examples of how to start an essay
Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook. Avoid long, dense sentences — start with something clear, concise and catchy, and make sure it’s directly relevant to what follows. Some strategies to write a hook include:
Example: contextualizing the topic The writing system of raised dots, widely used by blind and visually impaired people, was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. Although it initially met with resistance from sighted people, Braille eventually became central to blind people’s education and autonomy, giving them unprecedented access to cultural activities and social participation.
“How to begin an essay in a wrong way?” The outline is the first and most important task. But what’s next?
- Never begin with a definition from a dictionary. The definition taken from the official dictionaries like Merriam-Webster or websites like Wikipedia are obvious and boring. Moreover, teachers don’t recommend using sources like open-source encyclopedias. Avoid question-answer websites like Ask.fm. It is better to define a complex term/phrase using a unique, creative approach or personal opinion.
- Prevent the text style from having broad, generalized introduction. Set a timer to watch whether writing an introduction is more than 20-25 seconds long – that is a bad for readers!
- Don’t introduce the purpose point of the academic assignment! In the majority of cases, a writer should give such information between the lines without specifying the goal on the tone of the paper. A guide/manual is the only exception form this rule.
- Hook to grab attention
- Connection to outline your evidence
- Thesis statement to lead your entire paper
After going into how to write an essay introduction let’s start with something real and useful. Introduction structure for essay requires some certain things to be included. Read those samples and try to figure out what parts were used.
“Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of his mother’s station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is our joy—his and mine—to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving home. Years from this evening, I won’t actually be sure that this boy sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesn’t matter tonight. What I know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each other. We are both five.” (Ryan Van Meter, “First.” The Gettysburg Review, Winter 2008)
“The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Chee-up! Chee-up! and bowing like an overpolite Japanese Buddhist trying to tell somebody goodbye. ” (David James Duncan, “Cherish This Ecstasy.” The Sun, July 2008)
The writer of the academic essay aims to persuade readers of an idea based on evidence. The beginning of the essay is a crucial first step in this process. In order to engage readers and establish your authority, the beginning of your essay has to accomplish certain business. Your beginning should introduce the essay, focus it, and orient readers.
Introduce the Essay. The beginning lets your readers know what the essay is about, the topic. The essay’s topic does not exist in a vacuum, however; part of letting readers know what your essay is about means establishing the essay’s context, the frame within which you will approach your topic. For instance, in an essay about the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, the context may be a particular legal theory about the speech right; it may be historical information concerning the writing of the amendment; it may be a contemporary dispute over flag burning; or it may be a question raised by the text itself. The point here is that, in establishing the essay’s context, you are also limiting your topic. That is, you are framing an approach to your topic that necessarily eliminates other approaches. Thus, when you determine your context, you simultaneously narrow your topic and take a big step toward focusing your essay. Here’s an example.