The introduction is the first sentence of your essay and it plays the dual role of setting the theme of your essay and engaging the reader. The introduction should not be overly formal. You do not want an admissions officer to start reading your essay and think, here we go again. Although admissions officers will try to give the entire essay a fair reading, they are only human — if you lose them after the first sentence, the rest of your essay will not get the attention it deserves.
Dont Say Too Much. Just tell the story! Your introduction should not be so complex and so lengthy that it loses the reader before they even start. You have the rest of the essay to say what you want. Theres no need to pack it all into the first sentence. This leads to the next tip
Don’t Start Your Essay with a Summary. If you summarize, the admissions officer does not need to read the rest of your essay. You want to start your essay with something that makes the reader want to read until the very end. Once you have drawn the reader in through the first one to three sentences, the last sentence in your introductory paragraph should explain clearly and briefly what the point of the whole essay is. That is, why you are using this person, place, or thing. What does it say about you?
Create Mystery or Intrigue in your Introduction. It is not necessary or recommended that your first sentence give away the subject matter. Raise questions in the minds of the admissions officers to force them to read on. Appeal to their senses and emotions to make them relate to your subject matter.
Types of IntroductionsPlease select a link below for examples and descriptions of various introductions.
Overarching Societal Statements
Note: The below essays were not edited by EssayEdge Editors. They appear as they were initially reviewed by admissions officers.
This is the type of introduction you would use for a standardized test or a history paper. A typical standard introduction answers one or more of the six basic questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. It gives the reader an idea of what to expect. You should try to stay away from simply restating the question unless you are limited by a word count and need to get to the point quickly. Your basic academic introduction or thesis statement is best used as the follow-up sentence to one of the more creative introductions described below.
Examples:One of the greatest challenges I’ve had to overcome was moving from Iran to the United States. Iran was in deep political turmoil when I left, as it is today.
EssayEdge Says: This introduction is clear and to the point, and will prepare your reader for the ideas you want to discuss. However, it is rather unexciting and will not immediately engage your reader. As mentioned, you should try to preface it with a more creative statement. In addition, it makes one typical error. One should usually avoid using contractions in a formal essay, for example, Ive.
Through all of my accomplishments and disappointments, I have always been especially proud of the dedication and fervor I possess for my personal beliefs and values.
EssayEdge Says: This is a very effective introduction to an essay about your personality. Mentioning pride is a good way to indicate how important your beliefs and values are to you. In a sentence like this, however, it would be better to use Throughout rather than Through. Throughout better expresses the widespread, expansive tone you want to give this sentence.
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A creative introduction catches the reader off-guard with an opening statement that leaves the reader smiling or wondering what the rest of the essay contains.
Examples:Imagine yourself a freshman in high school, beginning your independence. As the oldest child, I was the first to begin exploring the worlds of dating, extra-curricular clubs and upperclassmen. However, one afternoon my parents sat my two sisters and me down. They said
EssayEdge Says: The power of this introduction is that it places the reader in your shoes, making him or her more interested in what takes place in the rest