How to write an introduction paragraph that appeals to your audience
How much time do you give to the first paragraph when handling your academic papers? Well, an introduction paragraph means a lot to any text. It sets the pace of the paper and determines your success or failure as a writer. Your intro creates impressions, which are so important. Haven’t you heard that first impressions are lasting impressions? This should tell you what is at always at stake when doing the first paragraph of your paper. Thus, there are things you must keep in mind when you think about how to write an introduction paragraph. In this article, we shall help you understand everything that makes an introduction appealing to the reader. Keep reading.
This handout covers the following:
- Developing a good introduction paragraph
- Parts of a good introduction paragraph
- Mistakes to avoid when writing intros
- Examples of good introduction paragraphs
As you read this handout, remember that we have tailored these guidelines to apply to any type of academic paper. Whether you are handling a term paper, research paper, argumentative paper or dissertation, make it your toolkit to overcome common but costly mistakes in intro writing.
Tips and hints of how to write an introduction paragraph in no time
The introduction of any paper, whether long or short, plays the same role; winning the attention of the reader. Your first paragraph should give the reader reasons to spare his or her time and dedicate it to your paper. Your introduction should therefore contain the following elements.
What makes a good introduction paragraph?
- Hook – This is the first sentence that you put down on your paper. It can be the hardest to draft because of its bearing on your paper. The purpose of the hook is to grab the readers’ attention by wetting their appetite
- Provide background information – As you figure out how to write an introduction paragraph, focus on helping the reader to understand your paper better by providing relevant details. The work of the intro is to ensure that you are reading from the same page with your audience until you put down your conclusion.
- End your intro with a thesis statement – Remember to include your main idea in your first paragraph. The reader wants to know your position on the subject matter as early as possible. A thesis statement should always come as the last sentence of your introduction.
With the above key elements of a good introduction, let us look at an example to help us drive the point home:
Example #1: Sample Introduction Paragraph
This essay, Discrimination of Women and Immigrants at the Workplace, is a good example of a paper with an excellent introduction:
Issues of discrimination of women and immigrants remain central in most parts of the world, including America. With rising numbers of people on transit looking for greener pastures, the challenges of workplace inequalities are immense. In North America for example, attempts to curb this type of discrimination are yet to bear fruits, as unemployment rates among minority groups hit exponential levels. While this is the case, there is a wide range of approaches that African Americans, women and other minority groups can employ when dealing with workplace discrimination.
In this example, the writer follows a systematic way of how to write an introduction paragraph. Notice that the introduction opens with a general statement that draws the attention of the reader into the world of workplace discrimination. A close look at the last sentence of the paragraph tells you the writer’s position, noting that despite the state of affairs at workplaces, it is possible to address these challenges.
Steps of how to write an introduction paragraph
Writing a good introduction paragraph is about using words to convince your audience to continue reading your paper. You are a shrewd writer if your first paragraph always leaves your readers wanting to read the rest of the text.
Here is the importance of a good intro:
- No second chance for a first impression – As we have mentioned above, your intro creates a lasting impression about your argument, writing style, and overall work. It becomes more important if the audience you are targeting is to grade your essay.
- Gives a roadmap of your paper – A good introduction will tell the reader more about organization of your paper. It prepares the audience for what is ahead.
- Intrigue the reader – Your introduction should give the significance of the issue at hand and give the reader a reason to get the gist of the matter.
With a clear understanding of these benefits, let us focus on hints of how to write an introduction paragraph like an expert.
As you do your intro, follow these steps:
Stage 1: Gather your material – Put together everything you will need, including a review of your plan and layout before you start writing. Avoid stuffing your introduction with unnecessary descriptions as this may fit well in the body of your paper.
Stage 2: Start with attention grabber. This may be:
- A question that arouses curiosity to know more
- Quote from a famous personality
- Surprising facts
- Controversial statement
Stand out from the stark of essays and give the person grading your paper a reason to read on.
Stage 3: Keep your intro brief and sweet – Avoid unwinding explanations in your first paragraph. Remember that your intro is not a summary of your paper. It should pose the question you are addressing in the rest of your paper.
Stage 4: Use correct and formal language – Avoid slang. A good essay introduction should be free from common grammar errors. Ensure it has a good structure. Read your introduction aloud and see if flows naturally.
Stage 5: End with a good beginning – Lead the reader into the body of your paper with smooth transition. Revisit your introduction once you are through with your first draft of your paper and adjust it to harmonize with the content of your paper.
The following example will give you more insights on how to write an introduction paragraph. Take a look:
Example #2: Sample Introduction Paragraph
In this paper, Human Sex Trafficking Around the World, the writer puts up the following introduction:
Societal imbalances and conflicts are major causes of migration of people in the world today. As a result, women and children are becoming more helpless and vulnerable because of over dependency, academic poverty, social stigma and illiteracy. This has led to a global catastrophe of sex trafficking around the globe. Day and night, the boundaries of this illegal business expand and become vast. Therefore, there is need for the world to rise up and address the issue of sex trafficking as it continues to put the lives of women and children on the line.
An analysis of this introduction:
The paragraph begins by linking migration of people to different societal imbalances, which the reader will get as he or she reads on. In the end, the writer is clear with his argument. Since the thesis is calling for the abolition of sex trafficking, we expect to read more on the effects of the illegal industry and its toll on our society.
Hope you are getting along well with these lessons on how to write an introduction paragraph. In the following section, we look at common mistakes students make when writing their intros.
Final thoughts on how to write an introduction paragraph, which intrigues the reader
Did you know that the difference between a good essay and a bad one could be the introduction alone? You are likely to attract or repel readers with your work depending on your first paragraph. Here are five types of less effective introductions to avoid in your life:
FIVE Less effective introductions
Placeholder introduction– It is a weak intro. Common when you have nothing to say. Carries vague sentences.
Restated question introduction – Here, you simply put down what your lecturer gave in the assignment brief. It makes no sense to restate the question without making it interesting.
Dictionary introduction – Starts with defining terms that appear in the question. Only use it if the definitions add value to your argument.
“Dawn of man” intro- Here, the writer makes broad and sweeping generalizations that are irrelevant.
Book report introduction – it is common in elementary classes where you begin your essays by stating the bibliographical information of the book you are handling.
From the essays below, you will discover more secrets on how to write an introduction paragraph:
Example #2: Sample Introduction Paragraph
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