How to correctly write the introduction to any essay
An essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an argument or narrative based on evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you can write as a student. The content and length of the essay depends on your level, the subject matter, and course requirements. However, most academic essays have the same purpose: they seek to convince readers of their position or point of view through sound argumentation,
To write an essay, there are three basic steps:
- Preparation: decide on a topic, do your research, and write an essay outline.
- Writing: outline your arguments in the introduction, develop them with evidence in the main body, and end with a conclusion.
- Editing: check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
In this guide, we will explain what to include in the introduction, main body, and conclusion of an academic essay using paragraphs from our sample interactive essay
The writing process
The writing process consists of three steps: preparation, drafting, and editing. These steps apply to every essay or essay, but the time and effort spent on each step depends on the type of essay.
For example, if you were told StudyCrumb and assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you would probably spend the most time on the writing step; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the other hand, you would have to spend more time researching the topic and developing original arguments before you start writing,
Preparing to Write an Essay
Before you start writing, you need to make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you are going to say it, There are a few key steps you can take to make sure you are ready:
- Understand your assignment: What is the purpose of this essay? What is the length and deadline for the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your instructor or professor?
- Decide on a topic: If you are allowed to choose your own topic, try to choose something that you already know a little about and that will interest you.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes that will help you determine your position and angle on the topic, which you will use as evidence for your thesis statement.
- Come up with a thesis statement: A thesis statement is the main idea or argument you want to make. A clear thesis statement is essential for a focused essay – you should constantly refer to it as you write.
- Create an outline: outline the approximate structure of your essay in an outline. This will make it easier to get started and help you stay on track.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what sequence, and what evidence you will use, you are ready to begin writing,
The introduction is important for both capturing the reader’s interest and informing them of what the essay is about. The introduction usually makes up 10-20% of the text. To learn how to write an essay introduction, start by familiarizing yourself with its most important purposes.
Get your reader hooked
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called a hook, and it can be a question, a quote, a surprising statistic, or a bold statement about the relevance of the topic.
For example, let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (a system of reading and writing with raised dots used by visually impaired people). Our hook could make a strong statement on the topic: The invention of Braille was an important turning point in the history of disability.
Give background information on your topic
Once you’ve hooked the reader, it’s important to provide context to help the reader understand your argument. This can include providing background information, reviewing important scientific papers or debates on the topic, and explaining complex terms. Don’t lay out too many details in the introduction-you can elaborate on them in the main body of the essay.
Provide a thesis statement
Next, you need to formulate a thesis statement-the main argument you will be making. The thesis statement gives direction and indicates your position on the topic. An example of a thesis statement from a Braille essay might look like this:
As the first writing system designed specifically for the needs of blind people, Braille was a revolutionary new means of accessibility. Not only did it provide practical benefits and greater independence, but it also helped to change the cultural status of blindness.