9 Examples of Eye-Catching Introduction Paragraphs [2023]

9 Examples of Eye-Catching Introduction Paragraphs [2023]

Table of contents

creative writing introduction paragraph

Christian Rigg

How well are you managing to hook your readers?

According to CNN , The average attention on a screen went down from 2.5 minutes (in 2004) to 47 seconds (in 2023). Studies show that for most cases, people don't even read past the headline.

As a writer, one of the best skills you can learn is to hook your readers with a compelling introduction. A good title gets people in the door, but it’s the introduction that decides if they stay or not. 

hooks for essays

The difference between a strong and a weak intro

A strong intro draws the reader in and evokes a sense of curiosity or interest, either by speaking to the reader’s pain points or by engaging them on an intellectual or emotional level.

A weak introduction paragraph, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. It fails to delight or intrigue, usually by being too generic. (This is one reason why introductions generated using text transformers like ChatGPT tend to “fall flat.”) Incidentally, failing to keep your readers on-page will result in higher bounce rates, which Google penalizes. 

Have I convinced you to stick around? If so, great. In the rest of the article, we’ll go over the most important dos and don’ts of intros and look at some outstanding introduction paragraph examples for inspiration. 

Write better introductions with this FREE AI writing tool > Free AI introduction generator >

AI generated hook

The Dos and Don’ts of Strong Introductions

Here are some quick and simple tips for writing a compelling introduction .

✅  Do be human and relatable

Talk about a personal experience. Mention emotions like frustration or excitement. Utilize Use plain, conversational language.

✅ Do capture the reader's attention with an interesting or meaningful quote or statistic. 

Just be sure to avoid clichés, keep it relevant to your topic, and don’t get too abstract.

✅ Do write concisely and clearly . 

If you struggle with this like many people, try writing your introduction in the Wordtune editor. The suggestions on flow and clarity will help you stick to the point without being hard to understand. 

✅ Do disarm, startle, or otherwise “shock” the reader into alertness. 

This doesn’t mean being crass or crude, it means upending assumptions. What surprised you most when researching or writing your article? Start there. 

✅ Do use descriptive , emotive, and sensory language, including vivid imagery and great storytelling . 

Start in the middle of the story, then segue into how it all started. Or start at the end and work your way back. 

✅ Do use humor and casual language. 

It helps put the reader at ease and makes them feel like part of the conversation.

And here are some things to avoid, including some not-so-great introductory paragraph examples. Don’t worry, we’ll get to examples of how to do it right in the next section. 

❌ Don’t rely on AI text generators like ChatGPT.

These tools “write” by adding the next most likely word, based on thousands of examples. As a result, the text lacks originality . It is, by definition, the most average way of saying something. If you want to make your content stand out from AI-generated content , start with an original introduction paragraph. 

❌ Don’t give it all away. 

Your introduction is not the place to plead your whole case. Introduce the reader to the topic, generate interest or empathy, and make a promise they want to see fulfilled. 

❌ Don’t make it too long.

Readers get bored fast. They want to get to the good stuff. 

❌ Don’t use gimmicks, clickbait, clichés, or obvious ploys.

“You won’t believe what…” “Here’s everything you need to know about…” “Are you ready to make your first million?” Unless the news really is shocking, you really do include everything the reader needs to know, or you have offer a long-term, validated strategy for earning a million, you’ll just come off looking like a hack. 

❌ Don’t use generic statements.

“All businesses need to track their financial performance.” “Running a marathon is no easy task.” “It takes hard work to become the best.” Openers like these waste precious seconds on stating the obvious. If you’re lucky, your reader will be kind and keep scanning for something worthwhile. But they probably already hit the Back button.

Here are nine excellent introduction paragraph examples:

1. The statistical introduction example

creative writing introduction paragraph

According to a report by Statista and eMarketer, online retail sales are projected to reach $6.51 trillion by 2023. That same report also says that ecommerce websites will claim around 22.3% of all retail sales.

So, if you weren’t planning on investing in your ecommerce strategy this year, you should.

The SEO experts at Semrush have included two interesting and impressive statistics here, sure to pique the reader’s interest. They make a bold statement, too: if you thought you could wait, you can’t . 

To help you replicate this kind of introduction, try using Wordtune’s Spices features to find and add interesting statistics and facts. 

2. The relatable introduction example

creative writing introduction paragraph

We’ve all seen that little white label that sits tucked away on the inside of our clothing: “Made in Australia”, “Made in Turkey”, “Made in Bangladesh”. But what do those labels really mean? In this article, we discuss whether locally made clothing is more ethical. Read on to find out before your next shop.

Nothing if not concise, this introduction catches the reader with a common human experience, asks an important question, and gives a quick bridge on what the article has to offer. It’s short and direct, and it speaks to readers who may well have just been looking at a “little white label” before popping the question into Google. 

3. The dialogue introduction example

creative writing introduction paragraph

After a moonwalk in April 1972, the Apollo 16 astronauts Charles Duke and John Young returned to their capsule. In the process of putting their suits and other things away, Duke commented to Ground Control:

Duke: Houston, the lunar dust smells like gunpowder. [Pause]

England: We copy that, Charlie.

Duke: Really, really a strong odor to it.

First of all, how’s that for a title?

This introduction tells a fascinating story in just 57 words. Admittedly, the unique topic of cosmic moon dust makes it easier to capture readers’ interest. But the author’s choice to include this short exchange between Charles Duke and the Houston Space Center also pulls us right into the scene.

4. The personal story introduction example

Wordtune blog: Take Smart Notes From a Textbook (Using AI + Templates)

Call me crazy, but I’ve spent $11,750 on note-taking tools.

Physical stationery in the form of highlighters, post-its, colored pens, subject notebooks, roller scales—you name it. My beautifully-written, detailed, color-coded notes gave me the feeling of being a productive high-achiever. 

But these notes rarely translated into results. I was consistently in the average tier of students, despite my organized study practices—till year two of highschool. It was then that I realized all I was doing was beautifying text and not understanding information. 

From then on, I set out on a journey to understand which notetaking methods worked for my subjects. I translated this into a 9.2/10 CGPA in my 10th-grade examination and a 1900 score on my SATs. In addition, I was able to achieve these results while reducing my study time by half.

Today, I’m going to show you how to do the same with my step-by-step playbook. This article covers advanced tips for students wanting to upgrade their note-taking skills.

This introduction has a great hook that draws us in immediately: Hold on. $11,000 dollars on pens and post-its?? Then it tells an emotionally engaging story of failure to success. Finally, it clearly prepares us for what’s to come. All these are hallmarks of a strong introduction. 

5. The common problem introduction example

Eleven Writing blog: 7 Reasons Your Business Should Invest In High-quality Blog Articles

Many businesses publish a new blog article, they wait, and then…

Nothing happens.

The anticipated flood of new traffic never materializes. The few visitors that arrive don’t click any links, sign up to your list, or share your article.

The marketing department starts to wonder if a blog is really worth the money and hassle compared to other available channels.

But what if better blog content could change all this?

This introduction was written by one of the SEO experts at Eleven Writing, the writing agency where I work as a writer, editor, and account manager. It features a short and punchy story with a relatable twist. “And then… Nothing happens.” Translation: 🤦

It finishes with an intriguing “What if?” scenario, which leads into an article of tips and practical takeaways. And it’s a reminder of another important point: make sure your article actually fulfills any promises you make in your introduction.

