice.

        E. Main idea

        Some essays require no beating around the bush and should get straight to the point. The goal is to be as clear, concise, and succinct as possible.

        In such cases, it is a good idea to simply begin your essay with the main idea. This sort of opening statement is especially useful for analytical and argumentative essays as it immediately conveys your stance on an argument. 

        Here are a few succinct opening statements:

        Smoking should be universally prohibited due to its severe health risks for both smokers and involuntary bystanders, its strain on public healthcare systems, and its negative impact on societal well-being.

        Subsidized college education is crucial to the development of society. It enhances accessibility, promotes social mobility, reduces disparities, and empowers individuals to contribute to the economy.

        Dismissing emotional support animals as a scam overlooks their well-documented therapeutic benefits of providing genuine support to individuals with mental health issues.

        Now that we’ve understood how to start a paragraph in an essay with the help of a hook, let’s move on to providing the necessary context.

        2. Provide essential background information

        The introduction to an essay consists of more than just a hook and the main idea. In order to learn how to start an introduction for an essay, it is crucial to understand what background information needs to be included in your introduction. The goal is to acquaint the reader with the background of your topic or argument without getting into the specifics. The background information may include:

        • Historical and social background
        • Geographical facts
        • Past research or theories on a particular argument
        • Definition of terminologies in case of a highly technical essay

        Although the background information provides context to your thesis statement, it should be highly generalized. It is a good idea to save the more detailed bits for the body paragraphs. The length and scope of your background information depend on the complexity of your essay. But keep it fairly broad and do not delve into the specifics. 

        Let’s take a look at a few examples of background information:

        The following example provides background information for the topic “Why Domestication of Wild Animals Should Be Prohibited”.

        Wild animals play critical roles in maintaining ecological balance within their natural habitats. Removing them from their natural environments disrupts the delicate balance of ecosystems, leading to potential negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

        Here’s an essay introduction example on the topic “Experiencing the Beauty of Hana Matsuri in Japan”:

        Hana Matsuri, also known as the “Flower Festival” or “Buddha’s Birthday,” is a significant annual festival celebrated in Japan to commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Buddha. The festival takes place on April 8th or the nearest Sunday, depending on the region.

        The final example is based on the topic ”Changes in the Post-Covid Work Culture”.

        Pre-pandemic, many organizations had a traditional office-based work culture, where employees would commute to a physical workspace and work regular hours. This allowed for face-to-face interactions, team collaboration, and a sense of community among coworkers.

        3. Present your main idea or thesis statement

        In order to construct an impactful introductory paragraph, its foundation must be strong. It is crucial to construct a rough idea of your thesis statement even before writing an introducton paragraph. A good thesis statement should be broad enough to be elaborated on. But you need to make sure that it’s not too broad since an overabundance of information will make the essay tedious to work upon.

        The thesis statement is the most important part of your essay. It is the premise or argument upon which the entire essay is based. A good thesis statement summarizes the main argument of your essay in just a few sentences.

        Let’s take a look at a few impactful thesis statements:

        The following thesis statement is based on the topic “Harvesting the Rain”.

        Rainwater harvesting represents a sustainable and effective solution to combat water scarcity by capturing and utilizing rainfall, thereby alleviating the pressures on traditional water sources, promoting self-sufficiency, and fostering long-term environmental and societal resilience.

        Here’s an example of a thesis statement for the topic “Unveiling the Mysteries of the Medieval World”:

        The medieval period, characterized by its rich tapestry of cultural, social, and political developments, shaped the course of history through its influence on governance, religion, arts, and the emergence of a distinct feudal system.

        Here’s one on the topic “Tracing the Journey of Canine Domestication”:

        The domestication of dogs, a complex process spanning thousands of years, not only transformed wolves into loyal companions but also had profound impacts on human society.

        4. Provide a general overview  

        Although this step is optional, it is a good idea to provide a general overview of your essay in the introduction paragraph. This is especially beneficial for longer essays. It gives the reader a gist of what is to be expected and the points that you will be covering.

        Let’s take a look at a few examples: 

        The following overview is for the topic “Life in the Victorian Era”.

        The essay begins with a discussion of social segregation and class division in the Victorian era. It then highlights the impact of the industrial revolution on Victorian society. Finally, it discusses the influence of Victorian morals, values, and art on modern society.  

