Top 10 Ideas to Write a Good Essay Introduction

Every decent essay begins with an introduction. And since there is never a second chance to make a first impression, make sure that your essay introduction is perfect.

Especially for you, I have synthesized years of writing experience to suggest ten working ideas for writing a good intro to an essay.

Idea 1: Mind an Essay Introduction Structure

A convincing introduction is a structured piece of writing. The key elements to be included in your introduction are:

  • A brief background of the topic.
  • Thesis statement.
  • Summary of the main topics and/or arguments made.

I’ll return to these elements later in the article. Meanwhile, you can refresh your knowledge about the key components of an essay by consulting some credible sources on the internet.

Three main questions that tell hot to write an introduction to an essay

Idea 2: Great Essay Introduction Contains a Nice Topic Sentence

A good way to start an essay introduction is with a topic sentence. The main purpose of a topic sentence is to develop the key idea without getting off the track in your introduction.

In fact, your professors frequently recommend that you use topic sentences, so it is time to clarify which ways to start an intro are good and which are not.

A good topic sentence:

  • Explains subsequent introduction paragraph.
  • States a topic and an author’s opinion.

Remember! A good topic sentence does not simply announce the theme, but rather adds the direction of the introduction.

Below are two topic sentences for comparison.

BAD: “This essay is about leadership.”

When reading such an introduction, you are likely to think “So, what?”, “Who cares?” or “What a nonsense.” Thus, every time your essay introduction causes these or similar thoughts, consider rewriting it.

GOOD: “This essay examines the phenomenon of leadership that has become the driving force of the organization’s sustainable competitiveness and success.”

Surprisingly, a 20-words introductory paragraph not only explains what the essay is about but also states the author’s attitude to the topic under study.

Idea 3: Good Introduction May Begin With a Quote Or a Catchy Fact

Of course, you do not want to lose the audience’s attention from the very introduction. So, use a quote or some fact to hook your reader.

Preferably, the quote/phrase is a thought-provoking. To have a better idea of an engaging introductory phrase, consider the quote:

“Education and slavery were incompatible with each other” taken from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave.

I can guarantee your audience will continue reading the essay, seeking to understand how the outlined concepts are interrelated.

Idea 4: A Good Introduction To an Essay Includes an Incident Relevant To Subsequent Discussion

“A 12-year old M., studying at a boarding school in England, was sexually abused by two peers. It has been 24 hours since M.’s parents, who do not live in the United Kingdom, learned about the tragedy. Parents found out what had happened not through their son, who was scared to death, or his teachers, who took an indifferent position, but through one of the school students who reported the incident…”

A good essay introduction can start with a vivid illustration, such as school bullying

I believe that the incident description is a great way to start an essay discussing the problem of school bullying. In just four lines of text, the author not only uncovers the problem that could happen to anyone, but also outlines the key themes to be covered in the essay:

  • School bullying is not a myth.
  • Members of the staff lack skills to respond to the problem.
  • Empathy is a way to live school bullying out.

Idea 5: Good Introduction Paragraph Includes a Thesis Statement In The Form Of Discovery Or Revelation

People are in constant search of fresh ideas. So, give them some insight by presenting your topic as a discovery or revelation.

Have a difficulty with writing a revealing introduction? Then, consider an example taken from Suzanne Britt’s essay Neat People vs. Sloppy People:

An idea on how to write a good essay introduction is like a lit lamp in the dark

“I’ve finally figured out the difference between neat people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people.”

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Idea 6: Relevant Statistics Makes a Good Introduction To an Essay

According to CDC (2017) stroke kills 140,000 Americans each year. It means that every 4 minutes, someone in the country dies of stroke.

While at first glance, such introduction may seem boring, it performs one of its most important functions – that is to provide a background orientation to the topic. You are also welcome to use statistics every time you want to outline the scope of the problem under study or to validate an assumption made.

Idea 7: There’s Always a Place For a Good Joke

…Well, almost always. Still, it is hard to deny that a nice joke helps to win the reader’s loyalty and to come up with a good intro.

A good essay introduction can be as intriquing as pointing on X in the geometry task

“In college I’m studying Pharmacy – because I’ve always wanted to be a farmer.”

I really like this pun taken from FUNNP because it reveals the essence of modern education: young people choose specialties they do not understand to gain knowledge that they won’t apply.

Idea 8: A Contrast Between The Past and The Present Results In an Insightful Essay Intro

A great example of such contrast is found in Betty G. Farrell’s (1999) book The Making of an Idea:

“As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I don’t care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke.”

Idea 9: An Opposition Between Image and Reality Makes a Good Introduction To an Essay

To put it simple, your task is to introduce a topic by stating what it is and what it is not.

Here are some examples in which a contrast between image and reality makes a good essay introduction.


“They aren’t what most people think they are. Human eyes, touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history, are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than average marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with nature’s facsimile Jell-O”

(Keillor, G. (2000). Walking down the canyon. Time.).


“A news photograph is not just an interesting picture used to highlight a story, sometimes a mode of storytelling that incorporates ideas of truth, reality, cultural value systems, and perception”

(Mullen, L. (1998). Truth in photography: perception, myth and reality in the postmodern world. Uneersity of Florida).

Idea 10: Quote a Reliable Source(s) To Write a Trustworthy Essay Introduction

If you want your readers to believe your essay, make sure to quote reliable sources in the introduction.

In essay introductions, even Microsoft Office helpers may be displeased

The aim of quoting external sources is twofold:

  • To show your scrupulous work on the topic.
  • To assist your audience’s inquiry in case they want to learn more about what you write.

Consider the introductory passage below as an example of quoting reliable sources:

Obesity has become a serious problem in the United States. Presently, 36.5% of U.S. adults are obese (CDC, 2017). Evidently, people encounter with overeating and obesity for various reasons, including lack of food culture and opportunities for the active lifestyle, chronic conditions and poverty (Hruby & Hu, 2015; Tompson et al., 2013). Society should take actions to respond to the antecedents of obesity.

Well, that it is — now you are ready to write an introduction. Drop into comments to get help from the community — my peer Geeks and I are looking forward to hearing from you!

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