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How to Start An Essay

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The beginning of an essay is very crucial since you need to capture the attention of the reader. Moreover, you need to set an appropriate tone and content for the essay. There is no right way on how to start an essay; however great beginnings have similar qualities that you can utilize in your essay. To start your essay, have a roadmap for what you want to communicate, and then tailor your introduction to fit your essay.

Creating a Roadmap for Your Essay

Compose a Sentence with a Captivating Hook

Whereas your essay might be fascinating to you, it might not be the same for your readers. Readers can be choosy about what they read and what they do not. Thus, it's essential to start your essay with a sentence that will grab the reader's attention from the word go.

You can decide to start with a mesmerizing image or description. For example, if you want to write an essay about your summer vacation, you can begin with this statement;

"When I felt the Hawaiian sun filtering through the jungle canopy and heard the sound of chirping birds in the distance, I immediately knew that I had encountered a very special place."

Attract Your Reader to the 'Meat' of Your Essay

In as much as a good initial sentence will grab the reader's attention, you need to continue to pull the readers into your essay so that they don't lose interest. Add another sentence that links the captivating hook in the initial sentence to the rest of the essay. For example, for your vacation essay, you might add the following to your first sentence;

"I was deep in the forests of Yellowstone National Park, and I was lost in more ways than one."

This statement informs the reader where the imagery in the initial sentence comes from and pulls the reader to the rest of the essay by teasing that it will ultimately be disclosed how the writer is lost.

Inform Your Readers What Your Essay is About

After going through the introduction, your readers need to know your topic's essay and also your intention for writing it. Your reason for writing might be to persuade or inform; this should be clear in your introduction. Inform your reader why your topic is important.

For instance, in your vacation essay, you might include something like; "This is the story of my summer in Hawaii, a summer whereby nothing could keep from being life-changing." This informs the reader that they'll be going through an account of the writer's journey to a foreign nation while teasing details on what's coming in the body of the essay.

Outline your Essay's Structure

In matters concerning how to start an essay, you need to let the reader know how you'll present your perspective. This can be done through the provision of a basic structure of the essay. This information can be provided in your thesis statement. Provide your viewpoint and also a brief outline of the support for your viewpoint.

For example, in your vacation essay, you might keep your tone lighthearted. Even though it's okay to write;

"By experiencing both city life in Sacramento and life in the jungles of Yellowstone, I changed as a person during the trip,"

...you might consider revising this sentence so that it flows with the previous statements.

Incorporate a Thesis Statement or Controlling Idea

Some essays, particularly five-paragraph essays written for academic assignments, require you to incorporate a thesis sentence as part of the opening paragraph. Thesis sentences are normally included at or near the end of the first paragraph.

For instance, for the vacation essay, you probably would not require a thesis statement. However, since you want to set a mood or tell a story, a clinical statement like;

"This essay will depict my summer vacation in Hawaii in great detail"

...would appear forced and unnecessary.

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How to Start an Essay Examples - Utilizing Introduction Writing Strategies

Try to Write Your Introduction Last Instead of First

When you want to start an informative essay or start an argumentative essay, consider the fact that there's no rule that states you have to write the introduction first. You can begin anywhere in the essay as long as you ultimately stitch the whole essay together.

If you are not sure about how to begin your essay or don't know what your essay is about exactly, just skip the beginning and go to the rest of the essay. You will eventually have to compose it; however, once you've composed the rest of the essay, you may have a firm grasp of your topic. Begin writing your essay with the section that feels easiest to write.

Revise Several Times

It's rare to find first drafts that cannot be improved in some way through editing. An accomplished writer knows never to hand in a piece of writing without revising it. Reviewing and revising enables you to notice spelling and grammar errors, delete unnecessary information, etc. This is particularly critical for the beginning of your essay, where small mistakes can reflect negatively on the whole essay, thus ensure that you thoroughly revise the introduction.

For instance, consider an essay where the initial sentence has a small grammatical error. Although the error is small, the fact that it is found in such a prominent place may result in the assumption that the writer is unprofessional or careless.