6. The alarming introduction example

European Commission: Consequences of climate change

Climate change affects all regions around the world. Polar ice shields are melting and the sea is rising. In some regions, extreme weather events and rainfall are becoming more common while others are experiencing more extreme heat waves and droughts. We need climate action now, or these impacts will only intensify.

Climate change is a very serious threat, and its consequences impact many different aspects of our lives. Below, you can find a list of climate change’s main consequences.

The above introduction comes from the European Commission and discusses the dangers of climate change. It starts with a bold and disarming statement: climate change affects everybody. 

It discusses just a few of the consequences of climate change, priming the reader for what’s to follow, and then provides a simple bridge into the rest of the article. 

It’s short and to the point, but uses descriptive, intense language to convey urgency and emotionally engage the reader.

7. The recap introduction example

Harvard Business Review: Rescuing ESG from the Culture Wars

In the past year, ESG investing has become caught up in America’s culture wars, as prominent GOP politicians claim that it is a mechanism investors are using to impose a “woke” ideology on companies. Former Vice President Mike Pence has railed against ESG in speeches and in an op-ed. A variety of Republican governors and red-state legislatures are considering executive action and legislation to boycott asset managers that use ESG as a screening tool for their investments. And in Washington, various Congressional committees have pledged to hold hearings in which the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and major asset managers will face public questioning about the legality of ESG investing.

This introductory paragraph from the Harvard Business Review dumps the reader into the throes of a heated political debate.  Whether readers agree or disagree, powerful verbs like “railed against” and politically charged language like “culture wars” and “woke” are sure to grab the attention of those on both sides of the political spectrum. 

8. The common problem intro example #2

KonMari blog: 5 Rituals to Build Self-Acceptance

Self-criticism is an all too common struggle. Even the most successful people in the world experience bouts of imposter syndrome and low self-esteem. But the person you’ll spend the most time with in your life is yourself. We owe it to ourselves to strengthen our self-compassion and embrace self-love.

One of the simplest ways to build self-acceptance is to make it a part of your self-care routine. The following rituals, sourced from mindfulness experts and one of our Master KonMari Consultants, can be completed in as little as five minutes daily. Try one for a month — you’ll be surprised how much better you treat yourself.

This intro comes from the queen of tidiness, Marie Kondo, and manages to both connect with the reader and gracefully plug an advertisement for KonMari’s consulting services. There’s a common idea in SEO that “linking away” in the introduction is bad practice, but in this case, it transforms an educational article into a commercial funnel. 

There’s another neat trick in this intro: it extends a challenge to the reader. Try one of the methods below and see how much better you feel after a month. With a promise like that, who wouldn’t keep scrolling?

9. The 'new angle' introduction example

Crippled CEO Blog: Resistance and Leadership Capital

So much has been written on how important it is to have the right people in your company. All a business is, really, is a collection of people. That’s it. So, it follows that getting the people right is practically the only thing that truly matters.

And while I have seen this repeated ad nauseam, I don’t see a lot of people saying what those right (or wrong) people look like – what attributes they possess.

So, I wanted to talk about one of those attributes, and in particular one that I think isn’t just overlooked, but the very concept itself isn’t known, making it impossible to look out for at all.

This attribute is resistance.

Eric Lupton blogs about his experiences and perspective as a business leader with cerebral palsy. This introduction uses incisive language that will no doubt appeal to business readers and high-powered execs. 

But it also comes from a very personal perspective, like much of Lupton’s writing, and so we feel like we’re about to sit down and speak one-on-one with someone who very clearly knows what they’re talking about. 

It has a conversational tone (“So, I wanted to talk about…”) and promises to reveal to us something that “isn’t just overlooked, but the very concept itself is unknown.” Intrigued? I was. 

Start writing!

A strong introduction paragraph bridges the gap between an intriguing title and an article’s real value. It pulls the reader in with boldness, intrigue, storytelling, or relatability.

It’s an art that takes practice, but these introduction paragraph examples show it can be done right. There are also some great tools out there to help you out. Wordtune’s Spices feature can offer ideas for analogies, examples, statistics, facts, and relevant quotes — all great sources of inspiration for a strong introduction paragraph. 

After that, it’s your turn. Add personality, connect with your readers, and write more introductions, and you’ll be on your way to keeping your audience on the page.  

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How to Write an Introduction Paragraph: Tips, Guidelines, and Examples

Writing an introduction paragraph is like introducing yourself to another person. You wouldn’t want to make a bad impression. This is why learning how to write an introductory paragraph is important. Knowing how to write an introduction is also valuable for any form of writing, from blog posts and academic writing to technical writing.

A solid opening is crucial for setting the tone for your work. The appropriate start can catch a reader’s attention and attract them to continue reading. In this article, we discuss how to write an introductory paragraph and provide you with introduction paragraph examples that you can use for reference.

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What is an introduction paragraph.

Also known as an opening paragraph, an introduction paragraph is the first section that people see in your essay. It presents your essay’s core point and explains your topic’s importance. A creative and powerful introduction piques your readers’ interest enough to keep them reading.

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph?

  • Hook. This first portion of your introduction paragraph captures readers’ attention. It can be a surprising fact, an intriguing quote, an interesting story, or any other attention-grabbing creative statement.
  • Background Information. This part connects the hook to the thesis statement by providing context about your academic essay.
  • Thesis Statement. It’s the last sentence in the introduction that states your purpose for the essay and summarizes the main points that you’ll discuss in your academic paper. It answers why your readers should continue to read your essay or paper.

How to Write an Introduction Paragraph: Beginning and Ending

A well-written introduction gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression to the readers. It should establish a connection and positive effect on the readers so that they’d be open to knowing about your topic. If you want to write an amazing essay introduction, part of it is learning how to begin and end the introduction paragraph effectively.

How to Begin an Introduction Paragraph

Start with something relatable and memorable to command the attention of readers. Usually, people write a cliche statement or a question to begin their introduction paragraph. “In this paper, I will,” “This paper is about,” “In my humble opinion,” are bland and uninteresting ways to start an essay.

On the other hand, effective hooks are creatively crafted, like a thought-provoking question or anecdotal story. So, it would really help if you have creative writing skills. Write a creative introduction by trying unusual but relatable quotes, statements, or questions that would make the readers yearn for more.

How to End an Introduction Paragraph

The closing portion of your introductory paragraph should be a lead-in statement to what readers can primarily expect when they continue reading. To ensure you won’t miss something out, list down your essay topic’s main points or essential elements first. Then, summarize them before mentioning the core idea or purpose of your write-up. Preferably, this would take one to two sentences only.

How to Write an Introduction Paragraph: 5 More Useful Tips

A picture of a girl eating while writing on her laptop

Know Your Topic Well

Having a good grasp of your topic will help you write your introduction more effectively. It also helps you pick the right writing approach for your hook. It also gives you clarity on what essential points should be highlighted in the intro, which can serve as a road map for the body of your paper.

Strategize Your Writing Approach

List the questions that you want to answer in your introduction, as they will lead you to a concrete structure in delivering your message. Note your answers then arrange them from general to specific. Typically, the intro starts with a broad statement before elaborating as you close the introductory paragraph.

Be Consistent with Your Tone

You shouldn’t start something technical and then shift to something amusing. Always read aloud to check if the tone is right, and more importantly, if it’s right for your topic and purpose of writing. You should ensure your tone is consistent and appropriate for your purpose of writing by reading examples, asking others to read your introduction paragraph, and checking out helpful tips.

