Do you hate writing introductions? Then you are in good company! Throughout my time here at IPFW, one of the things I have heard the most from students when writing papers is that writing an introduction is so difficult. Most students wrack their brains trying to figure out how to begin their papers in an engaging way to get their audience interested. Introductions, in my opinion, are the second most important component for any paper (outside of the thesis, that is). They are the determining factor in whether or not someone will read your piece. So- no pressure, right? There are a few different ways that you can begin a paper, although, not every way to start a paper will be perfect for every situation. For now, let’s go over three of the ways that you could begin your papers to ensure an attention grabbing introduction.
Use a Relevant Quote
The very first way that you can begin your introduction is with a relevant quote. Depending on the type of paper you are writing, this may or may not be the most appropriate way to begin your paper. A good example of a paper that would be perfect for this would be a literary analysis. The quote could be used to pull the reader in, so you would definitely need to find the most fascinating or unique quote that will really make your reader curious and intrigued to read the rest of your paper. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure to use a quote that is also relevant for the point that you are trying to make. While, yes, one quote could be very interesting and engaging, it may not be relevant for your topic. So when going this avenue for beginning your paper, be very careful about the quote that you choose to pull from the book or article.
Provide Background Information
The second way that you could begin your introduction is to provide pertinent background information. This specific way could be good for science -based papers and informative papers, like those fun research papers. With this avenue, be very careful about making sure that you include the right amount of information. There is always the concern that there could be too much information in the introduction or, on the other end of the spectrum, not enough. As you write the introduction, really consider what would be the most relevant information for your audience to know before they get into the body of the paper.
Ask an Interesting Question
Lastly, you could pose an interesting question to get your reader engaged. A good type of paper for this strategy would be a persuasive essay. If you are writing any type of literary analysis this might not be the best way to begin the paper, however, based on your purpose for the paper, it could be perfect. The right type of question can hook your audience and get them fully engaged in what you want to say, which is one of the main goals of an introduction.
The best way to begin your introduction will depend on the purpose of your paper. I want to point out that there is no one specific way to organize the introduction of your paper. Above, I have just suggested three ways that you could, but these are by no means the only ways to build your introduction. In composing your paper, use whatever avenue feels right to you.
Written by Paige H.