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Q. How long should the introduction and conclusion of an essay be?
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The introduction and conclusion should both be approximately 10% of the overall essay word count. For example, if you write a 1500 word essay, your introduction and conclusion will be around 150 words each.
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How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph
You're staring at the blank screen. No thoughts are flowing. Absolutely nothing. How in the world are you going to begin your essay?
The introduction paragraph is one of the most important sections of a college essay. In fact, this one, brief paragraph does a lot of work that contributes to the entirety of your writing.
It helps to capture your reader's attention and convince them to continue reading. It's where you provide clear direction, and let your reader know where you're taking them. And it's also where you state a clear thesis and purpose for your writing.
We know... it's asking a lot. But trust us, it can be done.
We've put together a list of answers for the most common questions around writing an introductory paragraph.
What information needs to be included in my introductory paragraph?
Your introduction should contain three main parts:
- A hook —an opening line to grab your reader's attention. Creative, informative, and sometimes amusing, this sentence sets the tone for your essay. You might have to revise this line several times throughout the revision process to get just the exact wording you need.
- Context —some explanation and information about the topic. Introduce your main idea definition. People need to know what you're talking about.
- Thesis statement —the main argument that guides the rest of the essay. This is the critical line that announces what you're trying to claim and how you plan to support your opinion.
How do I hook the reader?
Writing the opening line is one of the toughest things to do in an essay. You need something informative enough to introduce your main idea, yet entertaining enough to make someone want to keep reading.
These are a few tactics that work well:
- Spark curiosity. More lifeforms are living on your skin than people living on this planet. I'm interested... tell me more.
- Use humor. Some days I amaze myself; other days I trip walking up the stairs. Ha! I've been there.
- Ask a question. If people don't start trying to protect the environment, what will happen to the Earth? What will happen? I need to know.
- Provide a quote. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,” Margaret Mead so eloquently stated. Wow! That lady is inspirational. Let's hear more.
- Tell an anecdote. Walking out of school that rainy afternoon, I never imagined this would be the last time I'd ever see my best friend. Oh my goodness! What happened to your friend?
What should I avoid?
As important as it is to make sure you include all the crucial parts of the introduction paragraph , it is equally important to leave out all of the unnecessary words and phrases that will turn off your reader right from the start. So what should you avoid?
- Avoid clichés. Clichés are overused and have no power. Use your own words that carry a more powerful meaning (and a more unique voice.) You know what they say, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Ugh. I think my great-great-great grandpa used to say that.
- Beware of definitions. Unless a definition truly sparks a reader's interest or is desperately needed, leave it out. It's redundant if most people already are familiar with the definition. Webster's Dictionary defines school as "an organization that provides instruction." Um...duh?
- Don't be too vague. You have just a few short sentences to get your main ideas introduced. Make every word count. Everyone loves dogs. Yep. We do. But so what?
- Don't be too specific. You don't want to overwhelm your reader with every little detail. You will have time to get into specifics in the body of your essay. The four times I have seen people choose not recycle in my neighborhood, which is one of the factors contributing to the two-degree rise of the earth's temperature, include last Friday, two Wednesdays ago, the Thursday before my birthday, and yesterday night. I'm sorry; you lost me there. I stopped reading.
How long should my introduction be?
While you don't want to drone on and on in an introduction paragraph, this is your chance to set the tone for your paper, inspire interest in your topic, and share your opinion. You need to have substance without a lot of unnecessary extras.
Most introductions should be about three to five sentences long. And you should aim for a word count between 50-80 words.
You don't need to say everything in that first paragraph. You just need enough in those few sentences to give the reader a clear idea of where you're going with your essay and to inspire them to keep reading.
Making the first impression is essential in face-to-face interactions, but also in your writing. Your introduction is the first thing your audience will be reading, and you want it to inspire them to read on. Keep it concise, interesting, and informative, and it will set the rest of your essay up for success.
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How Long is an Essay? Guidelines for Different Types of Essay
Published on January 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on December 6, 2021.
The length of an academic essay varies depending on your level and subject of study, departmental guidelines, and specific course requirements. In general, an essay is a shorter piece of writing than a research paper or thesis .
In most cases, your assignment will include clear guidelines on the number of words or pages you are expected to write. Often this will be a range rather than an exact number (for example, 2500–3000 words, or 10–12 pages). If you’re not sure, always check with your instructor.
In this article you’ll find some general guidelines for the length of different types of essay. But keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity – focus on making a strong argument or analysis, not on hitting a specific word count.
Table of contents
Essay length guidelines, how long is each part of an essay, using length as a guide to topic and complexity, can i go under the suggested length, can i go over the suggested length.
In an academic essay, the main body should always take up the most space. This is where you make your arguments, give your evidence, and develop your ideas.
The introduction should be proportional to the essay’s length. In an essay under 3000 words, the introduction is usually just one paragraph. In longer and more complex essays, you might need to lay out the background and introduce your argument over two or three paragraphs.
The conclusion of an essay is often a single paragraph, even in longer essays. It doesn’t have to summarize every step of your essay, but should tie together your main points in a concise, convincing way.
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The suggested word count doesn’t only tell you how long your essay should be – it also helps you work out how much information and complexity you can fit into the given space. This should guide the development of your thesis statement , which identifies the main topic of your essay and sets the boundaries of your overall argument.
A short essay will need a focused, specific topic and a clear, straightforward line of argument. A longer essay should still be focused, but it might call for a broader approach to the topic or a more complex, ambitious argument.
As you make an outline of your essay , make sure you have a clear idea of how much evidence, detail and argumentation will be needed to support your thesis. If you find that you don’t have enough ideas to fill out the word count, or that you need more space to make a convincing case, then consider revising your thesis to be more general or more specific.
The length of the essay also influences how much time you will need to spend on editing and proofreading .
You should always aim to meet the minimum length given in your assignment. If you are struggling to reach the word count:
- Add more evidence and examples to each paragraph to clarify or strengthen your points.
