Choose Your Test
Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write an introduction paragraph in 3 steps.
It’s the roadmap to your essay, it’s the forecast for your argument, it’s...your introduction paragraph, and writing one can feel pretty intimidating. The introduction paragraph is a part of just about every kind of academic writing , from persuasive essays to research papers. But that doesn’t mean writing one is easy!
If trying to write an intro paragraph makes you feel like a Muggle trying to do magic, trust us: you aren’t alone. But there are some tips and tricks that can make the process easier—and that’s where we come in.
In this article, we’re going to explain how to write a captivating intro paragraph by covering the following info:
- A discussion of what an introduction paragraph is and its purpose in an essay
- An overview of the most effective introduction paragraph format, with explanations of the three main parts of an intro paragraph
- An analysis of real intro paragraph examples, with a discussion of what works and what doesn’t
- A list of four top tips on how to write an introduction paragraph
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
What Is an Introduction Paragraph?
An introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay , paper, or other type of academic writing. Argumentative essays , book reports, research papers, and even personal essays are common types of writing that require an introduction paragraph. Whether you’re writing a research paper for a science course or an argumentative essay for English class , you’re going to have to write an intro paragraph.
So what’s the purpose of an intro paragraph? As a reader’s first impression of your essay, the intro paragraph should introduce the topic of your paper.
Your introduction will also state any claims, questions, or issues that your paper will focus on. This is commonly known as your paper’s thesis . This condenses the overall point of your paper into one or two short sentences that your reader can come back and reference later.
But intro paragraphs need to do a bit more than just introduce your topic. An intro paragraph is also supposed to grab your reader’s attention. The intro paragraph is your chance to provide just enough info and intrigue to make your reader say, “Hey, this topic sounds interesting. I think I’ll keep reading this essay!” That can help your essay stand out from the crowd.
In most cases, an intro paragraph will be relatively short. A good intro will be clear, brief, purposeful, and focused. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s common for intro paragraphs to consist of three to five sentences .
Effectively introducing your essay’s topic, purpose, and getting your reader invested in your essay sounds like a lot to ask from one little paragraph, huh? In the next section, we’ll demystify the intro paragraph format by breaking it down into its core parts . When you learn how to approach each part of an intro, writing one won’t seem so scary!
Once you figure out the three parts of an intro paragraph, writing one will be a piece of cake!
The 3 Main Parts of an Intro Paragraph
In general, an intro paragraph is going to have three main parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement . Each of these pieces of the intro plays a key role in acquainting the reader with the topic and purpose of your essay.
Below, we’ll explain how to start an introduction paragraph by writing an effective hook, providing context, and crafting a thesis statement. When you put these elements together, you’ll have an intro paragraph that does a great job of making a great first impression on your audience!
Intro Paragraph Part 1: The Hook
When it comes to how to start an introduction paragraph, o ne of the most common approaches is to start with something called a hook.
What does hook mean here, though? Think of it this way: it’s like when you start a new Netflix series: you look up a few hours (and a few episodes) later and you say, “Whoa. I guess I must be hooked on this show!”
That’s how the hook is supposed to work in an intro paragrap h: it should get your reader interested enough that they don’t want to press the proverbial “pause” button while they’re reading it . In other words, a hook is designed to grab your reader’s attention and keep them reading your essay!
This means that the hook comes first in the intro paragraph format—it’ll be the opening sentence of your intro.
It’s important to realize that there are many different ways to write a good hook. But generally speaking, hooks must include these two things: what your topic is, and the angle you’re taking on that topic in your essay.
One approach to writing a hook that works is starting with a general, but interesting, statement on your topic. In this type of hook, you’re trying to provide a broad introduction to your topic and your angle on the topic in an engaging way .
For example, if you’re writing an essay about the role of the government in the American healthcare system, your hook might look something like this:
There's a growing movement to require that the federal government provide affordable, effective healthcare for all Americans.
This hook introduces the essay topic in a broad way (government and healthcare) by presenting a general statement on the topic. But the assumption presented in the hook can also be seen as controversial, which gets readers interested in learning more about what the writer—and the essay—has to say.
In other words, the statement above fulfills the goals of a good hook: it’s intriguing and provides a general introduction to the essay topic.
Intro Paragraph Part 2: Context
Once you’ve provided an attention-grabbing hook, you’ll want to give more context about your essay topic. Context refers to additional details that reveal the specific focus of your paper. So, whereas the hook provides a general introduction to your topic, context starts helping readers understand what exactly you’re going to be writing about
You can include anywhere from one to several sentences of context in your intro, depending on your teacher’s expectations, the length of your paper, and complexity of your topic. In these context-providing sentences, you want to begin narrowing the focus of your intro. You can do this by describing a specific issue or question about your topic that you’ll address in your essay. It also helps readers start to understand why the topic you’re writing about matters and why they should read about it.
So, what counts as context for an intro paragraph? Context can be any important details or descriptions that provide background on existing perspectives, common cultural attitudes, or a specific situation or controversy relating to your essay topic. The context you include should acquaint your reader with the issues, questions, or events that motivated you to write an essay on your topic...and that your reader should know in order to understand your thesis.
For instance, if you’re writing an essay analyzing the consequences of sexism in Hollywood, the context you include after your hook might make reference to the #metoo and #timesup movements that have generated public support for victims of sexual harassment.
The key takeaway here is that context establishes why you’re addressing your topic and what makes it important. It also sets you up for success on the final piece of an intro paragraph: the thesis statement.
Elle Woods' statement offers a specific point of view on the topic of murder...which means it could serve as a pretty decent thesis statement!
Intro Paragraph Part 3: The Thesis
The final key part of how to write an intro paragraph is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the backbone of your introduction: it conveys your argument or point of view on your topic in a clear, concise, and compelling way . The thesis is usually the last sentence of your intro paragraph.
Whether it’s making a claim, outlining key points, or stating a hypothesis, your thesis statement will tell your reader exactly what idea(s) are going to be addressed in your essay. A good thesis statement will be clear, straightforward, and highlight the overall point you’re trying to make.
Some instructors also ask students to include an essay map as part of their thesis. An essay map is a section that outlines the major topics a paper will address. So for instance, say you’re writing a paper that argues for the importance of public transport in rural communities. Your thesis and essay map might look like this:
Having public transport in rural communities helps people improve their economic situation by giving them reliable transportation to their job, reducing the amount of money they spend on gas, and providing new and unionized work .
The underlined section is the essay map because it touches on the three big things the writer will talk about later. It literally maps out the rest of the essay!
So let’s review: Your thesis takes the idea you’ve introduced in your hook and context and wraps it up. Think of it like a television episode: the hook sets the scene by presenting a general statement and/or interesting idea that sucks you in. The context advances the plot by describing the topic in more detail and helping readers understand why the topic is important. And finally, the thesis statement provides the climax by telling the reader what you have to say about the topic.
The thesis statement is the most important part of the intro. Without it, your reader won’t know what the purpose of your essay is! And for a piece of writing to be effective, it needs to have a clear purpose. Your thesis statement conveys that purpose , so it’s important to put careful thought into writing a clear and compelling thesis statement.
How To Write an Introduction Paragraph: Example and Analysis
Now that we’ve provided an intro paragraph outline and have explained the three key parts of an intro paragraph, let’s take a look at an intro paragraph in action.
To show you how an intro paragraph works, we’ve included a sample introduction paragraph below, followed by an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.
Example of Introduction Paragraph
While college students in the U.S. are struggling with how to pay for college, there is another surprising demographic that’s affected by the pressure to pay for college: families and parents. In the face of tuition price tags that total more than $100,000 (as a low estimate), families must make difficult decisions about how to save for their children’s college education. Charting a feasible path to saving for college is further complicated by the FAFSA’s estimates for an “Expected Family Contribution”—an amount of money that is rarely feasible for most American families. Due to these challenging financial circumstances and cultural pressure to give one’s children the best possible chance of success in adulthood, many families are going into serious debt to pay for their children’s college education. The U.S. government should move toward bearing more of the financial burden of college education.
