How to Start an Essay: Write Effortless Introductions in 7 min

Chris Oct 27, 2021
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How to Start an Essay: Write Effortless Introductions in 7 min

Are you overwhelmed? Struggling? Stuck and don’t know how to start an essay? Well, I'm here to help. 

The key on how to write an introduction is to keep it short and concise, introduce the topic and provide a general idea of what the essay will discuss. 

Oh, and It should also grab the reader’s attention.

It's hard to believe, but it's actually possible to write an introduction for your essay in 7 minutes or less.

Here's how to start an essay in a very short and condensed explanation:

  • Start with a hook: This is a short sentence that will grab the reader's attention and make them want to read the following paragraphs below.

  • State the major or central argument: This is the thesis statement for the essay, essentially describing what the essay is about in a short and conclusive manner.

  • Who the essay is for: Provide some kind of information regarding who the essay is for so the reader can relate to the essay. You want to attract your target audience and detest everyone else.

  • What’s the promise of the essay: Noone reads something without gaining some kind of benefit, so make sure to promise what the reader is going to learn or walk away with after reading the essay.

  • Establish your credibility: Include some kind of credibility that you have, be that either your academic credentials, qualifications, someone else you know with credibility or even research.


With that being said to get the full picture, and an
awesome framework, then make sure to read the rest of the post.

It will be a quick read, just as your essay’s introduction paragraph, sweet, without fluff, and to the point.

How do I start an essay?

An introduction provides the reader with a brief summary of the essay's main idea and purpose. 


The introduction typically includes a thesis statement, which is a one-sentence summary of the essay's main idea.


And in order to make your introduction as effortless as possible, there is a specific structure of framework that I’ll be going through. 


This works every time and is applicable for any piece of essay in any field, truly a universal framework for essay writing.

The structure and main points of an essay introduction

Start your essay with a hook

The essay hook is the first sentence or paragraph of an essay and it's the most important thing you’ll ever create when you write an essay.


It draws your reader in and makes them want to continue reading your essay. 


The hook needs to be both intriguing and specific, ideally providing a sense of conflict or mystery that will keep readers engaged.


Hanging an intriguing question is a good way to write a good hook. 


For example, in this sentence "What does it mean to be happy?", the reader might want to know the answer by reading on.


Another example could be "How are we supposed to live?"


Hooks work best when they are unexpected or offer some kind of new information to the reader.


For example, you could use an analogy in your introduction so that it relates to your topic in some way.

State the major or central argument or what the essay is about

An essay introduction should include the major or central argument of the essay. 


The introduction should also provide the reader with an idea of what to expect in terms of style, organization, and what the entire thing is about. 


When it comes specifically to essays, it should contain a thesis statement, which is a brief statement that summarizes the central argument and what to expect.

Who is the essay for?

When you write an essay, the introduction should be written for a certain audience.


In order to write a good introduction, the writer needs to know who they are writing for. 


They need to know what their needs are and how you can fulfill them.


The introduction must give the reader a clear idea of what the essay is going to be about and why it is worth reading. 


It will also provide information on where they can find more information about this topic.


A properly written introduction will help the reader understand the essay's thesis, identify an argument to be made, and provide background information.


There are many ways to start an essay, but the most important thing is that the introduction should be able to act as a bridge between what is known and what is unknown.

What’s the promise of the rest of your essay?

A good essay introduction will not only provide background information to the reader but also explain what you are going to argue in the essay.


An effective essay introduction needs to both provide context for the reader and then lay out what that context means for your argument.


The promise of an essay is that it can allow you to share your thoughts on a topic with people who may not have had the opportunity to hear them otherwise.

Establish your credibility early!

When writing an essay introduction, you should establish your credibility. 


You can do this by mentioning the various skills that you have that are relevant to the essay topic.


For example, if your essay is on why ballet is not a sport, you would mention the fact that you are a dancer and know all about what it takes to be considered a sport.


If you don’t have any credibility yourself, then you can mention someone that has as an example, or even cite research just to establish some credibility to the essay.

How do I NOT start a college essay?

College essays are notoriously difficult to write. However, that doesn't mean that your essay needs to be perfect. 


There are many ways that you can start off your college essay and make it stand out from the rest.

Don't make your intro paragraph excessively long

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to make your intro paragraph overly long.


The first paragraph should be no more than a few sentences and should not include any details that you will mention in the rest of the essay. 


It is important to get right into your argument and not include unnecessary information or fluff.

Don't use too many 'I's

Don't overuse the first person pronoun “I” when writing an essay. 


Too many “I”s can make your essay sound self-centered. It might also make it difficult to figure out who is responsible for what you claim in your essay.


And on the other hand, not using any “I”s will make the essay way too boring to read, just look at any academic paper and you’ll understand. 


