How to write an introduction (with pictures)

How to write an introduction (with pictures)
How to write an introduction (with pictures)

In an essay, the first paragraph is usually the most important part of the whole and as such, it should be written "well as it should". This paragraph is not only intended to grab the reader's attention, but also serves to introduce the content and style of the essay. Strictly speaking, there is no sure-fire recipe for starting an essay. Since it is possible to write on any subject, it is also possible to start writing in several different ways. However, the best introductions have a number of qualities in common, which, if taken into account, can raise the level of a failed entry. To learn more, refer to the first part of this article!


Part 1 of 3: Introduce Your Essay Outline

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Step 1. Start with a sentence that commands attention

As an author, you may attach importance to your essay, but when it comes to the reader, they may not necessarily be interested in your prose. The vast majority of readers are selective about what they read. If a text doesn't grab their attention from the first paragraph, chances are they won't bother to read on. For this reason, it is often recommended to start an essay with a sentence, which immediately catches the reader's attention. Rest assured, there is nothing wrong with trying to capture the reader's interest from the start as long as that first sentence connects logically to the text as a whole.

  • For example, you can cite an interesting and little-known fact or statistical data. If your article discusses the dangers of childhood obesity around the world, you might write: “Contrary to popular belief, childhood obesity is not a problem unique to rich, well-nourished societies. from the West. Indeed, according to the 2012 WHO report, more than 30% of preschool children in developing countries are overweight or obese. "
  • On the other hand, if the context of your text allows it, you can start with a particularly striking metaphor or description. Here's one way to start a tale about your summer vacation: “When the Costa Rican sun's rays pierced the jungle vegetation and the howler monkeys cries echoed in the distance, I knew this place was truly very special. "
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Step 2. Quickly get to the heart of the matter

A nice opening sentence is likely to grab the reader's attention, but if you don't immediately put them in the bath, their interest may wane. Therefore, after the first sentence, continue with one or two more sentences to channel the reader's attention to the rest of the text. Often times, these sentences will serve to clarify the idea of ​​the introductory sentence and place your topic in a larger context.

  • For example, in your article on obesity, you can continue like this: “The reality is childhood obesity is a problem of the rich and the poor, getting worse, without making a distinction. This sentence expresses the urgency of the problem raised in the introductory sentence and places it in a larger context.
  • For the essay on your summer vacation, you can continue like this: “I was deep in the jungle of Tortuguero National Park and felt lost in more ways than one. Using this sentence you inform the reader about the place of the action and you suggest that the story will probably be devoted to explaining how the author "got lost".
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Step 3. Give the reader information about the topic of your article

In most cases, an article is not descriptive and is not intended to explain only the nature of something, in objective terms. Usually, it has a specific purpose that goes beyond the descriptive or factual aspect. It can take many forms. The article may seek to convince the reader to change their mind about a particular topic or persuade them to act for a particular cause. The article can also seek to shed a particular light on an issue that has not been well understood or more simply to provoke reflection through the narration of a story. In most cases, the first paragraph serves to inform the reader about the purpose of the writing in question, so that they can decide whether or not to continue reading.

  • In the article on childhood obesity, you can summarize your theme like this: “The purpose of this article is to analyze current trends in childhood obesity rates globally and to propose precise measures. to combat this problem of which the gravity continues to grow. This way you have clearly explained the purpose of your article, thus avoiding confusion for the reader.
  • In the case of the account of your vacation, you can add this: “Here is the account of my summer vacation in Costa Rica, a summer that changed my existence, despite the spider bites, the rotten plantain and the giardiasis. Thus, the reader will know that he is going to read a travelogue in a tropical country, which contains a number of exotic details.
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Step 4. You can also present your essay outline

This is optional, but sometimes it is necessary to go further in the introduction and describe how you are going to achieve your goal. You can do this easily, if you divide your essay into several sections, so that the reader can understand the topic more easily. Knowing how to do this is also helpful if you are a student, as some teachers will ask you to do this. However, it is not always a good idea to reveal the outline of your essay in the introduction. Sometimes, especially if the tone of the essay is light, you will risk intimidating the reader by presenting thick and dense information from the start.

