Writing A Literary Essay: Introductory Paragraph Examples

Academic essays are generally structured into three parts: the introductory paragraph, the body paragraphs and the conclusion. Writers must think of the introductory paragraph as a first impression. In three to five sentences, it introduces the central topics while evoking interest for the readers.

Write the Substance First

Before the individual even begins to write the introduction, it is essential to have collected necessary research and have their work written out--in other words, they write the body of the essay first! It is much easier to do this and then write the beginnings of piece with clear intentions. The introduction should also connect strongly with the conclusion by stating the same ideas, but announces them rather than summing them up. Remember, the end is essentially the same as the beginning.

Be Concise

A student’s goal is to layout the topic and structure of the essay and state why it is important to talk about in a couple of sentences. Rather than picking out details, the student rounds up the quintessential aspects of the paper without giving away too much. A simple way of doing this would be to pick out one major theme per body paragraph and reflect on how it relates to the main point of the essay.

Make a Thesis Statement

This is the one sentence that can make or break a student’s work because the entirety of the essay should be echo that statement. It can either be used as an attention-grabbing first sentence supported by a few more, or can be used at the end of the introductory paragraph after informative sentences that build up to it. A writer’s thesis is often a claim used to start argumentative papers, but it can also be a summary that alerts the reader to exactly what they will be reading about.

Example: Catcher in the Rye’s setting of New York City is a vital metaphor for Holden Caulfield’s image of a depressed teenager and unexpected hero.

Example: Solar panels are a more effective tool than modern windmills for ecological energy because of cost, space, cleanliness and aesthetics.

Start with a Bang

The student’s introduction should have flair and zing- it should make the reader want to read the rest! If they are not starting off with a well-built thesis statement, the student should consider using a mind-boggling fact, famous quote or humor to reel in the reader’s curiosity.

Be Confident

The writer needs to present the material without doubt or lack of expertise. They should make it evident they know exactly what they are talking about, even if it includes stating a personal opinion that goes against others' opinions. Convey confidence with a bold introductory paragraph!

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