Example of Introduction Paragraph: Analysis
Before we dive into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this example intro paragraph, let’s establish the essay topic. The sample intro indicates that t he essay topic will focus on one specific issue: who should cover the cost of college education in the U.S., and why. Both the hook and the context help us identify the topic, while the thesis in the last sentence tells us why this topic matters to the writer—they think the U.S. Government needs to help finance college education. This is also the writer’s argument, which they’ll cover in the body of their essay.
Now that we’ve identified the essay topic presented in the sample intro, let’s dig into some analysis. To pin down its strengths and weaknesses, we’re going to use the following three questions to guide our example of introduction paragraph analysis:
- Does this intro provide an attention-grabbing opening sentence that conveys the essay topic?
- Does this intro provide relevant, engaging context about the essay topic?
- Does this intro provide a thesis statement that establishes the writer’s point of view on the topic and what specific aspects of the issue the essay will address?
Now, let’s use the questions above to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of this sample intro paragraph.
Does the Intro Have a Good Hook?
First, the intro starts out with an attention-grabbing hook . The writer starts by presenting an assumption (that the U.S. federal government bears most of the financial burden of college education), which makes the topic relatable to a wide audience of readers. Also note that the hook relates to the general topic of the essay, which is the high cost of college education.
The hook then takes a surprising turn by presenting a counterclaim : that American families, rather than students, feel the true burden of paying for college. Some readers will have a strong emotional reaction to this provocative counterclaim, which will make them want to keep reading! As such, this intro provides an effective opening sentence that conveys the essay topic.
Does the Intro Give Context?
T he second, third, and fourth sentences of the intro provide contextual details that reveal the specific focus of the writer’s paper . Remember: the context helps readers start to zoom in on what the paper will focus on, and what aspect of the general topic (college costs) will be discussed later on.
The context in this intro reveals the intent and direction of the paper by explaining why the issue of families financing college is important. In other words, the context helps readers understand why this issue matters , and what aspects of this issue will be addressed in the paper.
To provide effective context, the writer refers to issues (the exorbitant cost of college and high levels of family debt) that have received a lot of recent scholarly and media attention. These sentences of context also elaborate on the interesting perspective included in the hook: that American families are most affected by college costs.
Does the Intro Have a Thesis?
Finally, this intro provides a thesis statement that conveys the writer’s point of view on the issue of financing college education. This writer believes that the U.S. government should do more to pay for students’ college educations.
However, the thesis statement doesn’t give us any details about why the writer has made this claim or why this will help American families . There isn’t an essay map that helps readers understand what points the writer will make in the essay.
To revise this thesis statement so that it establishes the specific aspects of the topic that the essay will address, the writer could add the following to the beginning of the thesis statement:
The U.S. government should take on more of the financial burden of college education because other countries have shown this can improve education rates while reducing levels of familial poverty.
Check out the new section in bold. Not only does it clarify that the writer is talking about the pressure put on families, it touches on the big topics the writer will address in the paper: improving education rates and reduction of poverty. So not only do we have a clearer argumentative statement in this thesis, we also have an essay map!
So, let’s recap our analysis. This sample intro paragraph does an effective job of providing an engaging hook and relatable, interesting context, but the thesis statement needs some work ! As you write your own intro paragraphs, you might consider using the questions above to evaluate and revise your work. Doing this will help ensure you’ve covered all of your bases and written an intro that your readers will find interesting!
4 Tips for How To Write an Introduction Paragraph
Now that we’ve gone over an example of introduction paragraph analysis, let’s talk about how to write an introduction paragraph of your own. Keep reading for four tips for writing a successful intro paragraph for any essay.
Tip 1: Analyze Your Essay Prompt
If you’re having trouble with how to start an introduction paragraph, analyze your essay prompt! Most teachers give you some kind of assignment sheet, formal instructions, or prompt to set the expectations for an essay they’ve assigned, right? Those instructions can help guide you as you write your intro paragraph!
Because they’ll be reading and responding to your essay, you want to make sure you meet your teacher’s expectations for an intro paragraph . For instance, if they’ve provided specific instructions about how long the intro should be or where the thesis statement should be located, be sure to follow them!
The type of paper you’re writing can give you clues as to how to approach your intro as well. If you’re writing a research paper, your professor might expect you to provide a research question or state a hypothesis in your intro. If you’re writing an argumentative essay, you’ll need to make sure your intro overviews the context surrounding your argument and your thesis statement includes a clear, defensible claim.
Using the parameters set out by your instructor and assignment sheet can put some easy-to-follow boundaries in place for things like your intro’s length, structure, and content. Following these guidelines can free you up to focus on other aspects of your intro... like coming up with an exciting hook and conveying your point of view on your topic!
Tip 2: Narrow Your Topic
You can’t write an intro paragraph without first identifying your topic. To make your intro as effective as possible, you need to define the parameters of your topic clearly—and you need to be specific.
For example, let’s say you want to write about college football. “NCAA football” is too broad of a topic for a paper. There is a lot to talk about in terms of college football! It would be tough to write an intro paragraph that’s focused, purposeful, and engaging on this topic. In fact, if you did try to address this whole topic, you’d probably end up writing a book!
Instead, you should narrow broad topics to identify a specific question, claim, or issue pertaining to some aspect of NCAA football for your intro to be effective. So, for instance, you could frame your topic as, “How can college professors better support NCAA football players in academics?” This focused topic pertaining to NCAA football would give you a more manageable angle to discuss in your paper.
So before you think about writing your intro, ask yourself: Is my essay topic specific, focused, and logical? Does it convey an issue or question that I can explore over the course of several pages? Once you’ve established a good topic, you’ll have the foundation you need to write an effective intro paragraph .
Once you've figured out your topic, it's time to hit the books!
Tip 3: Do Your Research
This tip is tightly intertwined with the one above, and it’s crucial to writing a good intro: do your research! And, guess what? This tip applies to all papers—even ones that aren’t technically research papers.
Here’s why you need to do some research: getting the lay of the land on what others have said about your topic—whether that’s scholars and researchers or the mass media— will help you narrow your topic, write an engaging hook, and provide relatable context.
You don't want to sit down to write your intro without a solid understanding of the different perspectives on your topic. Whether those are the perspectives of experts or the general public, these points of view will help you write your intro in a way that is intriguing and compelling for your audience of readers.
Tip 4: Write Multiple Drafts
Some say to write your intro first; others say write it last. The truth is, there isn’t a right or wrong time to write your intro—but you do need to have enough time to write multiple drafts .
Oftentimes, your professor will ask you to write multiple drafts of your paper, which gives you a built-in way to make sure you revise your intro. Another approach you could take is to write out a rough draft of your intro before you begin writing your essay, then revise it multiple times as you draft out your paper.
Here’s why this approach can work: as you write your paper, you’ll probably come up with new insights on your topic that you didn’t have right from the start. You can use these “light bulb” moments to reevaluate your intro and make revisions that keep it in line with your developing essay draft.
Once you’ve written your entire essay, consider going back and revising your intro again . You can ask yourself these questions as you evaluate your intro:
- Is my hook still relevant to the way I’ve approached the topic in my essay?
- Do I provide enough appropriate context to introduce my essay?
- Now that my essay is written, does my thesis statement still accurately reflect the point of view that I present in my essay?
Using these questions as a guide and putting your intro through multiple revisions will help ensure that you’ve written the best intro for the final draft of your essay. Also, revising your writing is always a good thing to do—and this applies to your intro, too!
Your college essays also need great intro paragraphs. Here’s a guide that focuses on how to write the perfect intro for your admissions essays.
Of course, the intro is just one part of your college essay . This article will teach you how to write a college essay that makes admissions counselors sit up and take notice.
Are you trying to write an analytical essay? Our step-by-step guide can help you knock it out of the park.
