Learn How to Start an Essay Like Professional Writers

how to start an essay

Starting an essay is the most difficult part of essay writing. For example, you have an essay outline and know what you want to write, but you struggle to find the right words for your essay. Don’t worry; you are not the first person to face difficulty starting an essay.

Writing an essay is much different than other types of writing. For starters, essays have clear sequencing and back up your positions with quality sources that will engage readers from the start. But there's something else about this process that sets it apart: Hooking their attention in just a few sentences can make all the difference between getting them hooked on reading more or not.

Want to know more about it? Continue reading this blog and know how to start an essay like expert writers.

How to Start an Essay Introduction?

A good essay introduction should be engaging, informative, and captivating. It sets up your argument and tells readers what to expect from you, so they can decide whether or not this sounds like something worth investing some time into reading more about.

The main purpose of writing an introduction is to:

  • Grabs the reader’s attention from the start
  • Introduce the topic
  • Present the thesis statement

A thesis is a vital part of the introductory paragraph, and it needs to be clear for readers to understand what you are going to argue.

Here are some steps that you should keep in mind when writing the introduction.

  1. 1. Write a Catchy Hook Statement
  2. A great way to start an essay is with a hook. The first sentence should captivate and hook your reader so they will continue reading, giving you the opportunity for more detail in later paragraphs that address their curiosity about what’s being discussed. Avoid making long-winded sentences or overly broad claims; keep it interesting by using clear, concise language. Check hook examples to learn how you can incorporate a hook statement in your introduction.

  3. 2. Give Background Information
  4. Next, you give some background information, so the reader easily understands your essay topic. The information here should be broad but focused, with relevant examples that show your argument. You don’t need to include every piece of information in this section because you discuss it in detail in body paragraphs.

  5. 3. Present Thesis Statement
  6. Now it’s time to wrap up your introduction by narrowing down what you want to say about the topic. This is known as a thesis statement--a sentence or two that sums up your entire essay’s main purpose. Read thesis statement examples to learn to write one.

  7. 4. Proofreading and Editing
  8. Now that you're finally done with the writing, start the proofreading and editing phase. Make sure to add everything concisely in there so that your audience can understand what they read.

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How to Start an Essay With a Quote?

Writing an opening paragraph can be one of the most intimidating aspects for any writer, but you must consider how your essay will start. A great way to start your essay is with a quotation. It's important to find the right quotation and use it well within your own words.

It should be interesting, catchy, and attention-grabbing. Here you will find many useful tips to help your audience from the very first phase of their essay.

  • Consider your Audience
  • The quotation should be interesting and new to the audience. For an audience of professionals, the tone should be one they would understand.

  • Select Quotation that Fits your Purpose
  • When looking for quotes, make sure that they match your essay’s purpose. It may be hard to find one to fit exactly what you want them to say but try to pick the relevant one.

  • Connect to the Point
  • It is important to explain how a quote supports your argument or starts a point. Sometimes it is hard to see the connection, but if you explain it, then people will understand.

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How to Start an Essay With a Question?

One of the most effective ways to start an introduction is asking a question. Asking questions gives you and your readers that sense of one-on-one conversation, making them feel more connected, with no need for lengthy introductions or boring formalities.

Using a question opener in an essay is more likely to result in the reader's interest being piqued when you're writing about something that might be considered reflective. The answer to the question does not need to have any specific response if the question is rhetorical.

Consider something popular or trending in today's media; once someone has read it, they will get something new.

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Other Common Ways On How to Start an Essay

The opening of an essay is the most important part. It should start with a strong and engaging idea that will draw your readers in, leaving them wanting more.

Here are some other ways that you should follow when starting an essay.

  • State the thesis statement
  • Discuss the setting of your essay
  • Explain a memorable event
  • Describe the process that is relevant to your essay topic
  • Present a comparison between two things

Also, keep in mind that different types of essays have different purposes for writing, so carefully pick the hook statement.

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How to Start an Essay - Examples

The first paragraph of an essay is extremely important. If it doesn't grab the reader’s attention right away, they will probably not read any further into your essay, and that's too bad because this intro section determines whether or not you'll get a good grade on your project.

We compiled some great examples to help you start an essay like a pro.

How to Start an Essay About Yourself (PDF)

How to Start an Essay About Yourself

How to Start an Essay On Climate Change (PDF)

How to Start an Essay On Climate Change

How to Start an Essay About a Book (PDF)

How to Start an Essay About a Book

How to Start an Argumentative Essay (PDF)

How to Start an Argumentative Essay

How to Start an Analysis Essay (PDF)

How to Start an Analysis Essay

How to Start an Autobiography Essay (PDF)

How to Start an Autobiography Essay

How to Start an Opinion Essay (PDF)

How to Start an Opinion Essay

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a good hook for an essay?

Here are some tips to help you write a good hook for an essay.

  • Create an emotional connection.
  • Do not add a description.
  • Start with an interesting quote, fact, or question.

What is the sequence of an essay?

The correct sequence of an essay is:

  • Introduction
  • Main body paragraphs
  • Conclusion