How to Write an Essay Introduction: Practical Tips to Improve your Writing

March 4, 2023

To create high-quality academic papers, learners should know their structure and have exceptional writing skills to produce a compelling essay introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion. The beginning of an essay is crucial, as it presents the author’s argument and tells the audience what to expect. Discover the basics of creating great essay introductions and writing tips to help you succeed in your assignments.

What is the introduction of an essay?

The first essay paragraph and the first thing readers will see in your paper is an essay introduction. What is the purpose of this section? It performs two functions:

  • Informing the audience about what an author is going to tell in the article by presenting the essay topic and giving some idea about the essential points;
  • Arousing interest and motivating to read the rest of the text.

There are five introduction requirements in the essay structure we will consider in detail below:

  • an opening sentence (a hook) to draw the audience’s attention;
  • background information related to the topic;
  • a range of essential points that will be discussed in the essay;
  • general information about time frames, settings, characters, etc.;
  • a precise thesis statement reflecting the essential essay thought.

How long should an introduction be?

There are no strict rules applied to an introductory paragraph. Skilled writers recommend paying attention to the overall length of the essay before defining the introduction length. Thus, while creating a typical five-paragraph essay, it’s better to complete a brief opening clause that doesn’t exceed one paragraph. Still, for longer papers over 30 pages, the introduction can include numerous paragraphs and take up to several pages. On average, the essay introduction length is usually from 8 to 9% of the paper’s total word count.

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The typical three parts of an introduction paragraph

There are three parts of an essay introduction: an essay hook, connections, and a thesis statement. Let’s analyze their meaning and features.

1. Essay hook.

It is the best starter for your introduction, focused on grabbing the audience’s attention. A good hook always consists of a single sentence and may include an impressive fact relevant to the topic, quote, question, anecdote, or summary. While working on this element, you should avoid clichés, generalizations, dictionary definitions, and abstract phrases that contain words like “always”, “everywhere”, etc.

Discover five hook types that are the best for catching the reader’s attention.

  • Personal story;

Write several brief sentences about your life related to the topic, which will work as a great hook, especially in a narrative essay.


“When I gave birth to my first child, I suddenly realized the importance of having the possibility to work part-time from home. There are many benefits of part-time jobs for young mothers, not only for them.”

  • Statistical data;

Delving into numbers is a great method to attract attention, especially when it comes to a persuasive essay.


“According to a recent study, part-time employees are 70% more satisfied with their work-life balance and 40% more likely to stay in the same position, even if they can get a higher salary working full time.”

  • Common misconception;

A perfect method to interest readers is to tell them something they believe, but that is not true.


“Though many think part-time employees are less motivated and productive, this is not true. Due to work-life benefits, such workers are less tired than their colleagues and can work with increased productivity.”

  • Scenes;

This method is used in narrative and descriptive essays and makes readers imagine situations you’re telling them about.


“Imagine you could work from home 4 hours a day. You would have more free time to spend with your friends and family or enjoy your hobby.”

  • Thesis statement;

It’s also possible to begin your essay directly with the main idea you want to convey to your readers.


“I agree that a person satisfied with life and job will work better.”

After choosing the best hook, you should explain your topic and lead your audience to specific points you will consider in the body of an essay.

2. Connections.

When the first sentences are ready and include a hook, it’s time to give your audience a better understanding of what you will analyze in your essay. In this part, you must list your essential points in the same order you’ll disclose in the body paragraph and move on to your thesis statement. In this part of your introduction, try to answer the following questions:

  • What?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

You’ll deliver general information about your subject by answering these questions in several brief sentences. Then, move on to the thesis statement. Use an “upside-down triangle” method when a hook is at the top of your introduction; then, provide a larger explanation of the theme and end with a specific claim. Every following sentence from your introduction has to be narrower than the previous one. It allows you to lead your reader gradually to the central part of your essay. 

3. Thesis statement. 

This part of your essay introduction is the most important, as it provides your readers with a summary of your essay’s main idea that will be discussed in the body paragraph. A good thesis statement should be clear, accurate, and disclosed in one sentence at the end of your introductory section.

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Steps to write an essay introduction

Step 1. Engage your reader.

Your essay beginning sets the tone for the whole paper. That’s why it’s necessary to put some effort into creating a good hook. Forget about using long, complicated sentences, common statements, and dry facts. You should also avoid dictionary definitions, especially for obvious terms. Instead, start with a concise, catchy hook that will arouse your reader’s curiosity.

Here is an example of a great hook for an essay about the Internet’s impact on people:

“Now, the Internet has a world-changing effect: there is no need to rely on a local community to stay in touch with one another.”

Step 2. Give the background information.

Your audience should know the context to understand your topic and your thoughts better. Let’s see what type of context you may use:

  • Geographical, historical, or social context;
  • Definitions of essential terms;
  • Some words about the debate you’re going to discuss;
  • A summary of research and theories related to your topic.

Deliver your background information without too many details. Just mention some points without their interpretation and return to them later in the body of your essay. The volume of this section depends on the topic and the number of pages of the whole essay.