Need more help with this topic? Check out Tutorbase!
Our vetted tutor database includes a range of experienced educators who can help you polish an essay for English or explain how derivatives work for Calculus. You can use dozens of filters and search criteria to find the perfect person for your needs.
Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.
Student and Parent Forum
Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com , allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.
Ask a Question Below
Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!
Improve With Our Famous Guides
- For All Students
The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points
How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer
Series: How to Get 800 on Each SAT Section:
Score 800 on SAT Math
Score 800 on SAT Reading
Score 800 on SAT Writing
Series: How to Get to 600 on Each SAT Section:
Score 600 on SAT Math
Score 600 on SAT Reading
Score 600 on SAT Writing
Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests
What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For?
15 Strategies to Improve Your SAT Essay
The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 4+ ACT Points
How to Get a Perfect 36 ACT, by a Perfect Scorer
Series: How to Get 36 on Each ACT Section:
36 on ACT English
36 on ACT Math
36 on ACT Reading
36 on ACT Science
Series: How to Get to 24 on Each ACT Section:
24 on ACT English
24 on ACT Math
24 on ACT Reading
24 on ACT Science
What ACT target score should you be aiming for?
ACT Vocabulary You Must Know
ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score
How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League
How to Get a Perfect 4.0 GPA
How to Write an Amazing College Essay
What Exactly Are Colleges Looking For?
Is the ACT easier than the SAT? A Comprehensive Guide
Should you retake your SAT or ACT?
When should you take the SAT or ACT?
Get the latest articles and test prep tips!
Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?
Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here:
GRE Online Prep Blog
GMAT Online Prep Blog
TOEFL Online Prep Blog
Holly R. "I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot thank you enough for helping me!”
What this handout is about.
This handout will explain the functions of introductions, offer strategies for creating effective introductions, and provide some examples of less effective introductions to avoid.
The role of introductions
Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. Usually when you sit down to respond to an assignment, you have at least some sense of what you want to say in the body of your paper. You might have chosen a few examples you want to use or have an idea that will help you answer the main question of your assignment; these sections, therefore, may not be as hard to write. And it’s fine to write them first! But in your final draft, these middle parts of the paper can’t just come out of thin air; they need to be introduced and concluded in a way that makes sense to your reader.
Your introduction and conclusion act as bridges that transport your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis. If your readers pick up your paper about education in the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, for example, they need a transition to help them leave behind the world of Chapel Hill, television, e-mail, and The Daily Tar Heel and to help them temporarily enter the world of nineteenth-century American slavery. By providing an introduction that helps your readers make a transition between their own world and the issues you will be writing about, you give your readers the tools they need to get into your topic and care about what you are saying. Similarly, once you’ve hooked your readers with the introduction and offered evidence to prove your thesis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. (See our handout on conclusions .)
Note that what constitutes a good introduction may vary widely based on the kind of paper you are writing and the academic discipline in which you are writing it. If you are uncertain what kind of introduction is expected, ask your instructor.
Why bother writing a good introduction?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The opening paragraph of your paper will provide your readers with their initial impressions of your argument, your writing style, and the overall quality of your work. A vague, disorganized, error-filled, off-the-wall, or boring introduction will probably create a negative impression. On the other hand, a concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will start your readers off thinking highly of you, your analytical skills, your writing, and your paper.
Your introduction is an important road map for the rest of your paper. Your introduction conveys a lot of information to your readers. You can let them know what your topic is, why it is important, and how you plan to proceed with your discussion. In many academic disciplines, your introduction should contain a thesis that will assert your main argument. Your introduction should also give the reader a sense of the kinds of information you will use to make that argument and the general organization of the paragraphs and pages that will follow. After reading your introduction, your readers should not have any major surprises in store when they read the main body of your paper.
Ideally, your introduction will make your readers want to read your paper. The introduction should capture your readers’ interest, making them want to read the rest of your paper. Opening with a compelling story, an interesting question, or a vivid example can get your readers to see why your topic matters and serve as an invitation for them to join you for an engaging intellectual conversation (remember, though, that these strategies may not be suitable for all papers and disciplines).
Strategies for writing an effective introduction
Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will likely be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point. Imagine that you are assigned the following question:
Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass , discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
You will probably refer back to your assignment extensively as you prepare your complete essay, and the prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction—start off with a big picture sentence or two and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. Of course, a different approach could also be very successful, but looking at the way the professor set up the question can sometimes give you some ideas for how you might answer it. (See our handout on understanding assignments for additional information on the hidden clues in assignments.)
Decide how general or broad your opening should be. Keep in mind that even a “big picture” opening needs to be clearly related to your topic; an opening sentence that said “Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning” would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. If you have ever used Google Maps or similar programs, that experience can provide a helpful way of thinking about how broad your opening should be. Imagine that you’re researching Chapel Hill. If what you want to find out is whether Chapel Hill is at roughly the same latitude as Rome, it might make sense to hit that little “minus” sign on the online map until it has zoomed all the way out and you can see the whole globe. If you’re trying to figure out how to get from Chapel Hill to Wrightsville Beach, it might make more sense to zoom in to the level where you can see most of North Carolina (but not the rest of the world, or even the rest of the United States). And if you are looking for the intersection of Ridge Road and Manning Drive so that you can find the Writing Center’s main office, you may need to zoom all the way in. The question you are asking determines how “broad” your view should be. In the sample assignment above, the questions are probably at the “state” or “city” level of generality. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context—but that context doesn’t generally have to be as big as the whole galaxy!
Try writing your introduction last. You may think that you have to write your introduction first, but that isn’t necessarily true, and it isn’t always the most effective way to craft a good introduction. You may find that you don’t know precisely what you are going to argue at the beginning of the writing process. It is perfectly fine to start out thinking that you want to argue a particular point but wind up arguing something slightly or even dramatically different by the time you’ve written most of the paper. The writing process can be an important way to organize your ideas, think through complicated issues, refine your thoughts, and develop a sophisticated argument. However, an introduction written at the beginning of that discovery process will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the end. You will need to revise your paper to make sure that the introduction, all of the evidence, and the conclusion reflect the argument you intend. Sometimes it’s easiest to just write up all of your evidence first and then write the introduction last—that way you can be sure that the introduction will match the body of the paper.
Don’t be afraid to write a tentative introduction first and then change it later. Some people find that they need to write some kind of introduction in order to get the writing process started. That’s fine, but if you are one of those people, be sure to return to your initial introduction later and rewrite if necessary.
Open with something that will draw readers in. Consider these options (remembering that they may not be suitable for all kinds of papers):
- an intriguing example —for example, Douglass writes about a mistress who initially teaches him but then ceases her instruction as she learns more about slavery.
- a provocative quotation that is closely related to your argument —for example, Douglass writes that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (Quotes from famous people, inspirational quotes, etc. may not work well for an academic paper; in this example, the quote is from the author himself.)
- a puzzling scenario —for example, Frederick Douglass says of slaves that “[N]othing has been left undone to cripple their intellects, darken their minds, debase their moral nature, obliterate all traces of their relationship to mankind; and yet how wonderfully they have sustained the mighty load of a most frightful bondage, under which they have been groaning for centuries!” Douglass clearly asserts that slave owners went to great lengths to destroy the mental capacities of slaves, yet his own life story proves that these efforts could be unsuccessful.
- a vivid and perhaps unexpected anecdote —for example, “Learning about slavery in the American history course at Frederick Douglass High School, students studied the work slaves did, the impact of slavery on their families, and the rules that governed their lives. We didn’t discuss education, however, until one student, Mary, raised her hand and asked, ‘But when did they go to school?’ That modern high school students could not conceive of an American childhood devoid of formal education speaks volumes about the centrality of education to American youth today and also suggests the significance of the deprivation of education in past generations.”
- a thought-provoking question —for example, given all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, why does Frederick Douglass focus his attentions so squarely on education and literacy?