        Now that we’ve figured out how to write introductions for essays let’s take a look at a few introduction examples for essays.   

        Essay introduction examples

        To guide you in your essay writing journey, we’ve also provided a few good introductions for essays. Since different essay types have different types of introduction paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of how to start an essay for the four main essay types (narrative, descriptive, argumentative, and expository essay).

        Narrative essay introduction example

        The following narrative essay introduction example revolves around the everyday struggles faced by a person of color living as an immigrant in a foreign nation.

        1. Hook
        2.  Background information
        3.  Thesis statement

        As the sun rose on a seemingly ordinary day, little did I know that it would mark the beginning of a journey that would shape my identity, challenge my perceptions, and lead me to discover the profound significance of being a person of color. In a world that prides itself on diversity and equality, the lived experiences of individuals from marginalized communities often remain obscured, untold, and overshadowed by dominant narratives. However, I am unafraid to delve into the depths of my personal journey. Through the exploration of pivotal moments, encounters, and self-reflection, I will unveil the complexities and nuances of my life, shedding light on the triumphs, struggles, and transformative experiences that have shaped my understanding of self, others, and the world around me.

        Descriptive essay introduction example

        The following descriptive essay introduction highlights the beauty of a leisurely walk through the park.

        1. Hook
        2.  Background information
        3.  Thesis statement

        In the hustle and bustle of modern life, where time slips through our fingers like grains of sand, there exists a tranquil refuge—a haven where the frenetic pace slows and the soul finds solace. This refuge is none other than a park—a sanctuary of greenery, a tapestry of serenity nestled within the heart of urban landscapes. It is a place where nature’s gentle symphony mingles with the whispers of the wind, where vibrant hues dance on the canvas of the sky, and where the weary spirit finds respite in the embrace of tranquility. Through the lens of this leisurely stroll, we can unravel the secrets of nature’s embrace, illuminating how a simple walk in the park can rejuvenate our senses, soothe our souls, and reconnect us with the innate beauty of the natural world.

        Argumentative essay introduction example

        The following argumentative essay introduction revolves around the age-old debate of nature vs. nurture.

        1. Hook
        2.  Background information
        3.  Thesis statement

        The eternal question of whether our genes or our environment shape us as individuals has sparked a timeless debate—the battle between nature and nurture. The nature versus nurture debate revolves around the influence of our genetic inheritance (nature) and the impact of our environment (nurture) on our development, behavior, and essence. The nature perspective argues for the predominance of our innate characteristics determined by our genes, while the nurture perspective emphasizes the crucial role of external factors such as upbringing, social interactions, and cultural influences in shaping our identities. However, a deeper exploration reveals a dynamic interplay between genetic predispositions and environmental factors in human development. The integration of both nature and nurture is essential for comprehending the complexities of individual growth, transcending the boundaries of a simplistic dichotomy.

        Expository essay introduction example

        The following expository essay introduction describes the world before the advent of the internet and other digital devices.

        1. Hook
        2. Background information
        3.  Thesis statement

        Picture a world without smartphones, social media, or instant connectivity—a time when information was sought from physical encyclopedias, conversations happened face-to-face, and the written word carried a tangible weight. Before the digital age emerged communication, information retrieval, and daily life unfolded through traditional means. Printed books, landline telephones, handwritten letters, and physical newspapers formed the foundation of knowledge dissemination and interpersonal connections. During this analog era, people relied on physical maps for navigation, shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, and cherished personal photo albums to safeguard memories. It was an era that demanded patience and perseverance to acquire information and establish connections. The pre-digital age offered a distinctive combination of challenges and opportunities, providing a glimpse into a simpler, more deliberate way of life. Through an exploration of its defining characteristics, we can gain deeper insights into the impact of the digital revolution on society.

        Now that you’ve discovered how to write an essay introduction, you can use this information to create an engaging introduction. After you create your introduction and write the rest of the essay, you’ll also need to edit your essay. Since we provide essay editing services, we’d love to make your work easier. 

        We’ve also created many resources to help you write high-quality essays and resolve any confusion you may have. Bookmark the resources given below to write the best essay!

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        Nandita Linkedin

        Nandita is a budding writer with a background in Psychology. She adores mysterious movies with unusual plots, cozy coffee houses, and any conversation involving Agatha Christie!

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