- Make sure you have fully explained or analyzed each example, and try to develop your points in more detail.
- Address a different aspect of your topic in a new paragraph. This might involve revising your thesis statement to make a more ambitious argument.
- Don’t use filler. Adding unnecessary words or complicated sentences will make your essay weaker and your argument less clear.
- Don’t fixate on an exact number. Your marker probably won’t care about 50 or 100 words – it’s more important that your argument is convincing and adequately developed for an essay of the suggested length.
In some cases, you are allowed to exceed the upper word limit by 10% – so for an assignment of 2500–3000 words, you could write an absolute maximum of 3300 words. However, the rules depend on your course and institution, so always check with your instructor if you’re unsure.
Only exceed the word count if it’s really necessary to complete your argument. Longer essays take longer to grade, so avoid annoying your marker with extra work! If you are struggling to edit down:
- Check that every paragraph is relevant to your argument, and cut out irrelevant or out-of-place information.
- Make sure each paragraph focuses on one point and doesn’t meander.
- Cut out filler words and make sure each sentence is clear, concise, and related to the paragraph’s point.
- Don’t cut anything that is necessary to the logic of your argument. If you remove a paragraph, make sure to revise your transitions and fit all your points together.
- Don’t sacrifice the introduction or conclusion . These paragraphs are crucial to an effective essay –make sure you leave enough space to thoroughly introduce your topic and decisively wrap up your argument.
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How Long is an Essay Introduction?
If a reader can’t go past the introduction of your essay, it’s not a good sign. Many professors judge the quality of students’ writing by the first few lines of their papers. Therefore, it is necessary that you make that first paragraph count. When it’s too long, it could dilute the essence of writing the paper.
So, how long should an introduction paragraph be?
An essay introduction is about 10% of the total length of the paper. If the word count for the entire essay is 1000 words, the introduction should be 100 words long. A longer essay means a lengthy introduction to include all the most important points.
You can notice that an introduction doesn’t need to be long.
What counts is how sharp and interesting it is. Why keep the introduction short?
- Long introductions will lose the reader.
- You’re likely to make a mistake in a lengthy introduction.
- Few sentences tend to be clear and concise.
- Leaves you with enough word count for the body.
- You write faster when you don’t spend hours on the first paragraph.
Related Article: Use These 5 Steps to Write an Introduction Paragraph
Length of a Short Essay Introduction
Most short essays require only 10% of the body length. However, there might be slight variations depending on how the paper is arranged. A few more words above and below this range are usually acceptable.
Think of an introduction paragraph as a signpost to what the reader should expect in the essay.
So, it is even better to write the introduction last after finishing the entire paper. You will be okay if you’re writing a 3,000+ word essay and your introduction is only 5%.
We can say that the common number of words you will see in a short essay is between 100 and 200 words.
How long should an introduction be for a 1500-word essay?
The length of an introduction paragraph for a 1500-word essay should be 150 words, which is equivalent to 10% of the paper length. Being a short essay, going beyond this length would be a bad idea.
However, students can get away with only 100 words in the introduction.
How long should an introduction be for a 2000-word essay?
The recommended number of words for a 2000-word essay introduction should be 200 words but we consider this a little too much. Still, you will rarely get punished for using as fewer as 100 words in the first paragraph.
Do not go beyond 200 words in this case.
How long should an introduction be for a 3000-word essay?
Considering that 10% of a 3000-word essay equals 300 words, this needs creativity to keep the reader hooked. For papers that are this long, we usually recommend splitting the introduction paragraphs into two paragraphs.
The length of a good paragraph is 150 words. When your essay introduction is 300 words, it fits into two good paragraphs. Therefore, it is important to use the first paragraph of these two as the hook while the second one as the background and thesis.
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How many Sentences for an Essay Introduction
IELTS Writing Task 2 Academic & GT Essay Introductions
Hi guys, here are model answer introductions and essential tips for Tuesdays lesson on writing task 2 introduction paragraphs. I hope you find this lesson useful 🙂
1) How long should the introduction be?
Most essays will require only two sentences for your introduction paragraph. You will need to write a background statement and a thesis statement. There is no need to write more. It won’t help your score to add more to the introduction. Your introduction should usually be between 40-60 words. Below are details of the content of an introduction paragraph.
2) Background statement:
This is the first sentence of your essay and it paraphrases the essay question. This is the way to introduce the issue or issues given to you by IELTS because that is what your essay is responding to. Paraphrasing is a way to avoid copying directly from the essay question by using your own sentence. For example:
Essay Question: The government should allocate more funding to teaching sciences than on other subjects so that the country can develop. Do you agree or disagree?
Background: It is often thought that in order for the country to progress more funding ought to be allocated to teaching sciences instead of other subjects.
As you can see above, the background statement contains exactly the same information but written differently. It is an easy sentence to write if you practice your paraphrasing skills. You can find a useful page on paraphrasing here: Paraphrasing Background Statements and examples of background statements here: Background Examples
3) Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement will introduce your answer or your opinion. It is the second and final statement needed in the introduction. It shows the reader the direction you plan to take in your essay. Furthermore, it is important that you write this carefully and clearly because it will impact both Task Response and also Coherence and Cohesion which together count for 50% of your marks.
The thesis does not need to be detailed. It is possible to split it into two sentences if you need more space, but mostly it will be one sentence only. For example:
Thesis Statement Agree: I completely agree that focusing on science subjects at school is essential for a country’s future.
Thesis Statement Disagree: In my opinion, funding should not focus on the sciences but should rather be allocated to maths, technology and languages.
Thesis Statement Partial Agreement: While I agree that the sciences do need extra funding, this should not be at the expense of other subjects which are also crucial to a country’s development.
As you can see above, each thesis statement is simply written and presents a clear opinion. Do not try to create a complicated thesis statement. Your opinion and having a clear position is more important.
Short thesis statements
Yes, it is possible to write just a few words: “I completely agree with this position.” or “I strongly agree with this opinion.” However, I personally prefer to showcase more language skills with a slightly longer thesis statement as shown above.
