No matter what type of writing you do, a strong introduction is important for setting the tone for your work. From blog posts to high school essays, the right introduction can pique a reader's interest and draw them in to keep reading. Use these strong introduction examples to inspire you as you write.
Strong Introductions for Essays
Whether you're writing an essay for class, answering an essay question on a test, crafting a college application, or writing any other type of essay-style work, your introduction paragraph is one of the most important you'll write.
Use a Surprising Fact
You can capture the reader's attention with a surprising fact or statement. Then, state your thesis clearly and succinctly, as in this example:
With recent studies showing that, on average, dog owners live up to 24% longer than those without canine companions, there's no doubt that a dog can have a range of physical and mental health benefits for its owner. These include a more active lifestyle, a social network of other pet owners, companionship, and a sense of purpose.
Pose a Question
Another way to engage your reader in your essay introduction is to ask a rhetorical question. This is a good way to start a persuasive essay or even a newspaper editorial. This example shows how you must carefully choose this question to support your thesis:
Global climate change is a crisis that affects everyone, rich and poor, young and old. From rising ocean levels to increased temperature extremes, the world is changing for everyone. How will your life be different in the coming years?
Start With an Anecdote
A short anecdote is a good way to start a personal essay, especially if it fits with your overall theme. Consider this example:
When I got home from school that day, my grandmother greeted me with a plate of cookies and a worried expression. I hadn't received the scholarship I needed to go to ballet camp, and we'd need to find another way to earn the money. That's when I started my business giving dance lessons to preschoolers, and it's taught me a lot about how to solve problems on my own.
Great Report Introductions
Reports aren't always the most fascinating kind of writing to read, so a really great introduction can make a huge difference in your reader engagement. You need to be clear about what you're discussing and offer any background information your reader might need.
Set the Stage
Give the reader important background information with an introduction like this:
With our sales up 25% and more than 2,500 positive reviews online, it's safe to say our product is embraced by consumers. We're using this information to project growth for the coming year.
State Your Point Clearly
Reports are about facts, but readers may not want to wade through all the data to get to your point. A strong introduction can give them a preview of what they'll find inside:
The water quality in Smith County has improved from a century ago, but there are still a number of contaminants of concern. Storm water run-off has been the major contributor to water pollution in the area.
Strong News and Feature Article Introductions
When you introduce an article, either online or in a more traditional newspaper, it's essential to have a "hook." Writing a hook takes a little extra thought, but it will make the reader continue past your introduction and into the body of your article.
Start With Something Shocking
People naturally want to read things that are shocking or surprising. Offer up a little drama for a strong introduction paragraph:
When Charles Jones went into the gas station Tuesday night, he did not expect to be caught in the middle of an armed robbery. However, that is exactly what happened.
Use a Statistic
You can start with a good statistic and hint at more information to come. People will read on because they want to know the rest of the story.
While for 60% of people, milk is the perfect beverage to go with a cookie, that's not true for everyone. A new study shows that up to 40% of people prefer something different with their bedtime snack.
Creative Introductions for Blog Posts
When you write a blog post, you need to engage your reader right away with a creative introduction. In the world of online reading, it's easy to navigate away to something else. The introduction is your chance to keep your reader on your blog.
Depending on the type of blog post you're writing, it can make sense to offer some personal perspective on your topic right away. Your reader is here for your voice, so you need to use it. This example will show you one way to do that:
My sister thought I was crazy to try to remake some thrift store jeans into an awesome maxi skirt. She told me she'd personally model the skirt for the blog if it worked. Well, when you see how fabulous she looks, you'll need to make one too.
You can also engage your audience right away with a humorous blog post introduction. Try a funny personal anecdote:
I'm not going to lie. The first time I made an art doll out of clay, it was a total nightmare. I literally had bad dreams about that thing for a week. But I'll save you the terror and show you how to create a not-so-scary doll with these techniques.
Great Short Story Introductions
If you're writing a short story, you need a creative introduction to get your reader engaged right away. In a novel, you have the whole first chapter, but because the length of your short story is limited, your introduction needs to suck your reader in within just a few sentences.
Bring in Vivid Imagery
Make your reader experience the world of your story by adding vivid sensory details. Using imagery that involves the senses lets your reader feel like he or she is in the story.
Even before I opened my eyes, the scent of lilacs told me I had a visitor. Here in the nursing home, everything has the same smell - a mixture of cafeteria food, cleaning products, and old people odors. A sudden scent of lilacs meant someone was here to see me.
Start in the Middle of Things
When you're writing fiction, you can start your story at the last possible moment to get your reader engaged. This is called "in medias res" (in the middle of things). Because the action is already happening, your reader won't be able to stop reading. Try something like this creative introduction example:
I hit the water with a slap that knocked the wind out of me. For a moment, I could hear my sister screaming from the deck of the ship, but then everything went quiet as my ears went under water.
Engage the Reader With a Strong Introduction
No matter what type of writing you're doing, a strong introduction is one way to get your audience to keep reading. After you've captured their attention, get more tips to engage the reader in the rest of your piece. An engaged reader means your writing is effective and powerful.