Be Clear and Concise

Write succinctly. Garbled sentences turn off readers. Remember that your introduction’s job is to effortlessly move the readers from a curiosity state to a desire-to-learn-more state. You’ll only be able to do this seamlessly if you practice clarity and brevity.

Consider Your Writing Process

Those who know their topics by heart can write their essay chronologically, so they write the introduction first before writing the complete essay. Some prefer to put the pieces together in the body before writing. Try them both and see which writing process works best for you.

Introduction Paragraph Examples to Help You Improve Your Essay Writing

Writing a compelling introduction is easier said than done. So, seeing an intro paragraph format and flow that works would be useful, as you practice your essay writing skills. Below are some sample intro paragraphs that could be of help to you when writing yours.

Introduction Paragraph Example 1: Finding the Right Therapist

As a scaredy-cat, I think all foreign things seem to have an ulterior motive, good or bad. The thought that something foreign to me could be a major determinant in my life screams through my mind. This was the case when the topic of therapy was first introduced to me. I had never had to meet a therapist, nor did I know anyone that did. In this essay, I’ll share with you all the steps and measures I took to ensure that I’d meet a reliable therapist. This is my journey and breakthrough in finding the right therapist for my condition.

Introduction Paragraph Example 2: Capturing the True Essence of Scent with Technology

Every scent has a story. In our home, the aroma of lilacs signaled that my sister was here, musk meant my brother was around the corner and rose let me know that my mom was going for a night out. A scent could tell me what’s expected or what will occur. You can imagine my surprise when I knew that I can now capture the true essence of a scent using technology. Through this article, we’ll discover how technology uses science in detecting scent and how valuable this is in our daily lives.

How to Use Introduction Paragraph Examples to Write Your Own

To use an introduction paragraph example effectively, you have to understand it well. Take note of the pattern used and pay attention to how the whole introduction flows. After you’ve written your own introduction paragraph based on the introduction examples, keep practicing to collect all your writings and study how your writing skills evolve.

How to Write an Introduction Paragraph FAQ

An introduction paragraph needs to have its key parts: an engaging hook, background information, and a thesis statement.

The best way to start an introduction is with a strong hook. You’ll know that your hook is strong if it catches the attention of the reader and makes them want to continue reading.

A hook is important for crafting an effective introduction, therefore an attention-grabbing hook must leave the readers with questions and leave them wanting to explore the body of your content for more information. A hook can be difficult to write so practicing your writing skills would definitely be of help.

One paragraph is enough for an introduction. It must be short, about three to five sentences long. However, there are cases when your introduction needs to exceed that length, depending on the purpose of your writing.

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Writing Resources

Writing successful introductory paragraphs.

This handout is available for download in  DOCX format  and  PDF format .

In the most abstract sense, the function of an introductory paragraph is to move the reader from the world of daily life into the textual and analytical space of an essay.

In a more concrete sense, an introduction performs three essential functions:

  • It clearly and specifically states the topic or question that you will address in your essay.
  • It motivates the topic or question that the essay will examine.
  • It states, clearly and directly, your position on this topic or question (i.e., your thesis).

Conceptual Components

While reading your introduction, your reader will begin to make assumptions about you as an author. Be sure to project yourself as a thoughtful, knowledgeable and nonbiased writer capable of dealing effectively with the complexities and nuances of your topic. Your introduction should set the tone that will remain consistent throughout your essay. In addition to emphasizing the uniqueness of your approach to your subject matter, you should seek to draw your reader into your essay with the gracefulness of your prose and the rational demeanor you project as a writer.

Contextualization

In addition to stating the topic and scope of your analysis, your introduction should provide your readers with any background or context necessary to understand how your argument fits into the larger discourse on the subject. The details you use to orient your reader with your topic should be woven throughout the structural components of your introduction listed below.

Structural Components

In addition to grabbing the reader’s attention, the opening sentence of an essay sets up the structure of the introductory paragraph. You want to create movement among your ideas, which is best done by moving either from the particular to the general or from the general to the particular. Essays that move from the particular to the general often begin with an anecdote, quotation, fact or detail from the text that can be used to introduce readers to the larger issues the essay will address. Introductions that move from the general to the particular — typically referred to as the funnel structure — often begin with a wider view of the topic that will be used to establish a context for the more localized argument that the author will present.

Shared Context

Claims about the topic that the author posits as common knowledge or uncontroversial, which the reader will readily accept as true without extensive evidence or argument. The shared context often entails a claim or claims that are obviously true, which the "motive" and "thesis" will then complicate or even oppose.

Topic or Purpose

The introductory paragraph must leave the reader with a clear understanding of the specific subject area that your essay will investigate. Defining your essay’s scope in this way often requires distinguishing your specific focus from the larger discourse on your topic. Though this is not always essential, many essays include a purpose statement that tells the reader directly: “this paper examines…” or “the aim of this essay is to…”

The motive is a specific sentence, usually near the middle of your introduction, that clarifies for the reader why your thesis is interesting, nonobvious and/or contestable. In essence, your motive answers the question “so what?” that a reader might ask of your thesis. Because they show that the truth about a subject is not as clear as it might seem, motive statements often employ terms of reversal — “yet,” “but,” “however,” etc. — that reflect a departure from the obvious.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central claim your essay will make about your chosen topic. Since the topic area must first be described and motivated, the thesis statement is usually placed near the end of the introduction.

Though this is often unnecessary in shorter papers, essays that are long (seven-plus pages) or especially complex are often easier for the reader to understand if the author offers some preview of the essay’s structure at the beginning of the paper. In especially long essays (20-plus pages), this outline of the essay’s structure may demand a paragraph of its own (usually the second paragraph).

Example Introduction Paragraph

Here is an example of an introductory paragraph that we will analyze sentence by sentence:

Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else's business. This is Doran's lament, one of many such laments in Dubliners , a book whose very title seems to presage a comprehensive portrait of Ireland's capital city. Joyce makes full use of the advantages Dublin offers as a setting. Both national capital and provincial town, the city was the ideal site for cutting — and often scathing — dissections of this land. It would be unfortunate, however, to see Dubliners merely as an ethnographic study, for Joyce's commentary has a broader scope. Dublin comes to serve as a locale for a drama which is played out all over the world, a drama about home. Joyce studies the nature of home, what it is and what it means to leave it. However different his characters may be, together they form a tableau which, while it does much to indict the idea of home, also shows a deep compassion for those who are bound to it. Although this theme may be examined in many stories — the failed attempt at leaving in “Eveline” is an obvious example — a look at two less obvious works, “The Boarding House” and “Little Cloud,” may best suggest its subtlety and pervasiveness.

Example Introductory Paragraph: Structural Components

In this table, each structural component of the introduction is listed in the left column, and the corresponding sample text is on the right:

Example Introductory Paragraph: Analysis

  • Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else's business .

This introduction proceeds from the particular to the general (it is also common to proceed from the general to the particular), beginning with a quotation before moving on to more large-scale issues. It is important to note that, while the opening quotation sets up this structure, it is reinforced by the author's movement from an initial discussion of Joyce's ethnographic rendering of Dublin itself to a broader discussion of Dublin's more universal significance as a site of home (the topic of this essay). Structuring your introduction in this way — “particular to general” or “general to particular” — ensures movement among your ideas and creates interest for the reader by suggesting a similar movement of ideas in the essay as a whole.

  • This is Doran’s lament, one of many such laments in Dubliners , a book whose very title seems to presage a comprehensive portrait of Ireland’s capital city. Joyce makes full use of the advantages Dublin offers as a setting. Both national capital and provincial town, the city was the ideal site for cutting — and often scathing — dissections of this land.

