How to Write an Introduction
An introduction for an essay or research paper is the first paragraph, which explains the topic and prepares the reader for the rest of the work. Because it’s responsible for both the reader’s first impression and setting the stage for the rest of the work, the introduction paragraph is arguably the most important paragraph in the work.
Knowing how to write an introduction paragraph is a great skill, not just for writers, but for students and researchers as well. Here, we explain everything you need to know to write the best introduction, such as what to include and a step-by-step process, with some introduction paragraph examples.
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What is an introduction?
Your introduction is a way of preparing your reader for your paper. As the first paragraph of your writing , it makes the first impression and sets the reader’s expectations for tone, voice, and writing style. More importantly, your introduction provides the necessary background for your reader to understand your paper’s purpose and key points.
The introduction is also a way to engage and captivate your reader. An interesting, thought-provoking, or generally entertaining introduction makes your reader excited to keep reading—and an eager reader is an attentive reader.
What to include in an introduction
Introductions generally follow the writing style of the author and the format for the type of paper—for example, opening with a joke is appropriate for some essays, but not research papers . However, no matter what your writing style is or what kind of paper you’re writing, a good introduction includes at least three parts:
- A hook to capture the reader’s attention
- Background for context
- A clearly defined thesis statement or main point of your paper
How to write a hook
The hook refers to anything that grabs (or “hooks”) your reader’s attention and makes them interested. This could be a mystery, such as posing a question and only answering it at the end of your paper. Or it could be a shocking statistic, something that makes your reader rethink what they thought they knew and become curious for more information.
Hooks can be even more creative. Some papers start with an analogy or parable to present complicated topics in a way that someone with little experience can understand. Likewise, many writers opt to use personal anecdotes to show a more human side and spark an emotional connection with the reader.
When all else fails, you can use a poignant quote. If you’re having trouble putting your thoughts into words, maybe one of the great minds from history has already said it well.
You can read all about how to write a hook here, including more detailed instructions and examples.
How to add background information
Not every paper requires background knowledge, but sometimes your reader needs to catch up or understand the context before you make your original points.
If you’re writing about something factual, such as a scientific or historical paper, you may need to provide a small lesson on the basics. For example, if you’re writing about the conflict between ancient Egypt and Nubia, you might want to establish the time period and where each party was located geographically.
Just don’t give too much away in the introduction. In general, introductions should be short. If your topic requires extensive background to understand, it’s best to dedicate a few paragraphs to this after the introduction.
How to write a thesis statement
Every good introduction needs a thesis statement , a sentence that plainly and concisely explains the main topic. Thesis statements are often just a brief summary of your entire paper, including your argument or point of view for personal essays. For example, if your paper is about whether viewing violent cartoons impacts real-life violence, your thesis statement could be:
Despite the rhetoric and finger-pointing, no evidence has connected live-action role-play violence with real-world violence, but there is plenty of evidence for exoneration, as I explain here.
Learning to write a good thesis statement is an essential writing skill, both in college and the world of work, so it’s worth taking the time to learn. The rule of thumb for thesis statements is not to give everything away all at once. Thesis statements, and more broadly introductions, should be short and to the point, so save the details for the rest of the paper.
How to write an introduction paragraph in 6 steps
1 decide on the overall tone and formality of your paper.
Often what you’re writing determines the style: The guidelines for how to write an introduction for a report are different from those for how to write an English essay introduction. Even the different types of essays have their own limitations; for example, slang might be acceptable for a personal essay, but not a serious argumentative essay.
Don’t force yourself to write in a style that’s uncomfortable to you. If you’re not good at making jokes, you don’t need to. As long as your writing is interesting and your points are clear, your readers won’t mind.
2 Write your thesis statement
At the beginning of writing a paper, even before writing the research paper outline , you should know what your thesis is. If you haven’t already, now is the time to put that thesis into words by writing your thesis statement.
Thesis statements are just one sentence, but they are usually the most important sentence in your entire work. When your thesis is clearly defined, your readers will often use it as an anchor to understand the rest of the writing.
