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Professional tips on how to write an opening paragraph for an essay

There is a well-known signing that 'you don't get a second chance to make a first impression'. In fact it is true to say that first impressions are sometimes the most impressive impressions. You must start your essay in a strong and gripping fashion. You must grab the attention of the reader. If you fail to do this right from the beginning, you have an even harder job to win them back later in your essay.

It's even fair to say that the very first sentence of your essay sets the tone for what is to follow. Make this first sentence interesting even intriguing and you have made the perfect start. Think of your essay as a book. A reader picks up your essay and starts to read. Are they hooked? Do they want to continue? As silly as it may seem, your essay needs to have the same 'grab appeal' as does a new book.

What makes up the opening paragraph?

There are usually three or perhaps four sentences in your introduction, the opening paragraph of your essay. One of these sentences will be your thesis statement. Everything about your essay is related to your thesis statement. In some cases the thesis statement is the last sentence in your first paragraph, your introduction. Make your introduction so strong; the reader will have to continue. But know the make-up of your introduction as well.

Think of the ingredients of your first paragraph

  • An opening sentence which grabs the attention of the reader.
  • Sentences which lead into the thesis statement.
  • The thesis statement.

Remember that the thesis statement is where you make a statement or take an opinion and for the remainder of the essay you will go about discussing this thesis statement. If required, you will prove it. If a question, you will provide the answer.

So to write a really impressive opening paragraph for your essay you need to know the key ingredients of that opening paragraph. You need to know that each sentence flows one to the other. And you need to ensure that the thesis statement is clear, easy to understand and forms the basis of the remainder of your essay.

Take as much time as you need in writing the opening paragraph of your essay. The better it is, the easier it will be for your writing task which follows.