How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter (2024)

You're staring at the blank screen. No thoughts are flowing. Absolutely nothing. How in the world are you going to begin your essay?

The introduction paragraph is one of the most important sections of a college essay. In fact, this one, brief paragraph does a lot of work that contributes to the entirety of your writing.

How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter (1)

It helps to capture your reader's attention and convince them to continue reading. It's where you provide clear direction, and let your reader know where you're taking them. And it's also where you state a clear thesis and purpose for your writing.

We know... it's asking a lot. But trust us, it can be done.

We've put together a list of answers for the most common questions around writing an introductory paragraph.

What information needs to be included in my introductory paragraph?

Your introduction should contain three main parts:

  1. A hook—an opening line to grab your reader's attention. Creative, informative, and sometimes amusing, this sentence sets the tone for your essay. You might have to revise this line several times throughout the revision process to get just the exact wording you need.
  2. Context—some explanation and information about the topic. Introduce your main idea definition. People need to know what you're talking about.
  3. Thesis statement—the main argument that guides the rest of the essay. This is the critical line that announces what you're trying to claim and how you plan to support your opinion.

How do I hook the reader?

Writing the opening line is one of the toughest things to do in an essay. You need something informative enough to introduce your main idea, yet entertaining enough to make someone want to keep reading.

These are a few tactics that work well:

  1. Spark curiosity.
    More lifeforms are living on your skin than people living on this planet. I'm interested... tell me more.
  2. Use humor.
    Some days I amaze myself; other days I trip walking up the stairs. Ha! I've been there.
  3. Ask a question.
    If people don't start trying to protect the environment, what will happen to the Earth? What will happen? I need to know.
  4. Provide a quote.
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has,” Margaret Mead so eloquently stated. Wow! That lady is inspirational. Let's hear more.
  5. Tell an anecdote.
    Walking out of school that rainy afternoon, I never imagined this would be the last time I'd ever see my best friend. Oh my goodness! What happened to your friend?

How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter (2)

What should I avoid?

As important as it is to make sure you include all the crucial parts of the introduction paragraph, it is equally important to leave out all of the unnecessary words and phrases that will turn off your reader right from the start. So what should you avoid?

  1. Avoid clichés. Clichés are overused and have no power. Use your own words that carry a more powerful meaning (and a more unique voice.)
    You know what they say, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Ugh. I think my great-great-great grandpa used to say that.
  2. Beware of definitions. Unless a definition truly sparks a reader's interest or is desperately needed, leave it out. It's redundant if most people already are familiar with the definition. Webster's Dictionary defines school as "an organization that provides instruction." Um...duh?
  3. Don't be too vague. You have just a few short sentences to get your main ideas introduced. Make every word count. Everyone loves dogs. Yep. We do. But so what?
  4. Don't be too specific. You don't want to overwhelm your reader with every little detail. You will have time to get into specifics in the body of your essay.
    The four times I have seen people choose not recycle in my neighborhood, which is one of the factors contributing to the two-degree rise of the earth's temperature, include last Friday, two Wednesdays ago, the Thursday before my birthday, and yesterday night. I'm sorry; you lost me there. I stopped reading.

How long should my introduction be?

While you don't want to drone on and on in an introduction paragraph, this is your chance to set the tone for your paper, inspire interest in your topic, and share your opinion. You need to have substance without a lot of unnecessary extras.

Most introductions should be about three to five sentences long. And you should aim for a word count between 50-80 words.

You don't need to say everything in that first paragraph. You just need enough in those few sentences to give the reader a clear idea of where you're going with your essay and to inspire them to keep reading.

How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter (3)

Making the first impression is essential in face-to-face interactions, but also in your writing. Your introduction is the first thing your audience will be reading, and you want it to inspire them to read on. Keep it concise, interesting, and informative, and it will set the rest of your essay up for success.

How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter (2024)


How to Write a Strong Introduction Paragraph — Word Counter? ›

You need to have substance without a lot of unnecessary extras. Most introductions should be about three to five sentences long. And you should aim for a word count between 50-80 words. You don't need to say everything in that first paragraph.