The key to writing a good thesis statement is knowing what to ignore. Your thesis statement should be an overview, not an outline. Save the details, evidence, and personal opinions for the body of the paper.
If you’re still having trouble, ask yourself how you’d explain this topic to a child. When you’re forced to use small words and simplify complex ideas, your writing comes across more clearly and is easier to understand. This technique also helps you know which details are necessary up front and which can wait until later .
3 Consider what background information your reader needs
Don’t take your own experience for granted. By this point in the writing process , you’ve probably already finished your research, which means you’re somewhat of an expert on the topic. Think back to what it was like before you learned: What did you wish you had known then?
Even if your topic is abstract, such as an ethical debate, consider including some context on the debate itself. How long has the ethical debate been happening? Was there a specific event that started it? Information like this can help set the scene so your reader doesn’t feel like they’re missing something.
4 Think of a good hook
Writing a hook can be the most difficult part of writing an introduction because it calls for some creativity. While the rest of your paper might be presenting fact after fact, the hook in your introduction often requires creating something from nothing.
Luckily, there are already plenty of tried-and-true strategies for how to start an essay . If you’re not feeling very creative, you can use a method that’s already been proven effective.
Just remember that the best hooks create an emotional connection—which emotion is up to you and your topic.
5 Write a rough draft of your introduction without pressure
It’s normal to clam up when writing a rough draft of your introduction. After all, the introduction always comes first, so it’s the first thing you write when you finally begin.
As explained in our guide to writing a rough draft , the best advice is not to pressure yourself. It’s OK to write something that’s messy—that’s what makes this draft rough . The idea here is to get words on paper that make your point. They don’t have to be the perfect words; that’s what revisions are for.
At the beginning, just worry about saying what needs to be said. Get down your hook and thesis statement, and background information if necessary, without worrying about how it sounds. You’ll be able to fix the problems later.
6 Revise your introduction after you’ve written your whole paper.
We recommend finishing the first draft of your entire paper before revising the introduction. You may make some changes in your paper’s structure when writing the first draft, and those changes should be reflected in the introduction.
After the first draft, it’s easier to focus on minutiae like word choice and sentence structure, not to mention finding spelling and grammar mistakes.
Introduction for an essay example
While other kids’ memories of circuses are happy and fun, what I recall most from my first time at a circus was feeling sorry for the animals—I can still remember the sadness in their eyes. [HOOK] Although animal rights in the circus have come a long way, their treatment of animals even under the new laws is still cruelty plain and simple. [BACKGROUND] The way circuses abuse animals needs to be abolished immediately, and we need to entirely rethink the way we use animals for entertainment. [THESIS STATEMENT]
Introduction for a research paper example
What would happen to humanity if everyone just stopped having babies? [HOOK] Although more endemic in some places than others, the global decline in birth rates has become a major issue since the end of the pandemic. [BACKGROUND] My research here shows not only that birth rates are declining all over the world, but also that unless the threats are addressed, these drastic declines will only get worse. [THESIS STATEMENT]
An introduction is the first paragraph in an essay or research paper. It prepares the reader for what follows.
What’s the purpose of an introduction?
The goal of the introduction is to both provide the necessary context for the topic so the reader can follow along and also create an emotional connection so the reader wants to keep reading.
What should an introduction include?
An introduction should include three things: a hook to interest the reader, some background on the topic so the reader can understand it, and a thesis statement that clearly and quickly summarizes your main point.
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- Knowledge Base
- Research paper
Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide
Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 29, 2022.
The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:
- Present your topic and get the reader interested
- Provide background or summarize existing research
- Position your own approach
- Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
- Give an overview of the paper’s structure
The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.
Table of contents
Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.
The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.
The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.
For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:
A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:
Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.
This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.
In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.
Argumentative paper: Background information
After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.
Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .
Empirical paper: Describing previous research
For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.
This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.
Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.
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The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.
Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance
In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.
Empirical paper: Relate to the literature
In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:
- What research gap is your work intended to fill?
