How to Start Off an Essay: Introduction Writing Guide

Although most students are familiar with the process of writing an essay, many often struggle with conjuring a compelling introduction and effectively structuring their papers. Sometimes, when faced with a stage of despair, students may have the thoughts like: “Write my essay for me”, “do my matlab homework for me”, “do *anything* for me”. As a result, students often lose most of their precious time preparing their introduction, limiting the time available for preparing other portions of their essay.

Alternatively, students may prepare a shoddy essay introduction that barely hooks the reader into their work. This article will discuss some ideas on how to start an essay and highlight essential tips for handling your introduction easily.

What should be in the introduction of an essay?

Before diving into the process of writing an essay introduction, you must master various components of a quality introduction. Generally, the essay introduction should comprise the hook, a thesis statement, and a transition that builds up to the topic of your paper.

  • Hook. This is an interesting statement meant to compel your reader into reading your work. The hook may take the form of a rhetorical question, a short narration, or statistics relating to the subject.
  • Transition. The thesis statement may be preceded by the key ideas you intend to cover in your paper and introduce your major argument. Here, you may start by refuting a popular belief and finally state the purpose of your paper.
  • Thesis statement. This is the key argument that your essay will address.

Good ways to start an essay

As mentioned earlier, the goal of the essay introduction is to hook your reader into your article. Some of the common types of hooks for starting an essay include:

1. A rhetorical question

Rhetorical questions are great at capturing your readers’ attention and sparking a thought on the topic under discussion. This opening approach is ideal for persuasive essays and interacts with your reader in a personal manner in comparison with other opening approaches.


According to statistics by Pollstats, the level of teenage suicide has rapidly spiked by 30% over the last 5 years. How many more teenagers will we lose before we take this issue seriously? Is there an action that we can take or is a society doomed to suffer higher teenage fatality rates?

From this opening, you appeal to your reader’s empathy and build up to your argument, leading your reader into your paper as they hope to find your prescribed remedies to curb depression-related fatality rates.

2. State a fact

Like rhetorical questions, facts are a great means to capture your reader’s attention and trigger their curiosity. The fact used should be relevant and highlight an unbelievable detail regarding your topic.


Did you know that between 700 and 800 dogs are killed each year in dogfighting? What steps can the government take to manage illegal k9 fighting? 

3. Refuting a popular misconception

Another great way to introduce your essay is by introducing a popular notion held by your reader.


While many believe that home-based working is unproductive, many employers have reported an increase in team productivity over the period that was necessitated by the virus. The benefits of working within your comfortable space are directly linked to the productivity witnessed when employees work from home. 

These approaches allow you to build up to your thesis and also reel your reader in by offering a gist of the arguments contained in your paper. You may also consider starting your essay with a short narration or a personal story in the case of descriptive essays.

Tips for writing the introduction of an essay

  • Consider writing the introduction last as you will be better acquainted with your topic. This will help avoid any omissions from your main argument and offer you ample insight into the ideal introduction.
  • Limit the introduction to 200 words, expressing various ideas in a precise manner.
  • Engage your tutor for guidance on the introduction before turning it in for submission.
  • Avoid using many quotes as they may limit your reader’s ability to derive the message of your essay
  • Avoid enlisting all the ideas of your paper in the introduction. Instead, cover the key issue you will address and show why the topic necessitates study.

Final take

An essay introduction is a pivotal element in your essay assignments. The tips in this article should come in handy to align your essay writing efforts and secure a decent score.