How to Start an Essay Worth A+ (With Examples)
What if you are a desperate and completely lost student having no idea how to start an essay due very soon? The first piece of advice is simple – don’t worry while you still have some time. For you to get the hang of how to start a paper, we have prepared an exhaustive list of working techniques. Before writing an essay do the following:
- Brainstorm your ideas. Indeed, you should be prepared that brainstorming sessions won’t wait till you get yourself a job in some ad agency. You’ll have to apply this technique starting right from college. This is especially the case if you want your papers to concern really interesting topics.
- Mindmap the best suggestions. This is a logical development after some heavy brainstorming. You’ve already come up with some worthy ideas. Now, put the broadest ones at the center of a paper or screen, if you prefer the digital way. Then, let your imagination work! Move on to note down some branches-suggestions. Actually, in a matter of a few minutes, you will likely have a general structure of your future paper!
- Do your research. This one is probably the most responsible part. Having some ideas to center the paper on, you need to proceed to the research stage. This is high time to decide whether the topic of your choice is worth exploring. Is there enough info to cover? Isn’t it too broad a theme? Make sure you have your answers to these questions.
- Formulate a thesis statement. Here’s a tip – consider your thesis statement the most important sentence in the whole essay. Basically, this is the case. A solid thesis should reflect the main idea or a viewpoint. Of course, this idea is something you will need to uphold throughout the whole text.
- Write a plan. Finally, you are to concentrate on which parts exactly are to be in the paper. Never neglect this part as this is key to success with any document, especially the lengthy one!
You should never start writing an academic paper without these steps because they form the basis of a prolific work. Following these tips you’ll be able to come up with a worthy text deserving a good grade.
Read on to find some great how to start an essay examples and more working tactics on how to approach a writing assignment!
Start an Essay With a Catchy Title
For all those wondering how to begin an essay – here’s our first and foremost tip. Do invest some time and effort to come up with a catchy title. Indeed, the title is the very first thing that is going to either interest the reader instantly or bore one. And the boredom of your audience is far from being your ultimate goal.
Let’s introduce a few samples here. But first, here’s an important reservation – you are to devise the catchy title yourself only if you don’t have one stipulated by the tutor. Thus, double check your assignment requirements first. Actually, this will never hurt. Next, once you are free to go with any topic coming up to your mind, let yourself be creative. Here are some promised titles for you!
- A good idea is to introduce some wordplay in your title. For instance, in the field of International Relations, the wordplay is often used with the UN (the United Nations). Here’s an example for you – (UN)governed Places in the World: X, Y, Z (fill in the necessary countries or regions)
- For instance, you want to touch upon some societal issues related to representation in the media. E.g.: “Issues With Representation of South Asians in Western TV Shows”
- Use proper lexicon. For instance, if you plan to cover some gender-related aspects, stay up-to-date. Here’s an example – “Every Human Being Matters: The Way to Beat Gender Inequality”
Hopefully, the titles above will give you an idea of the best way to start an essay. Just stay away from boring stuff like “Teaching as an Art” or “What’s Wrong With Today’s Education.” Ordinarily, leave no place for cliches.
How to Introduce a Topic in an Essay
Let’s discuss the next part of preparing a worthy academic paper. Knowing how to introduce a topic in an essay is a good way to prove your expertise to the audience. Below you will find three ways how you can approach the matter.
State Your Thesis Briefly and Directly
If you have no idea how to introduce a topic in an essay, here’s the boldest way out – just start off right with your thesis statement. Why shouldn’t you? This is the basic part of any essay on which you’ll base the whole paper, right? In case you didn’t know that a thesis statement is – you know now. Let’s throw in some examples for the sake of practicality.
Let’s suppose your topic is “Issues with Representation of South Asians in Western TV Shows” That’s a worthy subject, for sure. But how to introduce it the right way? State your standpoint at once. It may sound as follows:
Thesis example: There have been numerous issues with the representation of South Asians in the media, the primary one being a lack of lead characters in Western TV shows.
Pose a Question Related to Your Subject
If you still wonder how to start off an essay, there’s one more approach. Hook the readers with some unexpected questions.
If you don’t know how to write a question in an essay, here are a few samples related to the previous topic:
- Doesn’t everyone have the right to proper representation?
- Who was your superhero during childhood and did they look like you?
These seemingly unrelated questions can really hook your readers.
State an Interesting Fact About Your Subject
In case you don’t have such a vast experience or maybe you are just beginning your college or uni journey, don’t worry. This third tactics on how to write an essay introduction is old but gold. As is the case with both rhetorical questions and interesting facts, the fewer such constructions throughout the text, the better. Want some samples?
Topic: The Rise (and Fall?) of Blogging
The fact to start with: With 4.2 million blogs being posted every day, joining the game might be easy, but winning it can prove tough.
How to Start an Essay Introduction With a Hook
If you want to have a comprehensive picture of how to start an essay introduction, let’s have the basics covered. Do you know your primary goal for this part of any academic paper? There are three important aspects:
- Get the reader’s attention. You are a student yourself. Accordingly, you might already know that the most important parts of any academic reading you get assigned with do not comprise the whole text. Abstract, keywords, a few intro sentences, and conclusions usually do the work, right?
