What Should Be In The Introduction Paragraph Of Your Essay?

Some people argue that the introduction paragraph of your essay is the most important. Why is this so? Just imagine your introduction paragraph is your business card, your introduction at a seminar where you’re meeting fellow participants. Remember the old adage. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Try to pretend a teacher or professor, the person who has to read your essay. They see the heading and then they start to read. Are they excited? Do they know what is about to be revealed in the rest of the essay? Both of those questions are important. If the answer is ‘yes’ on both occasions then you have really done well in writing the introductory paragraph of your essay.

So what is contained in your introduction paragraph?

There are three things you need to state in this first paragraph and they are as follows.

  • Why is this essay topic relevant and important?
  • What is the methodology you have used in writing this essay?
  • What is your thesis statement?

It's all well and good to have an interesting topic and to even write an interesting introduction paragraph but what the reader really wants to know is why have you chosen this topic. Is it relevant? Is it important? If so, then tell me why.

How are you going to go about revealing the information you've gathered in this essay? Will it be a standard approach with factual paragraphs in the middle introducing main points and elaborating on them? Would you then offer a summary of all that has gone before in the conclusion of your essay? Not only do you have to tell the reader what they can expect to find, what you need to tell them is how it will be presented.

And finally you come to your thesis statement. This is hopefully a single sentence with as few words as possible which sum up the argument or main point you wish to make in your essay. The whole crux of your essay depends on this one sentence. Everything which follows your thesis statement will flow from this one statement.

Remember that all of the above appears in a single paragraph, your introduction. You have to have the ability to say quite a lot in as few words as possible. The introduction is a taster, an invitation to keep reading.