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How to Write an Essay Introduction: Tricks to Catch the Reader's Attention

The introduction for any essay is one of the most important parts. Many students struggle with the introduction because throughout the course of their writing, they will change the thesis or topic sentence a bit, or they might remove one of their arguments. These changes would not be that big of a deal were it not for the fact that most students feel as though they have to write the introduction first. They think that the introduction, because it is first in order of the paper, that it must be the first thing that they write. If their argument changes at all or they alter their thesis, then the introduction needs to be changed as well.

However, this is not true. Students are not confined to writing the introduction first. In fact, the most successful cases often write the introduction last. They complete the body first, the conclusion second, and the introduction last. By writing the introduction to your paper last, you have already refined your arguments, you have altered the thesis or the topic, and you know what concrete evidence you are presenting in your paper. With that knowledge, you can craft a sustainable introduction that is perfect the first time and does not need to be altered.

The introduction is part of what frames your paper. In conjunction with the conclusion, the introduction is used to frame the arguments you make and give the reader a great deal of insight into what you will present to them. A good introduction covers everything that will be included in your essay. In order to catch the reader’s attention you need to show them what journey they will be taking while reading your paper. You need to show them why your thesis is important and what it offers the rest of the academic community.

In the introduction you can include things such as:

  • Relevant quotes from an expert
  • A startling fact or revelation
  • A call to action
  • Your thesis statement

Remember that the thesis statement must be included in the introduction. But again, you are not confined to open with it, or to leave it until the end. You can include it where ever works best for your argument’s purpose. Make sure that you include it somewhere, even if it is in the middle of your introductory paragraph. Also ensure that your introduction’s length is contingent with the length of the paper. As a rule of thumb, it should be about 10% of the total length of your paper.

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