6: Write the Introduction
Step 6: Write the Introduction
Every essay has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is also called the introduction. The introduction has two main purposes: to draw the reader in and make him/her want to read more, and to prepare the reader for the direction that the essay is going to take.
The introduction usually has three parts:
1. The grabber
(or lead) consists of several sentences that pull the reader
into the essay.
THE GRABBER or LEAD
There are many types of grabbers (also referred to as leads, motivators, or openers) that you can use to start your essay. Click on each one to see several examples.
Anecdote: a brief incident that relates to the theme of the essay
Startling fact or opinion: a piece of information that will get your reader's attention
Rhetorical question: a meaningful, unanswerable question that gets the reader thinking about your topic
Quotation: someone else's words that relate to the topic
Description: a brief description of a scene, person, or object that appeals to the reader's senses
THE TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE
The transitional sentence acts like a bridge to make a smooth connection between the grabber and the thesis statement. You don't always need to include a transitional sentence, but you should always evaluate your introduction to see if one is necessary.
THE THESIS STATEMENT
The thesis statement is often the last sentence in the introduction. It clearly states the main idea of the essay, expresses your opinion or point of view towards the topic, and indicates the structure of the essay. Click on Step 4 to review how to write a thesis statement.
Here's an example of an introductory paragraph for the "favorite pet" essay using a quotation for the grabber.
Remember that the introductory paragraph is the reader's first glimpse of you and your topic. You want to make a good impression.
Again, try to be flexible as you work through this process. If your topic, major points, or thesis aren't working for you, don't hesitate to rework or revise them as necessary.