Pay special attention to your first sentence. Start off on the right foot with your readers by making sure that the first sentence actually says something useful and that it does so in an interesting and polished way.
How to evaluate your introduction draft
Ask a friend to read your introduction and then tell you what he or she expects the paper will discuss, what kinds of evidence the paper will use, and what the tone of the paper will be. If your friend is able to predict the rest of your paper accurately, you probably have a good introduction.
Five kinds of less effective introductions
1. The placeholder introduction. When you don’t have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and don’t really say much. They exist just to take up the “introduction space” in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.
Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.
2. The restated question introduction. Restating the question can sometimes be an effective strategy, but it can be easy to stop at JUST restating the question instead of offering a more specific, interesting introduction to your paper. The professor or teaching assistant wrote your question and will be reading many essays in response to it—he or she does not need to read a whole paragraph that simply restates the question.
Example: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass discusses the relationship between education and slavery in 19th century America, showing how white control of education reinforced slavery and how Douglass and other enslaved African Americans viewed education while they endured. Moreover, the book discusses the role that education played in the acquisition of freedom. Education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
3. The Webster’s Dictionary introduction. This introduction begins by giving the dictionary definition of one or more of the words in the assigned question. Anyone can look a word up in the dictionary and copy down what Webster says. If you want to open with a discussion of an important term, it may be far more interesting for you (and your reader) if you develop your own definition of the term in the specific context of your class and assignment. You may also be able to use a definition from one of the sources you’ve been reading for class. Also recognize that the dictionary is also not a particularly authoritative work—it doesn’t take into account the context of your course and doesn’t offer particularly detailed information. If you feel that you must seek out an authority, try to find one that is very relevant and specific. Perhaps a quotation from a source reading might prove better? Dictionary introductions are also ineffective simply because they are so overused. Instructors may see a great many papers that begin in this way, greatly decreasing the dramatic impact that any one of those papers will have.
Example: Webster’s dictionary defines slavery as “the state of being a slave,” as “the practice of owning slaves,” and as “a condition of hard work and subjection.”
4. The “dawn of man” introduction. This kind of introduction generally makes broad, sweeping statements about the relevance of this topic since the beginning of time, throughout the world, etc. It is usually very general (similar to the placeholder introduction) and fails to connect to the thesis. It may employ cliches—the phrases “the dawn of man” and “throughout human history” are examples, and it’s hard to imagine a time when starting with one of these would work. Instructors often find them extremely annoying.
Example: Since the dawn of man, slavery has been a problem in human history.
5. The book report introduction. This introduction is what you had to do for your elementary school book reports. It gives the name and author of the book you are writing about, tells what the book is about, and offers other basic facts about the book. You might resort to this sort of introduction when you are trying to fill space because it’s a familiar, comfortable format. It is ineffective because it offers details that your reader probably already knows and that are irrelevant to the thesis.
Example: Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave , in the 1840s. It was published in 1986 by Penguin Books. In it, he tells the story of his life.
And now for the conclusion…
Writing an effective introduction can be tough. Try playing around with several different options and choose the one that ends up sounding best to you!
Just as your introduction helps readers make the transition to your topic, your conclusion needs to help them return to their daily lives–but with a lasting sense of how what they have just read is useful or meaningful. Check out our handout on conclusions for tips on ending your paper as effectively as you began it!
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself . New York: Dover.
You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Make a Gift
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.
How to Write Essay Titles and Headers
Don’t overlook the title and section headers when putting together your next writing assignment. Follow these pointers for keeping your writing organized and effective.
101 Standout Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas
Need a topic for your upcoming argumentative essay? We've got 100 helpful prompts to help you get kickstarted on your next writing assignment.
Writing a Standout College Admissions Essay
Your personal statement is arguably the most important part of your college application. Follow these guidelines for an exceptional admissions essay.
The Introductory Paragraph: Start Your Paper Off Right
Begin with a great first sentence
- Writing Research Papers
- Writing Essays
- English Grammar
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
The introductory paragraph of any paper, long or short, should start with a sentence that piques the interest of your readers .
In a well-constructed first paragraph, that first sentence leads into three or four sentences that provide details about the subject you address in the body of your essay. These sentences should also set the stage for your thesis statement .
Writing a good thesis statement is the subject of much instruction and training, as it's the driver of your research and the subject of your paper. The entirety of your paper hangs on that sentence, which is generally the last sentence of your introductory paragraph and is refined throughout your research and drafting phases.
Writing an Intro Paragraph
It's often easier to write the introductory paragraph after you've written the first draft of the main part of the paper (or at least sketched out a detailed outline, section by section or paragraph by paragraph). After the drafting stage, your research and main points are fresh in your mind, and your thesis statement has been polished to gleaming. It's typically honed during the drafting stage, as research may have necessitated its adjustment.
At the start of a large writing project, it can also be intimidating to put those first words down, so it's often easier to begin composing in the middle of the paper and work on the introduction and conclusion after the meat of the report has been organized, compiled, and drafted.
Construct your introductory paragraph with the following:
- An attention-grabbing first sentence
- Informative sentences that build to your thesis
- The thesis statement, which makes a claim or states a view that you will support or build upon
Your First Sentence
As you researched your topic, you probably discovered some interesting anecdotes, quotes, or trivial facts. This is exactly the sort of thing you should use for an engaging introduction.
Consider these ideas for creating a strong beginning.
Surprising fact: The Pentagon has twice as many bathrooms as are necessary. The famous government building was constructed in the 1940s when segregation laws required that separate bathrooms be installed for people of African descent. This building isn’t the only American icon that harkens back to this embarrassing and hurtful time in our history. Across the United States, there are many examples of leftover laws and customs that reflect the racism that once permeated American society.
Humor: When my older brother substituted fresh eggs for our hard-boiled Easter eggs, he didn’t realize our father would take the first crack at hiding them. My brother’s holiday ended early that particular day in 1991, but the rest of the family enjoyed the warm April weather, outside on the lawn, until late into the evening. Perhaps it was the warmth of the day and the joy of eating Easter roast while Tommy contemplated his actions that make my memories of Easter so sweet. Whatever the true reason, the fact remains that my favorite holiday of the year is Easter Sunday.
Quotation: Hillary Rodham Clinton once said, “There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard.” In 2006, when Nancy Pelosi became the nation’s first female Speaker of the House, one woman’s voice rang out clearly. With this development, democracy grew to its truest level ever in terms of women’s equality. The historical event also paved the way for Senator Clinton as she warmed her own vocal cords in preparation for a presidential race.
Finding the Hook
In each example, the first sentence draws the reader in to find out how the interesting fact leads to a point. You can use many methods to capture your reader’s interest.
Curiosity: A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. Some people might find a deep and mysterious meaning in this fact…
Definition: A homograph is a word with two or more pronunciations. Produce is one example…
Anecdote: Yesterday morning I watched as my older sister left for school with a bright white glob of toothpaste gleaming on her chin. I felt no regret at all until she stepped onto the bus …
The body of your introductory paragraph should fulfill two functions: It should explain your first sentence and should build up to your thesis statement. You'll find that this is much easier than it sounds. Just follow the pattern you see in the above examples.
During the revision stage for the paper as a whole, you can make further refinements to the introduction as needed.
- Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs
- Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
- How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
- Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
- 10 Steps to Writing a Successful Book Report
- The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
- Tips for Writing an Art History Paper
- How To Write an Essay
- How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
- How to Structure an Essay
- How to Help Your 4th Grader Write a Biography
- How to Develop a Research Paper Timeline
- How to Write a Response Paper
- What Is Expository Writing?
- 6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Personal Essay
- Understanding Organization in Composition and Speech
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- EDIT Edit this Article
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes Hot
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Education and Communications
- English Grammar
- Writing Paragraphs
How to Write an Introduction for Any Subject
Last Updated: January 2, 2024 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 79,090 times.