  • In the case of the article on obesity, you can continue like this: “This article will address three major global health concerns, namely: the increasing availability of foods with very high calorific value, the decrease in time spent on physical exercise and the growing popularity of sedentary recreational activities. In a research article like this, it is good to delineate the topic so that the reader can immediately grasp the purpose of the article which was presented in the introductory sentence.
  • On the other hand, in the vacation narrative, it is likely that the plan do not be introduced in this way. Knowing that the tone of the writing will be light, it may seem odd to continue writing: “My stays in the capital San José and in the jungle of Tortuguero, have completely transformed my personality during this trip. It's not a bad phrase, but it doesn't fit well with others because it introduces a rigid and unnecessary structure.
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Step 5. Include a thesis statement if necessary

In writing, a thesis statement consists of a single sentence to describe the subject of the article, as succinctly and clearly as possible. In some essays, the introductory paragraph should contain a thesis statement, especially when it is a five paragraph essay, produced as part of a school assignment or standardized exam. Even texts that do not require this rule to be applied can benefit from the strength of a concise and clear thesis statement. Usually a thesis statement comes at the end of the first paragraph, but there is no hard and fast rule about where to insert that statement.

  • In the article on obesity, given the importance of the issue and the scientific and straightforward writing style, you can write a thesis statement like this: “By analyzing survey results, this article aims to highlight practical steps to help reduce obesity globally. In a nutshell, this thesis statement informs the reader about the objective of the article.
  • Of course, you will avoid including a thesis statement in your travelogue. Since you are looking to reflect mood, tell a story, and illustrate personal themes, a statement in a straightforward, scientific style, such as: "This story will describe in detail my summer vacation in Costa Rica", is not really not appropriate and will even be useless.
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Step 6. Adopt an appropriate tone

In addition to announcing the topic, the first paragraph can also be used to introduce how you will treat your topic. Your writing style and the route you use will be things that may encourage or deter the potential reader from reading your article. If, from the start, you adopt a tone that is clear, pleasant and appropriate to the subject, your readers will be more inclined to read the article, than when the style is heavy, disparate or unsuited to the topic at hand.

Take a look at the sentences in the examples above. Note that the obesity article and the vacation story are written in different ways. But for both cases, the sentences are well written and adapted to the topic treated. The article on obesity, which deals with a public health problem, is serious and analytical. Thus, it is reasonable that the writing style be scientific and straightforward. On the flip side, the vacation tale is about a fun and exciting experience that impacted the author. It is therefore appropriate to adopt a playful style, cite several exciting details and seek to amaze the reader

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Step 7. Get straight to the point

When it comes to writing an introduction, it's best to be as concise as possible. If you can express all of your information in a few sentences, five instead of six, go for five. You can use words that are easy to understand instead of terms that some readers will have difficulty understanding, such as “glow” instead of “nitescence”. Do not hesitate to express your idea in ten words instead of twelve. Also feel free to shorten your introductory passages, if you can do so without reducing the quality or clarity of your sentences. Remember that the beginning of your article serves as a quick start to the reader, but that it is not the body of the text itself. So be brief.

As mentioned above, the more conciseness you seek, the more you must remain picky about the quality and clarity of your text. So, don't prune your introduction to the point of making it meaningless. For example, in the article on obesity, do not truncate this sentence: "in reality, childhood obesity is a problem that is getting worse among rich and poor alike, without distinction", to write: “In reality, obesity is a big problem today. This shortcut no longer reflects the scope of your theme, as it relates to the global consequences of growing childhood obesity issues, not obesity as a bad thing for the health

Part 2 of 3: Adapt the introduction to the whole text

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Step 1. Summarize your argument if the text is argumentative

Every text is unique, except for plagiarized texts, and there are techniques that can help you do the most depending on the type of writing you want to produce. For example, if you are writing argumentative text, which means you are trying to persuade the reader to adopt the point of view you are presenting, try to summarize your point in the opening paragraph (s) of the article. This will give the reader a quick overview of the arguments you will be making to support your point of view.

