Write an academic essay introduction
Jun 8, 2018
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
How to write a good introduction for an essay in three easy steps
1. Find the way to grab the reader's attention
You need to start with a hook - but how exactly can you hook the readers right from the start? There's a couple of ways to do so. First, you can surprise them with an interesting fact related to the topic of your essay. Second, you can mention something that seems to have nothing to do with your essay at all - another fact, for example, just looking random. However, if you choose this option, make sure to tie this fact to the content of your essay - otherwise, it won't look good.
Third, you could write something that would cause a certain emotional reaction: make the reader feel related, sad, angry, sympathetic, etc. Emotions not always work well when it comes to crafting a scientific paper but if it is a controversial topic, you can go for it.
2. Give some context
Now when you got the reader's attention, you can explain the whole point of your essay a bit. The tricky part here is that you have to give some context without giving too many details at the same time.
Always remember that the goal of introduction is to make the reader's curious about what comes next, not give a short summary of your essay in general. Everything you need to write to back up your idea, you can write later, in the body of your essay.
3. Write a thesis
A thesis is usually placed near the end of an introduction. It should be your idea formulated in a sentence or two - and while it might seem like something that's easy to come up with, you can actually struggle with this a lot.
That's because a thesis has to be very well-formulated. If you find it hard to come up with one, consider looking for some additional tips on essay writing.
4. Wrap it up
Some think it's okay to end an introduction right after you write your thesis. However, in some cases, it could look very abrupt if you end it like that.
If you think that ending your introduction with a thesis won't look good, try adding another sentence or two to wrap it up more smoothly, leading the reader towards the next part of an essay.
This is a basic introduction-writing scheme that works for most of the essays and similar papers. However, for some academic papers, the process could be a bit different, so it's important to cover that as well.
How to write an introduction to a research paper
You cannot write an introduction for a research paper in the same way you write one for an essay. While some tips indeed work for both cases, the others simply don't apply. A research paper is a complex and very scientific task, so, for example, appealing to the reader's emotions won't work.
So here's what you should focus on when it comes to writing a research paper introduction.
1. Make your opening sentence look solid
While your opening sentence still needs to hook the reader, it also needs to look interesting and serious. One of the best ways to start a research paper introduction is by asking a question related to the topic of your paper or by mentioning some fact you've discovered during your research.
2. Work on the thesis as well
This part is no different: every introduction for an academic paper needs to have a proper thesis statement.
3. Describe the main points of your research
Just like we've said above, a research paper is much more complex than an essay, so it's good to give the reader an idea of what to expect. That's why before you start wrapping your introduction up, focus on describing the main points of your research.
However, don't go into too many details here. You have to be brief, simply listing the main idea or ideas of your research. And then you can move on to the wrapping up part.
How to write an introduction speech or an introduction letter
Sometimes it's not only the papers you need to write introductions for - its the letters and the speeches as well. The guidelines for their writing are very similar.
For example, when you're writing a speech, you need to start with mentioning the name of the speaker (be it you or someone else you're writing this for) and their title (in case they have one). If you're doing this for someone else, make sure that their name is written properly.
Then you can mention some biographic facts related to the topic of the speech. Mentioning some personal facts is okay too, as long as they can surprise the audience even a bit.
And if you want to learn how to write an introduction letter, here's what you should pay attention to:
- you should always start with addressing the person you're writing to (if it's possible);
- then you need to introduce yourself: mention your name, your position, and anything else that you find relevant;
- tell how you were able to contact the person and why you're writing them;
- say what do you hope to accomplish with the help of this letter and how you're planning to do this: for example if you're writing to schedule a meeting, offer some time period when it can be done, etc;
- include other information the recipient might need: your contact data, your goals, and so on;
- thank the recipient for reading your letter and considering your proposal.
As you see, there are plenty of ways of how to write an introduction. Though they differ for various papers, it's still possible to master them and to start crafting proper introduction quick enough.