When writing an introduction paragraph, you should always include a hook to capture the reader's attention, supporting information about the topic at hand, and a thesis statement. That said, there are still multiple introduction paragraphs you can use for your paper. This article will describe a few common ones, as well as some that you might not have seen.
- Anecdotes can be true or fictional. They can also be personal or about someone else.
- The story should be short enough to tell in a few sentences.
- You may end up introducing the main ideas of your essay during this portion of your introduction.
- A thesis statement is a single sentence that defines a specific point or idea about a broader topic that your entire paper is built around.
- The connection between your thesis statement and the anecdote you used should be obvious to the reader. If the thesis statement does not fit into the introduction as it currently stands, you may need to use more supporting evidence to lead into the thesis or change the anecdote you use.
- These introductions are usually used for papers written about a historical time period or topic, a historical critique of a piece of literature, or a long-standing problem that people throughout the ages have tried to address.
- These pieces of information should not only provide context about the topic, but should also indirectly present the general topic itself. In doing this, you will demonstrate the the reader how your topic fits into the historical account you present in your introduction.
- With this type of introduction, your thesis statement should cause the reader to view the historical facts you just presented in a specific light or through a specific lens. In effect, your thesis statement should tell the reader why the facts you presented before it are important to keep in mind.
- In the case of a story, you do not need to focus on specific details or give away the ending. You simply need to introduce the basic, overall theme of the story and provide information about the conflict the main character faces.
- Connect your summary to the theme in a naturally, sensible manner. For instance, if writing an essay about a coming-of-age story, you should introduce the coming-of-age theme with something like, “The broken friendships and family drama Jimmy has to go through serve as his passage into adulthood.”
- In a sense, you will be narrowing down your broad topic into a more focused, specific thought by slowly presenting ideas that narrow the reader's field of vision until all that reader sees about that literary work are the ideas presented in your paper.
- With this type of introduction, you need to choose a thesis that makes sense within the context of your summary and supporting evidence. If the thesis still seems out of place, go back and rewrite your supporting evidence until the connection your thesis has to the summary of the literary work makes sense.
- When choosing a question, you can ask something universal, surprising, or rhetorical.
- The additional questions you ask should gradually narrow the topic down into something smaller and more specific.
- For example, start with the question, “Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side?” After that, you can ask, “What is it about the human mind that perceives what one does not have as something more desirable than what one does have?” Your final question could then be, “Is this state of being a societal, psychological, or spiritual problem?”
- Doing this also clues the reader into the approach you intend to take on the question or questions at hand.
- You do not need to give the reader a clear, definite answer to the question you ask, but if you narrowed your topic down using the three-question method, you should consider using terms or ideas from the final question in your thesis.
Words of Wisdom
- The quotation can be a famous saying, words from someone famous, a snippet from song lyrics, or a short poem.
- Do not insert a hanging quote. A “hanging quote” refers to a quotation that has no introduction or no explanation after it. In other words, the sentence with your quotation in it must contain other content aside from the quotation itself.
- Note that unless the quotation is anonymous, you must always state who is responsible for it.
- This context will also introduce the topic of your paper and lead into supporting details that can introduce your thesis.
- The thesis statement for this type of introduction will need to make sense in regards to the quotation you used. You should not use a general quotation that touches on the overall, broad topic but has nothing to do with the specifics of your thesis.
- When you state this mistaken belief, make sure to clarify that this belief is inaccurate.
- This sentence should introduce the general topic of the paper and open the path for your thesis statement.
- These pieces of supporting evidence usually correspond to the main ideas you will cover in the body paragraphs of your essay.
- In some ways, your thesis statement will be like a direct foil or mirror image of the misconception you are addressing. The two will be directly connected yet directly opposite one another.
- Introduce the topic in your first sentence.
- In the sentences that follow, elaborate on the topic by introducing facts or ideas that you intend to use as main points or major sections of your essay.
- “In this essay, I will write about...”
- “This essay will discuss...”
- “In this essay, you will learn about...”
- Stating your topic in such precise terms creates a stiff, unnatural flow of words. You should strive to make the tone of your introduction professional yet conversational so that the reader can fall into your writing more naturally.
- The portion of your introduction leading to the thesis will often narrow down the topic gradually until you can naturally introduce your specific thesis.
- The only time that this type of introduction tends to work is when the writer is writing for an audience already interested in the topic. If the topic is strictly factual and not open to much subjective interpretation, then a declarative introduction might be proper.
- When you write an essay, you should fact-check everything and know who your audience is.
- It should not be boring. It should be relatable to people.
- The introduction should appeal to the audience.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
- ↑ https://www.esu.edu/writing-studio/guides/hook.cfm
- ↑ https://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/intro_conclusions.html
- ↑ https://guides.lib.ua.edu/c.php?g=39963&p=253698
- ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
- ↑ https://germanna.edu/sites/default/files/2022-03/Literary%20Analysis.pdf
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
- ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/introduction
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/quoliterature/
About This Article
To write an introduction paragraph, start with an attention-grabbing “hook,” like a thought-provoking question, a relevant quotation, or a brief anecdote that relates to your topic. Once you’ve gotten the reader’s attention, use the next couple sentences to explain how the “hook” relates to the broader themes of your paper, and why the reader should care. Then, finish your intro paragraph with a thesis statement that relates directly to your first sentence, and that explains what the central argument of your paper should be. To learn some ways to tailor your introduction paragraph to the specific type of paper you’re writing, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
Nov 2, 2017
Did this article help you?
Feb 14, 2020
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Get all the best how-tos!
Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter
9 Examples of Eye-Catching Introduction Paragraphs 
Table of contents
How well are you managing to hook your readers?
According to CNN , The average attention on a screen went down from 2.5 minutes (in 2004) to 47 seconds (in 2023). Studies show that for most cases, people don't even read past the headline.
As a writer, one of the best skills you can learn is to hook your readers with a compelling introduction. A good title gets people in the door, but it’s the introduction that decides if they stay or not.
The difference between a strong and a weak intro
A strong intro draws the reader in and evokes a sense of curiosity or interest, either by speaking to the reader’s pain points or by engaging them on an intellectual or emotional level.
A weak introduction paragraph, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. It fails to delight or intrigue, usually by being too generic. (This is one reason why introductions generated using text transformers like ChatGPT tend to “fall flat.”) Incidentally, failing to keep your readers on-page will result in higher bounce rates, which Google penalizes.
Have I convinced you to stick around? If so, great. In the rest of the article, we’ll go over the most important dos and don’ts of intros and look at some outstanding introduction paragraph examples for inspiration.
Write better introductions with this FREE AI writing tool > Free AI introduction generator >
The Dos and Don’ts of Strong Introductions
Here are some quick and simple tips for writing a compelling introduction .
✅ Do be human and relatable
Talk about a personal experience. Mention emotions like frustration or excitement. Utilize Use plain, conversational language.
✅ Do capture the reader's attention with an interesting or meaningful quote or statistic.
Just be sure to avoid clichés, keep it relevant to your topic, and don’t get too abstract.
✅ Do write concisely and clearly .
If you struggle with this like many people, try writing your introduction in the Wordtune editor. The suggestions on flow and clarity will help you stick to the point without being hard to understand.
✅ Do disarm, startle, or otherwise “shock” the reader into alertness.
This doesn’t mean being crass or crude, it means upending assumptions. What surprised you most when researching or writing your article? Start there.
✅ Do use descriptive , emotive, and sensory language, including vivid imagery and great storytelling .
Start in the middle of the story, then segue into how it all started. Or start at the end and work your way back.
✅ Do use humor and casual language.
It helps put the reader at ease and makes them feel like part of the conversation.
And here are some things to avoid, including some not-so-great introductory paragraph examples. Don’t worry, we’ll get to examples of how to do it right in the next section.
❌ Don’t rely on AI text generators like ChatGPT.
These tools “write” by adding the next most likely word, based on thousands of examples. As a result, the text lacks originality . It is, by definition, the most average way of saying something. If you want to make your content stand out from AI-generated content , start with an original introduction paragraph.
