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EP 69: How to Write an Introduction

One of the hardest part in writing an essay is knowing what to write and how to start. Students often think that you have to always start writing the introduction first but that’s not always true.

In this episode of the Homework Help Show, our top writer & host, Cath Anne, discusses some tips that can help you to write an introduction.

Looking for study tips, help with essay writing, or advice on how to be a better student? Welcome to The Homework Help Show, a weekly show where we teach, assist, and offer valuable insights for student life. From study hacks to writing tips, discussions about student mental health to step-by-step guides on academic writing and how to write a resume, we’ve got you covered. Want your questions answered? Write them below or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #askHHG


Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Introductions are one of the most important components of an essay. And because they are the first thing that many readers write, you want to make sure that you start off with a bang. Last week we discussed how to start an essay this week. Let’s get a little bit more specific and talk about how to write an introduction. Hi, guys, and welcome back to our channel.

Cath Anne: [00:00:34] My name is Cath Anne and this is The Homework Help Show hosted by Homework Help Global here on the show. We provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life. Now, before we jump into the content, I wanted to remind you to hit that notification bell so that you can be reminded every time we post you academic content. Also, if you do like our content, make sure to subscribe to our channel. So you still get reminders when we are posting new academic content. And as always, make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook as well for updates and information on new collaborations and new information on our organization.

Cath Anne: [00:01:24] OK, let’s jump in. Now, a good strong introduction provides a broad overview of what you will discuss in your essay. It also helps the reader to learn about what you’re going to be discussing and hopefully it will keep them wanting to read more. Now let’s discuss some tips on how to write a strong introduction and keep our professors from banging their head against the wall.

Cath Anne: [00:01:51] Tip number one, begin broad but not too broad. Sometimes students think that it is a good idea to delve in and discuss everything that revolves around a certain topic that has ever been researched or discussed. Now this approach might become a little too confusing for your reader. It is better to narrow your topics specifically in the introduction. The introduction should provide your reader with a sense of what they should expect on the topic and not discuss every little thing that has ever been written on your topic. In particular begin broad, but then and narrow into your thesis and keep it specific as you move into your essay.

Cath Anne: [00:02:38] Tip number two, discuss a relevant background information, but don’t delve in to the full content of your essay. It is OK to offer some context to your essay. However, the main meat of your essay should be throughout your body paragraphs. You can hint to what you’ll be discussing in your introduction and give your reader a sense of what they can expect in the essay. But make sure that you don’t give it all away because remember, you want them to continue reading the essay in order to decide how to incorporate things into your introduction or into your body paragraph. Consider whether it is context or evidence. True evidence should go in your body paragraphs and leave the context for your introduction.

Cath Anne: [00:03:30] Tip number three, write a thesis statement. In general, a thesis statement should go towards the end of your introduction. Now, I’m not going to go in-depth into a thesis statements because we’ve talked about it a lot here on our channel. We will link a video here so you can check out a video specifically related to writing a thesis statement. Remember, a thesis statement gives the overall idea, an argument that you’re presenting in your essay.

Cath Anne: [00:04:00] Tip number four, provide only helpful, relevant information. Now, anecdotes can be an interesting opener to your essay and you might want to include one. However, only if it is relevant to your topic. Are you writing an essay about Maya Angelou? Perhaps an anecdote about her childhood and how she got into writing might be an interesting way to open the essay that is relevant. Are you writing an essay about the book Moby Dick? Perhaps it’s not the best idea to provide an anecdote about how your friend read Moby Dick and they really didn’t like it. Keep in mind whether the information or the anecdote is relevant to your topic. Keep this in mind with statistics, definitions, facts, or any other little tidbits of information that you think might make your introduction a little bit more interesting. Just make sure that it’s relevant to the rest of your essay.

Cath Anne: [00:05:00] Tip number five, try to avoid clichés. Sometimes cliches can work. They might pack a punch, however, sometimes they are also overdone. One of these cliches is starting your essay with a definition. Starting an essay with the definition is an example of one of these conventions. Think about Michael Scott in The Office, you know how he always begins his speeches with, “according to Oxford English Dictionary” or “according to Webster’s English Dictionary”, and everyone always laughs or rolls her eyes. “Webster’s dictionary defines wedding as the fusing of two medals with a hot torch.” That’s because opening an essay or a speech with a quotation or a definition is a little bit overdone and tired at this point. Because it has been overdone it might come across as a little boring to your reader and cause your reader to tune out. Think of a more creative, engaging way to start your introduction.

Cath Anne: [00:06:12] Tip number six don’t feel pressured to write your introduction first. Personally, I find that my writer’s block is strongest when I am first beginning an essay. I find that it can help to get myself writing first, fill out some of the body paragraphs, complete the outline, even work on the conclusion, and then come back to the introduction. Once you’ve written the remainder of your essay, you’ll have a stronger sense of how you want to start your essay, and you’ll be more likely to start off with a really strong introduction.

Cath Anne: [00:06:47] Tip number seven Convince your reader that your essay is worth reading. A good introduction will really grab your reader and make them feel engaged. From the get go. The purpose of an introduction is to grab the reader, suck them in, and let them know that you have something interesting to say. Essentially, you want to hook your reader so that they’re interested in learning how you are going to make your argument on a really relevant and interesting topic. A good way to engage your reader off the get go is to provide information that perhaps they disagree with, or perhaps you present something a little controversial. This will help them to feel engaged in the material and make them want to keep reading. Once they are thinking about the topic, they are more likely to become engaged and they’ll want to know how you’ll make your argument.

Cath Anne: [00:07:45] Basically, a good introduction provides your reader with an overview of your topic. A good introduction is interesting, engaging and to the point. A great introduction doesn’t provide irrelevant information, doesn’t rely on cliches. It’s direct, concise and on topic.

Cath Anne: [00:08:07] Okay, guys, that is it for me this week. I hope this episode was a benefit. As always, we always love to hear from you. So please jump into the comments section below and let us know if these videos have been helpful for you. We’d also love to see if you would like any other content from us. As always, you can connect with us on social media. All of our platforms are linked and listed in the description box below. So make sure to check us out on Instagram, Facebook and all of our other social media platforms. If you like this video and found it helpful. Make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on any of our future content. Okay, guys, thank you guys so much for joining me. Talk soon and take care.