There is a fine balance between using ‘I’s too much or too little, but don’t overthink this and just make it sound natural without overdoing it.

Don't ramble, the first impression is critical!

One common mistake in writing is rambling, known as fluff.


Rambling in an essay can be a big deal and can cost you the grade you deserve. 


It is important to say what you want to say without going on and on about things that don't matter.


This includes providing unnecessary details but instead providing only important information. 


Rambling usually happens when you write your thoughts as they come to you. 


It is important to edit what you write and delete anything that can be taken out without losing the point of your argument.


In short, skip the fluff and be concise.

Don't use clichés when writing an essay

Clichés are a big no-no when it comes to writing. 


They're a sign of a lazy writer and don't do you any good.


A cliché can be anything from a repetition of an old phrase to the use of trite words.


It is important to be mindful of clichés when writing because they will only serve as reminders that you're not doing your best work.

Why do I need to know how to start a college essay?

College essays can be a daunting task for many students. 


College admissions officers are looking for applicants who are articulate, introspective, and passionate about their interests.


There are many reasons why college essays are an important factor in the application process. 


They are used to understand the applicant’s ideas, goals, motivations, intellectual curiosity, writing ability, and personality traits.


Starting with a strong introduction is essential when it comes to writing a college essay. 


A good introduction should hook the reader into reading more of your essay by providing an informative synopsis of what they can expect from your work while also showing some of your personality.

Breaking down different essay introductions

How do I start an essay with a fun fact?

Be strategic in choosing what your focus will be. 


For example, you can write about the most recent weird news or you can also take a more serious approach and talk about how our society has changed.


You want that introduction to be effective enough to keep the reader’s attention throughout the entire essay, while still being honest and informative at the same time.


For example, you could write something like:


“Did you know that the average person walks a total of 16,000 miles over the course of their lifetime?”


Google is your best friend when it comes to facts, use it!

How do I start an essay with a quote?

We use quotes to substantiate our ideas in the essay. 


It strengthens our point of view and helps make it more persuasive.


Quotes are great for opening an essay because they provide the reader with a different perspective on your topic. 


They can create an emotional connection with the reader which allows you to make your argument in a more persuasive way.


If you are looking for a quote to open your essay, start by asking yourself what is it that you are trying to say? 


What is the main message that you want your readers to take away from this text?


Once you got that figured out, head over to Google and start searching up some quotes that fit your ideas.

How to write a good essay introduction about yourself

Introducing yourself to the reader is one of the most basic yet important tasks in writing, especially when establishing credibility. 


It will also help them to understand your attitudes and feelings towards the subject.


But before you start packing your bags for a journey of understanding, you need to know who your audience is and what they want to learn about you.


The introductory paragraph can take on many forms; it might be autobiographical, philosophical, narrative, or reflective in nature.


All introductions should make some attempt to engage with the reader by getting them interested in what follows (hooking the reader) which might involve giving them some information that they want such as why you are writing about the topic.


A tip is to not be too humble or too arrogant, but make sure that you come across as a confident individual with a goal.


One way of doing this is by not mentioning specific skills that you have but instead focusing on what they will help achieve.

How to write a good essay introduction about a person

Writing about a person in an essay is not always easy. 


You can consider the following aspects when writing an introduction about someone else:


-The person's achievements, if any


-The person's life story


-The impact this person has had on your life or on people you know.

Your Essay Introduction FAQ’s Answered

How do you write a good introduction to an essay?

An introduction is the first paragraph that introduces the subject of your paper to your reader.


An introduction is made up of three parts:


-A hook, which grabs the reader's attention with a brief statement about what you're going to talk about in your essay.


-A preview, which tells the reader what they are going to read in the body of the essay.


-The thesis statement, which sets out what you are arguing for in your essay.

What are 3 ways of starting your essay?

1. Start with an anecdote


2. Start with a memorable quotation by someone famous


3. Start with a story


An anecdote is where you share your personal experience to illustrate an idea or provide context for an argument in your essay, so the reader can relate to what you are saying.


It is one of the best ways to start an essay because it connects with readers on a personal level and holds their interest because they want to know how it relates to them.

What is the easiest way to start an essay?

The easiest way to start an essay is to pose a question that is yet to be answered by continuing to read the essay, known as a hook!

There are many different ways to start an essay introduction

The introduction of an essay is the most important part of the essay and can make or break a reader's interest. 


It is vital that the introduction hits home on the main points such as grabbing the reader's attention and leading them further.


There are entire professions such as copywriters who are dedicated their entire career solely for this purpose, and make a high income doing it!


In this post, I’ve gone through a simple framework that you can use in all of your essays. 


Once you nail the process, writing a good essay introduction can take as long as 7 minutes!