- What limitations in previous work does it address?
- What contribution to knowledge does it make?
You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.
Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.
The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).
Argumentative paper: Thesis statement
The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.
Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis
The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.
Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.
A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.
- This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
- We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.
If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.
For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:
The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.
In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.
If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.
- This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
- This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …
Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.
- Argumentative paper
- Empirical paper
Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.
The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.
The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:
- A hook to catch the reader’s interest
- Relevant background on the topic
- Details of your research problem
and your problem statement
- A thesis statement or research question
- Sometimes an overview of the paper
Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.
This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .
The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .
A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.
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How to Start an Article – 100+ Examples of Article Introductions
While I love writing articles , I just dread putting together the perfect introduction. I don’t believe in a universal formula that you can apply to make it easier for you to write an effective blog post introduction. However, I assume there are certain things good introductions have in common.
So I’m having a closer look at 100+ article introductions to see if there are any similarities we can learn from:
Here’s a video version of the article:
Getting people to imagine
Oh, the power of imagination . Works like a charm every time for article introductions.
Introducing a common problem for a specific reader segment
Some authors prefer to target niche audiences and make assumptions regarding their interest and problems from the start:
Question in the article introduction
This technique does appear to be overly used because it’s a certain way of helping readers make the connection between the article they’re about to read and their own issues :
Often the question is there just so the article can answer it. So you’re essentially going to read one extra long answer after the article’s introduction:
Questions can also be used in article intros to take readers back to a past memory and create a sense of nostalgia :
The general statement as the article’s intro
Just that and used much too often as we’re already expecting a similar into for most articles. Frankly, this type of post introduction doesn’t add much value besides setting the context or introducing one main topic.
Closely related to the general statement, there’s also the “here’s why you should keep on reading this article” phrase/paragraph where the importance of the topic is highlighted first:
Here’s a mix of a quote and a question with the aim of making people relate to the quote :
Or perhaps you’d like to explain a quote or mantra by naturally inserting it into the first phrase:
Take advantage of seasons, holidays, news, or recent events
You can also take existing articles that are highly debatable, controversial, or just the ones that launch a new idea to discuss around:
Straight to the point
Skip the fluff and tell or show readers what they’re looking for :
Here are other similar example of article introductions:
The next blog post introduction takes advantage of various possible structures and text formatting you can use to create excitement around a launch or simply add some of your own brand’s personality:
I’ve always been an advocate of using CTAs to their best and consider all conclusions should have one call-to-action at least, but I must admit that adding them to your article’s introduction can also be the right way to go if it leads to your main goal for that specific piece of content:
Giving a definition
Never fail with studies
Statistics work just as fine:
Every time actually.
And you can use the article’s intro to tease the results and make people want to read more like here :
Another way of leveraging stats is by referencing past numbers and creating the expectation of improvement :
Putting the author first
Here’s another article introduction example from Coach the Life Coach :
In this sample, the author is using her past experience to present a problem the reader might have and suggest that further reading the article will provide a solution:
Of course, putting the author first often means bringing your brand or business to the front too :
You’ll also occasionally come across the “here’s what we’re doing” type of posts:
Or you can take the straight-forward way and boldly place what you’re promoting at the start of the article or directly create your blog post around that idea:
Sharing the experience of a brand or company is also highly valued:
Putting the reader first
In other words, repeated use of YOU or situations the reader might be familiar with .
Take a look at this example which puts emphasis on the reader while also getting him/her to imagine an existing or ideal reality :
Here’s a different way to appeal to the reader by making a typical assumption that you know what they’re thinking:
Another introductory paragraph on Newsweek where the transition is slowly being made from the author (first person) to the reader (second person) :
The third person
Or the go-to introduction for any interview and podcast .
