Writing an Essay Introduction?
Follow These Steps...

Step by step

You’re writing an essay introduction? Awesome! You’ve come to the right place. One suggestion is to avoid getting bogged down by unnecessary details. Avoid the fluff. Make it simple by staying on point and going step by step. Let’s jump right into it.

Keep in mind that there are four popular types of essays. They are the:

  • Narrative
  • Argumentative (persuasive)
  • Expository
  • Descriptive

When writing an essay introduction, you’ll start with the prompt if your instructor gives you one. Make sure you understand it thoroughly; meaning what type of essay she’s requiring. Look for keywords in the prompt: describe, argue, compare, contrast, reflect on, share, discuss, recount, define, and so forth.

For example, if you’ll be writing a descriptive essay, you will need to explain it in terms of the senses to some degree. Suppose in your descriptive essay you write about a pomegranate. You might describe it, in part, this way: The seeds are the color of rubies. They shine like they have little red lights inside them. The taste is a mini explosion of tart sweetness. But tread carefully; use description in moderation. Using too much will bog down your paper.

When writing an essay introduction, if you notice that one of the keywords in the prompt is argue, realize that you are being asked to give facts and reasons that support your stance. In other words, the type of essay you will be writing is often in the keyword. Of course, the keyword might not be in the prompt, but you should still know it is an argumentative essay.

Prompt: Should the United States Constitution be revamped?

Next, brainstorm ideas you will use for the topic of your essay. If you’re writing a narrative essay, the focus is on creativity. Suppose you’re asked to choose a superpower you possess or would like to possess and write about it. This calls for creativity, not argument, but you could also use description.

Now that you know the kind of essay you’re writing, let’s continue with the steps to write the introduction.

There are Three Parts to Writing an Essay Introduction

Three Labels

The three parts to writing an essay introduction are the context, thesis, and overview. The context comes before the thesis statement. Context is needed because if someone reads your essay, they may be confused as to what it’s about unless you frame it from the outset. The context gives the reader the type of essay on which you will expound, whether it’s expository or descriptive, or so forth.

The thesis is the main point of your essay, and it does more than just restate the question. It actually answers the question. Suppose no question is given? Even if it’s not given, it’s implied in the prompt. Then you must answer the implied question. You may have to look hard for it. After the thesis statement comes the overview, which presents significant points that you will speak on in the body paragraphs. You may state here that in “support of these points, I will discuss…” (Andrews 32, 33)

Below is an example of an essay introduction...

Prompt: Do you feel the tale of the hare and the tortoise should be as popular as it is? What can people take away from this fable?

Introduction: This essay will show that Aesop’s 1867 tale of the hare and the tortoise has long survived because it is a testament to its ethical value. In support of this, I will discuss the saying that “time waits for no man,” meaning that no one can harness time. Arrogant people often lose track of time, missing deadlines, because they disregard the power of its silent movement. I will show that some people, represented by the tortoise, seem oblivious to their surroundings, but who may actually understand and respect it the most. Sometimes what seems to be a sure thing--such as one seemingly having a strong advantage against an opponent --isn’t a sure thing after all, and the outcome results in irony.

In the above introduction, the context lets us know that this is a narrative, an opinion essay since the prompt asks the writer how he or she feels about a topic. The thesis answers the question. The overview gives three points that the essay will cover in the body paragraphs.

When writing an essay introduction, make sure you adhere to the guidelines presented here. Getting off to a good start when writing your paper will give you confidence in preparing the rest of your paper. Don’t rush. Allow yourself plenty of time, and go step by step.

Andrews, Grant. Thesis Statement: How to Write a Good Thesis Statement (Essay and Thesis Writing). E-book ed., 2017.

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