For example, if you are opposed to the introduction of a local sales tax, you can include in your first paragraph something like: “The proposed tax is regressive, plus it is fiscally irresponsible. This article aims to clearly demonstrate that the sales tax will create an intolerable financial burden for low-income people and that it will have a negative impact on the local economy. This approach informs the reader directly and from the first paragraph, about the nature of your argument

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Step 2. Strive to capture the reader's attention if the writing is creative

Creative writing can be loaded with more emotion than writing from other genres. For this type of writing, you can usually get away with starting your text with a striking metaphor. By making an effort to be interesting or extraordinary in your first few lines, you will have a good chance of making the reader interested in your work. In addition, creative writing does not require any particular effort in terms of logical argumentation, such as a clear structure or a thesis statement. This allows you to let your imagination run wild and be inventive.

  • For example, if you are writing a short story about a girl on the run, you might start with an exciting description: "The sirens' peal broke the night's torpor and reverberated throughout the building. The red and blue flashing lights suddenly lit up the walls of the room. His sweaty hand tightened nervously on the gun. Now this story has become a thrilling one.
  • Note also that your first sentences can be interesting, without evoking particular actions. Read the opening lines of J. R. R. Tolkein's work “The Hobbit”: “A hobbit lived in a hole dug in the earth. It is not a nasty, dirty, smelly, wet, worm infested hole or a sandy and dry hole, bare and bald, without even a chair to sit on or a table to eat on. It is more of a hobbit hole, which means a hole with all possible comfort. »Already this introduction poses several questions: what is a hobbit? Why does he live in a hole? These questions prompt the reader to continue reading if he wants to elucidate the mystery created by this introduction.
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Step 3. Link the specific details to your main theme whether the text deals with an artistic or recreational subject

Writing in the artistic or recreational field, such as literary or film criticism, is less strict than writing a scientific text, but the introduction can take advantage of a synthetic style. In this case, you can get away with a playful introduction, while being careful to describe the general theme of your article and even focus on small details.

For example, if you are writing a text to review and analyze P.T. Anderson's film “The Master,” you might start like this: “This film contains a very short scene, but one that is unforgettable. Speaking to his lover for the last time, Joaquin Phoenix burst into tears behind the mosquito net that separated them and kissed the girl passionately. It was at the same time pretty, beautiful, perverse and perfectly suited to the particular image that the film seeks to convey of love. This introduction uses a very meaningful short moment from the film, to enlighten the reader on the main theme of the article

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Step 4. Be objective whether the writing is scientific or technical

Of course, not all writing is imaginative or exciting. Fantasy and the mind have no place in a universe guided by analysis, technique and scientific writing. Scientific or technical writing is aimed at a particular category of readers to inform them about very specific questions. Since the object is to inform and sometimes to persuade, avoid jokes, colorful descriptions, or things that do not directly relate to the topic at hand.

  • For example, if you are writing an article about the advantages and disadvantages of different means of protecting metals against corrosion, you can start this way: “Corrosion is an electrochemical phenomenon that begins when a metal reacts with its metal. environment and begins to degrade. This serious problem, which arises with the structural integrity of constructions and metallic objects, has been solved by the development of several means of protection against corrosion. Such an introduction is straightforward and fits right into the subject. There is no downtime or unnecessary clichés.
  • Note that texts written in this style often contain summaries placed before the article itself, to quickly inform the reader about the outline of the text. For more information, read how to write a summary.
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Step 5. Deal with the most important information first if it is a newspaper article

The wording of press articles differs from that of other texts. In journalism, a great effort is usually made to deal with the factual aspect of the event rather than expressing the opinion of the author. Thus, the introduction of a press article is rather descriptive than argumentative or persuasive. A seasoned journalist usually strives to devote the first sentence of their article to presenting the most important information, so that the reader can get to the gist of the event right from the headline.