Success stories are also favorably viewed loved by all kinds of audiences and it’s only natural to start the article by putting the person you’re going to talk about (or talk to) at the beginning:
You’ve seen this in use all too often:
Of course, this technique (although almost a standard so to say) is a bit outdated since we’re so used to seeing this structure, so here’s a different way of approaching the introduction of the person the article is centered around:
Storytelling starts within the introduction
Now this is a story anyone would want to hear:
Making a promise
This is an ever-common way of ensuring you’re getting visitors to keep reading the article and not just move on to another one after reading the first 3 sentences.
Everyone is following this trend:
A mix of promise and question to get brains moving:
Brian Dean takes advantage of this technique to make some pretty strong promises, but in his case, he manages to deliver them fairly accurately. Here are three of those statements as placed in introductions:
The last one also offers readers assurance on the credibility of the author as he writes about things he managed to achieve himself.
And such examples are endless:
Getting readers to think from the article’s intro
In this article introduction example from Scott H. Young , the author involves the reader by giving facts and asking a question that will get them to think and make their own assumptions before they read on:
Making structure work for you
Notice how articles on bigger outlets (particularly those that focus on news) tend to have an introductory phrase, similar to a subtitle , which resumes the article or creates the premise for the topic to be discussed:
Here’s another example, this time on Medium:
And another such “introduction” on The Guardian :
Slack also does this with their blog posts, proving it’s not just a technique for the news outlets:
Repeat the title
Simply rephrasing the headline in the post’s introduction is a more natural way of essentially emphasizing the main idea of the article:
Breaking the article introduction into several short paragraphs
Another trend related to the form of the introduction is separating each sentence in the intro into multiple paragraphs with plenty of white space between them:
Have any secrets to building a successful article introduction? Feel free to share them!
P.S.: I’m also doing a quick poll to see if people actually read and care about introductions or just skip them. If you have 3 seconds, cast in your vote:
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Published by Alexandra Cote
Alexandra Cote is a SaaS content writer and strategist with a passion for workplace productivity, social media marketing wonders, conversion rate optimization, artificial intelligence, and keyword research (Hooray for SEO!). Reach out to her via LinkedIn or her blog. View more posts
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A step-by-step guide to writing a compelling article introduction.
Published on July 25, 2016
Wouldn’t it be great if every single person who clicked on one of your articles read it from start to finish, unable to pull their eyes away from the screen?
I think we both know the answer to that question.
To achieve this goal, however, you must master the art of writing intriguing introductions.
Wait a second , you’re thinking. Writing introductions? Isn’t that kind of a small detail of a 2,000-word article?
Your article intro is not a small detail.
The introduction to your article is often the difference between engaging readers and having a bounce rate high enough to make a click-baiter cringe .
Think about it. If you don’t grab your readers right away, you’ll lose them.
You went through all that work of writing a killer article, right? You worked hard at it. You spent a lot of time on it. You did a ton of research.
But if your introduction sucks, your efforts will be all for nothing.
You lost before you even got started!
If you want to write great content , improve the success of your marketing campaigns, and increase the loyalty of your fans, you must master writing introductions.
Let me show you how.
5 Steps to Write an Article Introduction
Here’s how you write a blog introduction that doesn’t stink:
- Master the opening line
- Have something unique to say
- Keep it simple
- Speak directly to the reader
- Explain what the article is about
Step 1 – Master the Opening Line
To have a strong introduction, you need to open with a strong first sentence.
The millisecond your reader hits the page, they have an extremely high likelihood of leaving the page.
Data says so.
The first sentence has one single purpose: to entice the reader to read the next sentence. In doing so, it sets the tone for the rest of the article, hooking the reader in, one step at a time.
If you fail at this, you readers won’t scroll.
And if they don’t scroll, they won’t engage.
Check out this article by Dilbert author Scott Adams to see how the first sentence is done.
He writes this:
I went from being a bad writer to a good writer after taking a one-day course in “business writing.”
That’s a great opening line.
Why? Because it makes me want to know more!
- How did he become a good writer?
- What did he learn?
- Could I benefit from it too?
Adams nailed it. He drew us in by making us ask questions.
If you don’t know how to craft an intriguing first sentence, the remaining 980 words of your article will be a complete waste.
