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Writing a First Paragraph for My Essay

So, you are writing an essay. There may be many essays like it, but this one is yours. This is important to note because if you adhere to the so-called “tried and true” formats that have stood the test of time (there is nothing wrong with that), essays can run the risk of giving off a cold and/or clinical vibe.

The most popular format for writing essays is the five paragraph model, and consists of the introductory paragraph, the body, which contains your second, third and fourth paragraphs, followed by the conclusion. For the purposes of this article, however, we will keep the focus on the essay’s first paragraph.

I know that I just mentioned the focus of this article will be on the essay’s first paragraph, but you cannot move forward in the present until you acknowledge where your journey began.

Confronting your past

  • Your intro should, among other things, captivate the reader, provide a brief outline for your argument, and lastly, but certainly not least, include your thesis.
  • A strong introductory paragraph makes for a seamless transition to the first paragraph of the essay’s body.
  • Do not risk losing your reader before you are able to validate your stance. Help yourself and your reader by using a phrase or set of words that will act as a bridge to your first paragraph. This is your opportunity to create the necessary momentum and flow to keep your reader interested enough to continue reading.

Take advantage of this opportunity to make your reader aware that you are for real. Don’t allow for any doubt or gray area on the behalf of your reader.

Live in the now

  • If you have made the utterly important transition from the intro to the first paragraph, now is the time to reveal your strongest point, whether it’s a fact, an example, or an argument.
  • The thesis from your introduction should now be woven into the first paragraph. If you planned ahead (of course you did) and planted a few words or a catch phrase in your introduction, those seeds have now grown and should be ripe for the picking by now.
  • At this point, you have momentum and the attention of your reader. Do not stop now; there is more work to be done for your next paragraph. So plant some seeds here in the first paragraph and by the time you get to your second paragraph it will be harvest time.