- Give background on the topic. You should always start an essay presupposing that your readers are both seasoned pros in the field and newcomers. Moreover, you need to strike a golden balance between being too complicated and simplistic in your language.
- Show your thesis. Another way to hook your reader is to show it all in the first place. There are (at least) two types of writers. Some formulate a thesis right at the beginning of the text. Consequently, others put it at the very end of the introduction. You can choose one of these ways. Still, you should know that the thesis is probably the king of hooks – if posed right, of course.
Finally, you know three ways to engage your readers. Basically, a hook is a clear statement with which you can really grab the reader’s attention. Here’s the final example of a working hook for you:
E.g.: Would you guess where the most downloaded app of 2020 was created? The US is the wrong answer.
3 Tools for Good Essay Starters
Indeed, many students struggle while writing an opening to their academic papers. Luckily, you’ll get to know good essay starters below and the whole process will be a piece of cake.
- Use contrast between past and present. Many people have a tendency to correlate the current events with the past. Historians are obviously not the only ones who do so. You should keep it in mind while working on an opening sentence for essay. This is actually applicable to almost any topic and essay type. You can go as far as combine this good essay starter with introducing an interesting fact in your intro. You can, for instance, share statistics on the same matter but related to different years.
- Use contrast between expectation and reality. As much as people love to think the past over, some like to get lost mulling over the future. Use it to your benefit. This way you will be able to share your own thoughts on a particular matter or some viewpoint. Imagine your topic is “How Has the Internet Shaped Our Way of Living.” You can go with something like “On the rise of the Internet as a global Web we all expected unbelievable interconnectedness. Life was supposed to change for the better. But has it, if we consider instant drug selling or human trafficking that are possible due to the Internet as well?”
- Use personal incidents. If there is some universal thing people all over the world love then it’s all about the stories about others. Preferably funny. Or at least sad. Fewer love the stories about how happy you might be. So, never underestimate the power of a personal story. It’s indeed one of the good ways to start an essay. However, it’s only applicable if the type of essay due permits this approach.
Is It Bad to Start an Essay With a Quote?
For sure, academic writing is all about cliches and long-established rules. Even if you don’t know how to start an academic essay properly, the idea of adding a beautiful quote might have already crossed your mind.
Yet, is it a good way to begin your essay with? Let’s consider both pros and cons of adding a quote in a paper.
The pros are as follows:
- it’s neat – someone might have already formulated a cool phrase and you’ll be the one to benefit from it;
- it’s easy – so many amazing people have lived on this planet before you. Someone must have definitely said something on your topic;
- it’s classy – one way or another, a quote by Bertrand Russell (any of them) may be applied to your topic. And it will make the paper solid!
There are also the cons:
- it’s a cliche – this approach has been used for centuries;
- it may be boring for a reader – like HRs get bored by similarly looking CVs, your tutor might have already seen the quote just too many times;
- it’s hard to use it properly – of course unless you are Quentin Tarantino using Pai Mei’s wisdom the way it was done in Kill Bill 2!
How to Begin a Paper: 5 Working Tips
We’ve already covered a few ways to start an essay here in this article. Let’s summarize them and break them into 5 working tips. These will serve you well during your years at college, for sure!
- Start with a question. One of the best ways to hook your reader is by making one desperate to find the answer to some well-formulated question. Even if you go with a rhetorical one, this will work just nicely for you. The task is to hook, not to bore. Also, don’t overuse this tactic. You do want to give some answers throughout the paper as well.
- Add some quotes – or don’t. As essay writing is a creative process, there can be only guidance, not instructions set in stone. Still, when you find yourself desperately trying to come up with words to start an essay with, maybe you should consider adding a quote. Someone might have already presented your very thought and did it beautifully!
- Don’t be boring. Yes, this is not an easy task when it comes to academic papers in general. But still – try to be yourself. You don’t want to sound robotic. And your tutor surely does not want this, too. So, better abstain from some high school tactics like beginning with a dictionary definition, okay?
- The introduction is not the main body. Never forget this. Accordingly, try to be concise and not delve into too many details from the very beginning. Actually, you’ll have your body paragraphs for it. Introductory part for a 750 words essay should not exceed 150 words. Indeed, better keep it at 100.
- Stick to a certain tone of voice. Remember what you are doing here – writing an essay to be graded by a representative of an educational institution. So, better not even try to be friendly here. This is not a text message from WhatsApp, this is your essay in question. Still, try to keep it appropriate, but not robotic.
Hopefully, this article will be of use to you. Maybe you’ll even recall some tips and tricks from it while working on your upcoming academic papers! Who knows, maybe you’ll even share some insights with your peers. Or, you can keep this info all to yourself – that’s okay too.
Knowing how to start an essay example will highly likely prove handy in your academic matters. Still, the most important piece of advice is an old saying – practice makes perfect The more you write, the better you’ll be at it.
So, try to beat that fear of starting an essay with the help of some tactics we’ve shared in the article. Good luck and keep up the good work!