How to Write a Compelling Introduction: Most Comprehensive Guide in 2019
Introductions are one of the main sections of any paper. Similar to paper organization, introductions are vital for an academic paper to capture the reader’s attention and state its purpose.
Unsurprisingly, writing essay introduction is an area most writers encounter challenges. This is due to the tricky nature of introduction writing. Writing an introduction sucks since the slightest mistake might be detrimental to your paper.
A poorly written introduction can put off your reader making him/her lack the desire to continue reading the rest of the essay. How then do you write a captivating conclusion?
In order to explore the various strategies you can use to write a compelling introduction, let’s explore the nature of introductions to give you a foundation. Such solid understand is important as it creates the base of writing to make your introductions even more captivating.
What is an Introduction?
An introduction is basically the first paragraph of your essay designated to capturing the attention of your reader. It also informs them of the area you will be focusing on.
In other words, you can consider an introduction as a telepathic bridge that transports your reader from their lives and experiences into the one your are examining on your paper.
Your introduction should be written in a very effective manner. This enables your reader to tap into your thinking and own up the area the topic you are covering in your essay. This makes your audience interested to find out about the facts and evidence you present in your analysis or discussion.
Hence, an introduction has two major functions:
- It wins your reader’s attention
An excellent introduction should be written in a captivating manner for the reader to desire to continue reading the rest of the paper.
Your introduction should be written as effective as Mister Rogers’ presentation to the Senate Subcommittee - a 3 minutes presentation that made the subcommittee identify with his gaols and approve his funding against a proposed cut by the president.
For your introduction to capture your readers’ attention as Mister Rodgers presentation, it has to be precise, well thought and articulated.
- It serves as a roadmap to your reader
By the time your reader is done reading the introduction, they should be aware of what the paper covers, the importance of your study and how you will be undertaking your study.
Structure of an Introduction
No matter what paper you will be working on, an introduction can be regarded as having three sections: the hook, body sentences and the thesis statement.
This should be the starting sentence. It should be written in a manner that grabs the attention of your reader. There are various strategies you can use to have a hook that captivating.
Example of such attention grabbing strategies include such as use of an anecdote, and stating an interesting fact. More of these strategies later.
These are the sentences that follow the hook. They should build upon your hook and present your area of focus.
You should ensure that you answer questions pertaining the focus of your essay, importance of your topic, and approach you will use to undertake your study. You are basically establishing the content of your paper using these sentences in your introduction.
This is the last sentence(s) of your introduction. It presents your claim or arguments that you will be supporting or refuting in your essay. Your thesis should be devoid of any fallacy. It should also be precise. For more information on formulating thesis statement, here is an informative article to check out.
We know what an introduction is and its basic structure: how then do we write a compelling introduction?
Strategies to Write a Captivating Introduction.
There are various strategies that you can use to write a compelling introduction. The strategy you use can vary from one essay type to another.
No matter which strategy you use, you should start by brainstorming on your essay topic or thesis statement.
Your introduction is your first step to answering an essay question or thesis statement. You definitely want to make it as relevant as possible to the research question.
Think of the best way to start your essay. How broad do you want your introduction to be. Remember you should not be extremely broad when starting your essay, as we will find later in the article.
Once you have brainstormed on how to approach your introduction, find a strategy that applies best to your thought approach and your paper type as well.
Effective Strategies to Write a Catchy Introduction
Use of Thought Provoking Question
Simply put, this involves asking a question at the start of your essay. The question should be leading and relevant to your research question.
A question is an effective way to have a compelling introduction as it creates a hypothetical situation for which it invites the reader to be engaged in by seeking to respond to the question.
For instance you can start by:
‘Sociologists have greatly influenced societal operations through the findings of their study. However, have sociologists undertaken research on the basis of being objective or to compliment previous research?'
Use of Dialogue or Quote
This is often involved in such as the analysis of movies, novels or plays. It involves quoting one to three sentences from which your research question is based.
In case you use dialogue for your introduction, ensure that you give a brief elaboration.
This is basically giving a story illustrating your point. It is similar to the use of a dialogue. Your anecdote needs to be brief but comprehensive, relevant and precise to your topic or research question.
You should be careful with the use of an anecdote – you should also note that its use is limited to specific papers. For instance, you cannot use an anecdote to start a research paper.
Startling Scenario or Information
This is simply stating facts that arouse the interest of your reader. The information does not have to be new but it has to be one that grabs the reader’s interest and mind.
Use of Intriguing Examples or Cases
Use an example or case scenario that will gain the interest of your reader. This example can also be a research finding that is related to your study.
Dramatic Account of a Previous Event
There are numerous other strategies that you can use to write a catchy introduction. You can think of unlimited new ways to introduce your paper. However, for whichever strategy of introducing your paper you choose, be certain that it is precise, relevant to your topic and is applicable to your type of paper.
Things to Consider to Ensure Your Introduction is Catchy.
v Avoid Lengthy Introductions
A good introduction should be a minimum of three sentences and not more than 10% of your total word count of your essay.
Lengthy introductions make your essay sound redundant and appear poorly organized. You are also likely to lose its catchy magic if it will be too long.
v Write Your Introduction Last
This probably caught you by surprise. It serves you right to write your introduction as the last section of your paper. In case you cannot write your essay without an introduction, you can write a tentative introduction which you can later edit to make it more catchy.
v Be Precise
Identify what you will include in your introduction starting from broad to a specific area of interest. As much as you want to start from a broad perspective, avoid being too broad.
You should also make sure that your ideas are precise. Do not include ideas that are too general.
v Ensure Good Transition
Ensure that there is good flow between your hook, body sentences and the thesis statement. Good logical progression of ideas makes your paper interesting to the reader. It also avoids instances when a reader has to figure out what you intended to mean or the connection between different sentences. It also discourages readers from not reading through the whole paper.
v Avoid Restating the Question
It is very tempting for a student to write an introduction paragraph restating the question. Avoid such an introduction as much as you can! It creates a bad impression about your paper despite having a great body section.
Do You Need Help Writing Introduction Section of Your Essay?
As we have seen above, writing an introduction can be tricky. It also requires a person who can create an excellent mental picture of what the essay entails in order to write a catchy introduction.
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