The author posits these claims as foundational, expecting that they will be readily accepted by her readers. Students of Joyce will recognize them as commonplaces. Others will accept them as authoritative precisely because the author presents them as informational, without substantial evidence. Having established a baseline of common wisdom, the author will proceed to complicate it with the word “however,” signaling the motivating move of the essay.

  • It would be unfortunate, however, to see Dubliners merely as an ethnographic study, for Joyce's commentary has a broader scope.

This essay is given its motive as a result of the author's claim that there is a lot more to Joyce's presentation of Dublin than is evident in an initial reading of Dubliners . Implicitly, the author is telling her readers that they should continue reading her essay in order to be shown things about the novel's rendering of Dublin that they would not otherwise have seen. The goal of the essay then becomes to fulfill this promise made to the reader. Note how the motive's placement in the introduction is related directly to the paragraph's structure: after presenting a more narrow and obvious reading of Dubliners in the opening sentences, the author inserts the motive in order to describe how her essay broadens the scope of this reading in a less obvious way that she elaborates on in the rest of the introduction.

  • Dublin comes to serve as a locale for a drama which is played out all over the world, a drama about home. Joyce studies the nature of home, what it is and what it means to leave it.

The author very specifically states her topic — Joyce's Dublin as a “local for a drama ... about home” — in order to clarify the scope of the essay for her readers. The purpose of her essay will be to explore and arrive at some conclusions about this topic. Again, note that the author's placement of the novel's topic relates directly to the structure she has chosen for her introduction: immediately after the motive in which the author informs the reader that she will not pursue a more obvious ethnographic investigation of Joyce's Dublin, she tells the reader clearly and directly what topic her essay will explore. Because it is essential to clearly define an essay's topic before presenting a thesis about it, the topic statement also precedes the thesis statement.

  • However different his characters may be, together they form a tableau which, while it does much to indict the idea of home, also shows a deep compassion for those who are bound to it.

The author's thesis statement is particularly strong because it pursues a tension in the novel by examining the way in which Joyce's attitude toward home pushes in two directions. It has Joyce simultaneously indicting and showing compassion for different aspects of home in Dubliners . As in most college essays, the thesis statement comes toward the end of the introduction. Again, note the way in which the placement of the thesis statement fits into the overall structure of the introduction: the author motivates and clearly defines her topic before offering her thesis about it. Giving the reader a clear understanding of the the topic to be explored in an essay (as this author does) is essential for the formulation of a thesis statement with this sort of tension and double-edged complexity.

  • Although this theme may be examined in many stories — the failed attempt at leaving in “Eveline” is an obvious example — a look at two less obvious works, “The Boarding House” and “Little Cloud,” may best suggest its subtlety and pervasiveness.

While this author's roadmap falls a bit short of the brief outline of an essay's structure that is often found in the introduction of longer college essays, she does give the reader an indication of the argumentative path the body of her essay will follow. In addition, indicating that she has limited herself to an examination of two of the novel's 15 stories further clarifies the essay's scope, and the reference to these works as “less obvious” enhances her motive.

Credit: Yale Writing Center. Adapted by Doug Kirshen.

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Examples of Great Introductory Paragraphs

Grab your reader's attention with the first words

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An introductory paragraph, as the opening of a conventional essay ,  composition , or  report , is designed to grab people's attention. It informs readers about the topic and why they should care about it but also adds enough intrigue to get them to continue to read. In short, the opening paragraph is your chance to make a great first impression.

Writing a Good Introductory Paragraph

The primary purpose of an introductory paragraph is to pique the interest of your reader and identify the topic and purpose of the essay. It often ends with a thesis statement .

You can  engage your readers right from the start through a number of tried-and-true ways. Posing a question, defining the key term, giving a brief anecdote , using a playful joke or emotional appeal, or pulling out an interesting fact are just a few approaches you can take. Use imagery, details, and sensory information to connect with the reader if you can. The key is to add intrigue along with just enough information so your readers want to find out more. 

One way to do this is to come up with a brilliant opening line . Even the most mundane topics have aspects interesting enough to write about; otherwise, you wouldn't be writing about them, right?

When you begin writing a new piece, think about what your readers want or need to know. Use your knowledge of the topic to craft an opening line that will satisfy that need. You don't want to fall into the trap of what writers call "chasers"  that bore your readers (such as "The dictionary defines...."). The introduction should make sense and hook the reader right from the start .

Make your introductory paragraph brief. Typically, just three or four sentences are enough to set the stage for both long and short essays. You can go into supporting information in the body of your essay, so don't tell the audience everything all at once.

Should You Write the Intro First?

You can always adjust your introductory paragraph later. Sometimes you just have to start writing. You can start at the beginning or dive right into the heart of your essay.

Your first draft may not have the best opening, but as you continue to write, new ideas will come to you, and your thoughts will develop a clearer focus. Take note of these and, as you work through revisions , refine and edit your opening. 

If you're struggling with the opening, follow the lead of other writers and skip it for the moment. Many writers begin with the body and conclusion and come back to the introduction later. It's a useful, time-efficient approach if you find yourself stuck in those first few words.

Start where it's easiest to start. You can always go back to the beginning or rearrange later, especially if you have an outline completed or general framework informally mapped out. If you don't have an outline, even just starting to sketch one can help organize your thoughts and "prime the pump" as it were.

Successful Introductory Paragraphs

You can read all the advice you want about writing a compelling opening, but it's often easier to learn by example. Take a look at how some writers approached their essays and analyze why they work so well.

"As a lifelong crabber (that is, one who catches crabs, not a chronic complainer), I can tell you that anyone who has patience and a great love for the river is qualified to join the ranks of crabbers. However, if you want your first crabbing experience to be a successful one, you must come prepared."
– (Mary Zeigler, "How to Catch River Crabs" )

What did Zeigler do in her introduction? First, she wrote in a little joke, but it serves a dual purpose. Not only does it set the stage for her slightly more humorous approach to crabbing, but it also clarifies what type of "crabber" she's writing about. This is important if your subject has more than one meaning.

The other thing that makes this a successful introduction is the fact that Zeigler leaves us wondering. What do we have to be prepared for? Will the crabs jump up and latch onto you? Is it a messy job? What tools and gear do I need? She leaves us with questions, and that draws us in because now we want answers.

"Working part-time as a cashier at the Piggly Wiggly has given me a great opportunity to observe human behavior. Sometimes I think of the shoppers as white rats in a lab experiment, and the aisles as a maze designed by a psychologist. Most of the rats—customers, I mean—follow a routine pattern, strolling up and down the aisles, checking through my chute, and then escaping through the exit hatch. But not everyone is so dependable. My research has revealed three distinct types of abnormal customer: the amnesiac, the super shopper, and the dawdler."
– "Shopping at the Pig"

This revised classification essay begins by painting a picture of an ordinary scenario: the grocery store. But when used as an opportunity to observe human nature, as this writer does, it turns from ordinary to fascinating.

Who is the amnesiac? Would I be classified as the dawdler by this cashier? The descriptive language and the analogy to rats in a maze add to the intrigue, and readers are left wanting more. For this reason, even though it's lengthy, this is an effective opening.

