Free Essay Writing Advice: Composing a Perfect Introduction

Some people really struggle with writing introductions for their essays. For me, I always wait until I’ve finished the rest of the paper, then I go back and write the introduction. Different approaches to writing an introduction will work for different people; here are three tips to help you write the perfect introduction every time!

  • Use the “funnel” approach. The “funnel” approach is a popular way to write most introductions. It’s called the “funnel” technique because it opens the paper up very broad and narrows down to the specifics of the paper. What that means is that the introduction starts with a very general statement or idea, then ends with a very specific statement or idea. Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph that follows the funnel approach:

    “In the Judeo-Christian tradition, evil takes the form of a fallen angel with a variety of names: Lucifer, Satan, or simply The Devil. Portrayed as a bright red imp with a tail, hooves, and a pitchfork, a deformed monster, or any number of other manifestations, this embodied evil is among the most feared creatures in history. In his epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton reintroduces Satan as a dark hero, imbued with enough humanity to incite sympathy; in the process, he challenges traditional approaches to religion.”

    Notice how the first sentence talks generally about the existence of evil in religion. The next sentence narrows it down more to general descriptions about the devil. The final sentence talks specifically about the role of the devil in Paradise Lost.

  • Make sure your first sentence is an attention-grabber. The first sentence in your essay should convince the reader that they should keep reading; if your first sentence isn’t interesting, why should anyone want to read the rest? Make your first sentence interesting by relating to current events or social issues, making it comedic, or appealing to the reader’s emotions. You can also start with an anecdote, or some surprising information about the topic. Having a good first sentence in your introduction makes your paper better from the very beginning!
  • Don’t give too much information in the introduction. You want the introduction to be like a teaser for the rest of the paper, so don’t start to go in-depth on the topic right away. Save some questions to be answered later, to make the reader want to read on. Hint at some important facts, but don’t reveal them yet. Be concise and clear, giving the reader enough information to know what you are going to be talking about but not too much so that you still have some things to say by the end of the paper.

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