Below you can see a full introduction for a one sided approach:
It is often thought that in order for the country to progress more funding ought to be allocated to teaching sciences instead of other subjects. In my opinion, funding should not focus on the sciences but should rather be allocated to maths, technology and languages.
4) Giving Your Opinion in IELTS Essays
Yes, you need to give your opinion if the instructions ask for it. Using the words “this essay” does not represent your own personal opinion. If you are asked for YOUR opinion, you need to use I or MY – failure to do this will result in a lower score. See this page for more details: How to give your opinion
5) More Writing Task 2 Tips
You can find more IELTS writing task 2 tips, model essays and lessons on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 . All main sections of this website are access through the RED MENU BAR at the top of the site.
High Band Score Essay Techniques: Advanced Lessons
If you are struggling to hit band 7 or you need more help understanding how to write a high band score essay, get my Advanced Writing Task 2 lessons which you can find here: Liz’s Advanced Lessons .
You can also find a useful e-book about Ideas for Essay Topics. Containing over ideas for over 150 essay topics. Ideas are presented as vocabulary exercises to help you improve your range and accuracy in English.
6) How to Write an Introduction
Here is a useful video tutorial I made some time ago which helps you understand more about writing an introduction paragraph:
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Hey liz your teaching style is fantastic.we find it difficult to get ideas(content) for the essays could u pls mk a video regarding to that? i mean what could be the way to compile contect for all the academic essay topics…
I have produced an e-book which is called Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics. You can find it available to purchase on this page: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/
HY LIZ ,THANK GOD I FOUND YOU A FRIEND RECOMMENDE YOU TO ME YOU ARE AWESOME,ESPECIALLY YOUR SMILES AM LEARNING DIFFERENT TIPS FROM YOU,AM ALSO PRACTICING THEM GOD BLESS YOU
Wishing you all the best 🙂
Liz, do I have to end the introduction with the phrase like ” In this essay I am going to prove prove my point of view”? I have the same question for a different type of essay, for example, about advantages and disadvantages “In this essay I am going to consider benefits and drawbacks of the topic discussed”.
No, that statement is completely unnecessary in IELTS. A statement of purpose is common in academic essays for university, but not for IELTS band score requirements at all.
It is certainly true that, government should not be fully funded for science, governments should spend money on some other areas too. This will help the development of whole country.
For the growth and development of our nation today, the state ought to invest more and More finances on science related courses rather than art subjects. In my opinion, I somehow agree to the fact that government should allocate more funding to teaching science notwithstanding, art courses should not be completed left out .
It is often thought that in order for the country to progress more funding should be allocated to teaching sciences instead of other subjects. While I agree that the sciences do need extra funding, this should not be an expense of the other subjects, which are also crucial for the country’s development.
I believe that scientific educations teach critical thinking science based on asking questions about the world that can be tested to find the answers that anyone can find for themselves. But also other subjects such as art, culture and language among others, are important to develop knowledge about creativity to produce art, culture to know our origin and ancestors and the importance to communicate in other language and have skill in their language.
However, the government ought to invest in education not only develop sciences subject as an education in general subject, as a result, is this will increasing educated people. In other words, having a greater resource of skilled and knowledgeable future professionals and this is a benefit for both individuals and society as a whole.
In conclusion, government funding should not be limited to science subjects. For overall of the country, the government ought to support the teaching of another subject as well to develop well as a nation.
Please, your response to the task is quite confusing. the question is not to what extent do you agree or disagree. so responding to the task by saying “I completely agree/disagree”, is not acceptable to my understanding. I stand to be corrected. Thanks for your selfless efforts.
The instructions ask for your opinion – nothing more. The instructions for an IELTS Opinion Essay are varied, but the meaning is the same. It might be “To what extent do you agree” or simply “Do you agree or disagree?” – they are both 100% the same in the eyes of IELTS.
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Awesome Guide on How to Write an Essay Introduction
'I'd like to recall the day I nearly burned myself in flames in my automobile while going 250 mph and escaping the police'. – Thankfully, we don't have a story like that to relate to, but we bet we piqued your interest.
That's what we refer to as an efficient hook. Fundamentally, it's an attention-grabbing first sentence that piques an audience's interest and encourages them to keep reading. While writing an essay, a strong hook in essay introductions is essential.
Delve into the article if you're wondering how to start an essay with a strong introduction. This is the ultimate guide for writing the parts of a introduction paragraph from our custom dissertation writing service to engage your readers.
The introduction paragraph, to put it simply, is the first section of an essay. Thus, when reading your essay, the reader will notice it right away. What is the goal of an opening paragraph? There are two things that an excellent introduction achieves. It initially informs the reader on the subject of your work; in other words, it should describe the essay's topic and provide some background information for its main point. It must also spark readers' interest and persuade them to read the remainder of your article.
To provide you with essay writing services , we only need your paper requirements to create a plagiarism-free paper on time.
How Long Should an Introduction Be
Typically, there are no strict restrictions on how long an opening paragraph should be. Professional essay writers often shape the size of it with the paper's total length in mind. For instance, if you wonder how to make introduction in essay with five paragraphs, keep your introductory sentence brief and fit it inside a single section. But, if you're writing a longer paper, let's say one that's 40 pages, your introduction could need many paragraphs or even be pages long.
Although there are no specific requirements, seasoned writers advise that your introduction paragraph should account for 8% to 9% of your essay's overall word length.
And, if you place an order on our coursework writing services , we will certainly comply with your introduction length requirements.
What Makes a Good Introduction
All of the following criteria should be fulfilled by a strong opening sentence:
- Start your introduction on an essay with a catchy sentence that draws the reader in.
- It needs to include baseline information about your subject.
- This should give readers a sense of the main argument(s) that your essay will address.
- It must include all necessary information on the setting, locations, and chronological events.
- By the end of your introduction, make a precise remark that serves as your essay's thesis.
