Starting your academic essay: choosing the first few words

Beginning is usually half of the work.

Starting to write a paper sometimes feels like the hardest thing on earth. It is not even about the complexity of an assignment. Even with an easy topic it is sometimes quite hard to make yourself sit down and study. After you write at least a sentence, further words just flow by themselves and the work becomes much easier. So don’t be afraid of what lies ahead, just start and it will get easier.

What purposes shall the introduction fulfill?

When writing the first sentences of your essay, you shall always keep in mind what you need to say and how you need your essay to affect the reader. Here is what the introduction is destined for:

  1. Drawing attention. First few words of an essay are usually enough to create the opinion, which will influence the perception of the whole paper. It is very important to grab the reader’s attention and make him interesting in what you write about.
  2. Introducing your topic. Get your readers briefly acquainted with what you are going to write about. Here you can mention the wide context of the topic to make the reader better understand your further paper.
  3. Focusing on the topic. Especially if you start from far, far away, as specified in the previous point, do not forget to come close to actual topic. Introduce the main problem you will be taking a look at or provide a thesis statement.
  4. Linking the paragraphs of the main body. Though it may seem strange, the introduction will actually contain information on each paragraph from your essay, linking them and helping you to stick to your initial topic.

A few unusual ways to start your essay with:

Here are a few tricks that can help you to attract attention to your paper from the first lines. use them, but do not forget to check if they are not contradicting with the instructions you have.

  • describe an unbelievable and interesting event, connected to your topic
  • use a joke or a humorous quote to make the reader smile and read your paper in a good mood
  • build your beginning on a compare of different periods or aspects of your topic
  • put in a mystery which you are going to solve in the main body
  • use narrative style to make the essay read well
  • tell an interesting and not widely known fact about your subject

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