"In March 2006, I found myself, at 38, divorced, no kids, no home, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I hadn’t eaten a hot meal in two months. I’d had no human contact for weeks because my satellite phone had stopped working. All four of my oars were broken, patched up with duct tape and splints. I had tendinitis in my shoulders and saltwater sores on my backside.
"I couldn’t have been happier...."
– Roz Savage, " My Transoceanic Midlife Crisis ."  Newsweek , March 20, 2011

Here is an example of reversing expectations. The introductory paragraph is filled with doom and gloom. We feel sorry for the writer but are left wondering whether the article will be a classic sob story. It is in the second paragraph where we find out that it's quite the opposite.

Those first few words of the second paragraph—which we cannot help but skim—surprise us and thus draw us in. How can the narrator be happy after all that sorrow? This reversal compels us to find out what happened.

Most people have had streaks where nothing seems to go right. Yet, it is the possibility of a turn of fortunes that compels us to keep going. This writer appealed to our emotions and a sense of shared experience to craft an effective read.

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How to Write an Introduction for Any Subject

Last Updated: January 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 79,609 times.

When writing an introduction paragraph, you should always include a hook to capture the reader's attention, supporting information about the topic at hand, and a thesis statement. That said, there are still multiple introduction paragraphs you can use for your paper. This article will describe a few common ones, as well as some that you might not have seen.

Anecdotal Introduction

Step 1 Tell a small story.

  • Anecdotes can be true or fictional. They can also be personal or about someone else.
  • The story should be short enough to tell in a few sentences.

Step 2 Bridge into the topic.

  • You may end up introducing the main ideas of your essay during this portion of your introduction.

Step 3 State your thesis.

  • A thesis statement is a single sentence that defines a specific point or idea about a broader topic that your entire paper is built around.
  • The connection between your thesis statement and the anecdote you used should be obvious to the reader. If the thesis statement does not fit into the introduction as it currently stands, you may need to use more supporting evidence to lead into the thesis or change the anecdote you use.

Historical Review

Step 1 Determine if a historical review could be helpful.

  • These introductions are usually used for papers written about a historical time period or topic, a historical critique of a piece of literature, or a long-standing problem that people throughout the ages have tried to address.

Step 2 Provide factual and historical context about the the topic.

  • These pieces of information should not only provide context about the topic, but should also indirectly present the general topic itself. In doing this, you will demonstrate the the reader how your topic fits into the historical account you present in your introduction.

Step 3 Narrow your thoughts down to a thesis statement.

  • With this type of introduction, your thesis statement should cause the reader to view the historical facts you just presented in a specific light or through a specific lens. In effect, your thesis statement should tell the reader why the facts you presented before it are important to keep in mind.

Literary Summary

Step 1 Briefly summarize the literary work you are writing about.

  • In the case of a story, you do not need to focus on specific details or give away the ending. You simply need to introduce the basic, overall theme of the story and provide information about the conflict the main character faces.

Step 2 Draw out a general theme from the work.

  • Connect your summary to the theme in a naturally, sensible manner. For instance, if writing an essay about a coming-of-age story, you should introduce the coming-of-age theme with something like, “The broken friendships and family drama Jimmy has to go through serve as his passage into adulthood.”

Step 3 Hint at the main sections of your essay.

  • In a sense, you will be narrowing down your broad topic into a more focused, specific thought by slowly presenting ideas that narrow the reader's field of vision until all that reader sees about that literary work are the ideas presented in your paper.

Step 4 Come out with your thesis statement.

  • With this type of introduction, you need to choose a thesis that makes sense within the context of your summary and supporting evidence. If the thesis still seems out of place, go back and rewrite your supporting evidence until the connection your thesis has to the summary of the literary work makes sense.

Thought-Provoking Question

Step 1 Ask the reader a question they can relate to.

  • When choosing a question, you can ask something universal, surprising, or rhetorical.

Step 2 Consider backing up your initial question with two others.

  • The additional questions you ask should gradually narrow the topic down into something smaller and more specific.
  • For example, start with the question, “Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side?” After that, you can ask, “What is it about the human mind that perceives what one does not have as something more desirable than what one does have?” Your final question could then be, “Is this state of being a societal, psychological, or spiritual problem?”

Step 3 Hint at any answer and discuss how your essay will address the answer.

  • Doing this also clues the reader into the approach you intend to take on the question or questions at hand.

Step 4 State your thesis in a single sentence.

  • You do not need to give the reader a clear, definite answer to the question you ask, but if you narrowed your topic down using the three-question method, you should consider using terms or ideas from the final question in your thesis.

Words of Wisdom

Step 1 Offer a relevant quotation.

  • The quotation can be a famous saying, words from someone famous, a snippet from song lyrics, or a short poem.
  • Do not insert a hanging quote. A “hanging quote” refers to a quotation that has no introduction or no explanation after it. In other words, the sentence with your quotation in it must contain other content aside from the quotation itself.

Step 2 Provide context for the quotation while bridging into the topic.

  • Note that unless the quotation is anonymous, you must always state who is responsible for it.
  • This context will also introduce the topic of your paper and lead into supporting details that can introduce your thesis.

Step 3 State your thesis.

  • The thesis statement for this type of introduction will need to make sense in regards to the quotation you used. You should not use a general quotation that touches on the overall, broad topic but has nothing to do with the specifics of your thesis.

Corrective Introduction

Step 1 Mention something that people mistakenly believe.

  • When you state this mistaken belief, make sure to clarify that this belief is inaccurate.

Step 2 State your correction.

  • This sentence should introduce the general topic of the paper and open the path for your thesis statement.

Step 3 Elaborate slightly on the truth.

  • These pieces of supporting evidence usually correspond to the main ideas you will cover in the body paragraphs of your essay.

Step 4 Wrap things up with a relevant thesis statement.

  • In some ways, your thesis statement will be like a direct foil or mirror image of the misconception you are addressing. The two will be directly connected yet directly opposite one another.

Declarative Introduction

Step 1 Write about the general topic immediately.

  • Introduce the topic in your first sentence.
  • In the sentences that follow, elaborate on the topic by introducing facts or ideas that you intend to use as main points or major sections of your essay.

Step 2 Never state what your essay is about in direct terms.

  • “In this essay, I will write about...”
  • “This essay will discuss...”
  • “In this essay, you will learn about...”
  • Stating your topic in such precise terms creates a stiff, unnatural flow of words. You should strive to make the tone of your introduction professional yet conversational so that the reader can fall into your writing more naturally.

Step 3 State your thesis.

  • The portion of your introduction leading to the thesis will often narrow down the topic gradually until you can naturally introduce your specific thesis.

Step 4 Use this introduction with caution.

  • The only time that this type of introduction tends to work is when the writer is writing for an audience already interested in the topic. If the topic is strictly factual and not open to much subjective interpretation, then a declarative introduction might be proper.
  • When you write an essay, you should fact-check everything and know who your audience is.
  • It should not be boring. It should be relatable to people.
  • The introduction should appeal to the audience.

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Write an Essay Introduction

  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.esu.edu/writing-studio/guides/hook.cfm
  • ↑ https://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/intro_conclusions.html
  • ↑ https://guides.lib.ua.edu/c.php?g=39963&p=253698
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
  • ↑ https://germanna.edu/sites/default/files/2022-03/Literary%20Analysis.pdf
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/introduction
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/quoliterature/

About This Article

Tristen Bonacci

To write an introduction paragraph, start with an attention-grabbing “hook,” like a thought-provoking question, a relevant quotation, or a brief anecdote that relates to your topic. Once you’ve gotten the reader’s attention, use the next couple sentences to explain how the “hook” relates to the broader themes of your paper, and why the reader should care. Then, finish your intro paragraph with a thesis statement that relates directly to your first sentence, and that explains what the central argument of your paper should be. To learn some ways to tailor your introduction paragraph to the specific type of paper you’re writing, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Humanities LibreTexts

1.1: Intro to Creative Writing

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  • Sybil Priebe
  • North Dakota State College of Science via Independent Published

creative writing introduction paragraph

chapter 1: intro to creative writing:

Creative writing\(^7\) is any writing that goes outside the bounds of “normal”\(^8\) “professional,”\(^9\) journalistic, “academic,”\(^{10}\) or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics. Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development. 

