An effective introduction to an essay starts with a hook. Your hook should tell the reader a little bit about your topic, provide some background information, and perhaps evoke some sort of question. It should be broad enough to be intriguing, but still convey information in a meaningful way. Here are some ideas for writing a hook:
Introduce your topic
How do you introduce your topic in an essay? Well, there are several ways to do so. An effective introduction is generally comprised of one or two sentences that establish your topic and focus. You can begin with an introductory quote or question. If you have a general topic to discuss, you can also state that it is a “thematic essay.” If not, you can write a brief thesis statement based on your topic.
Provide background information
A good essay introduction starts with a fact or interesting quote. Then, provide background information to hook the reader’s attention. Next, create a thesis statement, summarizing the points you plan to make. This statement should also state your position on the topic. Be sure to keep it brief, as it can be spread over more than one paragraph. This way, the reader can quickly get a sense of the tone of the essay.
Provide an attention-grabber
While it may be tempting to put an attention-grabber at the beginning of your essay, it is not necessary to do so. It is more effective to use an attention-grabber only once. In order to keep the reader engaged, you should include a relevant quote at the beginning of your essay. Using a quote from a notable person or from a supporting source will strengthen your writing. The key is relevance, as cliches can backfire. To find a suitable attention-grabber quote, search online for a relevant term.
Provide a question
An effective essay begins with a question, and the introduction should answer it. It should briefly state the key ideas of the essay, and gradually move towards the thesis statement. The purpose of the question is to draw the reader into the essay by providing complete information. In addition, the introduction should be concise and to the point, not giving background information about the subject. For example, it should answer the question “What is your opinion on X?” in two or three sentences.
Provide a transition
As you begin to write an essay, consider how you will transition from one paragraph to the next. Transitions should follow the overall arc of the essay. They should also establish information that will be discussed further in a later paragraph. To make sure that each paragraph has a logical structure, use transition words and phrases sparingly throughout your paper. Incorporating transition words and phrases into your essay can make the writing process more efficient and effective.