Student’s Guide to Writing Compelling Opening Paragraphs for Their Papers

An opening paragraph or introduction is the most crucial element. It helps you make the right first impression and set the tone for the rest of the paper. But most importantly, an opening paragraph is meant to grab the attention of the readers. If this task is failed, most likely, your audience won’t read beyond the first paragraph of your paper. And that’s why knowing how to write a good intro is a vital skill.

If you are in college and not sure how to start your papers, an easy way to overcome the challenge is to turn to the DoMyEssay writing service and let professional writers handle all the hard work. Nevertheless, since writing compelling opening paragraphs is such an important skill, chances are that you still want to acquire it yourself.

Below is a detailed guide for writing perfect intros from a professional essay writer. So read on to get on the right track!

The Difference Between Creative, Expository, and Formal Introductions

In academic terms, there are three primary categories of writing – creative, expository, and formal. The first two categories span more creative and loose in context and structure papers, such as essays, stories, etc. In such works, an opening paragraph is an attention-grabber. Its primary goal is to hook the reader and make them want to learn more.

Formal papers, such as research, science, history, etc., don’t give much freedom for creativity and must be more unbiased. In such pieces, an introduction must represent a concise overview of the topic. It also needs to engage the readers. But using it solely as an attention-getter is inappropriate in formal papers.

The Rule of 5 W’s and H

When you define the appropriate type of introduction for your paper, you must determine what information you have to provide in it. The easiest way to do this is to use the rule of 5 w’s and h:

        ●     Who?

        ●     What?

        ●     Where?

        ●     When?

        ●     How?

These five questions create a compelling context for the paper and complete one of the main tasks of a good introduction – to provide the reader with an overview of the topic.

But according to the expert writers from professional academic writing services, there is also the sixth element that must be added to this rule – significance. Therefore, after providing the background info, an author should always emphasize the significance of the topic.

The Opening Paragraph Composition

The composition of an introduction begins with a sentence that piques the readers’ interest. This sentence is called a hook, and it can have many different forms. Most often, a hook for creative or expository papers is a quote, anecdote, surprising fact, or rhetorical question. In formal writing, it is inappropriate to use casual hooks, such as anecdotes or jokes. But an interesting or shocking fact, relevant statistics, quote, and even a rhetorical question can work well as a hook for such papers. Alternatively, a hook of a formal piece can also define the key terms.

Usually, the first sentence (your hook) leads up to 2-3 next sentences that provide the background information for your topic. These several sentences are where you answer the Who, What, Where, When, and How questions and emphasize the significance of the topic.

The last element of the introduction’s composition is a thesis. Ideally, the 2-3 background sentences have to build up to your thesis statement, so be sure to align them. Also, you have to know that a thesis is the core idea/subject of your paper, often explaining the reason for writing and reflecting the author’s stance on the topic. Therefore, it has to be very clear, direct, informative, and steady.

Tips for Writing a Perfect Introduction

Now that you know enough about the composition and other specs of a solid opening paragraph, let us give you a few tips that will help you write great introductions with ease:

Keep it specific – An introduction has to grab attention, but it also has to lead the reader to the topic. Thus, it must be specific and informative.

Create a conflict – An opening paragraph will represent your stance on the topic, so it’s natural if you want your stance to sound as firm and true as possible. Nevertheless, creating a little conflict between your and alternative opinions can also help. Such conflicts make readers more engaged and provide more depth to your paper.

Use active sentences and strong verbs – Active voice is preferable in most types of writing. Active sentences and strong verbs will make your introduction more engaging and lively.

Keep your audience in mind – Whether it is a creative or formal paper, and regardless of the topic complexity, you always want to ensure that it is easy to understand for your readers. Therefore, when writing an intro (and the rest of the paper, too), you have to consider your audience and keep it very straightforward and clear.

The Bottom Line

Writing a compelling and powerful opening paragraph can be challenging. But now, you are set up for success. Use this guide and the tips we shared to start writing paper introductions like a pro and always make the right impression on your readers!