What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph?
So, what should be in a introduction paragraph? The introduction format essay has three sections: a hook, connections, and a thesis statement. Let's examine each component in more depth.
Part 1: Essay Hook
A hook is among the most effective parts of a introduction paragraph to start an essay. A strong hook will always engage the reader in only one sentence. In other words, it is a selling point.
Let's now address the query, 'how to make an essay introduction hook interesting?'. Well, to create a powerful hook, you can employ a variety of techniques:
- A shocking fact
- An anecdote
- A short summary
And here is what to avoid when using a hook:
- Dictionary definitions
- Sweeping statements that include words like 'everywhere,' 'always,' etc.
Once you've established a strong hook, you should give a general outline of your major point and some background information on the subject of your paper. If you're unsure how to write an introduction opening, the ideal approach is to describe your issue briefly before directing readers to particular areas. Simply put, you need to give some context before gradually getting more specific with your opinions.
The 5 Types of Hooks for Writing
Apart from the strategies mentioned above, there are even more types of hooks that can be used:
- A Common Misconception — a good trick, to begin with, to claim that something your readers believe in is false.
Example: 'Although many falsely believe that people working from home are less productive – employees who get such work-life benefits generally work harder.'
- Statistics — Statistical facts may provide a great hook for argumentative essays and serious subjects focusing on statistics.
Example: 'A recent study showed that people who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to stay at the same company.'
- Personal Story — sometimes, personal stories can be an appropriate hook, but only if they fit into a few brief sentences (for example, in narrative essays).
Example: 'When I had my first work-from-home experience, I suddenly realized the importance of having a good work-life balance; I saw plenty of the benefits it can provide.'
- Scenes — this type of hook requires making the readers imagine the things you are writing about. It is most suitable when used in descriptive and narrative essays.
Example: 'Imagine you could have as much free time as you wish by working or studying from home—and spend more time with your loved ones.'
- Thesis Statement — when unsure how to do an essay introduction, some writers start directly with their thesis statement. The main trick here is that there is no trick.
Example: 'I strongly believe there is a direct correlation between a healthy work-life balance and productivity in school or at work.'
Part 2: Connections
Give readers a clearer sense of what you will discuss throughout your article once you have given a hook and relevant background information about your essay topic. Briefly mentioning your main points in the same sequence in which you will address them in your body paragraphs can help your readers progressively arrive at your thesis statement.
In this section of your introduction, you should primarily address the following questions:
You may make sure that you are giving your readers all the information they need to understand the subject of your essay by responding to each of these questions in two to three lines. Be careful to make these statements brief and to the point, though.
Your main goal is gradually moving from general to specific facts about your subject or thesis statement. Visualize your introduction as an upside-down triangle to simplify the essay writing process. The attention-grabbing element is at the top of this triangle, followed by a more detailed description of the subject and concluding with a highly precise claim. Here is some quick advice on how to use the 'upside-down triangle' structure to compose an essay introduction:
- Ensure that each subsequent line in your introduction is more focused and precise. This simple method will help you progressively introduce the main material of your piece to your audience.
- Consider that you are writing a paper on the value of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In this situation, you may start with a query like, 'Have you ever considered how a healthy work-life balance can affect other areas of your life?' or a similar hook. Next, you could proceed by giving broad factual information. Finally, you could focus your topic on fitting your thesis statement.
Part 3: The Thesis Statement
If you're unsure of the ideal method to create an introduction, you should be particularly attentive to how you phrase your thesis statement.
The thesis of your work is, without a doubt, the most crucial section. Given that the thesis statement of your piece serves as the foundation for the entire essay, it must be presented in the introduction. A thesis statement provides readers with a brief summary of the article's key point. Your main assertion is what you'll be defending or disputing in the body of your essay. An effective thesis statement is often one sentence long, accurate, exact, unambiguous, and focused. Your thesis should often be provided at the end of your introduction.
Here is an example thesis statement for an essay about the value of a proper work-life balance to help you gain a better understanding of what a good thesis should be:
Thesis Statement Example: 'Creating flexible and pleasant work schedules for employees can help them have a better work-life balance while also increasing overall performance.'
Catchy Introductions for Different Essay Types
Although opening paragraphs typically have a fixed form, their language may vary. In terms of academic essays, students are often expected to produce four primary intro to essay examples. They include articles that are analytical, argumentative, personal, and narrative. It is assumed that different information should appear in these beginning paragraphs since the goals of each sort of essay change. A thorough overview of the various paper kinds is provided below, along with some good essay introduction samples from our argumentative essay writers:
- The writer of a narrative essay must convey a story in this style of writing. Such essays communicate a story, which distinguishes them from other essay types in a big way.
- Such a paper's hook will often be an enticing glimpse into a specific scene that only loosely links to the thesis statement. Additionally, when writing such an essay, a writer should ensure that every claim included in the introduction relates to some important moments that have significantly impacted the story's outcome.
- The thesis in narrative writing is usually the theme or main lesson learned from the story.
Narrative introduction example: 'My phone rang, and my mother told me that Dad had suffered a heart attack. I suddenly experienced a sense of being lifted out from under me by this immaculately carpeted flooring. After making it through, Dad left me with a sizable collection of lessons. Here are three principles that I know dad would have wanted me to uphold...'
Still Can't Think of a Perfect Intro?
When assigned to write an essay, students end up with a ton of questions, including “How to structure an essay?”, “How to choose a good topic?”. Here at EssayPro, we employ only the best essay writers who are committed to students’ success.
- Analytical essay introduction format is another popular type. In contrast to a narrative paper, an analytical paper seeks to explore an idea and educate the reader about a topic.
- Three important facts that support the analytical premise should be included in the middle section of the introduction.
- A well-researched and well-thought-out claim will form a wonderful thesis because the main goal of this paper is to study the topic and educate readers. It's crucial to remember that this assertion shouldn't initially have any real weight. Although it will still be theoretical, it has to be articulated practically.
