How to Write an Essay Introduction for University

How to Write an Essay Introduction for University

Knowing how to write an essay introduction for university enables you to come up with an introduction that introduces your main idea while capturing the reader’s interest and motivating them to read on. An introduction of an essay refers to the first paragraph in an essay as illustrated  here.

After reading the introduction of your essay, readers should feel like they have consulted a map before they start a long journey. A map situates travelers’ journey in the landscape while identifying the main route for them. Therefore, the introduction of an essay should provide brief contextual or background information while giving the essay a focus. It should also indicate the controlling viewpoint or argument of the essay in a clear manner.

Simple guidelines on how to write an essay introduction for university

Most university essays are written with an aim of persuading readers or professors of ideas on the basis of the provided evidence. As such, the introduction for such essays is very important. The introduction of a university essay has to accomplish certain things which should be your guidelines when writing it.

  • Introduce the topic and the essay

The introduction should start by telling readers what the topic of your essay is. This implies that you have to establish the context of your essay and frame it within the topic. For example, if you are writing an essay on the speech freedom guarantee in the First Amendment, the context of your essay can be a specific legal theory that addresses speech right. It can also be a piece of historical information regarding the establishment of the amendment. Simply put, establishing the context of your essay means limiting the topic of the essay.

  • Focus your essay

Apart from introducing the topic of your essay, the introduction should inform readers about the central idea or issue of the essay. Readers should know the problem or question that you will be addressing in the essay. You can focus your essay by posing a question that leads readers to the central idea of the essay. In such a case, your mission will be to answer that particular question through the essay. You should suggest the answer to that particular question in the introduction. You can also include a thesis statement in the introduction or even do both. A thesis statement should be brief, one sentence or two sentences long and it should summarize the gist of the entire essay as explained in thus  link .

The completeness of your central idea should emerge in the conclusion. However, to give your essay direction, indicate it in the introduction. Make sure that after reading the introduction, readers know what the essay will be about and why they need to keep reading.

  • Orient your readers

This implies that you should provide explanations and information where necessary to ensure that readers understand what you are discussing in the essay. Although this orientation is important in the entire essay, it is crucial at the introduction because if readers do not have the necessary information that they need to follow the discussion, they will be lost on the way and stop reading. Therefore, provide the necessary information that will orient readers. Make sure that your introduction answers the journalistic questions of who, where, why, what, when and how. Provide a brief summary or overview of the text or events that the essay will be analyzing.

  • Choose the right opening strategy

Many university students do not know how to write an essay introduction for university because they are stuck at the beginning. A question that you might be asking is what is a good opening made of? Basically, there are different ways of starting an essay. You can open the essay with specific information and facts, a question, keynote quotation or an anecdote. Simply make sure that the kind of opening that you choose relates to the focus of your essay directly. Avoid a snappy quotation if it does not help in establishing the context of your essay because apart from not playing a part in your overall thinking, it will also mislead readers while blurring your focus. Therefore, be specific and direct in your opening.

  • Order and length

The length of your introduction ought to be proportionate to complexity and length of the entire essay. For example, if your essay is five pages long, the introduction should not exceed two paragraphs. However, if your essay is ten pages long, you may require a longer introduction. Basically, essay introductions are 5 to 10 percent the length of the entire essay.Follow the link  for more information.

Generally, there is no specific order for writing a logical introduction. For instance, the statement or question that focuses your essay can come at the end of your introduction to act as its jumping off point. Context and topic can also be intertwined. However, you can establish the context before you introduce the topic. Thus, the order of writing an introduction is flexible and the purpose of your essay should determine the order of the introduction.

Parts of the introduction for a university essay

Although there is no specific pattern or order on how to write an essay introduction for university, there are three important parts that the introduction should include.

These are:

  • The attention grabber

This is the sentence that captures the interest of readers making them interested or motivated to read on. Write this sentence in an original and fresh way. For instance, you can be tempted to start the essay with a definition from the dictionary. However, this is a stale technique because people have used it in writing countless university essays. Therefore, try other techniques such as starting with a rhetorical question, surprising statistic or interesting quote.

  • Background information or the context part

After grabbing the attention of your readers, your introduction should provide relevant background information or establish context for the essay. This information is very important because it enables readers to understand the reason for focusing your essay on a particular topic while making transition to the major points of the essay. As such, this part is sometimes known as the transitional section of an essay introduction.

  • Thesis statement or question

This is usually the last part of the introduction. It indicates the major point that you intend to make in your essay. It states the main argument of the essay. A thesis statement can also provide a roadmap for the readers by explaining how the main argument will be defended in the essay. See more information by clicking here .

Sample essay introductions for university

Almost everybody who knows how to write an essay introduction for university used a sample introduction at some point in their academic life. You should also use sample introductions as your guides for writing excellent essay introductions.

Here are introduction samples that you can use as your writing guides:

Example I:

“When The Awakening novel by Kate Chopin was published back in 1899, it was condemned by critics who described it as immoral. While writing for the Providence Journal, one critic expressed fear that the youth might get the book and dwell on the things that are only understandable to mature people and this would promote unclean desires and unholy imaginations. However, a reviewer wrote in St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, the novel has a lot that is improper, leave alone what is positively unseemly. This essay will examine the views of critics regarding The Awakening. Several publications will be used in this examination.”

This introduction sample introduces the context and the topic. It also has a thesis statement which ends by providing a roadmap to the readers.

Example II:

“American Sign Language or ASL is now among the most preferred means of communication in the United States. 50 percent of all hard-of-hearing and deaf people use this language. This essay will evaluate how many high schools and universities are gradually starting to offer ASL in their Foreign Language Departments across the nation.”

This sample introduction starts with a story that interests readers while introducing the topic. It moves on to a transition that connects the hook to a thesis statement. The thesis statement summarizes the entire claim of the essay that will be written. The introduction uses statistic that is interesting to the readers and therefore it compels them to read on.


The quality of the introduction of your essay will determine whether your essay will be read or not. Even for a case where the essay must be read simply because it is a university assignment, a good introduction creates a good first impression while enticing the professor to read on and give a good evaluation afterward. Therefore, make sure that you know how to write an essay introduction for university to always score better grades in university essays.

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