“The Internet facilitates a global dialogue by connecting people from all over the world. It has brought considerable societal changes, from economic development to cultural exchange. It has opened many new ways of communicating and thinking by giving access to endless sources of information.”

Step 3. Expose your thesis statement.

Now, you should narrow your focus and explain what you will say in the next section. The thesis statement is the most important part of your introduction. It has to include one or two sentences summarizing your argument and conveying your viewpoint.


“There are positive and negative effects of the Internet on society.”

Step 4. Draft your essay structure.

Take your time to think about the structure of an essay introduction. If you write an expanded research paper, it’s better to finish the opening paragraph by indicating what will be explained in each section of your work. After reading the introduction, the audience should clearly understand your argument’s direction.


“This essay is focused on discussing the influence of the Internet on global society. First, it describes the role of the wide world web for people and the changes it has brought. Then, it explores the positive and negative impacts of the Internet on our lives.”

Step 5. Revise your text carefully.

When you learn new information, your research focus may change. That’s why a great solution is to take your time with your introductory paragraph until the whole work is done. Make some notes about your introduction and return to it when the body and conclusion are ready. In such a way, your first paragraph will best match the content of your essay.

On our website, you may also find practical recommendations on how to write a conclusion for an essay and the steps to take to produce an outstanding research paper.

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Essay introduction samples for different essay types

Opening paragraphs usually have an identical structure, but their content may differ depending on the essay type and purpose. Discover some essay introduction examples for different essay types.

  • Narrative introduction;

The essential purpose of an author is to tell a story. It comes with an intriguing hook. Every claim from the introduction should be related to the critical moments in the story and have an impact on the story’s outcome. Narrative writing also differs from other essay types by the thesis statement.


“In April 2010, John Bell found himself, at 40, divorced, with no home, no children, and alone in a tiny boat in the Atlantic Ocean. His mobile phone had stopped working, and he’d had no contact with people for weeks. He thought about how it had happened that he’d lost everything and had no idea what to do.”

  • Personal introduction;

A personal essay is a creative nonfiction writing that presents the author’s reflections on their personal experience and tells about the lessons this experience taught. A question, relevant quote, or joke will be great hooks. Then, writers should briefly explain the story’s background and tell what they learned from these experiences.


“Can you tell me something about yourself?” It’s the most challenging question for me. Many people consider it an opportunity to share their achievements with others, but not me. Still, I would try to say some words about myself in the best way possible. I’ll begin with my background and student life, then tell you about who I am and how others see me.”

  • Analytical introduction;

An analytical essay is focused on educating the audience about a particular subject. A great hook for this type is an informative sentence or rhetorical question, which gives the readers hints on the essay’s main point. In the middle of the paper, three pieces of information should confirm the thesis statement.


“What does it mean to be vegetarian? It’s widely accepted that a plant-based diet gives many benefits. Eating animal products carries considerable health risks, whereas a rich plant-based diet prevents and can even treat many modern diseases, including hypertension and cancer. Let’s see what advantages we get when removing animal products from our diet.”

  • Persuasive introduction;

This type of paper is aimed at persuading readers of something. An interesting fact can serve as a perfect hook and the basis for further argumentation. Then, it’s time to deliver three supporting facts that will gradually lead the audience to the main topic. Completing a thesis statement requires summarizing the point of persuasion for the whole text.


“The popularity of online education is constantly growing due to its easy operation and convenience. Still, despite many advantages, the online study system has some disadvantages. In our essay, we’ll investigate the benefits students get from choosing virtual education.” 

Writing tips to create a perfect introduction

Now you know how to write an essay introduction and have some examples to start working with. Discover the key recommendations on what to do and not to do when completing your introduction.


  • Remember your research purpose, and make sure your opening paragraph corresponds to it.
  • Express your creativity by using an engaging hook that will suit your topic and draw the reader’s attention from the first sentence.
  • Be clear and precise to make your audience understand your point of view easily.
  • If your essay contains complicated terms, explain them in the introduction.
  • Show your expertise and subject knowledge.
  • Give your audience a basic understanding of what you want to cover in your essay.
  • Be concise and try to write a brief introduction that doesn’t exceed 8-9 % of the total length of your paper (for example, 80 words for an assignment of 1000 words).
  • Write a compelling and engaging thesis statement.
  • Verify whether your introductory part comes with a smooth and logical transition into the body paragraph.


  • Don’t go overboard with background information in your opening section.
  • Avoid including unnecessary phrases that are not related to the topic.
  • Don’t make your first paragraph too expanded (unless your writing piece contains over 30 pages).
  • Avoid revealing all things in the introduction. Readers love secrets; leave them something hidden to keep them engaged.
  • Get rid of generalizations and clichés in your paper.
  • Don’t include too many quotes in your essay.
  • Avoid the usage of broad and unclear sentences.


Do you need writing help when creating an introduction? Hopefully, there is a great solution for you. Edubirdie is here to provide expert assistance. Due to our team, you’ll get to know how to write an introduction for an essay and achieve the best results. We’ll give you valuable recommendations, provide a good introduction sample and polish your content to perfection. Do not hesitate to send us your request; qualified writers will instantly cover all your writing needs.

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