Analytical introduction example: “... Hence even though presidents, CEOs, and generals still have their daily schedules full of economic crises and military conflicts, on the cosmic scale of history humankind can lift its eyes up and start looking towards new horizons. If we bring famine, plague, and war under control, what will replace them at the top of the human agenda? Like firefighters in a world without fire, so humankind in the twenty-first century needs to ask itself an unprecedented question: what are we going to do with ourselves? What will demand our attention and ingenuity in a healthy, prosperous, and harmonious world? In a healthy, prosperous, and harmonious world, what will demand our attention and ingenuity? This question becomes doubly urgent given the immense new powers that biotechnology and information technology are providing us with. What will we do with all that power? ...” Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari
- To persuade readers of anything is the sole goal of persuasive essay writing. This may be accomplished using persuasive strategies like ethos, pathos, and logos.
- A hook statement for this paper may be anything from a fascinating fact to even comedy. You can use whatever technique you choose. The most crucial advice is to ensure your hook is in line with your thesis and that it can bolster further justifications.
- Generally speaking, a persuasive essay must include three supporting facts. Hence, to gradually lead readers to the major topic of your paper, add a quick summary of your three arguments in your introduction.
- Last, the thesis statement should be the main claim you will be disputing in this paper. It should be a brief, carefully thought-out, and confident statement of your essay's major argument.
Persuasive introduction example: 'Recycling waste helps to protect the climate. Besides cleaning the environment, it uses waste materials to create valuable items. Recycling initiatives must be running all around the world. ...'
- The final sort of academic writing that students frequently encounter is a personal essay. In principle, this essay style is creative nonfiction and requires the author to reflect on personal experiences. The goals of such a paper may be to convey a story, discuss the lessons that certain incidents have taught you, etc. This type of writing is unique since it is the most personal.
- Whatever topic you choose can serve as the hook for such an essay. A pertinent remark, query, joke, or fact about the primary plot or anything else will be acceptable. The backdrop of your narrative should then be briefly explained after that. Lastly, a thesis statement can describe the impact of particular experiences on you and what you learned.
Personal introduction example: 'My parents always pushed me to excel in school and pursue new interests like playing the saxophone and other instruments. I felt obligated to lead my life in a way that met their standards. Success was always expected on the route they had set out for me. Yet eight years after my parents' separation, this course was diverted when my dad relocated to California...'
Tips for Writing a Winning Introduction Paragraph
You now understand how to do introduction and have specific intro example for essays to help you get going. Let's quickly examine what you should and shouldn't do during the writing process.
- Keep the assignment's purpose in mind when you write your introduction, and ensure it complies with your instructor's requirements.
- Use a compelling and relevant hook to grab the reader's attention immediately.
- Make sure your readers understand your perspective to make it apparent.
- If necessary, establish key terms related to your subject.
- Show off your expertise on the subject.
- Provide a symbolic road map to help readers understand what you discuss throughout the post.
- Be brief; it's recommended that your introduction make up no more than 8 to 9 percent of the entire text (for example, 200 words for a 2500 words essay).
- Construct a strong thesis statement.
- Create some intrigue.
- Make sure there is a clear and smooth transition from your introduction to the body of your piece.
- If you're looking for a custom writer , request assistance from the EssayPro team. We know how to write a term paper along with many other types of essays.
- Provide too much background information.
- Use sentences that are off-topic or unnecessary.
- Make your opening paragraph excessively long.
- Keep some information a secret and reveal it later in conclusion.
- Employ overused phrases or generalizations.
- Using quotation marks excessively
Now that you know what is in the introduction of an essay, we recommend reading the information on how to critique an article to gain more academic insight.
If you are still struggling with that, keep in mind that you can always send us your request to get professional assistance from our law essay writing service .
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Step 6: Introductory Paragraph
- Step 5 Essay Thesis Statement
- 2: Research
- 3: Planning
- 6: Introduction
- 8: Conclusion
- 9: Quotes/Citations
- 10: Works Cited Page
- 12: Samples
- 14: Downloads
- Step 7 Essay Body
The essay introduction paragraph is the first impression that your reader has of your work, so it's important to start it off on the right foot. The main purpose of an introduction is to give the reader a brief overview of the topic at hand and then address how you plan on addressing the question or proving your point. Exactly how it's written or what needs to be in there heavily depends on the length of the essay and type. But the sample essay introduction paragraphs showed should be enough guidance to get you going in the right direction. This section of the Ultius essay writing guide is going to go over the most common and best type of introduction: the funneling method.
When you write your essay introduction paragraph, make sure your paragraph is focused and contains just the right amount of information. To keep your writing focused, select a length for your introduction and stick to it when you draft your essay. Exactly how long should your introduction be? This will depend on the total length of your paper and the essay type. For essays that are longer than ten pages, you will most likely need a longer introduction paragraph to fully introduce your topic. Technical essays or research-intensive essays might also require additional length to clearly explain complex topics. In both cases, your introductory paragraph still should not exceed one full double-spaced page. If you are writing an essay that is shorter than five pages and that is introducing a very simple subject, it is better to limit your introduction to half of a double-spaced page. Once you have decided on your paragraph length, you can organize your paragraph so that it fits within the selected parameters.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, your introduction should always be less than 20% of your total paper.
Writing an Essay Introduction - The Funneling Method
This style for writing an intro is exactly as it sounds: it funnels from broad to specific. The funneling method starts broadly and then narrows down the time/place, any relevant key terms or historical information and then gives the reader your main point, or thesis statement. The subject matter of each sentence therefore gets more specific as you go. If you're curious about how long your introduction should be, the rule of thumb is that it should be 20% of your total paper. So, a five page essay should have an introduction that is roughly one page. Anything less than 5 pages should not be more than 1 paragraph. It may seem tempting to include a longer introduction with more "fluff," but this isn't a good idea as your professor can sniff it out and it will reduce the overall quality of your writing.
