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Writing a Catchy Essay Introduction: 4 Key Ingredients of a Good Intro

Your introduction is a key component to having a successful paper. It is a sad fact that no matter how good the body of your text is or how well you have researched your argument you will not be able to maintain the interest of the reader unless you grab their attention immediately with the introduction. Your introduction should do the following for the reader:

  • It should pique their interest and make them keen on reading more
  • It should indicate the scope of your paper and serve as a road map for what events they will read later in the essay
  • It should provide your reader with the research question or argument you are going to make and how
  • It should give the reader a context for the key issues by providing background information
  • It should indicate to the reader what your point of view is

Your introduction should cover the following four points:

  1. Background information
  2. Essay map
  3. Thesis statement
  4. Point of view

Background information

The background information you give to the reader should show how your particular topic fits into the bigger picture and what approach you will take with the topic. Doing this will show the reader the direction you want them to travel and explain to them why the topic is significant. But seeing as this is only the introduction it is imperative that you keep it brief and only use relevant background information. In a short essay you only need to give a few sentences to provide the reader with the context or show the reader why a problem exists

Essay map

The essay map shows the reader the direction your paper is going to take. It serves as a navigational guide for them and also tells them what areas you are going to cover in the essay.

Thesis statement

The thesis statement explicitly tells the reader what the purpose of the paper is. It is often placed at the end of the introduction but it can also be placed right at the start. The thesis might begin with words like “This essay demonstrates” or “This paper will discuss”.

Point of view

You need to also include your point of view. Just because you explained that there is an issue or a question does not mean you are done. The reader will want to know your take on the issue or what side of the question you are on.

Remember that the structure of your introduction should be simple. It should be effective and start broadly but narrow down to the thesis.