❌ Don’t give it all away.
Your introduction is not the place to plead your whole case. Introduce the reader to the topic, generate interest or empathy, and make a promise they want to see fulfilled.
❌ Don’t make it too long.
Readers get bored fast. They want to get to the good stuff.
❌ Don’t use gimmicks, clickbait, clichés, or obvious ploys.
“You won’t believe what…” “Here’s everything you need to know about…” “Are you ready to make your first million?” Unless the news really is shocking, you really do include everything the reader needs to know, or you have offer a long-term, validated strategy for earning a million, you’ll just come off looking like a hack.
❌ Don’t use generic statements.
“All businesses need to track their financial performance.” “Running a marathon is no easy task.” “It takes hard work to become the best.” Openers like these waste precious seconds on stating the obvious. If you’re lucky, your reader will be kind and keep scanning for something worthwhile. But they probably already hit the Back button.
Here are nine excellent introduction paragraph examples:
1. The statistical introduction example
According to a report by Statista and eMarketer, online retail sales are projected to reach $6.51 trillion by 2023. That same report also says that ecommerce websites will claim around 22.3% of all retail sales.
So, if you weren’t planning on investing in your ecommerce strategy this year, you should.
The SEO experts at Semrush have included two interesting and impressive statistics here, sure to pique the reader’s interest. They make a bold statement, too: if you thought you could wait, you can’t .
To help you replicate this kind of introduction, try using Wordtune’s Spices features to find and add interesting statistics and facts.
2. The relatable introduction example
We’ve all seen that little white label that sits tucked away on the inside of our clothing: “Made in Australia”, “Made in Turkey”, “Made in Bangladesh”. But what do those labels really mean? In this article, we discuss whether locally made clothing is more ethical. Read on to find out before your next shop.
Nothing if not concise, this introduction catches the reader with a common human experience, asks an important question, and gives a quick bridge on what the article has to offer. It’s short and direct, and it speaks to readers who may well have just been looking at a “little white label” before popping the question into Google.
3. The dialogue introduction example
After a moonwalk in April 1972, the Apollo 16 astronauts Charles Duke and John Young returned to their capsule. In the process of putting their suits and other things away, Duke commented to Ground Control:
Duke: Houston, the lunar dust smells like gunpowder. [Pause]
England: We copy that, Charlie.
Duke: Really, really a strong odor to it.
First of all, how’s that for a title?
This introduction tells a fascinating story in just 57 words. Admittedly, the unique topic of cosmic moon dust makes it easier to capture readers’ interest. But the author’s choice to include this short exchange between Charles Duke and the Houston Space Center also pulls us right into the scene.
4. The personal story introduction example
Wordtune blog: Take Smart Notes From a Textbook (Using AI + Templates)
Call me crazy, but I’ve spent $11,750 on note-taking tools.
Physical stationery in the form of highlighters, post-its, colored pens, subject notebooks, roller scales—you name it. My beautifully-written, detailed, color-coded notes gave me the feeling of being a productive high-achiever.
But these notes rarely translated into results. I was consistently in the average tier of students, despite my organized study practices—till year two of highschool. It was then that I realized all I was doing was beautifying text and not understanding information.
From then on, I set out on a journey to understand which notetaking methods worked for my subjects. I translated this into a 9.2/10 CGPA in my 10th-grade examination and a 1900 score on my SATs. In addition, I was able to achieve these results while reducing my study time by half.
Today, I’m going to show you how to do the same with my step-by-step playbook. This article covers advanced tips for students wanting to upgrade their note-taking skills.
This introduction has a great hook that draws us in immediately: Hold on. $11,000 dollars on pens and post-its?? Then it tells an emotionally engaging story of failure to success. Finally, it clearly prepares us for what’s to come. All these are hallmarks of a strong introduction.
5. The common problem introduction example
Eleven Writing blog: 7 Reasons Your Business Should Invest In High-quality Blog Articles
Many businesses publish a new blog article, they wait, and then…
The anticipated flood of new traffic never materializes. The few visitors that arrive don’t click any links, sign up to your list, or share your article.
The marketing department starts to wonder if a blog is really worth the money and hassle compared to other available channels.
But what if better blog content could change all this?
This introduction was written by one of the SEO experts at Eleven Writing, the writing agency where I work as a writer, editor, and account manager. It features a short and punchy story with a relatable twist. “And then… Nothing happens.” Translation: 🤦
It finishes with an intriguing “What if?” scenario, which leads into an article of tips and practical takeaways. And it’s a reminder of another important point: make sure your article actually fulfills any promises you make in your introduction.
6. The alarming introduction example
European Commission: Consequences of climate change
Climate change affects all regions around the world. Polar ice shields are melting and the sea is rising. In some regions, extreme weather events and rainfall are becoming more common while others are experiencing more extreme heat waves and droughts. We need climate action now, or these impacts will only intensify.
Climate change is a very serious threat, and its consequences impact many different aspects of our lives. Below, you can find a list of climate change’s main consequences.
The above introduction comes from the European Commission and discusses the dangers of climate change. It starts with a bold and disarming statement: climate change affects everybody.
It discusses just a few of the consequences of climate change, priming the reader for what’s to follow, and then provides a simple bridge into the rest of the article.
It’s short and to the point, but uses descriptive, intense language to convey urgency and emotionally engage the reader.
7. The recap introduction example
Harvard Business Review: Rescuing ESG from the Culture Wars
In the past year, ESG investing has become caught up in America’s culture wars, as prominent GOP politicians claim that it is a mechanism investors are using to impose a “woke” ideology on companies. Former Vice President Mike Pence has railed against ESG in speeches and in an op-ed. A variety of Republican governors and red-state legislatures are considering executive action and legislation to boycott asset managers that use ESG as a screening tool for their investments. And in Washington, various Congressional committees have pledged to hold hearings in which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and major asset managers will face public questioning about the legality of ESG investing.
This introductory paragraph from the Harvard Business Review dumps the reader into the throes of a heated political debate. Whether readers agree or disagree, powerful verbs like “railed against” and politically charged language like “culture wars” and “woke” are sure to grab the attention of those on both sides of the political spectrum.
8. The common problem intro example #2
KonMari blog: 5 Rituals to Build Self-Acceptance
Self-criticism is an all too common struggle. Even the most successful people in the world experience bouts of imposter syndrome and low self-esteem. But the person you’ll spend the most time with in your life is yourself. We owe it to ourselves to strengthen our self-compassion and embrace self-love.
One of the simplest ways to build self-acceptance is to make it a part of your self-care routine. The following rituals, sourced from mindfulness experts and one of our Master KonMari Consultants, can be completed in as little as five minutes daily. Try one for a month — you’ll be surprised how much better you treat yourself.
This intro comes from the queen of tidiness, Marie Kondo, and manages to both connect with the reader and gracefully plug an advertisement for KonMari’s consulting services. There’s a common idea in SEO that “linking away” in the introduction is bad practice, but in this case, it transforms an educational article into a commercial funnel.
There’s another neat trick in this intro: it extends a challenge to the reader. Try one of the methods below and see how much better you feel after a month. With a promise like that, who wouldn’t keep scrolling?
9. The 'new angle' introduction example
Crippled CEO Blog: Resistance and Leadership Capital
So much has been written on how important it is to have the right people in your company. All a business is, really, is a collection of people. That’s it. So, it follows that getting the people right is practically the only thing that truly matters.
And while I have seen this repeated ad nauseam, I don’t see a lot of people saying what those right (or wrong) people look like – what attributes they possess.
So, I wanted to talk about one of those attributes, and in particular one that I think isn’t just overlooked, but the very concept itself isn’t known, making it impossible to look out for at all.
This attribute is resistance.
Eric Lupton blogs about his experiences and perspective as a business leader with cerebral palsy. This introduction uses incisive language that will no doubt appeal to business readers and high-powered execs.