The Funneling Method
1. Start with a broad statement
2. Narrow down to a time and place
3. Define key terms or give important background information
4. Thesis statement
To see how the funneling method works, think about how you would write your paragraph line-by-line. When you use the funneling method, you will start with a broad statement for your opening sentence. The key is to make a general statement about the essay topic in your sentence. Here is an example of a broad sentence that could be used to introduce an essay on the War on Terrorism:
“The War on Terror is a critical component of United States national security strategy.”
This sentence serves as a broad opening because it addresses the topic, the War on Terror, without being too specific in its focus. The second step in the funneling method is to narrow your topic to a specific time or place.
Tip: Use freewriting to generate ideas for topics. Write down any ideas you have that relate to the topic and just write about them for a few minutes.
The following sentence demonstrates this step using our War on Terror example:
“Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, counterterrorism has become a central focus of United States foreign policy.”
This sentence of the essay introduction focuses the topic by specifying that the topic addresses the time period following September 11, 2001. It also narrows down the place by signaling that the paper will focus on United States foreign policy. The third step in the funneling method is to define key terms or provide important background information. This sentence fulfills this step by defining the concept of terrorism:
“While terrorism has many definitions, it is commonly understood as the use of violence targeting civilians to achieve a political goal.”,
Keep in mind that it might take several sentences to provide the necessary definitions and background information to your reader. For this step, it is important to consider everything that your reader will need to know to understand your topic and appreciate the argument in your thesis.
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Tip: Having a difficult time focusing your thoughts? Take a break and write down the main points you are trying to make and compare it to the structure of your introduction. If you're going off topic, you need to keep things concise.
After you have carefully brought your reader up to speed on the background of your topic, the final step of the funneling method is to write your thesis statement. The thesis statement, the last part of the essay introduction, simply highlights the arguments that you will make in your essay. The following sentence is a thesis statement for our War on Terror topic:
“Though counterterrorism is critical to saving civilian lives, the War on Terror can be considered a failure in foreign policy because it precipitated unnecessary wars, galvanized pro-terrorist organizations, and alienated the United States from its allies.”
As this example demonstrates, the thesis statement can be written in one sentence. While the thesis can be written in multiple sentences, it is advisable to keep it as short as possible to avoid confusing your reader.
By following the four steps of the funneling method, you will introduce your reader to your topic, specify the focus of your topic, clarify any confusing terms, and present the argument of your essay. When you use the funneling method, you ensure that every sentence is put to good use in your essay introduction.
Getting the Reader to Pay Attention
When your grade is on the line, you don’t want your professor yawning before he or she even reaches the body of your essay. A bored professor might rush through grading your essay or overlook your main points, which could cause you to receive a lower grade. Using an attention grabber will engage your reader and make your essay more enjoyable. Consider these strategies to grab your professor’s attention from the first sentence:
Ask a Question
Will asking a question grab your reader’s attention? Yes. When you begin your introduction paragraph with a thought-provoking question it forces the reader to pause and consider the answer. By asking questions in your essay introduction, you force your reader to pay closer attention to your writing. If you use this strategy, just be sure to keep your question simple and related to the topic of the essay. Though you want to slow your reader down, you also don’t want to confuse them or distract them from the rest of your essay.
Use a Quotation
A profound quote from an expert on your topic can serve the dual purposes of capturing your reader’s attention and building your credibility. Quotations in your introductory paragraph will stand out simply because the voice of the person who is quoted will contrast with your writing style. Who the quotation is from is often more important than what the quotation is saying. When you select a quotation, be sure to quote renowned figures. For example, if you were writing an essay on the Supreme Court, a quote from a Supreme Court justice would be more interesting to your reader than a quote from an unknown law professor.
Tip: Unclear on how to effectively integrate quotes and citations? Visit our page on essay quotes and citations for further explanation.
A hook is an interesting statement that piques the interest of your reader. As the name suggests, the purpose of the hook is to figuratively “hook” your reader and compel them to continue reading your essay introduction. Startling statistics are among the most effective hooks. For example, if your paper is on obesity, you might include a shocking statistic that demonstrates the high prevalence of obesity in the United States. When you open your essay with an interesting fact, you can return to your hook and refer to it in the body of your essay. An effective hook can be referred to repeatedly in order to regain the attention of your reader. It takes practice to write an effective hook, but once you get it down, you will keep your reader hanging on to your essay until the very last word.
Use an Anecdote
Many times, it is more effective to show rather than tell your reader the importance of your topic. An anecdote is a story that can be used to illustrate a point that you are trying to make in your introductory paragraph. For example, if you want to explain the importance of cancer research, you might begin your introduction with a story about a cancer survivor who benefited from treatment. An essay on the importance of fraud protection laws might begin with a story about a senior citizen who was swindled out of his retirement savings by a con artist. A carefully selected anecdote can appeal to the emotions of your reader and increase their interest in your topic.
Though any one of the attention grabbers will improve your essay introduction, you should use a combination of attention grabbers to really strengthen the impact. In longer introductions, several well-placed attention grabbers will keep your professor awake and interested in your essay.
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How to Write an Introduction to an Essay
Written by Scribendi
An Introduction to How to Write an Introduction
I once had a professor tell a class that he sifted through our pile of essays, glancing at the titles and introductions, looking for something that grabbed his attention. Everything else went to the bottom of the pile to be read last, when he was tired and probably grumpy from all the marking.
"Don't get put at the bottom of the pile," he said.
We don't want you, intrepid essay writer, to end up at the bottom of the pile because of poor essay writing. We want you to know how to write an introduction that grabs attention and gets noticed.
An essay introduction does exactly what its name implies: it introduces the subject of the paper to readers. Most importantly, it provides readers with a map of the overall paper. A good introduction captures readers' attention, tells them what the paper is about, and provides an outline of what is to come.
The introduction is quite possibly the most important part of an essay, but it can also be the hardest for some writers. Don't fret; we're here to provide you with some tips and guidelines for writing introductions and staying on top of the pile.