Even the most accomplished writers run out of ideas at some point. If you are finding it difficult even to begin your introduction, try to brainstorm. Write down ideas as they come to you. These ideas may not necessarily be good. At times, these ideas that you shouldn't use might inspire you to come up with ideas that you definitely should utilize.

Moreover, you can try an exercise known as free-form writing. With this exercise, you start by writing anything and continue writing as many sentences as possible. The result does not have to make sense. You'll have benefited from some level of inspiration from what you were scribbling.

How to Start an Essay Examples

How to Start an Essay with a Quote

Beginning an essay this way is a popular method that requires you to find an appropriate quote that fits your objective and compose it in your own words. How can one start an essay with a quote? The following are guidelines that will assist you:

  • Select the quote that your readers will easily relate to.

  • Steer clear of clichés since they will only bore your readers.

  • Make sure that the quote fits your essay's tone.

  • Explain how it relates to a major argument.

In addition, you need to acknowledge sources and meet particular citation requirements. The beginning ought to be direct and clear.

Argumentative Essay

"How do I start an argumentative essay?"

An argumentative essay requires that the writer uses a writing structure that allows them to successfully argue their viewpoint that a controversial topic is the right one. If you were to write this kind of essay, you would want to begin by selecting a topic that you can argue easily, explore all the possible reasons that one would be either for or against that particular issue, determine which position you'll take, carry out research and gather as much supporting evidence as possible and begin to write your introduction paragraph.

Examples of argumentative topics include:

  • Why is obesity on the rise in the US?

  • Every student should have the right to select the subjects he/she is interested in.

  • What secondary languages are worth studying nowadays?

  • There should be a ban on smoking in public places.

  • Energy drinks should be banned.

  • Is there justice for all?

How to Start an Informative Essay

An informative essay can be defined as a piece of writing that aims at educating an audience about a particular topic. The objective is to ensure that the audience has learned new information.

When you want to start an informative essay, the introduction ought to present the topic and capture the attention of your readers. The focus sentence for the whole essay needs to be included. The first paragraph begins with a general idea and then steadily gets more specific. Moreover, provide some background information on the terminology and keywords.

Make sure you presage the main points and information that your essay will give. The next step is to finish with the thesis. Normally, an informative essay thesis can be as comparison stances on a controversial topic. In addition, do not forget to research and compile all relevant information on the subject. Examples of topics include:

  • Why do people procrastinate?

  • The evolution of human rights

Analysis Essay

"How can I start an analysis essay?" You've probably asked yourself this question at some point. Writing an analysis essay implies that your essay ought to present some argument and then analyze it.

When you want to start an analysis essay, you should ensure that the beginning attracts the readers. Your introduction should contain a hook, thesis statement, and should tell the reader how you're going to prove your thesis. The hook must be interesting. You won't get a second chance to impress your audience; therefore, don't waste that one chance. You can utilize various means to capture the readers' attention, for example, a provocative question, fact, or statistics.

The main purpose of the thesis statement is to inform your audience about the subject of your analytical essay and explain your opinion about the topic. Furthermore, the thesis statement describes why it's important for your audience to read your essay.

The final step is to prove your claim. If you're going to write about a book, for instance, you must focus your argument on which literature methods the writer employed in their writing. On the other hand, if your essay is about a historical event, you have to analyze why that event occurred. You should keep in mind that the beginning ought to be like a road map for your audience. They need to know where your essay will take them and what they'll learn from it.

Expository Essay

When you want to start an expository essay, you need to:

  • Plan your essay - You need to define your purpose for writing the essay. Write some of the reasons for coming up with this work and what you hope to do with your finished essay. You also need to think about who'll be reading your essay. Furthermore, you need to list all your ideas for the essay.

  • Introducing your essay - Start with an engaging statement that gets right into your topic. Then provide adequate background information to guide your readers. Moreover, you need to include you're a thesis statement which expresses your primary argument.


There you have it. What are you waiting for? Learning how to start an essay is not difficult. Choose your topic, try and come up with a captivating introduction and get started on your essay.

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