How To Write A Good Essay Introduction: Formula And Steps To Follow (with pictures)

In essay writing, the introduction is the opening paragraph(s) of your essay that sets the stage for the rest of your essay paper. It is the first opportunity to engage the reader, establish the tone and focus of the essay, and provide a roadmap for what the reader can expect to find in the body of the essay. It is important to have a good essay introduction in your essay writing because it is the first thing your readers will see that will catch their attention, and inform them about your argument or point. As a student, your essay introduction is a part that will inform or motivate your teacher or professor to continue reading your essay. It serves as a clue for them to know if you write a good essay. In this post, we explained how to write a good essay introduction using steps and examples that will make an essay introduction easy for you to write. 

How to Write a Good Essay Introduction 

How to write a good essay introduction

The formula is: Hook + Context + Thesis Statement 

Good Essay Introduction: Start with a Hook 

How to write a good essay introduction

A hook is a sentence or two that grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to keep reading. Examples are surprising facts, 

provocative statements, or a quotation. 

  • Surprising facts and Examples

This is one or two statements that are surprising and will make the readers continue reading because they would love to know more. 

Example 1: "Did you know that more than 80% of plastic bottles end up in landfills or the ocean, where they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose?"

Example 2: "According to a recent study by the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 17 million deaths per year. With this staggering statistic in mind, it's important to explore the risk factors and preventative measures that can help individuals protect their cardiovascular health."

  • Provocative Statement and Examples 

This is a statement that challenges the reader's assumptions or beliefs. It is a good way to begin your essay. 

Example 1: "Eating meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and if we don't change our habits soon, the consequences could be catastrophic."

Example 2: "Despite being one of the wealthiest and most advanced nations in the world, the United States has the highest rate of gun violence among developed countries. As they continue to grapple with the devastating consequences of mass shootings and gun-related deaths, it's clear that something needs to change. But what?"

  • A Quotation and Example

You can also begin your essay with a thought-provoking or inspirational quotation. 


"As Mahatma Gandhi once said, 'The Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.' In this essay, we will explore the impact of human greed on the natural world."

Good Essay Introduction: Provide Context

How to write a good essay introduction

After you've hooked your readers with your hook statement(s), give them some background information to help them understand the topic and the purpose of your essay. This can include historical context, definitions, or key terms.

Historical Context 

In an essay introduction, providing historical context can be an effective way to set the stage for the topic you're discussing and help your readers understand the significance of your argument. Here are a few ways you could incorporate historical context into your introduction:

• Provide a brief overview of the historical period you're discussing: This can help your readers understand the broader social, cultural, and political context that influenced the events or ideas you're analyzing. For example, if you're writing an essay about the civil rights movement, you could provide a brief overview of the Jim Crow laws and segregation in the United States in the mid-20th century.

• Describe the historical events or ideas that led up to your topic: By explaining the events or ideas that preceded your topic, you can help your readers understand how it fits into a larger historical narrative. For example, if you're writing an essay about the impact of World War II on the United States, you could describe the economic and social changes that took place during the war and how they affected American society in the postwar era.

• Explain the historical significance of your topic: By explaining why your topic is important in the context of its period, you can help your readers understand why it's worth studying and analyzing. For example, if you're writing an essay about the Harlem Renaissance, you could explain how it represented a cultural and artistic movement that challenged racial stereotypes and contributed to a broader redefinition of Black identity in the early 20th century.

Examples of Definitions In Essay Introduction

If there are key terms or concepts that your reader might not be familiar with, it is important that you define them in your introduction to provide clarity and context.

Example: In this essay, we will be discussing the concept of social capital, which refers to the network of relationships, norms, and trust that facilitate cooperation and coordination in a society.

Current Events and Examples

If your essay is related to a current event or issue, you can provide context by discussing recent developments or news articles related to the topic.

Example: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of public health preparedness and the need for effective pandemic response strategies. In this essay, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of current pandemic response plans and propose some potential improvements.

Good Essay Introduction: The Thesis Statement

How to write a good essay introduction

In an essay introduction, the thesis statement is very important. It is your thesis statement that will allow your readers to understand the main point or argument of your essay. Your thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should provide a roadmap for the rest of your essay.

Example: "By examining the historical, cultural, and social factors that contributed to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, this essay argues that it represents a critical moment in the ongoing struggle for racial justice in the United States. Through its focus on police brutality, systemic racism, and the impact of mass incarceration on Black communities, the movement has brought attention to the ongoing legacy of racism and inequality in American society and highlighted the need for systemic change."

Click here to learn about what a thesis statement should have 

One more thing!

Before you conclude that you have written a well-crafted introduction. You need to check if your sentences are free of grammatical errors such as subject-verb agreement, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences. You also need to check if your phrases, word choice, and sentence structure are clear and readable. This is very important!

However, if the stress of crafting your introduction has overwhelmed you or you are not sure if your essay introduction is free of the above errors, you can use a writing tool such as ProWritingAid. This writing tool will help you to check if your essay introduction is free of all of the above errors. You can sign up here if you are interested. 

If you're looking for help crafting a winning essay introduction or any paper, we offer professional academic writing services that will ensure your paper stands out. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step toward your academic success.

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