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Conventional Introduction Structure
Your essay introduction should follow a specific structure , which should be helpful in guiding your writing. When thinking about how to write an introduction, remember that it will be structured into three parts:
The background information
Your hook will be what grabs your reader (and keeps you from the bottom of that pile we mentioned earlier). The background information will give context to your topic or argument in a broad but relevant way. Finally, your thesis will summarize your overall argument in a sentence or two.
Hook Your Reader
To really draw readers into the introduction to an essay , start with something attention grabbing. This can be a startling fact, an interesting anecdote, or a relevant quote from an expert.
Try not to lead with bland, factual statements or long, dry sentences when writing an introduction. The goal is to write something catchy and clear that will make the reader curious to read more.
For example, instead of saying
A gig economy is a labor market that relies heavily on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors .
say something like
Most people would rather work to live than live to work, and the gig economy makes this possible .
Refer to our article about front matter for more ideas on how to write an introduction to your work. You can even present the point you are going to argue against.
Provide Background Information
In the introduction to an essay, provide readers with a little background or basic information about the topic you are covering. Start with the broader subject, and lead your readers to your specific topic. This is especially important when writing a book report. Show them how your topic relates to the bigger picture.
The background information you provide may vary, depending on the subject of your essay. If your essay is argumentative, for example, the background information in your introduction could be an outline of the argument you're positing. If your paper is more research oriented, this could mean a summary of theories that are relevant to the research you are presenting.
Overall, the background information should include broad information that provides context to help your reader understand the point you're trying to make in your essay. Effective introduction writing means always keeping the reader in mind!
Perfect Your Thesis Statement
The most important thing to include when writing an introduction is your thesis. A thesis statement is the main point of your paper; it is narrow, focused, and specific and very clearly explains your paper's topic.
Essentially, a thesis functions as a brief summary of your essay. It can be something you are arguing for or against. However, when writing your thesis, try to avoid including all of your topic's information at once. Keep it succinct: it's a claim you are making. Save the additional details to develop the rest of your essay.
In terms of positioning, the thesis should go at the very end of your essay introduction—don't forget to include it! Knowing how to write an introduction requires knowing that there's always a thesis at the end of it.
Outline Your Essay
After providing your readers with some background and a thesis in your essay introduction, an easy way to flesh out the rest of your essay is with an outline . Outlines are a useful way to organize your ideas and form connections between them. They can act as an essay blueprint to guide your writing, so you never have to wonder what to write next.
There are two types of common outlines you can use to organize your essay: an alphanumeric outline or a decimal outline. An alphanumeric outline combines letters and numbers, with each category being a single idea (I. Idea #1, A. Sub-idea #1, 1. Sub-sub-idea #1, etc.). A decimal outline is used the same way, but it uses numbers to differentiate the sections (1, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc.).
Whichever outline you choose after finishing your introduction writing, lay out your main points and arguments, preferably in the order in which you are going to discuss them. This is going to help you bring everything you outlined in your introduction together.
Essay Introduction Examples
To get a good sense of how to write an introduction, it helps to look at examples. Check out the following essay introduction example to get a sense of a good essay hook, the type of background information to include, and a good thesis statement.
Societies have long believed that if a black cat crosses one's path, one might have bad luck—but it was not until King Charles I's black cat died that the ruler's bad luck began (Pemberton, 2018). Indeed, for centuries, black cats have been seen as the familiars of witches—as demonic associates of Satan who disrespect authority (Yuko, 2021). Yet, they have also been associated with good luck, from England's rulers to long-distance sailors (Cole, 2021). This essay shows how outdated the bad luck superstition really is. It provides a comprehensive history of the belief and then provides proof that this superstition has no place in today's modern society. It argues that despite the prevailing belief that animals cause bad luck, black cats often bring what seems to be "good luck" and deserve a new reputation.
Use the structure above to help with writing an introduction, and check out more essay introduction examples here .
While introduction writing can seem tough at the outset, a good structure, like the one we've mentioned in this post, will guide your thinking as you write your essay.
Don't feel the need to write your introduction first if you're drawing a blank. Often, writers find it helpful to start with the body of their essay first so they know how to clearly convey their argument or topic in the introduction. For others, writing the introduction to an essay first helps guide the rest of their paper.
Regardless of how you write your introduction, as long as you remember the key elements (hook, background information, and thesis), you're sure to keep your paper from the bottom of your professor's pile!
Should I Write My Essay Introduction First?
Since some writers find introductions extremely hard to write, the simple answer to knowing when to start your introduction writing is to write it when it's easiest for you.
As we mentioned earlier, it may be easier to write the introduction last (and maybe even write the conclusion and back matter first). On the other hand, other writers find that writing introductions first helps them set the direction of their paper.
If you are struggling with how to write an introduction to your essay, put it aside for a while and continue with the body or conclusion of the paper. If you've written a good outline, you'll already know what topics you need to discuss, and your introduction will become clearer as you write.
What Is the Purpose of a Thesis Statement?
The purpose of a thesis statement in your essay introduction is to share your interpretation of the subject you're discussing. It's a one-sentence statement that acts as a road map, signaling to the reader what you're going to argue or explain in your essay. A thesis statement also offers a way for your reader to understand your subject, whether it be smoking, social media, or the Civil War.
Thesis statements are important given that the majority of writing in college involves some form of persuasion. Your goal is to convince readers that your point is logical and interesting enough to warrant attention. The good news is that once you've come up with your thesis statement, you can use it to settle on the evidence you'll need to develop and explain your argument throughout the rest of your essay. You won't be able to escape writing an introduction without it!
How Long Should My Essay Introduction Be?
When it comes to introduction writing, there is no rule for exactly how long an introduction should be. When writing your essay introduction, you have to consider the length of your overall paper, per your professor.
An appropriate length for your introduction in a five-page essay is about half a page, but if you are writing a 40-page paper, your introduction will span several pages and multiple paragraphs. It comes down to what's expected of you, and not every essay introduction will be the same length.
