How to Start an Intro Paragraph for an Essay

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In the introduction to your essay, you should write a few sentences that will lead the readers into your main thesis. This will make your essay interesting and keep it focused on a narrow subject. If you're writing an informative essay on gender roles of African-American women in the household after the 1970s, for example, you could start with quotes from someone dealing with such roles.

  • Use rhetorical questions. If your essay is about childhood obesity, ask a question such as, "Why don't children in low-income families have equal access to places where they can get more healthful foods?" This gets the reader thinking about possible answers to the question and builds anticipation during the essay.

  • Include some of the results of your research in the introduction. This lets you start the essay with credible information as the basis of your thesis statement.

  • Stick to the subject at hand. Don't cram in too many ideas unrelated to the thesis statement, which would confuse readers and throw you off the track while you're writing. This is why during the research process you should narrow your topic.

  • A clear thesis will set the foundation for the rest of the essay. If you're arguing against the implementation of standardized tests as a high school graduation requirement, your thesis statement could be that standardized tests do not accurately measure whether students acquired the necessary academic skills for college and the work force.

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