What is an Essay Introduction?

The purpose of an Essay Introduction is to introduce the reader to the subject matter you are writing about and to state the intent of the paper.


In general, essays are usually broken down into four distinct parts. The first part is known as the introduction and is followed by the body of the paper and then the conclusion. The fourth and final part is referred to as the bibliography or works cited portion. Before writing an essay, it's a good idea to gather all of your information and create a guideline or outline. This will help you focus and list what information you are going to include in the paper. Outlines can be of great use to ensure that you stick to the topic and not veer too far from the subject at hand. Since essays are written to be read, you want to make sure that you engage your audience right from the start. In order to do so, you will need to come up with a good Essay Introduction.


An Essay Introduction is very important to the overall paper. The introduction to an essay, which is sometimes referred to as a prolegomenon, tells a reader the objective and purpose of the work. It acts as a blueprint of sorts for the essay as a whole; illustrating the central case behind your writing and the line of reasoning that you will follow throughout. The Essay Introduction should begin with a general overview of the subject, followed by a precise statement that explains your ultimate intent and how it will be built upon in the body. A good Essay Introduction will have a short and concise thesis statement, offer the goal of the paper and engage the reader so that he will want to continue to read the rest of the essay.


Since the Essay Introduction is intended to grab the reader's attention and acquaint him with the topic, it should be interesting and inviting from the start. There are various techniques that can be used to write an effective Essay Introduction. Here are a few examples and techniques that you can draw on to create a good opening for your paper:

  • Open with a brief conversation or dialogue that is relevant to your paper and its purpose.

-Start by asking a question regarding your subject. The question can be rhetorical and has the ability to get your reader thinking right off the bat. If the question is controversial or resonates with the reader the chances are good shey'll want to continue reading to discover the answer that you provide.

-Use a short anecdote that is appropriate for the subject matter that you are writing about.

-Present the reader with some facts and information that is interesting and perhaps unfamiliar to him. He will want to read on to learn more.

-Keep it simple and easy to follow so the reader won't feel overwhelmed and hesitate to continue.


Writing an Essay Introduction can be easier if you have a target audience or reader in mind. That being said, you'll want to identify the type of essay that you have to write. Since there are different styles of essays; including Personal Narratives, Compare and Contrasts, Evaluations, Descriptions, and Academic based essays, make sure that your Essay Introduction reflects the overall mode and objectives of the paper.

Expert Insight

After writing an essay, it's a good idea to make sure it is properly formatted. In many cases, essays must adhere to specific guidelines. These formats are dictated by the subject, topic or course of study. You may be required to use an APA, AMA, MLA or Chicago/Turabian design. Regardless of the format type, remain consistent throughout the essay and use the specific layout, spacing and citation rules that apply.