Both fictional and nonfictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, as opposed to imitating pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Writing for the screen and stage—screenwriting and playwrighting—are often taught separately but fit under the creative writing category as well.

Creative writing can technically be considered any writing of original composition. 

the creative process: \(^{11}\)

Some people can simply sit down to write and have something to write about. For others, finding something to write about can be the hardest part of creative writing. Assuming that you are not in the first group, there are several things you can do to create ideas. Not all of these will work for all people, but most are at least useful tools in the process. Also, you never know when you might have an idea. Write down any ideas you have at any time and expand on them later.

For stories and poetry, the simplest method is to immerse yourself in the subject matter. If you want to write a short story, read a lot of short stories. If you want to write a poem, read poems. If you want to write something about love, read a lot of things about love, no matter the genre. 

the writing process “reminder”\(^{12}\)

Please Note: Not all writers follow these steps perfectly and with each project, but let’s review them to cover our butts:

BRAINSTORMING

PROOFREADING

Outline\(^{13}\) your entire story so you know what to write.  Start by writing a summary of your story in 1 paragraph. Use each sentence to explain the most important parts of your story. Then, take each sentence of your paragraph and expand it into greater detail. Keep working backward to add more detail to your story. This is known as the “snowflake method” of outlining.

getting started:

Find a comfortable space to write: consider the view, know yourself well enough to decide what you need in that physical space (music? coffee? blanket?).

Have the right tools: computer, notebook, favorite pens, etc.

Consider having a portable version of your favorite writing tool (small notebook or use an app on your phone?).

Start writing and try to make a daily habit out of it, even if you only get a paragraph or page down each day.

Keys to creativity: curiosity, passion, determination, awareness, energy, openness, sensitivity, listening, and observing...

getting ideas:

Ideas are everywhere! Ideas can be found:

Notebook or Image journal

Media: Magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, movies, etc.

Conversations with people

Artistic sources like photographs, family albums, home movies, illustrations, sculptures, and paintings.

Daily life: Standing in line at the grocery store, going to an ATM, working at your campus job, etc.

Music: Song lyrics, music videos, etc.

Beautiful or Horrible Settings

Favorite Objects

Favorite Books

How to generate ideas:

Play the game: "What if..."

Play the game: "I wonder..."

Use your favorite story as a model.

Revise favorite stories - nonfiction or fiction - into a different genre.

writer's block:\(^{14}\)

Writer’s block can happen to ANYONE, so here are some ways to break the block if it happens to you:

Write down anything that comes to mind. 

Try to draw ideas from what has already been written.

Take a break from writing. 

Read other peoples' writing to get ideas.

Talk to people. Ask others if they have any ideas.

Don't be afraid of writing awkwardly. Write it down and edit it later.

Set deadlines and keep them.

Work on multiple projects at a time; this way if you need to procrastinate on one project, you can work on another!

If you are jammed where you are, stop and write somewhere else, where it is comfortable.

Go somewhere where people are. Then people-watch. Who are these people? What do they do? Can you deduce\(^{15}\) anything based on what they are wearing or doing or saying? Make up random backstories for them, as if they were characters in your story.

peer workshops and feedback acronyms: \(^{16}\)

Having other humans give you feedback will help you improve misunderstandings within your work. Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to see what you “missed” in your own writing. Please try not to get upset by the feedback; some people give creative criticism and others give negative criticism, but you will eventually learn by your own mistakes to improve your writing and that requires peer review and feedback from others. 

If you are comfortable having your friends and family read your work, you could have them\(^{17}\) peer review your work. Have a nerdy friend who corrects your grammar? Pay them in pizza perhaps to read over your stuff!? If you are in college, you can use college tutors to review your work.

Peer Workshop activities can help create a “writing group vibe” to any course, so hopefully, that is a part of the creative writing class you are taking.

WWW and TAG

The acronyms involved with feedback – at least according to the educators of Twitter – are WWW and TAG. Here’s what they stand for, so feel free to use these strategies in your creative writing courses OR when giving feedback to ANYONE.

Are you open to the kinds of feedback you’ll get using that table above with the WWW/TAG pieces?

What do you typically want feedback on when it comes to projects? Why?

What do you feel comfortable giving feedback to classmates on? Why?

\(^7\)"Creative Writing." Wikipedia . 13 Nov 2016. 21 Nov 2016, 19:39 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_writing >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^8\)Whoa, what is normal anyway?

\(^9\)What IS the definition of “professionalism”?

\(^{10}\)Can’t academic writing be creative?

\(^{11}\)"Creative Writing/Introduction." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project . 10 May 2009, 04:14 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 19:39

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=1495539 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{12}\)It doesn’t really matter who created it; all you need to know is that you don’t HAVE to follow it perfectly. Not many people do.

\(^{13}\)Wikihow contributors. "How to Write Science Fiction." Wikihow. 29 May 2019. Web. 22 June 2019. http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Science-Fiction . Text available under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

\(^{14}\)"Creative Writing/Fiction technique." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project . 28 Jun 2016, 13:38 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 20:36

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=3093632 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{15}\)Deduce = to reach a conclusion.

\(^{16}\)"Creative Writing/Peer Review." Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project. 16 Aug 2016, 22:07 UTC. 9 Nov 2016, 20:12

< https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php...&oldid=3107005 >. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

\(^{17}\)This textbook we’ll try to use they/them pronouns throughout to be inclusive of all humans.

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5 hacks for writing a captivating introduction

There’s no coming back from a badly-written introduction. If you haven’t grabbed your reader’s attention by the first or second sentence, chances are you’ve already lost them. 

So, what’s the purpose of an intro? Isn’t it better to jump straight to the juicy bits and cut the small talk? After all, 55% of readers spend less than 15 seconds on your online article. 

Well, there’s nothing more dull than a long-winded intro. But it is actually good to write a few opening paragraphs to outline and set up what’s to come. So make sure what you’re writing is truly captivating – here are five hacks to hook your reader and keep them interested.

Our 15 seconds are up. Are you still with us?

Keep your first sentence short

Snappy and punchy, yes please. If sentences are overly long and indigestible, readers won’t want to go beyond the first line. 

Remember there’s a lot of value in a short opening sentence. Not to blow our own trumpet, but look again to our opening one. It’s simple and straightforward – readers don’t have to work too hard. 

Hook them with a problem

People want to gain things from the content they read online. Yours should be valuable and the intro needs to explain how you’re going to help them. Use a common pain point problem to show that you’re empathetic and equipped to make their lives better.

Provide valuable context

Your introduction is also an opportunity to provide useful context. Draw your readers in by setting up the backstory of why the subject is so important to talk about.

This context may come in the form of quotes, statistical figures, or a personal story that’s relevant and relatable. It’s all about sparking curiosity. 

Don’t over explain

Although you’ll want to summarise the subject at hand, you also don’t want to over-explain. Leave the nitty-gritty details for later.

