How to Start an Essay to Hook Your Readers?

Writing guide
Posted on April 9, 2020

The opening paragraph of a college essay is crucial due to the fact that you have to hook your reader’s attention and make sure to keep it. What is more, you have to use the introductory paragraph as a special tool to set up the rest of the project in terms of content, tone, and flow of ideas.

Learning how to deal with introductory writing is a must, especially for college students who struggle with any sort of academic writing. However, you should keep in mind that there is no “standard” or “typical” way to start your paper. At the same time, winning and attention-grabbing introduction sections share some qualities that the writers like you can use in the process of writing their projects as well.

To write an introduction for your descriptive, analytical, cause and effect, persuasive, narrative, or a comparison essay, you will have to turn on your imagination and use it as a roadmap that will help you start, develop, and conclude your project. So, how to start an essay? In this guide, we will consider different types of essays (argumentative, persuasive, narrative, compare and contrast, etc.), their peculiarities, and how to begin each in the most favorable manner.

How to Start an Argumentative Essay?

When dealing with an argumentative essay, you have to provide more than just your point of view to persuade your readers. To know how to start an argumentative essay properly, you have to keep in mind that even the strongest arguments won’t sound compelling enough if you fail to structure them and back up with solid evidence. An informative introduction in an argumentative essay serves as an opening statement that you present in a trial. You either get your audience interested from the first few words or just lose them for good.

Before you write the entire project, ensure to follow a logical format of a good introduction for an argumentative essay:

  • Hook your reader’s attention. Use a personal story, a quote, or a statistic. For instance, if you’re arguing that plastic should be banned, start your intro by referencing some statistic from trusted resource: “Plastic production has reached the point of 8.3 billion metric tons all over the globe, with significant increases in the amount of plastics that is produced on the planet expected by 2050.”
  • Explain why the matter is important and present your thesis statement.

The scheme is a bit different from the one you have in the case with the biography or personal essay due to the fact that in an argumentative essay, you give information based on evidence and facts only.

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

When it comes to a narrative essay, it tells a story that you have experienced yourself. The paper is not as demanding and structured as other types of academic projects. It is more personal and experience-based. So, how to start a narrative essay to win your reader’s attention? A good example of how to start a personal narrative is to refer to an experience that you had long ago, so that today, you can share both your feelings about it and how you view it with your maturity. If you’re not sure how to start an essay about yourself, consider the following example of an intro for an essay about your first job: “When I was fifteen years old, I wanted to go to the concert of my favorite band, but I had no money at all. Mom and dad couldn’t afford to provide me with the sum that I needed. It was the right time to start looking for my first job. It scared me, but I had my goal and started working on it.”

How to Start a Persuasive Essay?

Now that you know how to start a personal essay, let’s proceed to the persuasive paper. This type of academic project requires you to persuade your audience that your opinion, examples, and conclusion are nothing but the ultimate truth.

If you don’t know how to start a persuasive essay, the simplest recommendation here is to place a startling quote or fact at the beginning of the paper to catch your reader’s interest. In the case of the persuasive paper, it’s better to use a one-line stat or quote that will certainly help you convince your audience and entice them to keep on reading. For example, in the persuasive essay convincing people to provide support for smoking bans, you can start off with the line, “According to the latest scientific evidence, tobacco smoking is harmful not only to the smokers themselves but to every person that inhales second-hand smoke. In particular, second-hand smoke stands behind nearly 33,950 deaths from heart disease and 7,330 deaths from lung cancer every year.”

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay?

A compare and contrast paper requires you to explain how several events, people, objects, or issues are different and similar to one another. How to start a compare and contrast essay properly? With an attention-hooking introduction!

For example, you can start off by introducing some facts about the objects that you compare. Also, if you’re deciding on how to begin an essay of this type, consider asking some questions that you’ll answer with your thesis statement and evidence. Do ask something as follows, “How’s COVID-19 compared to past swine flu?”, “So, what are the similarities between democracy and dictatorship?”, “What are the similarities between private and public schools?” and so on.

Those who don’t know how to start a college essay of a persuasive type should consider providing some background on the objects under comparison. For instance, if you have no idea how to start an essay introduction on coronavirus, insert the following background information: “In December 2019, a novel coronavirus outbreak was first revealed and documented in Wuhan, Hubei Province that is located China.”

How to Start an Informative Essay?

If wondering how to start an introduction paragraph for an informative essay, keep in mind that this paper provides specific information on a particular topic. When people are searching online how to start an informative essay, the best recommendation they get is to plan a strong hook.

Not sure how to start a paragraph? Try to focus on the hooks, such as facts, statistics, jokes, similes, and anecdotes. As an alternative, use a quote. In case you don’t know how to start an essay with a quote, do some research to find the most informative quotes related to your topic. Let’s say, your informative essay is dedicated to solar technologies. The informative hook might read as follows, “According to the SEIA, no US state has driven the solar area forward more than the state of California. The region takes leading positions in solar installations by a wide margin with 19.7 GW installed in 2016.”

How to Start a Reflection Paper?

The key feature of a reflection essay is that it’s so easy, and yet so difficult to write. In other words, the body of the reflective essays contains your emotions and viewpoints on a certain phenomenon or event. To put it simply, you should be able to develop your summary and express opinions on a chosen or assigned topic. Whether talking about what inspires you, the book that changed your life, your biggest fears, or the most memorable experience in your life, be sure to have a sentence that will open up your story and engage your readers, “In my short life, I haven’t had that many experiences that I’d call life-changing. For good or bad, every situation that I found myself in changed the course of my life to some extent. However, the most grandiose experience was the moment when I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.” The most powerful recommendation on how to start a reflective essay is to be honest about your feelings and experiences.

How to Start a Scholarship Essay?

With loads of scholarships out there, you have a unique opportunity to get big money to invest in your education. For that reason, the first sentence of your essay is your chance to convince the college admission committee that your essay is worse reading. “January 23, 2010 was the day my life changed completely, and I became a different person” would become an attractive start for an application paper.

Whether you’re struggling with how to start a conclusion paragraph, or it’s the opening section that is a stumbling block, ensure to keep your reader’s interest at any cost. What it all comes down to is that writing a scholarship, cause and effect, reflective, application, or any other essay requires in-depth analysis, reflection, and understanding of what readers are hoping to see in this or that type of paper. Whether you’re pondering over how to start a conclusion sentence or an opening paragraph, make sure you use facts and logically structured materials taken from trusted resources.

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