Save your writing introduction ideas in one place across all the document apps you use.
Luckily for you, with a few simple tricks, writing a phenomenal first sentence can be quite easy.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep the first sentence short. This makes it easy for the reader to digest the first bits of information and prevents them from losing interest quickly.
But there is more to it than that.
You have to make sure that the first sentence grabs the reader’s attention and holds it for the rest of the article.
Here are a couple of tried-and-true tactics that make for super compelling first lines.
Ask the reader a question
This is an easy way to get the reader’s attention and get them engaged without a whole lot of effort on your part.
For example, if you are writing an article on quitting your job and starting your own company, you could open with the question: “Did you know that almost 70% of Americans report being actively disengaged from their careers?”
Why does this work?
It has to do with the brain’s “ limbic reward system .”
When this system is activated, dopamine is released. And dopamine gives us a sense of reward and pleasure.
When we are intrigued by a question, i.e., experience a sense of curiosity, the limbic reward system lights up. And that’s why we want to keep reading—it’s rewarding to satisfy curiosity.
Writer Olga Khazan asks a question that’s on everyone’s mind, causing the reader to be instantly interested.
We want to know the answer to that question, so we keep reading.
That’s why a question is a great opening line. You can even use the question as the article title.
Tell a story
The brain also lights up when it encounters a story.
According to the theory of neural coupling, certain portions of the brain are activated when a reader thinks about the same mental and physical activity that a character in a story is doing.
James Clear usually starts his blog articles with a story, often a true story.
The story makes his readers interested in the article and keeps them reading to the very end.
Use a shocking quote
Another great way to start your article is to use an attention-grabbing quote.
Let’s say you are writing an article on world travel. A great way to introduce the article would be with the quote from Helen Keller:
“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Tell the reader to imagine
Sparking the imagination is an instant way to draw the reader into the experience of the article.
Notice how this article from Wired For Story begins:
The reader tries to obey the imperative by imagining. This effort compels the reader to read further, drawing them into the article.
Writers for The Atlantic are experts at their craft. This writer does the same thing—asking the reader to imagine.
Share an interesting fact
In a day and age when the Internet is so rife with crappy information and fraudulent “gurus,” people are skeptical. They have every reason to be.
Opening your article with a relevant fact or statistic is a great way to establish trust and authority from the first sentence and let readers know you’ve done your research.
Step 2 – Have Something Unique to Say
Okay, so you’ve crafted an excellent first sentence, and you have your reader’s interest.
Now, you have to hold that interest by having something interesting and uncommon to say.
Very few people take the time and energy to regularly produce new, thought-provoking content. If you do, you’ll set yourself apart from the herd in a big way.
Forget re-purposing of old articles or rewriting stuff from other people’s websites. If you want to have the reader’s respect and attention, you have to say something they’ve never heard before.
Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff you read today has been regurgitated 28 times before.
Let’s imagine you run a travel blog. Based on my advice, you write a number of 3,000-word comprehensive “How-To Guides.”
Whenever a reader opens your guide on financing their first around the world trip, they’ll expect to read all about airline rewards programs, frugality, and credit card points.
And that information is great, but it is also very generic.
A better introduction would be something like this:
How would you like to save up enough money in the next 6 months to spend all of 2017 traveling the world? That would be pretty epic, right? Well, this is entirely possible, and in today’s article, I am going to show you how you can do this. It’s not by skipping your morning latte or spending thousands of dollars with your credit cards on a few hundred miles either. I am going to show you how you can create a life of mobility and freedom by leveraging the skills you already have, tactically selecting your destinations, and using a little known tax secret that will save you thousands of dollars! Sound good? Let’s get to it.
It’s hard to be different. I realize that.
Sometimes, in order to create unique stuff, we simply have to work harder, think longer, and research more than our competition.
Here are some ways you can develop that unique voice in your article introduction:
- Share a personal story or fact. You’re the only you there is. You can share a story or experience no one else can. One way to tell such a story is to write, “If you know me…”
- Get your emotions in it. People have an emotional reaction to emotions. When we convey our emotions in our writing, people tend to respond. Besides, emotion is also a unique and personal thing. How do you communicate this in an introduction? Easy: “Want to know how I feel about it? I feel….”
