Barbara P.
Barbara P.

How to Start an Essay - A Complete Guide & Examples

6 min read

Published on: Sep 24, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 29, 2022

How to Start an Essay

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How many times have you wanted to write something but didn’t know where and how to start? Unfortunately, students face this struggle every day.

Everything has an introduction, from a day-to-day conversation, text messaging, to even academic essay writing.

How to start an essay, and why is the introduction so important in the first place? This task can be quite frustrating, even if you love writing.

To help you get through this, here is a complete guide you can have a look at.

How to Start an Essay?

Think of the introductory paragraph and conclusion as the hamburger bun and the meat of the burger is all the information found in the body paragraphs of the essay. And keep in mind the most pertinent information will be in the body of the essay.

The first thing to note down is that no one will bother reading the rest of your essay if the start is not attention-grabbing.

If you don’t know how to start off an essay, it will be impossible for you to write a successful one.

When you find no one to help you start writing, you are left in a miserable situation with numerous efforts but not a single convincing result.

If you are facing trouble, we are here to help you. Keep on reading to learn how to start an essay introduction effectively.

But first, keep the following things to understand why an attention grabber essay introduction is important.

  • It is your only chance to make a good first impression. If you fail to do so, don’t expect the reader to waste time on your essay.
  • This is the section that will reflect the overall quality of your essay. This is where you highlight the most important part of the essay known as a thesis statement.
  • It is a great chance for you to pique the reader’s interest right from the start of an essay. It is also known as an essay hook, usually the first line that aims to make the reader interested in what you have to say.

Different Ways to Start an Essay

Now you know why the start of an essay is so important in its overall success. It’s time to discuss the different ways that you can take into account for an attention-grabbing start. No matter if it is an argumentative essay, persuasive essay, analytical essay, or any other. Before you begin to start an essay, you must specify the goal of your paper.

One thing to keep in mind, writing an introduction for an essay about yourself is different from the rest of the essays.

Here are the different ways you can use to start your essay.

Refer to the following section and find a detailed description of how to begin your essay.

    1. Ask a Question

      One of the most effective ways to grab the reader’s attention is to start an essay with a question. In this way, the reader will think about the subject, and he/she will be interested to know how you have tackled the question in the essay.

      You can also ask rhetorical questions at the start of your essay.

    2. Add Statistics

      You can also start with fun or shocking statistics to involve the reader in your writing piece from the start. Relevant facts and statistics can help you in providing some background information.

      For serious issues, start with shocking statistics, as it will make the reader think about how this can be true. In this way, they will keep on reading for more information.

    3. Anecdote

      A great way to start an essay is to tell a brief interesting story. Make sure the story relates to the essay topic.

      You can use this approach to set the overall scene and tone for your essay. It will also help you create a scenario in the reader’s mind.

    4. Quote

      Starting an essay with a quote is a great way to involve the reader in your writing. Start with a cool quote. Make sure it is not boring. You can find various quotes from writers, historical figures, scientists with just a single click on the internet.

      Make sure the quote is from a credible source and relates to the essay’s topic in some way or another.

    5. Personal Story

      Another way to start your essay is to provide a personal story. This hook is perfect to use in narrative essays and college application essays.

    6. Scenes

      You can also set a scene in your opening lines to draw the reader’s attention and set a clear picture in their mind.

    7. Thesis Statement

Get your readers straight to the main point. Start with your main argument and support it throughout the essay. In the thesis statement, you put your point of view in front of readers.

You can also start the paragraph of an essay using any of the above-mentioned points. It also helps readers to engage with your essay no matter what type of essay it is.

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How to Start an Essay - Examples

The beginning of an essay sets the overall tone of the paper. The main purpose of an interesting introduction is to get your readers interested in your work.

Let’s take a look at some interesting intro examples and learn how to start an essay introduction strong.

How to Start an Essay on Climate Change

If you are working on your climate change essay, the following example will help you in drafting impressive opening lines.

How to Start an Essay with a Quote

Decided to start your essay with a quote? You can refer to this example for your better understanding.

How to Start an Essay About Yourself

If you are assigned to write an essay about yourself, read this essay inro example before you start writing.

Important Tips on How to Start an Essay

There are some key points that you need to keep in mind for writing an outstanding essay introduction.

  • The essay introduction should not be too long - a good idea is to keep the introduction up to 5-6 sentences.
  • It is sometimes okay to use “I will..” in the article but in the essays and some other academic papers, be political and let your paper do the talking.
  • Always start with something specific, don’t drag it by unnecessary information.
  • Most students start with a dictionary definition. Don’t make this terrible mistake if you really want your essay to stand out from the rest. It is a lot better if you define a phrase by using a creative approach or personal opinion.
  • After creating the first draft, the best approach is to write the introduction, to sum up, all the things in the introduction cleverly.

Want to learn more about starting your essay? Here is a complete essay format guide for you. Carefully go through this blog before you begin writing your essay.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best word to start an essay with?

This is to help you write better essays. Following are words to use in the introduction of your essay:

  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly
  • In view of
  • in light of
  • Considering
  • According to
  • stated that
  • referring to the views of

What can I say instead of ‘I’ in an essay?

It is important to avoid the use of pronouns in an essay. There are several different ways to do this:

  • you can replace the pronouns 'I', 'You', and 'We' with acceptable wordings
  • use passive voice instead of pronouns
  • write from a third-person perspective using objective language
  • include strong verbs and adjectives
Barbara P.


Barbara P. (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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