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Essay Introduction Examples

Written by Scribendi


Always have a road map for an essay introduction. Having a strong essay introduction structure is critical to a successful paper. It sets the tone for the reader and interests them in your work. It also tells them what the essay is about and why they should read it at all.

It shouldn't leave the reader confused with a cliffhanger at the end. Instead, it should generate interest and guide the reader to Chapter One. Using the right parts of an essay introduction can help with this.

Check out an effective essay introduction structure below. It’s a road map for writing an essay—just like the parts of essay introductions are road maps for readers.

Essay Introduction Structure

  1. Attention-grabbing start

  2. Background

  3. Outline of argument

  4. Thesis statement

Some academics find the beginning the most difficult part of writing an essay, so our editors have created some examples of good essay introductions to guide you. Let's take a look at the samples below to see how the essay introduction structures come together. 

If you are unsure about your paper, our essay editors would love to give you some feedback on how to write an essay introduction. 

Essay Introduction Examples

Example 1

[1] According to Paul Ratsmith, the tenuous but nonetheless important relationship between pumpkins and rats is little understood: "While I've always been fascinated by this natural kinship, the connection between pumpkins and rats has been the subject of few, if any, other studies" (2008). [2] Ratsmith has been studying this connection, something he coined "pumpkinology," since the early 1990s. He is most well known for documenting the three years he spent living in the wild among pumpkins and rats. [3] Though it is a topic of little recent interest, the relationship has been noted in several ancient texts and seems to have been well understood by the Romans. Critics of Ratsmith have cited poor science and questionable methodology when dismissing his results, going so far as to call pumpkinology "rubbish" (de Vil, 2009), "stupid" (Claw, 2010), and "quite possibly made up" (Igthorn, 2009). [4] Despite these criticisms, there does appear to be a strong correlation between pumpkin patches and rat populations, with Ratsmith documenting numerous pumpkin–rat colonies across North America, leading to the conclusion that pumpkins and rats are indeed "nature's best friends" (2008).

Let's break down this example of a good essay introduction structure. The beginning hooks our attention from the get-go in section one. This is because it piques our curiosity. What is this strange relationship? Why has no one studied it? Then, section two gives us context for the topic. Ratsmith is an expert in a controversial field: pumpkinology. It's the study of the connection between pumpkins and rats. 

The second half of the paragraph also demonstrates why this is a good essay introduction example. Section three gives us the main argument: the topic is rarely studied because critics think Ratsmith's work is "rubbish," but the relationship between pumpkins and rats has ancient roots. Then section four gives us the thesis statement: Ratsmith's work has some merit.

The parts of an essay introduction help us chart a course through the topic. We know the paper will take us on a journey. It's all because the author practiced how to write an essay introduction. 

Let’s take a look at another example of a good essay introduction.

Example 2

[1] Societies have long believed that if a black cat crosses one's path, one might have bad luck—but it wasn't until King Charles I's black cat died that the ruler's bad luck began (Pemberton, 2018). [2] Indeed, for centuries, black cats have been seen as the familiars of witches—as demonic associates of Satan who disrespect authority (Yuko, 2021). Yet, they have also been associated with good luck, from England's rulers to long-distance sailors (Cole, 2021). [3] This essay shows how outdated the bad luck superstition really is. It provides a comprehensive history of the belief and then provides proof that this superstition has no place in today's modern society. [4] It argues that despite the prevailing belief that animals cause bad luck, black cats often bring what seems to be "good luck" and deserve a new reputation.

This example of a good essay introduction pulls us in right away. This is because section one provides an interesting fact about King Charles I. What is the story there, and what bad luck did he experience after his cat passed away? Then, section two provides us with general information about the current status of black cats. We understand the context of the essay and why the topic is controversial.

Section three then gives us a road map that leads us through the main arguments. Finally, section four gives us the essay's thesis: "black cats often bring what seems to be 'good luck' and deserve a new reputation."

Still feeling unsure about how to write an essay introduction? Here's another example using the essay introduction structure we discussed earlier.

Example 3

[1] When the Lutz family moved into a new house in Amityville, New York, they found themselves terrorized by a vengeful ghost (Labianca, 2021). Since then, their famous tale has been debunked by scientists and the family themselves (Smith, 2005). [2] Yet ghost stories have gripped human consciousness for centuries (History, 2009). Scientists, researchers, and theorists alike have argued whether ghosts are simply figments of the imagination or real things that go bump in the night. In considering this question, many scientists have stated that ghosts may actually exist. [3] Lindley (2017) believes the answer may be in the quantum world, which "just doesn’t work the way the world around us works," but "we don’t really have the concepts to deal with it." Scientific studies on the existence of ghosts date back hundreds of years (History, 2009), and technology has undergone a vast evolution since then (Lamey, 2018). State-of-the-art tools and concepts can now reveal more about ghosts than we've ever known (Kane, 2015). [4] This essay uses these tools to provide definitive proof of the existence of ghosts in the quantum realm. 

This example of a good essay introduction uses a slightly different strategy than the others. To hook the reader, it begins with an interesting anecdote related to the topic. That pulls us in, making us wonder what really happened to the Lutzs. Then, section two provides us with some background information about the topic to help us understand. Many people believe ghosts aren't real, but some scientists think they are.

This immediately flows into section three, which charts a course through the main arguments the essay will make. Finally, it ends with the essay's thesis: there is definitive proof of the existence of ghosts in the quantum realm. It all works because the author used the parts of an essay introduction well.

Conclusion

For attention-grabbing introductions, an understanding of essay introduction structure and how to write an essay introduction is required.

Our essay introduction examples showing the parts of an essay introduction will help you craft the beginning paragraph you need to start your writing journey on the right foot.

If you'd like more personalized attention to your essay, consider sending it for Essay Editing by Scribendi. We can help you ensure that your essay starts off strong.


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