If you're still not sure how to write an introduction or determine its length, stick to the structure we've mentioned in this post: hook, background information, and thesis. It's a sure way to get your introduction finished and set your entire essay in motion.
Polish Your Conclusion to Leave an Impact on Your Reader
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Introductions and Conclusions
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Introductions and conclusions play a special role in the academic essay, and they frequently demand much of your attention as a writer. A good introduction should identify your topic, provide essential context, and indicate your particular focus in the essay. It also needs to engage your readers’ interest. A strong conclusion will provide a sense of closure to the essay while again placing your concepts in a somewhat wider context. It will also, in some instances, add a stimulus to further thought. Since no two essays are the same, no single formula will automatically generate an introduction and conclusion for you. But the following guidelines will help you to construct a suitable beginning and end for your essay.
Some general advice about introductions
- Some students cannot begin writing the body of the essay until they feel they have the perfect introduction. Be aware of the dangers of sinking too much time into the introduction. Some of that time can be more usefully channeled into planning and writing.
- You may be the kind of writer who writes an introduction first in order to explore your own thinking on the topic. If so, remember that you may at a later stage need to compress your introduction.
- It can be fine to leave the writing of the introduction for a later stage in the essay-writing process. Some people write their introduction only after they have completed the rest of the essay. Others write the introduction first but rewrite it significantly in light of what they end up saying in the body of their paper.
- The introductions for most papers can be effectively written in one paragraph occupying half to three-quarters of the first page. Your introduction may be longer than that, and it may take more than one paragraph, but be sure you know why. The size of your introduction should bear some relationship to the length and complexity of your paper. A twenty page paper may call for a two-page introduction, but a five-page paper will not.
- Get to the point as soon as possible. Generally, you want to raise your topic in your very first sentences. A common error is to begin too broadly or too far off topic. Avoid sweeping generalizations.
- If your essay has a thesis, your thesis statement will typically appear at the end of your introduction, even though that is not a hard-and-fast rule. You may, for example, follow your thesis with a brief road map to your essay that sketches the basic structure of your argument. The longer the paper, the more useful a road map becomes.
How do I write an interesting, effective introduction?
Consider these strategies for capturing your readers’ attention and for fleshing out your introduction:
- Find a startling statistic that illustrates the seriousness of the problem you will address.
- Quote an expert (but be sure to introduce him or her first).
- Mention a common misperception that your thesis will argue against .
- Give some background information necessary for understanding the essay.
- Use a brief narrative or anecdote that exemplifies your reason for choosing the topic. In an assignment that encourages personal reflection, you may draw on your own experiences; in a research essay, the narrative may illustrate a common real-world scenario.
- In a science paper, explain key scientific concepts and refer to relevant literature. Lead up to your own contribution or intervention.
- In a more technical paper, define a term that is possibly unfamiliar to your audience but is central to understanding the essay.
In fleshing out your introduction, you will want to avoid some common pitfalls:
- Don’t provide dictionary definitions, especially of words your audience already knows.
- Don’t repeat the assignment specifications using the professor’s wording.
- Don’t give details and in-depth explanations that really belong in your body paragraphs. You can usually postpone background material to the body of the essay.
Some general advice about conclusions
- A conclusion is not merely a summary of your points or a re-statement of your thesis. If you wish to summarize—and often you must—do so in fresh language. Remind the reader of how the evidence you’ve presented has contributed to your thesis.
- The conclusion, like much of the rest of the paper, involves critical thinking. Reflect upon the significance of what you’ve written. Try to convey some closing thoughts about the larger implications of your argument.
- Broaden your focus a bit at the end of the essay. A good last sentence leaves your reader with something to think about, a concept in some way illuminated by what you’ve written in the paper.
- For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusion. In some cases, a two-or-three paragraph conclusion may be appropriate. As with introductions, the length of the conclusion should reflect the length of the essay.
How do I write an interesting, effective conclusion?
The following strategies may help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your essay:
- If your essay deals with a contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
- Recommend a specific course of action.
- Use an apt quotation or expert opinion to lend authority to the conclusion you have reached.
- Give a startling statistic, fact, or visual image to drive home the ultimate point of your paper.
- If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point with a relevant narrative drawn from your own life experiences.
- Return to an anecdote, example, or quotation that you introduced in your introduction, but add further insight that derives from the body of your essay.
- In a science or social science paper, mention worthwhile avenues for future research on your topic.
How does genre affect my introduction or conclusion?
Most of the advice in this handout pertains to argumentative or exploratory academic essays. Be aware, however, that different genres have their own special expectations about beginnings and endings. Some academic genres may not even require an introduction or conclusion. An annotated bibliography, for example, typically provides neither. A book review may begin with a summary of the book and conclude with an overall assessment of it. A policy briefing usually includes an introduction but may conclude with a series of recommendations. Check your assignment carefully for any directions about what to include in your introduction or conclusion.
The introduction and conclusion should both be approximately 10% of the overall essay word count. For example, if you write a 1500 word essay
Most introductions should be about three to five sentences long. And you should aim for a word count between 50-80 words. You don't need to say everything in
The introduction is one paragraph long. The thesis sentence, roughly 25 words long, is the last sentence in that paragraph. The paragraph will be as long as it
The introduction should be proportional to the essay's length. In an essay under 3000 words, the introduction is usually just one paragraph.
An essay introduction is about 10% of the total length of the paper. If the word count for the entire essay is 1000 words, the introduction should be 100
Most essays will require only two sentences for your introduction paragraph. You will need to write a background statement and a thesis statement. There is no
Start your introduction on an essay with a catchy sentence that draws the reader in. · It needs to include baseline information about your
If you're curious about how long your introduction should be, the rule of thumb is that it should be 20% of your total paper. So, a five page essay should have
An appropriate length for your introduction in a five-page essay is about half a page, but if you are writing a 40-page paper, your introduction will span
A good introduction should identify your topic, provide essential context, and indicate your particular focus in the essay. It also needs to engage your readers