Tips to Start Writing Strong Opening Sentences

Coming up with strong examples of opening sentences can be challenging — even for the most experienced writers

A strong opening sentence is what gets a reader to turn the pages and keep reading. But what makes a good opening sentence? Part of the key is that it’s specific.

It lets the reader envision where you’re going with the story and want to know more about the subject at hand. In this article, you’ll learn practical examples of opening sentences to instantly hook the audience.

What Is an Opening Sentence?

An opening sentence is the first statement in a paragraph that sparks an emotion in the reader. It might be an interesting thought that provokes a question, an anecdote about someone in the author’s life.

It could also be a line of text used to introduce the topic of the paragraph or chapter. They need to be concrete and specific, capturing the attention of readers right away.

Why Is an Opening Sentence Important?

An opening sentence is important because it is the first sentence that entices and invites interest in what your speech will offer. Written works such as blog posts, magazine articles, or newspaper stories are introduced through a sentence or sentence fragment. This is because before you can grasp the meaning of what you are reading, you must be engaged in the introduction.

A person holding a book sitting on brown surface
Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

Six Tips to Write a Strong Opening Sentence

To have a stronger opening sentence, you need to focus on your target audience rather than on you and what you want to say. This will help you to write more effective openings that resonate with your target audience.

Here are some practical tips for establishing an instant connection with the reader. Choose the one that best fits your situation.

1. Reflect the Pain of the Reader

Mirroring the reader’s pain is a common technique in the persuasive writing community. It is meant to evoke empathy from the reader and can be done using specific words, phrases, and imagery or tone. There are a few different ways to mirror the pain of the reader:

  • captivating people with the power of imagery
  • playing on the emotions
  • comparing a familiar problem to the reader’s issue.

2. Be Honest and Sympathetic

Being honest in your writing means that you should be able to connect with the emotional side of your readers. Your audience will trust you if you can show you actually have feelings for them and are genuinely trying to help through your writing. This is crucial for establishing an emotional and intellectual connection with your audience.

3. Disclose Personal Information

A strong opening sentence has the power to bring readers in from the first few lines. Opening sentences of your article or speech must include what readers should expect, how to proceed with the content, and an alluring statement.

Revealing personal information about yourself creates authenticity and tells the reader that what you have to say isn’t just a sales pitch.

4. Shock or Intrigue the Reader

A good opener will either shock or intrigue the reader or draw the reader in to read the rest of the article. The goal is to create a connection to the “what’s next.”

Once that connection is made, curiosity will dial you in because you are enjoying the ride. Create an opening sentence that creates a sense of mystery. You can also use an attention-grabbing opening sentence to draw certain emotions from the reader.

5. Pose Questions to the Readers

Nonfiction books are sought after by readers who need help in problem-solving. The reader might pick up your book hoping to solve a particular problem or learn how to do things.

Asking them that compelling question immediately shows them that you understand their pain. Other ways to utilize questions in your opening sentences are to have them learn something new and to reveal a truth or secret information.

6. Start With a Bold Claim

Don’t give your readers the opportunity to leaf through your work and pass judgment on whether it’s worth their time to stick around.

Start strong with a bold claim that is aimed at causing a reaction. A strong assertion not only clarifies your point but also captures the reader’s attention.

Examples of Opening Sentences

Coming up with the perfect opening line can be challenging. Here are some widely used examples of opening sentences to start strong in your writing and engage the readers.

  • Would you rather have ___ or ___?
  • The more you ___, the easier ___ gets.
  • The only way to ___.
  • Are you afraid to ___?
  • Most ___ are trying to ___ and failing every time.
  • If I were to ask you ___, what would you say?
  • Unlike most people, I didn’t plan my/to ___.
  • The best thing about ___ is that you ___, too.
  • I always told myself that ___. Here’s why I was wrong.
  • It’s easy to ___, but did you ever think about ___?


Sometimes getting started with a project sounds easy in theory, but in practice, it can be a struggle. Keeping in mind these tips for writing a well-fitting opening sentence can make a difference in your writing. Also, don’t forget about the research and writing that come after the opening sentence. It might be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of your first sentence. Hope you find this article helpful!

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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