The introduction to an essay is like a first impression–you only get one chance to draw the reader in. You should take special care to create the best first impression that you can by writing an effective introduction. The introduction draws the reader in, presents the topic of your essay, provides the reader with adequate background, and tells the reader what your specific impression of the topic will be.
Quote a poem or a passage from a favorite author.
A quote serves as a jumping off point for the reader and gives them a hint of where the article is headed. A well-chosen quote sets the tone for the entire essay and draws the reader into the main idea of the essay.
Ask a question.
In the past, we were told to never open an essay with a question. Those days are no more–asking a question in the introduction of an essay personalizes the writing for the reader, thereby pulling the reader into the body of the essay. People tend to keep reading when they feel they have a personal investment in the essay.
Include an anecdote that is unusual or humorous.
Pique the reader’s interest with an unusual fact about the topic that you are writing. Again, the goal in the introduction is to make the reader want to keep reading. Telling a funny story about the topic in two or three sentences is another effective way to keep the reader reading.
State a fact about your topic.
Use a statistic or an expert’s opinion. Everyone respects the truth. You can hold the reader’s interest if the reader knows you are knowledgeable about your subject.
State your main idea (your thesis statement).
Setting up the topic is not enough. Be sure to give your specific impression about the topic. Your topic may be cockfighting, but your main idea is the stand you take regarding cockfighting.
Support your main idea by listing three support points.
These support points will become the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. The introduction serves as a roadmap for the entire essay. Finish your introduction with a brief sentence that outlines the support points you will discuss in your essay.