  • For example, if you have to cover an event relating to a local fire, you can start as follows: “On the night of Saturday, four buildings located on Cherry Avenue at number 800, were devastated by a fire in electrical origin. No loss of life was reported, however five adults and one child were rushed to Skyline Hospital for treatment, following injuries from the fire. By starting with the bare essentials, you have succeeded in giving the reader the information they want to know immediately.
  • In the following paragraphs, you will be able to clarify the circumstances surrounding the event and give more details to readers who want to know more.

Part 3 of 3: Using Writing Techniques to Write an Introduction

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Step 1. Try to write your introduction last

When it comes to starting a writing, many authors forget that there is no rule that requires you to start by writing the introduction. In fact, you can start by writing any part of your article as you wish, for example the middle or the end, as long as all of your writing is harmonious. If you are unsure of how to start your article, or if you are not yet familiar with the topic, try putting off writing the introduction until later. You will probably want to write it, but once you have finished writing the rest of your article, it will be easier for you to do it because you will have more control over your topic.

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Step 2. Brainstorm

Sometimes even senior authors run out of ideas. If you can't write your introduction, consider brainstorming. Take a sheet of paper and write down your ideas very quickly as they come. They don't have to be good. Sometimes, looking at ideas that won't serve you well, you find the inspiration to come up with ideas that will serve you.

Also try a writing exercise called “free writing”. To practice this exercise, start by writing anything down. Yes, exactly anything! To spark your creativity, keep writing the sentences as they come. The end result doesn't have to make sense, but if there's a hint of inspiration in your rambling, you will have achieved your goal

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Step 3. Review, revise and revise again

It is extremely rare to find a first draft that cannot be improved. A good author knows that you should never hand in a writing before rereading it, at least once or twice. Editing and proofreading allows you to check spelling, pick up parts of questionable meaning, make sure you haven't forgotten information, and more. This is especially important at the beginning of a text, where small mistakes will have a bad effect on your reputation as an author. So be sure to check your introduction carefully.

For example, think of an article where the first sentence contains a grammar error. Even if the error is insignificant, its presence at the beginning of the text, can lead the reader to think that the author is negligent or that he lacks experience. If you are writing for money or for a review, this is a risk you cannot afford to take

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Step 4. Ask someone else for advice

No author writes in a vacuum. If you're lacking inspiration, talk to someone you respect to get their opinion on how to introduce your topic. Since the person in question is not involved in your work, they will be able to provide you with another point of view and highlight points that you did not give importance to, because you were very absorbed in writing your introduction.

Do not hesitate to involve your teachers and the people who commissioned you to write the article. Most of the time, these people will think that you care about your job because you are asking them for advice. In addition, they have a clear idea of ​​the result and will therefore be able to give you good advice that will help you write an article that meets their expectations


  • Check that you can write enough on your topic and don't hesitate to vary your sentences a bit. Nothing is more boring than reading tasteless articles one after the other. Enthusiasm is a unique medium that can help you if you can't get the reader's attention and also prevent you from getting a bad grade.
  • Review is your friend. Save your work so that you don't have to redo everything. You can correct any text, even if it contains many punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors.
  • When choosing a topic, write a thesis statement and if you can't do it, consider modifying the scope of the topic or changing it if it is unusable.
  • The student who only has "A's" is probably getting help from his parents or his teacher.
  • Be polite and respectful when asking for help correcting your mistakes. When requesting editorial assistance, consider reaching out to the faculty that has chosen the topic for your assignment.
  • If you put very little effort into writing an essay, your professor might be tempted to give you indulgent grades.
  • You may also want to learn how to write an informative essay.

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