How to make a strong introductory paragraph? ›

Writing Successful Introductory Paragraphs
  1. It clearly and specifically states the topic or question that you will address in your essay.
  2. It motivates the topic or question that the essay will examine.
  3. It states, clearly and directly, your position on this topic or question (i.e., your thesis).

How to count 500 words in an essay? ›

First of all, count the number of words or letters, depending on what you want to count, in the line that you feel has the most words and multiply it with the number of lines that your essay has, this will give you a number and you know the number of words/letters are under the obtained number.

How to write a 200 word introduction? ›

To write an effective essay introduction, start by providing some background information or context related to the topic. Then, introduce your thesis statement, which states the main argument or purpose of your essay.

Is 200 words too long for introduction paragraph? ›

It may be useful to think of the introduction as a signpost to what is coming up next in the essay; with this in mind, it is often written last. It is usually about 5-10% of the word count (100-200 words long for a 2000 word essay).

What are 4 parts of a strong introduction? ›

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Introduce the organisation – museum/company.
  • Learn about & connect the participants.
  • Introduce the programme & its goal.
Mar 16, 2022

What is an example of a strong introduction? ›

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.

How many pages is 500k words? ›

A 500,000 word count will create about 1000 pages with single spacing or 2000 pages double-spaced when using normal 1-inch margins, 12 pt. Arial font, and a standard A4 (letter size) page size.

How many pages are 3000 words? ›

How many pages is 3000 words? Single spaced, 3000 words yields about 6 pages, while double spacing produces around 12 pages. Depending on your word processor and preferences the page count may vary slightly, but with typical margins and 12 point Arial or Times New Roman font you should expect a similar number of pages.

How many pages is 1000 words? ›

1,000 words is 2 pages single-spaced or 4 pages double-spaced. Documents that typically contain 1,000 words are high school and college essays, short blog posts, and news articles.

How to make a hook? ›

A hook is an opening statement (which is usually the first sentence) in an essay that attempts to grab the reader's attention so that they want to read on. It can be done by using a few different types of hooks, which are a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote.

What do 2000 words look like? ›

2,000 words is 4 pages single-spaced or 8 pages double-spaced. Documents that typically contain 2,000 words include college essays, operating manuals, and longer form blog posts.

How do you start a catchy introduction? ›

How to attract the interest of your readers?
  1. 1.1 1) Use a quote, a catchy phrase, or a striking idea.
  2. 1.3 2) Tell a story or personal anecdote.
  3. 1.4.
  4. 1.5 3) Describe a problem with which your readers may feel identified.
  5. 1.6.
  6. 1.7 4) Set a scenario.
  7. 1.8 5) Ask a question.
Jan 29, 2019

What does Peel stand for in writing? ›

One writing tool which can be used to make sure you are hitting all your requirements is a PEEL paragraph. PEEL stands for Point, Evidence, Explanation, Link.

How to write a peel essay? ›

  1. POINT. Begin your paragraph by stating your point.
  2. EXPLANATION. Give evidence to substantiate your point.
  3. EXAMPLE or EVIDENCE. Explaining in more detail about how and why your evidence supports your point.
  4. LINK. Provide a smooth link to your next paragraph and/or point.

What are the 3 parts of a good introductory paragraph? ›

A strong introduction paragraph structure is necessary to engage the reader and give good background information about the topic of the essay. Develop good opening paragraph structure by including the three parts: a hook, context, and a thesis statement.

What is an example of an introductory paragraph? ›

What is a good example of an introduction paragraph? An introduction paragraph begins with a hook, or attention-grabber, then adds context and a thesis statement. A brief example: Cooking shows make decadent desserts look easy, but kitchen experiments easily turn to massive messes.

What are some good introduction paragraphs? ›

Posing a question, defining the key term, giving a brief anecdote, using a playful joke or emotional appeal, or pulling out an interesting fact are just a few approaches you can take. Use imagery, details, and sensory information to connect with the reader if you can.

What are good words to start an introduction paragraph? ›

Use these essay starters to set your writing off on the right foot.
  • This essay will explore/examine/discuss….
  • In this essay, I will analyze….
  • Experts agree that….
  • There are many ways to….
  • Have you ever….
  • Would you believe that….
  • It's an accepted fact that….
  • It's may be difficult to believe that….


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