- Share your goals or vision. If you have a guiding goal or vision for life, you can communicate this in your introduction. “That’s one of the reasons I wrote this post. My goal in life is to…”
- Make a promise. A promise is a personal and attention-grabbing thing. Give your readers a promise, and it will secure their loyalty and their interest. “I promise that I’ll do my dead-level best to….”
Unique isn’t easy . But it’s worth it.
Step 3 – Keep it Simple
We live in a world where most people have an attention span of only a few seconds.
Apparently, our attention span is getting shorter!
After a few seconds, we get bored and move on to the next shiny object.
If you want your readers to make time in their days to read what you have to say, make sure you present things as simply as possible .
Longer articles, of course, deserve longer introductions. But it’s important to respect people’s time and attention. You can’t change what is (people’s short attention spans) by writing a long introduction based on what should be (longer attention spans).
Avoid rambling about how great your information is, and just share it already!
Step 4 – Speak Directly to the Reader
Whenever you are writing educational material for other people, you want to use the word “you” as much (and as naturally) as possible.
In this article, I’ve used some variation of the word you more than 100 times. Why? Because I’m talking to you! I want you to know this information. I want you to benefit from it.
By emphasizing the word “you” in your article, you show the reader you are directly addressing them and their situation and not just writing a generic article to the general populace.
But there’s another side to this. I should refer to myself as well. My goal is to convey a personal feel to this article. After all, it’s me talking to you, right? So it’s only natural that I would refer to myself too.
Step 5 – Explain What the Article is About
The point of an introduction is exactly that: to introduce the content that will be presented in an article.
I cannot tell you the number of times online articles left me confused even I after I’d read a few of their paragraphs.
I couldn’t tell whether the authors were teaching me how to run successful Facebook ads , or telling me a weird story about their childhood.
Take a few sentences, and clearly explain what the article is going to cover without giving away too many details.
This will build suspense around the subject matter while still letting your audience know what they may be in for.
A great example of this comes from the Buffer blog. Notice how the introduction poses a question and then proposes to answer that question.
Your curiosity stays high, but the introduction sets the stage.
Explain the importance of the article
Once you’ve explained what the article is, now it’s time to explain why people should care.
Everyone on the Internet approaches every new piece of information with a simple question: “ What’s in it for me ?”
If you want to write introductions that hook the reader and help your content go viral , you have to master the art of explaining what the reader stands to gain from the information you are sharing—the benefits.
How will it benefit your readers’ lives? How will it solve a problem they are facing? How will it cure a pain they are feeling?
If you understand how to quickly and efficiently answer these questions, you’ll keep your readers glued to your article till the last word.
Few things can make or break your article as easily as an introduction.
If you can master the art of the first few paragraphs, you’ll be able to increase reader engagement, improve sales, and earn a reputation as a phenomenal writer.
It’s not an easy skill to master, but like many things in Internet marketing, it’s fairly straightforward.
If you put in the work, you’ll get results.
What tactics do you use to create a compelling article introduction?
An introduction is the first paragraph in an essay or research paper. It prepares the reader for what follows. What’s the purpose of an introduction? The goal of the introduction is to both provide the necessary context for the topic so the reader can follow along and also create an emotional connection so the reader wants to keep reading.
The main goals of an introduction are to: Catch your reader’s attention. Give background on your topic. Present your thesis statement —the central point of your essay. This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille. Essay introduction example
The five steps in this article will help you put together an effective introduction for either type of research paper. Table of contents Step 1: Introduce your topic Step 2: Describe the background Step 3: Establish your research problem Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper Research paper introduction examples
How to Write an Article Introduction – 100+ Examples of How to Start an Article Watch on Getting people to imagine Oh, the power of imagination. Works like a charm every time for article introductions. Introducing a common problem for a specific reader segment