Writing an Introduction in Six Steps

What Is an Introduction?

As the first paragraph in your essay, a successful introduction grabs the readers’ attention, gives them the background information needed to understand the essay’s topic, and ends with the essay’s thesis statement. 

Writing a strong introduction can be tricky for two reasons: it can be difficult to decide how much information to give, and it can be difficult to know when to write the introduction. Let’s look at six steps to writing an excellent introduction.

1. Select a Topic

Your teacher may have provided you with prompts, or you may be responsible for selecting the topic of your essay yourself. Either way, make sure you’re writing about something you find personally interesting and meaningful. If you connect with your topic, chances are your reader will too. 

2. Develop a Working Thesis

The thesis statement captures the primary argument in your essay. It should respond to the prompt clearly and thoroughly. Most thesis statements will focus on an element of the text, state its impact on the text, and explain why it’s relevant to the audience.

3. Draft Your Essay

Write analytical paragraphs that support your thesis statement. Revise your thesis as necessary as you go. Consider writing your conclusion before or alongside your introduction. Ideally, readers come to see a connection between the hook and relevance you emphasize in your conclusion.

4. Write the Background

As you revise your essay ask yourself: what information from the text does the reader need to understand my argument? Include those details, and only those details, in your background.

5. Craft the Hook

Finding the perfect hook sometimes requires a lot of brainstorming. Give yourself time and try a few options before you settle for one. Try reading them to a friend or trusted adult and ask which they find the most interesting.

6. Polish the Introduction

Organize the introduction so it starts with the hook, followed by the background, and ends with the thesis statement. Read it aloud to check for fluency and typos. Submit it to your teacher, along with the completed essay.


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