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What a Good Introduction for an Essay Is: Make It Catchy from the Start

A good introduction is catchy from the start. No matter the type of report or essay you are writing your introduction will be the very first thing the reader sees. If you write a bad introduction your reader will not know what your paper is about or why they should care. You don’t want to lose the goodwill of your reader before it begins. This will result in a bad grade no matter how great the rest of your paper might be.

Therefore it is essential to the integrity of your paper that you have a good introduction. You have to make sure your introductory paragraph does exactly what it is supposed to and has all of the right parts.

So what should your introduction do? It should do the following:

  • First it should catch the attention of your reader
  • Second it should indicate what direction your paper is going to take. This means it needs to serve as a navigational tool for the reader.
  • Third it should show the reader how you are going to approach your key question or thesis
  • Fourth it should provide a context or background for the issue you are going to cover in your paper
  • Fifth it should indicate to the reader what focus your paper has
  • Sixth it should indicate your point of view or your side in the argument

It is important to remember that when you are writing an academic piece nothing should surprise your reader. There should be nothing held back until the end at which point it jumps out from behind the door. This is not fictional writing. Academic writing should set everything up right from the start and provide the reader with a context for what is going to happen the entire way through. The reader should know whether the story has a happy ending right from the start. Your entire “story” should be outlined in your introduction. The body of the paper is where you give the reader more detail.

It is also important to remember that everything in your academic paper needs to progress logically from the moment you start. Things should not change direction. There should not be any surprise twists or unexpected turns in your paper. You want to ensure that your paper has a logical direction and that the body follows the logical direction you lay out in your introduction.