Writing, in general, for the majority of the people is not an easy task. It is an art that requires mastery of the basics before one can comfortably write a good piece. Students, in particular, cannot do without this skill. That’s because a lot of the assignments, lab works, research and essay papers require one to have writing skills. Having mastered the various writing techniques contributes significantly to the students overall performance. This article focuses on essay writing, specifically how to start one.
An introduction is what dictates whether readers will be interested in reading the rest of the piece or not. The intro you give your article is what will set the tone of your paper. However, it’s worth noting that there are different types of essays, and as such different ways to start one. By the end of this read students will have learned the following:
How to start an argumentative essay
How to start an essay with a quote
How to start an informative essay
How to start an analysis essay
How to start an expository essay
But first, we are going to learn the basics of beginning an essay. There are steps which one must follow if they are to write a good piece. Any well-written paper must abide by specific rules if it is to meet the set standards.
Here are six tips to guide you have a good start of your essay paper:
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Planning and organization are a big part of any activity you choose to engage in and want to be successful. Essay writing is not any different. Students have to spare some time to carry out some planning and organization if they are to write excellent essays. It’s an important step that allows scholars to assess the resources at their disposal and how they can use it to gather enough material for the paper.
Planning and organization will entail the following:
Identifying resources from which you will gather material for the essay
The timeline to complete the article including proofreading
Identifying a chosen topic
Before you embark on writing, it is vital that you get familiar with the subject at a personal level. Read wide and thoroughly, ensuring that you can come up with a high-quality article on the topic at hand. Luckily, if you don’t have access to a library, there are several platforms online that can help with that. However, one must be careful with the resources they opt to use.
Students are advised that while researching, they should take short notes. It makes it easier to come up with a proper paper outline and writing the essay itself. When students get stuck and are wondering how to start an essay, they probably didn’t do sufficient research. That is because when you have gathered all the info you need, getting stuck is an unlikely scenario.
Ever been in a situation where you started writing your essay well, then half way you are out of words or points. At that point, it always happens that you haven’t met the required word count yet. The reason as to why a lot of students face this problem is often because they did not take the time to come up with an outline. It highlights the main ideas of your essay, creating flow and organization. It will also help you stay within the area of interest and not go off topic.
Once you have your topic and outline, the next step will be to develop a thesis statement. A thesis statement can be described as the framework or the roadmap for your essay. It ensures that you stay within the confines of the topic. It is easy to get lost and go off topic when writing articles and having a thesis statement helps avoid that.
Having completed tip 1 to 3, you are now ready to commence writing your essay. Based on your outline the composition will be divided into three main sections;
Since our interest is on how to start an essay, our focus will be on the introduction. The introduction, like the title, dictates whether you will have readers or not. That is because you will either raise their curiosity or bore them to death with your opening. Considering that not every topic will be interesting to your readers, it is crucial that you write an introduction that will make them interested in the topic you are writing on.
The view surrounding me was breathtaking. Quite frankly, I don’t think I had seen such beauty in a very long time. I was so used to the hustles and bustles of the concrete jungle that had forgotten the serenity that Mother Nature offers us sometimes. Anyone in my position would have been flabbergasted. I was at the highest point in Africa, and at the peak of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro. My journey to that point had begun a week earlier…
The above is an example of an introductory paragraph of an essay. Note how the first sentence is attention-grabbing or creates the hook. As mentioned before, not every topic will be fascinating to your readers. Therefore, you will have one shot at making them interested in your paper, and it will be in the introduction. Wow, your readers at the first sentence by creating curiosity. As long as you make it relevant to the rest of the paper, you can make it as “attention-grabbing” as you may desire. However, you must note the following:
Chances are you won’t come up with your attention-grabbing sentence off the bat so don’t stress yourself. Some people will find writing this sentence last to be much more comfortable. That implies writing your essay first before finally drafting it.
A hook can be or include either of the following a quote, startling statistic, rhetorical question, an interesting fact about the topic that’s not widely known or insightful personal question.
You’ve already attracted the attention of your readers, how can you keep it that way? It is simple. All you have to do is keep pulling your reader’s attention by ensuring that the following sentences link to the first one and expand more on it. For example, the essay introduction paragraph in the – Create interest/curiosity Section, note how the author holds the audience’s attention.
…Quite frankly, I don’t think I had seen such beauty in a very long time. I was so used to the hustles and bustles of the concrete jungle that had forgotten the serenity that Mother Nature offers us sometimes. Anyone in my position would have been flabbergasted…
…I was at the highest point in Africa, and at the peak of the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro. My journey to that point had begun a week earlier…
Note how the author lets readers aware of the essays intention. The essay describes a trip to one of the highest points on earth, Mt Kilimanjaro. Students must make their audience aware of their intentions for writing the piece. It could be to;
Whatever your reasons for writing are, make sure that readers get it from the word go.
Give readers a roadmap of your essay. That implies giving a hint of what they can expect should they read the paper. Students can provide the thesis statement and the support for that particular stance. Give the basic structure of the essay.
Any well-written essay has a captivating introduction. Other than an attention-grabbing first sentence it should also include a thesis statement. It makes them aware of your stance. It is described as a controlling idea and will have the following characteristics:
It is often a single sentence for academic essays which are short, approximately five paragraphs. Some compositions especially the ones that require some describing to set the tone and mood of the piece can be longer than a sentence.
It must be precise and concise
Make it exciting and worth the reader’s attention
‘If the introduction is not all that, chances are the rest of the piece is whack.” That is the thinking held by most individuals. Therefore, you have no option but to grow your writing skills. No matter how good the content is, without a proper intro it will all be in vain. Set the mood for your paper in the introduction paragraph.
Mastering how to start an essay is the first step towards writing a high-quality paper. Below is a discussion of how you can start an essay based on the type of article.
Grasping how to start an argumentative essay is quite easy. The first step requires understanding what an argumentative essay needs of you. Such compositions require students to persuade the reader to a specific line of thinking. Therefore, from the beginning, it will be crucial to let your audience know what your argument is. Summarize your main ideas.
Students have the liberty to start an essay with a quote. That is as long as they;
Find the appropriate quote
Use it appropriately and within the paper word count
Avoid overused quotes and clichés
Relate it to the article
To start an informative essay is also not difficult. Students first need to recognize that such pieces only require the author to present facts and not their analysis or opinion.
Analysis essays demand that you present an argument that you will defend throughout the paper. Before you can tackle this type of theme, you must understand the fundamental guidelines and the structure required. Analysis essays don’t describe the topic but rather dwell into the particularities and principles. These are the basic guidelines for how to start analysis essays:
Explain the meaning of the topic
Analyze the subject without bias
Compare the topic to something relevant
Providing an argument and defending it with evidence
An expository essay expects the writer to provide information regarding a particular issue. The best way to start an expository essay is giving a balanced and fair analysis of the topic without referencing your emotions and opinions. Commonly, expository prompts utilize the terms “explain” or “define,” for instance, “Explain how computers have changed students’ lives.
There are several how to start an essay examples online that you can utilize to master the skill. One strategy you can use to create a perfect introduction is to write it last. Go on and use these 6 tips to guide you in writing an excellent introduction.