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Tips on Writing a Good Introduction on an Academic Essay


How to write a great introduction in several steps


Introductory sentence - paraphrased description of the assignment (use it)

  1. Make it attention getting--think "outside the box."
  2. Begin with the unexpected for a sentence or two, then begin musing on the assignment for the rest of the paragraph.
  3. Make sure to use a strong thesis statement at the end of the introduction. Try an "I believe that" kind of statement to make your stance firm and controlling and narrow while you write the essay. Your teacher should tell you if they want the first person point of view or third person in your essay.

For example "I believe teachers should . . ." will become "Teachers should..."

Let's say your teacher has assigned you the following issue to analyze:

Teachers should encourage students toward areas of specialty that they have talent and motivation for and not encourage them toward a major that will obviously not make them happy.

I might approach this topic in this way--and you could easily do this--we've all changed our majors.

Here's a sample introductory paragraph with narrow thesis statement at the end:

Math--me? For a person who was in love with reading novels and the classics, why would I pick math as my major? Well, my dad mentioned the salary of an actuary currently one night at dinner and I was off and running. It was all about money.

Ultimately, I learned however, you should study what you really love and feel you were meant to do in life and not focus only on the all-mighty dollar.

Another sample introduction on this topic:

I cannot believe I spent the last nine weeks in the Business Club--Business is not for me. I thought with my skills at math, I might be able to become an accountant--but not me. I like to work with much more advanced figures. Therefore, I'm going to devote my career to the study of math, no matter how difficult it gets.

Provide a first sentence lead-in about why the topic is important

You could also lead into your thesis by acknowledging the topic is important-- "I think this is an extremely important topic because one should follow their dreams not follow dollar. As the late Dr. Bishop (my favorite professor of all time) told me, to do what you love, and success will follow."

What is important is that you find a lead in that works and then go into the body paragraphs. Why?

Because you have to know the adventure before you can write an introduction to it!