How to write a introduction

The most agonizing sentence for many writers is the first one. Whether it be for a paragraph, essay or book it is the essence of what is going to be said in microcosm. This is true of the introduction also. Whereas the first sentence sets the tone for that paragraph, the introduction needs to trumpet the audiences need to read the entire work. When the piece is an essay, the introductory paragraph(s) tell the reader what they can expect from the body and the conclusion.

Although writing this piece may be difficult, it is not impossible to always churn out a workable introduction. Following are some useful tips:

  • Begin by grabbing the reader - Your first sentence does not have to be something that relates specifically to the topic, but it should engage the reader and keep them reading. A quote or some type of satirical statement will often keep the audience reading.
  • Write a thesis statement - This needs to be very clear. You don't have to preface it by saying this is the thesis statement, but the reader should not be in any doubt.
  • Determine a structure - You need to tell the reader how the essay is to be organized. This doesn't have to be a declarative statement. It could be a listing of the topics to be covered by paragraph. An example of this will be provided later.
  • Be succinct - The introduction should not drag on through half of the paper. It needs to be long enough to give the reader an idea of what is coming up, but it should only introduce.
  • Clearly represent the topic and type of essay - This means that the reader should understand what type of essay you are going to be using and what the topic is.


These tips are general for a reason; they are simple guidelines. You should always gear your opening to the type of essay that you are going to write. Therefore, here are some examples of introductions written for three of the most popular types of essays.

Comparative: The old saying is, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." This is supposedly in reference to the health benefits of the apple. However, recent studies have proven that a rhyme for the orange may have been more appropriate. With a greater amount of fiber, more vitamin C and a taste that makes the apple take a back seat; the orange has become the new darling fruit. A comparison of these two fruits yields some surprising results.

Note that the thesis statement was clearly stated, a structure was developed, and a quote was used right off the top to instill interest in the topic.

Persuasive: A kitchen has been one of the historic remodels that can greatly raise the value of a house. To complete this, redo there are two things that can quickly make the room look new and give it the style that a new buyer will want. Cabinets are the most prominent feature in the room, but they are followed quickly by countertops. Though there are many types of countertops, only those that are made of stone give the homeowner the look, durability and style that most buyers want.

This essay will try and persuade someone who is going to purchase countertops for a remodel that they should buy a stone product. The reasons for this are listed so that they can easily be listed as separate paragraphs. The opening sentence will entice the reader because they know the essay is going to be telling them how they can add value to their home.

Informative: "Nice guys finish last." That statement has always been one of the favorite quotes of many a baseball aficionado. Casey Stengel had as many in his day as Yogi Berra, Stengel's were rarely slips of the tongue. Rather, they introduced the lay person to the mind of one of the greatest managers that ever stalked a dugout. Casey Stengel was rough, curmudgeonly and a winner. Whenever one of his teams took the field everyone knew they were prepared to do battle.

All essays need an introduction with a slightly different flavor, but no matter what you are writing these few simple tips will get you started. Just remember that everything feeds from these first few lines. Grab the reader, sell them on the structure and make that paper your own.