Let the readers know what they’re in for, by dedicating just one or two sentences for explanations. No more details are needed at this point.

Don’t just repeat the title

Your intro should be eye-catching and unexpected – be unusually creative in the ways you introduce the topic. Think outside of the ordinary, with an interesting point of view – giving readers a valid reason to keep going.

With that said, the number one rule is to not repeat the title. Your readers already know what they’re in for, so give them something else to think about.

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Paragraphs & topic sentences.

A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized and coherent, and are all related to a single topic. Almost every piece of writing you do that is longer than a few sentences should be organized into paragraphs. This is because paragraphs show a reader where the subdivisions of an essay begin and end, and thus help the reader see the organization of the essay and grasp its main points.

Paragraphs can contain many different kinds of information. A paragraph could contain a series of brief examples or a single long illustration of a general point. It might describe a place, character, or process; narrate a series of events; compare or contrast two or more things; classify items into categories; or describe causes and effects. Regardless of the kind of information they contain, all paragraphs share certain characteristics. One of the most important of these is a topic sentence.

TOPIC SENTENCES

A well-organized paragraph supports or develops a single controlling idea, which is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. A topic sentence has several important functions: it substantiates or supports an essay’s thesis statement; it unifies the content of a paragraph and directs the order of the sentences; and it advises the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it. Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to determine the subject and perspective of the paragraph. That’s why it’s often best to put the topic sentence at the very beginning of the paragraph. In some cases, however, it’s more effective to place another sentence before the topic sentence—for example, a sentence linking the current paragraph to the previous one, or one providing background information.

Although most paragraphs should have a topic sentence, there are a few situations when a paragraph might not need a topic sentence. For example, you might be able to omit a topic sentence in a paragraph that narrates a series of events, if a paragraph continues developing an idea that you introduced (with a topic sentence) in the previous paragraph, or if all the sentences and details in a paragraph clearly refer—perhaps indirectly—to a main point. The vast majority of your paragraphs, however, should have a topic sentence.

PARAGRAPH STRUCTURE

Most paragraphs in an essay have a three-part structure—introduction, body, and conclusion. You can see this structure in paragraphs whether they are narrating, describing, comparing, contrasting, or analyzing information. Each part of the paragraph plays an important role in communicating your meaning to your reader.

Introduction : the first section of a paragraph; should include the topic sentence and any other sentences at the beginning of the paragraph that give background information or provide a transition.

Body : follows the introduction; discusses the controlling idea, using facts, arguments, analysis, examples, and other information.

Conclusion : the final section; summarizes the connections between the information discussed in the body of the paragraph and the paragraph’s controlling idea.

The following paragraph illustrates this pattern of organization. In this paragraph the topic sentence and concluding sentence (CAPITALIZED) both help the reader keep the paragraph’s main point in mind.

SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED TO SUPPLEMENT THE SENSE OF SIGHT IN NUMEROUS WAYS. In front of the tiny pupil of the eye they put , on Mount Palomar, a great monocle 200 inches in diameter, and with it see 2000 times farther into the depths of space. Or they look through a small pair of lenses arranged as a microscope into a drop of water or blood, and magnify by as much as 2000 diameters the living creatures there, many of which are among man’s most dangerous enemies. Or , if we want to see distant happenings on earth, they use some of the previously wasted electromagnetic waves to carry television images which they re-create as light by whipping tiny crystals on a screen with electrons in a vacuum. Or they can bring happenings of long ago and far away as colored motion pictures, by arranging silver atoms and color-absorbing molecules to force light waves into the patterns of original reality. Or if we want to see into the center of a steel casting or the chest of an injured child, they send the information on a beam of penetrating short-wave X rays, and then convert it back into images we can see on a screen or photograph. THUS ALMOST EVERY TYPE OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION YET DISCOVERED HAS BEEN USED TO EXTEND OUR SENSE OF SIGHT IN SOME WAY. George Harrison, “Faith and the Scientist”

In a coherent paragraph, each sentence relates clearly to the topic sentence or controlling idea, but there is more to coherence than this. If a paragraph is coherent, each sentence flows smoothly into the next without obvious shifts or jumps. A coherent paragraph also highlights the ties between old information and new information to make the structure of ideas or arguments clear to the reader.

Along with the smooth flow of sentences, a paragraph’s coherence may also be related to its length. If you have written a very long paragraph, one that fills a double-spaced typed page, for example, you should check it carefully to see if it should start a new paragraph where the original paragraph wanders from its controlling idea. On the other hand, if a paragraph is very short (only one or two sentences, perhaps), you may need to develop its controlling idea more thoroughly, or combine it with another paragraph.

A number of other techniques that you can use to establish coherence in paragraphs are described below.

Repeat key words or phrases. Particularly in paragraphs in which you define or identify an important idea or theory, be consistent in how you refer to it. This consistency and repetition will bind the paragraph together and help your reader understand your definition or description.

Create parallel structures. Parallel structures are created by constructing two or more phrases or sentences that have the same grammatical structure and use the same parts of speech. By creating parallel structures you make your sentences clearer and easier to read. In addition, repeating a pattern in a series of consecutive sentences helps your reader see the connections between ideas. In the paragraph above about scientists and the sense of sight, several sentences in the body of the paragraph have been constructed in a parallel way. The parallel structures (which have been emphasized ) help the reader see that the paragraph is organized as a set of examples of a general statement.

Be consistent in point of view, verb tense, and number. Consistency in point of view, verb tense, and number is a subtle but important aspect of coherence. If you shift from the more personal "you" to the impersonal “one,” from past to present tense, or from “a man” to “they,” for example, you make your paragraph less coherent. Such inconsistencies can also confuse your reader and make your argument more difficult to follow.

Use transition words or phrases between sentences and between paragraphs. Transitional expressions emphasize the relationships between ideas, so they help readers follow your train of thought or see connections that they might otherwise miss or misunderstand. The following paragraph shows how carefully chosen transitions (CAPITALIZED) lead the reader smoothly from the introduction to the conclusion of the paragraph.

I don’t wish to deny that the flattened, minuscule head of the large-bodied "stegosaurus" houses little brain from our subjective, top-heavy perspective, BUT I do wish to assert that we should not expect more of the beast. FIRST OF ALL, large animals have relatively smaller brains than related, small animals. The correlation of brain size with body size among kindred animals (all reptiles, all mammals, FOR EXAMPLE) is remarkably regular. AS we move from small to large animals, from mice to elephants or small lizards to Komodo dragons, brain size increases, BUT not so fast as body size. IN OTHER WORDS, bodies grow faster than brains, AND large animals have low ratios of brain weight to body weight. IN FACT, brains grow only about two-thirds as fast as bodies. SINCE we have no reason to believe that large animals are consistently stupider than their smaller relatives, we must conclude that large animals require relatively less brain to do as well as smaller animals. IF we do not recognize this relationship, we are likely to underestimate the mental power of very large animals, dinosaurs in particular. Stephen Jay Gould, “Were Dinosaurs Dumb?”

SOME USEFUL TRANSITIONS

(modified from Diana Hacker, A Writer’s Reference )

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Introduction to Paragraph Writing

ParagraphParagraphs are the group of sentences combined together, about a certain topic. It is a very important form of writing as we write almost everything in paragraphs, be it an answer, essay, story, emails, etc. We can say that a well-structured paragraph is the essence of good writing. The purposes of the paragraph are to give information, to explain something, to tell a story, and to convince someone that our idea is right.