But it also comes from a very personal perspective, like much of Lupton’s writing, and so we feel like we’re about to sit down and speak one-on-one with someone who very clearly knows what they’re talking about.
It has a conversational tone (“So, I wanted to talk about…”) and promises to reveal to us something that “isn’t just overlooked, but the very concept itself is unknown.” Intrigued? I was.
A strong introduction paragraph bridges the gap between an intriguing title and an article’s real value. It pulls the reader in with boldness, intrigue, storytelling, or relatability.
It’s an art that takes practice, but these introduction paragraph examples show it can be done right. There are also some great tools out there to help you out. Wordtune’s Spices feature can offer ideas for analogies, examples, statistics, facts, and relevant quotes — all great sources of inspiration for a strong introduction paragraph.
After that, it’s your turn. Add personality, connect with your readers, and write more introductions, and you’ll be on your way to keeping your audience on the page.
Share This Article:
How To Write an Abstract for Any Subject and Publication (With Examples)
How To Make Money Writing on X (Twitter) in 2024
How to Write an Impactful Product Review
Looking for fresh content, thank you your submission has been received.
- Bipolar Disorder
- Therapy Center
- When To See a Therapist
- Types of Therapy
- Best Online Therapy
- Best Couples Therapy
- Best Family Therapy
- Managing Stress
- Sleep and Dreaming
- Understanding Emotions
- Healthy Relationships
- Student Resources
- Personality Types
- Verywell Mind Insights
- 2023 Verywell Mind 25
- Mental Health in the Classroom
- Editorial Process
- Meet Our Review Board
- Crisis Support
How to Write an Introduction for a Psychology Paper
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
- Writing Tips
If you are writing a psychology paper, it is essential to kick things off with a strong introduction. The introduction to a psychology research paper helps your readers understand why the topic is important and what they need to know before they delve deeper.
Your goal in this section is to introduce the topic to the reader, provide an overview of previous research on the topic, and identify your own hypothesis .
At a Glance
Writing a great introduction can be a great foundation for the rest of your psychology paper. To create a strong intro:
- Research your topic
- Outline your paper
- Introduce your topic
- Summarize the previous research
- Present your hypothesis or main argument
Before You Write an Introduction
There are some important steps you need to take before you even begin writing your introduction. To know what to write, you need to collect important background information and create a detailed plan.
Research Your Topic
Search a journal database, PsychInfo or ERIC, to find articles on your subject. Once you have located an article, look at the reference section to locate other studies cited in the article. As you take notes from these articles, be sure to write down where you found the information.
A simple note detailing the author's name, journal, and date of publication can help you keep track of sources and avoid plagiarism.
Create a Detailed Outline
This is often one of the most boring and onerous steps, so students tend to skip outlining and go straight to writing. Creating an outline might seem tedious, but it can be an enormous time-saver down the road and will make the writing process much easier.
Start by looking over the notes you made during the research process and consider how you want to present all of your ideas and research.
Introduce the Topic
Once you are ready to write your introduction, your first task is to provide a brief description of the research question. What is the experiment or study attempting to demonstrate? What phenomena are you studying? Provide a brief history of your topic and explain how it relates to your current research.
As you are introducing your topic, consider what makes it important. Why should it matter to your reader? The goal of your introduction is not only to let your reader know what your paper is about, but also to justify why it is important for them to learn more.
If your paper tackles a controversial subject and is focused on resolving the issue, it is important to summarize both sides of the controversy in a fair and impartial way. Consider how your paper fits in with the relevant research on the topic.
The introduction of a research paper is designed to grab interest. It should present a compelling look at the research that already exists and explain to readers what questions your own paper will address.
Summarize Previous Research
The second task of your introduction is to provide a well-rounded summary of previous research that is relevant to your topic. So, before you begin to write this summary, it is important to research your topic thoroughly.
Finding appropriate sources amid thousands of journal articles can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to simplify your research. If you have completed the initial steps of researching and keeping detailed notes, writing your introduction will be much easier.
It is essential to give the reader a good overview of the historical context of the issue you are writing about, but do not feel like you must provide an exhaustive review of the subject. Focus on hitting the main points, and try to include the most relevant studies.
You might describe previous research findings and then explain how the current study differs or expands upon earlier research.
Provide Your Hypothesis
Once you have summarized the previous research, explain areas where the research is lacking or potentially flawed. What is missing from previous studies on your topic? What research questions have yet to be answered? Your hypothesis should lead to these questions.
At the end of your introduction, offer your hypothesis and describe what you expected to find in your experiment or study.
The introduction should be relatively brief. You want to give your readers an overview of a topic, explain why you are addressing it, and provide your arguments.
Tips for Writing Your Psychology Paper Intro
- Use 3x5 inch note cards to write down notes and sources.
- Look in professional psychology journals for examples of introductions.
- Remember to cite your sources.
- Maintain a working bibliography with all of the sources you might use in your final paper. This will make it much easier to prepare your reference section later on.
- Use a copy of the APA style manual to ensure that your introduction and references are in proper APA format .
What This Means For You
Before you delve into the main body of your paper, you need to give your readers some background and present your main argument in the introduction of you paper. You can do this by first explaining what your topic is about, summarizing past research, and then providing your thesis.
Armağan A. How to write an introduction section of a scientific article ? Turk J Urol . 2013;39(Suppl 1):8-9. doi:10.5152/tud.2013.046
Fried T, Foltz C, Lendner M, Vaccaro AR. How to write an effective introduction . Clin Spine Surg . 2019;32(3):111-112. doi:10.1097/BSD.0000000000000714
Jawaid SA, Jawaid M. How to write introduction and discussion . Saudi J Anaesth . 2019;13(Suppl 1):S18-S19. doi:10.4103/sja.SJA_584_18
American Psychological Association. Information Recommended for Inclusion in Manuscripts That Report New Data Collections Regardless of Research Design . Published 2020.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- Research paper
Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide
Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.
The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:
- Present your topic and get the reader interested
- Provide background or summarize existing research
- Position your own approach
- Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
- Give an overview of the paper’s structure
The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.
Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text
Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes
Table of contents
Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.
The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.
The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.
For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:
A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:
Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.
In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.
Argumentative paper: Background information
After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.
Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .
Empirical paper: Describing previous research
For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.
This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.
Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.
The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.
Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance
In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.
Empirical paper: Relate to the literature
In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:
- What research gap is your work intended to fill?
- What limitations in previous work does it address?
- What contribution to knowledge does it make?
You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.
Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.
The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).
Argumentative paper: Thesis statement
The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.
Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis
The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.
Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.
A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.
- This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
- We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.
If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.
For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:
Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting
Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:
- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency
See an example
The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.
In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.
If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.
- This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
- This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …
Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.
- Argumentative paper
- Empirical paper
Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.
The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.
The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:
- A hook to catch the reader’s interest
- Relevant background on the topic
- Details of your research problem
and your problem statement
- A thesis statement or research question
- Sometimes an overview of the paper
Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.
This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .
The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .
A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2023, March 27). Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-introduction/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, writing a research paper conclusion | step-by-step guide, research paper format | apa, mla, & chicago templates, what is your plagiarism score.
How to write an introduction for a history essay
Every essay needs to begin with an introductory paragraph. It needs to be the first paragraph the marker reads.
While your introduction paragraph might be the first of the paragraphs you write, this is not the only way to do it.
You can choose to write your introduction after you have written the rest of your essay.
This way, you will know what you have argued, and this might make writing the introduction easier.
Either approach is fine. If you do write your introduction first, ensure that you go back and refine it once you have completed your essay.
What is an ‘introduction paragraph’?
An introductory paragraph is a single paragraph at the start of your essay that prepares your reader for the argument you are going to make in your body paragraphs .
It should provide all of the necessary historical information about your topic and clearly state your argument so that by the end of the paragraph, the marker knows how you are going to structure the rest of your essay.
In general, you should never use quotes from sources in your introduction.
