What a Good Essay Introduction Is

Obviously, an appealing and logical first paragraph of a paper is half the battle. A strong introduction will make the reader interested in your subject matter while a poor one can become a complete disappointment and depreciate all your efforts. A good essay introduction has three main objectives:

  • Providing the background and context of a paper;
  • Defining the main focus and outlining the ideas you are going to discuss in your paper (thesis statement);
  • Briefly outlining the structure of a paper.

The emphasis given to each of these points depends on the type, complexity, and length of an essay. In such a manner, in a short five-paragraph essay, there is no room for detailing the structure and context of the study. Meanwhile, a longer paper can contain more information.

In general, any student can learn how to write an essay introduction very quickly. Find some time for studying the theory and practicing, and you are bound to be successful!

Providing the Context

Many students do not know how to start an essay introduction. Most writing experts agree that it is better to start with general information and proceed to specific details. As most essays are intended for a general audience, it would be beneficial to provide some context of the study at the very beginning of your paper. In addition, you can explain the most crucial definitions here.

There are some points to remember

  • As a rule, an introduction begins with a broad statement that outlines the topic and background of an essay. Nevertheless, this statement still should not be too broad (“Many years ago…” “Since times immemorial…”); it should identify the subject matter and some sub-topics (for example, the Civil War, financial crisis, feminism, development of a child, etc.).
  • A good essay introduction should establish the scope of your research and answer the most basic questions: Who/What? When? How? Where? Why? You should mention whether the topic is limited to any time period, a particular social group, country, or phenomenon.
  • Most notions are explained in the body paragraphs; therefore, you can include only the most essential ones in the introduction.

Defining the Focus

An introduction for essay is like a roadmap for a tourist; it gives a rough idea of what and how you are going to discuss. Obviously, in this part, you are supposed to set the focus of your study and define a claim you are going to prove. Moreover, you should develop a strong thesis statement, which, as a rule, appears at the end of the paragraph. A thesis is a backbone of your writing; therefore, as a writer, you should pay much attention to it.

All in all, you can begin with some general information and gradually narrow it down to your specific question. Nevertheless, you can also organize all the introduction elements in some different way as such a deductive structure is not set in stone. Most importantly, your introduction should be informative and understandable to a general reader and correspond to the needs of your paper.

Outlining the Major Points

A good introduction tells the reader what is discussed further in the essay and how the body paragraphs are organized. Remember that an introduction should be reasonably short. You do not need to go into details, rather set the major landmarks. In other words, in the introduction, you should demonstrate the way that your essay is going to make. You can organize your body paragraphs chronologically (go from the past to present), thematically (group the paragraphs by broad themes), sequentially (all paragraphs answer related questions), or contrastingly (the two paragraphs present two ideas, which are compared in the third paragraph).

Now you know how to write a good essay introduction. Some more tips can be obtained on our website – Great-Essays.com.

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