Paragraphs are blocks of textual content that segment out a larger piece of writing—stories, novels, articles, creative writing, or professional writing portions—making it less complicated to read and understand. Excellent paragraphs are an available writing skill for plenty of types of literature, and proper writers can substantially beautify the clarity of their news, essays, or fiction writing whilst constructing nicely.

Structure of a Paragraph

A paragraph has three major parts-

Topic sentence

Supporting sentences

Concluding sentence

1. Topic Sentence

A topic sentence is a precise statement that reflects the main idea of the paragraph. It should be carefully written as it will show the reader what you are going to talk about. Words chosen for this should not be cluttered and ambiguous as readers will decide to read further based on this. It is not necessary to write the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. It can be put anywhere, as long as it reflects the main topic. For instance, if you mention that you are going to talk about the advantages of using the hand sanitizer, then in supporting sentence you should only talk about advantages, not the features or anything else. 

2. Supporting Sentences

Supporting sentences explain the topic sentence in detail. They expand the main topic and develops the main idea into the explanation. They explain the main topic using examples, facts, quotes, etc. They have to be related to the topic sentence.

There can be two types of Supporting sentences, First, The major supporting sentence; this sentence directly explains the main idea with some new fact or new idea. Second, a minor support sentence helps the major supporting sentence develop the controlling idea. 

3. Conclusion Sentence

A good concluding sentence brings a paragraph to a polished end. It may give a summary of the main topic, a concluding sentence also gives a final take on the topic and leaves the reader with complete information. 

A good conclusion can either be just reiterating the topic again or it could be concluded with a few main points which were not exclusively mentioned in the paragraph. 

What Makes a Paragraph Very Good 

A perfect and well-written paragraph comprises a key sentence, applicable supporting sentences, and a last (or transition) sentence. This structure is fundamental to maintaining your paragraph centred on the main concept and creating a clear and concise photo.

In order to add something interesting, and adding an interesting fact in your content does not necessarily follow the conventional paragraph structure, it’s more about scene building and continuing a story. Properly-written paragraphs are a staple of suitable flash fiction and short fiction writing, as short testimonies need to target a principal concept. When your sentences are unified and connected with other sentences, you can write a good paragraph.

Example of a Paragraph-

      .

The uncommon and speedy increase in Earth’s average temperature is called global warming. This growth has extensively been higher within the last century due to human intervention with nature. The release of greenhouse gasses in the ecosystem has been one of the number one motives behind the boom in temperature. The multiplied intake of fossil fuels has extended the attention of greenhouse gasses. The effect of world Warming is a lot higher than just a sore in temperature.

It modifies the rainfall pattern, intensifies coastal erosion, lengthens seasons in line with geography, the glaciers and ice caps are melting and will increase the range of continual and infectious illnesses. As a way to expect similar weather changes, scientists constructed models. These climate fashions are used to simulate the interactional responses of the sea and environment. They predict a boom of round 2 C to 6 C with the aid of the 21st century.

As you can see, that the main idea of the paragraph was describing the room. 

Then there are many supporting sentences supporting the main idea and expanding it in a way that the picture becomes clear in the reader’s mind.

Concluding sentence “ I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all,” 

This sentence summarised how the room looked and what feeling ran through his mind. 

Tips to Write a Good Paragraph

Whether you're writing a small paragraph or a big paragraph, the basic laws of structure should apply to both. While the framework for fiction is less strict than for nonfiction, the material or tale you create must logically or sequentially tie to the next paragraph. These aspects aid in the coherency of your body paragraphs, linking them together to form a unified whole around a topic or to establish a narrative arc.

1. Think Before You Write

Thinking before writing helps establish a structure and understand what you are going to answer in the paragraph. How can you be going to answer and what points should be provided to support your hypothesis? What facts and quotes can support your idea. 

2. Open Your Notebook

Write the answers to the above questions in a manner that includes all the important points. Just write in pointers to remember the gist of the matter.

3. Choose the Main Idea

Out of all the information you have found, you will have to decide the main idea of the paragraph which you would like to operate. 

4. Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus

Use a dictionary and thesaurus to add additional words to express your ideas.

5. Make Your Topic Sentence's First Sentence. 

The opening line of your first paragraph sets the tone for what your audience will learn as they continue reading. Even in fiction, a paragraph's introduction either creates or extends an idea or scenario from the previous paragraph. Every successful paragraph starts with a central topic that the rest of the paragraph aims to support, regardless of what style or genre you're writing for.

6. The Intermediate Sentences Should be Used to Provide Support.

Follow-up information to your main sentence or prior paragraph is included in these sentences. These phrases are where you persuade your reader to believe or imagine what you believe, and offer them all they need to see your point of view.

7. Make Use of Transitional Words.

Transition words help unite disparate paragraphs to generate a unified theme. Readers will be able to trace your ideas and comprehend how they relate to one another if you use phrases like "in addition" or "moreover," which will make for a smoother, more enjoyable reading experience. This is especially important for essayists and bloggers, who frequently share a single concept with their audience at a time.

Conclusion 

This segment has to wrap all of your arguments and factors.  

Must restate the primary arguments in a simplified way.  

Make sure that the reader is left with something to think about, specifically if it's far from an argumentative essay continually don't forget to permit time to rewrite the first proofread your essay before turning it on.

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FAQs on Paragraph Writing

1.What is the definition of paragraph writing?

A paragraph is a group of sentences that are all related to the same issue and are ordered and cohesive. Almost all of your writing should be grouped into paragraphs if it is longer than a few sentences.

2.In a paragraph, what is a topic sentence?

The main idea of a paragraph should be highlighted in a topic sentence, which tells the reader what the paragraph will be about. The topic sentence should give a concept that will tie the rest of the paragraph together while also tying it to the paper's main point.

3.What are the four different kinds of paragraphs?

Because there are four different sorts of paragraphs — narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive — the paragraph can be used to describe or explain anything.

4.Why are paragraphs important?

Paragraphs provide your writing shape and flow. They allow you to go from one thinking to the next. When you begin a new paragraph, you are informing your reader that the topic has come to an end and you are moving on. Your amazing thoughts and sound logic will be difficult to follow without this structure.

5.How is the transition between paragraphs important? What words can be used?

Transitions between paragraphs are crucial because they allow your ideas to flow logically from one to the next and ensure that your arguments is apparent.

These words (however, in addition, in contrast, similarly, etc.) can be very useful in transition but use them sparingly. Too many transitions will distract your reader and weaken your argumentation.

Mariam Ceesay's Writing for Engineering Portfolio Spring 2024

Introductory Paragraph

Hello, I’m Mariam (she/her)

I was born and raised in the bronx my whole life, but I am Gambian. Originally, I wanted to major in biomedical engineering, but I just recently changed my mind right before the semester started and now im thinking of majoring in biotechnology. I mostly enjoy reading manga or webtoons because I like to see what the scene would be visualized as. My favorite manga would probably be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. I also like to watch disney movies, but I haven’t watched one in a while. My favorites would have to be hunchback of notre dame, Mulan, or the princess and the frog. I usually don’t like reading books because the one’s that I’ve read were in high school, but the one I really loved was “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” The movie was great too. My issue with writing is that it might not seem good to other people even though I think I worked hard on it. Three cool facts about me is that I can solve a rubix cube, I won first place in my middle school science fair where I had to find the DNA of a strawberry, and I currently have 2.8k followers on tiktok. 

creative writing introduction paragraph

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