Introduction paragraph structure
While your introduction paragraph does not have to be as long as your body paragraphs , it does have a specific purpose, which you must fulfil.
A well-written introduction paragraph has the following four-part structure (summarised by the acronym BHES).
B – Background sentences
H – Hypothesis
E – Elaboration sentences
S - Signpost sentence
Each of these elements are explained in further detail, with examples, below:
1. Background sentences
The first two or three sentences of your introduction should provide a general introduction to the historical topic which your essay is about. This is done so that when you state your hypothesis , your reader understands the specific point you are arguing about.
Background sentences explain the important historical period, dates, people, places, events and concepts that will be mentioned later in your essay. This information should be drawn from your background research .
Example background sentences:
Middle Ages (Year 8 Level)
Castles were an important component of Medieval Britain from the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 until they were phased out in the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Initially introduced as wooden motte and bailey structures on geographical strongpoints, they were rapidly replaced by stone fortresses which incorporated sophisticated defensive designs to improve the defenders’ chances of surviving prolonged sieges.
WWI (Year 9 Level)
The First World War began in 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The subsequent declarations of war from most of Europe drew other countries into the conflict, including Australia. The Australian Imperial Force joined the war as part of Britain’s armed forces and were dispatched to locations in the Middle East and Western Europe.
Civil Rights (Year 10 Level)
The 1967 Referendum sought to amend the Australian Constitution in order to change the legal standing of the indigenous people in Australia. The fact that 90% of Australians voted in favour of the proposed amendments has been attributed to a series of significant events and people who were dedicated to the referendum’s success.
Ancient Rome (Year 11/12 Level)
In the late second century BC, the Roman novus homo Gaius Marius became one of the most influential men in the Roman Republic. Marius gained this authority through his victory in the Jugurthine War, with his defeat of Jugurtha in 106 BC, and his triumph over the invading Germanic tribes in 101 BC, when he crushed the Teutones at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (102 BC) and the Cimbri at the Battle of Vercellae (101 BC). Marius also gained great fame through his election to the consulship seven times.
Once you have provided historical context for your essay in your background sentences, you need to state your hypothesis .
A hypothesis is a single sentence that clearly states the argument that your essay will be proving in your body paragraphs .
A good hypothesis contains both the argument and the reasons in support of your argument.
Medieval castles were designed with features that nullified the superior numbers of besieging armies but were ultimately made obsolete by the development of gunpowder artillery.
Australian soldiers’ opinion of the First World War changed from naïve enthusiasm to pessimistic realism as a result of the harsh realities of modern industrial warfare.
The success of the 1967 Referendum was a direct result of the efforts of First Nations leaders such as Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
Gaius Marius was the most one of the most significant personalities in the 1 st century BC due to his effect on the political, military and social structures of the Roman state.
3. Elaboration sentences
Once you have stated your argument in your hypothesis , you need to provide particular information about how you’re going to prove your argument.
Your elaboration sentences should be one or two sentences that provide specific details about how you’re going to cover the argument in your three body paragraphs.
You might also briefly summarise two or three of your main points.
Finally, explain any important key words, phrases or concepts that you’ve used in your hypothesis, you’ll need to do this in your elaboration sentences.
Example elaboration sentences:
By the height of the Middle Ages, feudal lords were investing significant sums of money by incorporating concentric walls and guard towers to maximise their defensive potential. These developments were so successful that many medieval armies avoided sieges in the late period.
Following Britain's official declaration of war on Germany, young Australian men voluntarily enlisted into the army, which was further encouraged by government propaganda about the moral justifications for the conflict. However, following the initial engagements on the Gallipoli peninsula, enthusiasm declined.
The political activity of key indigenous figures and the formation of activism organisations focused on indigenous resulted in a wider spread of messages to the general Australian public. The generation of powerful images and speeches has been frequently cited by modern historians as crucial to the referendum results.
While Marius is best known for his military reforms, it is the subsequent impacts of this reform on the way other Romans approached the attainment of magistracies and how public expectations of military leaders changed that had the longest impacts on the late republican period.
4. Signpost sentence
The final sentence of your introduction should prepare the reader for the topic of your first body paragraph. The main purpose of this sentence is to provide cohesion between your introductory paragraph and you first body paragraph .
Therefore, a signpost sentence indicates where you will begin proving the argument that you set out in your hypothesis and usually states the importance of the first point that you’re about to make.
Example signpost sentences:
The early development of castles is best understood when examining their military purpose.
The naïve attitudes of those who volunteered in 1914 can be clearly seen in the personal letters and diaries that they themselves wrote.
The significance of these people is evident when examining the lack of political representation the indigenous people experience in the early half of the 20 th century.
The origin of Marius’ later achievements was his military reform in 107 BC, which occurred when he was first elected as consul.
Putting it all together
Once you have written all four parts of the BHES structure, you should have a completed introduction paragraph. In the examples above, we have shown each part separately. Below you will see the completed paragraphs so that you can appreciate what an introduction should look like.
Example introduction paragraphs:
Castles were an important component of Medieval Britain from the time of the Norman conquest in 1066 until they were phased out in the 15th and 16th centuries. Initially introduced as wooden motte and bailey structures on geographical strongpoints, they were rapidly replaced by stone fortresses which incorporated sophisticated defensive designs to improve the defenders’ chances of surviving prolonged sieges. Medieval castles were designed with features that nullified the superior numbers of besieging armies, but were ultimately made obsolete by the development of gunpowder artillery. By the height of the Middle Ages, feudal lords were investing significant sums of money by incorporating concentric walls and guard towers to maximise their defensive potential. These developments were so successful that many medieval armies avoided sieges in the late period. The early development of castles is best understood when examining their military purpose.
The First World War began in 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The subsequent declarations of war from most of Europe drew other countries into the conflict, including Australia. The Australian Imperial Force joined the war as part of Britain’s armed forces and were dispatched to locations in the Middle East and Western Europe. Australian soldiers’ opinion of the First World War changed from naïve enthusiasm to pessimistic realism as a result of the harsh realities of modern industrial warfare. Following Britain's official declaration of war on Germany, young Australian men voluntarily enlisted into the army, which was further encouraged by government propaganda about the moral justifications for the conflict. However, following the initial engagements on the Gallipoli peninsula, enthusiasm declined. The naïve attitudes of those who volunteered in 1914 can be clearly seen in the personal letters and diaries that they themselves wrote.
The 1967 Referendum sought to amend the Australian Constitution in order to change the legal standing of the indigenous people in Australia. The fact that 90% of Australians voted in favour of the proposed amendments has been attributed to a series of significant events and people who were dedicated to the referendum’s success. The success of the 1967 Referendum was a direct result of the efforts of First Nations leaders such as Charles Perkins, Faith Bandler and the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. The political activity of key indigenous figures and the formation of activism organisations focused on indigenous resulted in a wider spread of messages to the general Australian public. The generation of powerful images and speeches has been frequently cited by modern historians as crucial to the referendum results. The significance of these people is evident when examining the lack of political representation the indigenous people experience in the early half of the 20th century.
In the late second century BC, the Roman novus homo Gaius Marius became one of the most influential men in the Roman Republic. Marius gained this authority through his victory in the Jugurthine War, with his defeat of Jugurtha in 106 BC, and his triumph over the invading Germanic tribes in 101 BC, when he crushed the Teutones at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (102 BC) and the Cimbri at the Battle of Vercellae (101 BC). Marius also gained great fame through his election to the consulship seven times. Gaius Marius was the most one of the most significant personalities in the 1st century BC due to his effect on the political, military and social structures of the Roman state. While Marius is best known for his military reforms, it is the subsequent impacts of this reform on the way other Romans approached the attainment of magistracies and how public expectations of military leaders changed that had the longest impacts on the late republican period. The origin of Marius’ later achievements was his military reform in 107 BC, which occurred when he was first elected as consul.
What do you need help with?
Download ready-to-use digital learning resources.
Copyright © History Skills 2014-2024.
Contact via email