We have all been taught about what an essay introduction should include since elementary school. But how many of us are still able to put those into action while writing an essay introduction?

Your essay introduction provides the first impression on the readers. This is where the reader would decide whether or not they want to continue reading. A good essay can hold the reader’s attention and make them read the entire essay.

This article outlines some key steps or elements of an essay introduction to start powerfully.

What Is the Purpose of an Essay Introduction?

An essay introduction is the opening paragraph of an essay. It will therefore be the first thing your reader sees when reading your essay. A strong introduction serves two purposes.

First of all, it informs the reader of the subject matter of your paper. In other words, it should specify the essay’s topic and provide background information on its major argument. Second, it must pique attention and encourage readers to continue reading your essay.

person writing on brown wooden table near white ceramic mug
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

What an Essay Introduction Should Include?

The essay introduction should set the stage for what is about to be discussed. It usually needs to meet three main requirements:

  • Catches the reader’s attention using a compelling hook
  • Provides background information about the topic to the reader
  • Includes a thesis statement to outline the main points and claims

The length of each segment depends on the complexity of the essay. Let’s look at each part of an essay introduction in detail.

Part 1: a Compelling Hook for the Reader

Spend some time crafting a strong and compelling hook because it sets the tone for the entire essay. Avoid using lengthy, complex sentences; instead, begin with a short, concise, and intriguing phrase that will pique your reader’s interest.

The essay hook should give the reader a sense of the topic you’re writing about. It should hint at why the essay is going to be interesting before they continue reading your essay. Avoid using clichés, dictionary definitions, or plain factual assertions.

Part 2: Relevant Background Information

After presenting an effective hook, the next step is to provide a general summary of the main topic. Provide relevant background information your reader needs to comprehend the subject or argument of your essay.

However, the information presented should be comprehensive but highly focused and relevant to your claim. Don’t go into too much detail. You can identify points that you’ll discuss again later, but reserve your supporting details and analysis for the essay’s body paragraphs.

Based on your essay topic, the background information could include:

  • Some historical, geographical, or social context
  • An overview of the issue you’re debating about
  • Definitions of important terms in the essay
  • A summary of the research studies or relevant theories

Part 3: the Thesis Statement to Convey the Main Points

The final part is to narrow down your focus specifically to the main points of the subject through a thesis statement. It should be a brief statement that encapsulates your entire argument.

In short, a thesis statement gives viewers a quick overview of the main claim of your essay. It primarily directs what the body paragraph will cover.

In fact, the thesis statement is the key component of your essay introduction. A strong thesis is a claim that calls for support and justification rather than merely being a statement of fact.

Conclusion

Every essay has a clear purpose that drives the writing and guides readers from the beginning to the end. That’s what an introduction is for. Essay introductions often provide the reader with the information they need for the rest of the essay without unraveling too much detail. This article explains what an essay introduction should include and the importance of each part.

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Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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