Best Ways to Start an essay


Give us the background information

When you're writing an essay about a specific subject, you have to make sure you give your readers the context they need to understand what you're writing about. Giving background information at the beginning of the essay will help your argument make more sense to someone who may not be knowledgeable about your topic. It's your job to introduce them to your topic and give them the context they need to follow the points you will be discussing.

Written by Ella Crawford
3 years ago

Open your essay with a question

Questions are a great way of starting the introduction as it forces the readers to think about the topic and bring their own opinion in the picture. Engaging the reader is the ultimate goal of the essay and asking them to think is a good start.

“Is there violent protest music in the United States today that leads to social activism?” – Cameron White and Trenia Walker

Written by Elisa Hunt
1 year ago

Tell a story

Add a little flair to your essay by treating the opening as if it were a story. Pretend like you are a film director setting the stage. What elements should you add for your viewers to understand what is about to happen? Consider playing around with time, place, character, conflict, or mysterious objects in your “opening scene.”

“Colorado’s mountains can be treacherous in the winter, and in December 1961 a bus crashed on an icy road in the middle of the night.” – Carole McGranahan

Written by Julie Walsh
2 months ago

Start your essay with a quote

Quotes are a fun and easy way of starting an essay as it takes some pressure off you as a writer. It hooks your reader’s attention and adds the narrative element that gives your essay a creative and engaging opening. Example:

“Our problem is that we don’t learn our history! One often hears that said in the black community.” - John McWhorter

Written by Grace Austin
4 days ago

Stamp on authority

Are you worried about sounding too powerful and opinionated at the starting of the essay? It's okay, let someone more experienced do it for you. Calling on an authoritative figure to start the essay is a great way of setting up the topic and removing the pressure from you. This is also an easy way to hook your readers to the paper.

"According to Emile Bréhier, the distinguished philosopher and historian of philosophy, the major task faced by French thinkers of the early twentieth century was to a re-situate man in what he aptly describes as the 'circuit of reality.'" – Edward W. Said

Written by Zachary May
3 years ago

Establish a thesis

The beginning of an essay should inform the reader about where the rest of the essay is going to go. After giving your reader the context they need to understand your essay, you need to establish what the main points of your argument will be. You can do this by crafting a well-written thesis statement. Your thesis is essentially the road map for the rest of the essay. It tells your reader what you will be discussing in the rest of the paper.

Written by Owen Kirby
2 years ago

Start with fill the gap sentence

Introduce the essay by setting yourself up to contradict a common belief. It positions yourself against a lot of criticism and adds clout to your argument if used well. Here is an example of that.

“While much effort has gone into attempts to date the Edda poems from their language and vocabulary, and there have been considerable arguments as to their age and place of origin, rather less attention to the nature of their subject matter and the particular methods of presentation.” – H.R. Ellis Davidson

Written by Shanna Mckinney
10 months ago

Begin your essay with I

Starting an essay with “I” claims ownership over your experiences and ideas. But not all professors like to start like that. Some think that “I” represents that it is written by a formless being. So, ask your professor if they find it acceptable before starting the essay to be on the same page. Example:

“I have never yet known, or indeed known of, a contemporary American writer who did not admire The Great Gatsby.” – George Garrett

Written by Enrique Hunt
2 months ago

Short Startling Statement

Keeping the introduction short and sweet can be extremely powerful. It is hard to explain the gist in just a few sentences. It is also a more creative way of starting an essay and requires some skills. An example for the same:

“No one has perhaps ever felt passionately towards a lead pencil.” – Virginia Wolf

Written by Bernardo Moore
3 months ago

Set up a mystery

The human brain loves curiosity and has a hunger for solving all the mysteries and coming to a satisfying ending. When you open an essay that includes a mystery that needs to be solved, you already have your reader's attention. The reader will want to close the curiosity loop. Please note that this is a more advanced way of starting an essay. Take some guidance from this example below.

"In the midst of the 1950s reacting to femininity, the image of the madwoman took a startling new form in American popular culture: the female multiple personalities." - Marta Caminero-Santangelo

Written by Sherri Olson
3 years ago

Introduce your topic

Introduction to the topic is one of the most common ways of starting an essay. You can also include some of your essay's sub-points. Also, please note that it is an introduction and not a thesis statement, so don't give the crux of the essay or go too heavy on the argument. Just mention the core topic and the essay's focus. One of my favorite opening statement for an essay is -

“Aristotelian courage involves two distinct feelings, fear and confidence” - David Pears.

It is just one sentence, but you already have a lot of insight into the topic.

Written by Judith Rogers
2 years ago

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