Writing an essay is an art that students should master as they advance their career levels. While any student can master the process and steps of writing the best essays, the hardest part is getting the idea of how to start an essay.

Yes, you can always have a clear and well-defined outline. However, the question will always be, what should be in the introduction of an essay to make it interesting? Getting the right words to fix in your essay introduction is what determines if the reader will keep reading your essay or not. So, have you been having a hard time putting together your essay introduction? Don’t worry because many others have a similar problem, and this article will answer all your questions about starting an essay. Keep reading on.

What should be in the introduction of an essay

Essay writing is an academic task that requires some technical approaches. It isn’t simply any piece of writing like a book, a letter, or even a poem. That is why the introduction of an essay is made up of the following sections:

  1. The reader’s hook

The hook is the first sentence the reader gets to read. Hooking the reader is significant in any essay writing as it boosts the reader’s morale to keep up with your essay. We will cover some of the good ways to start an essay in the next section.

  1. Background information

The background information involves explaining your topic for the reader to understand, especially on the angle at which you are about to present your arguments. In this section, you can define key terms, summarize theories relating to the topic, or give a simplified outline of your arguments.

Do not include your supporting evidence here; give the reader simple tips, making them want to find more details in the other parts of the essay.

  1. Thesis statement

The thesis statement sums up your topic and point of focus for the whole paper. Any idea you will share in your essay should align with the thesis statement.

  1. The essay structure

This section is applicable, especially to longer essays. The purpose is to give the reader a clear map of what you intend to include in each section of your paper.

How to start an essay: captivating ways to start an essay

Once you have your essay topic, outline, and all the relevant materials, it’s now time to begin your essay. Do not fall short of ideas on how to start an essay. Instead, use the following strategies to make your essay as interesting as possible:

  • Ask a question

One of the proven ways to hook any reader to your essay is by asking a question. The question will connect the reader immediately with your paper as they prepare to interact with your paper. With the question, they not only need to read your ideas but feel part of the arguments and the conversation since you’ve given them room to imagine their views.

Note: the question must be directly related to the topic.

For instance, if the whole topic revolves around food, you can pose a question like, “How often do you consume fast foods?

  • Write an amusing or shocking statement

Depending on the topic you want to argue out, you can have some amusing facts that will make the reader pay more attention to your paper.

The aim of an amusing or shocking statement is to persuade the reader to keep reading with the desire to get an in-depth explanation of the fact you have stated in the essay introduction.

While using such statements as a way of stating your essay, make sure you stay relevant. The facts you choose should relate to the topic you are covering; otherwise, the hook will be meaningless.

  • Use a quote

Many famous people have had common phrases or quotes that can be used to drive home a given message. The quote should directly reflect your topic and connect the reader to the direction your essay is about to take.

While there are many quotes you can use, always ensure you pick a simple and straightforward quote that the reader will understand immediately after reading and connect with your topic. Otherwise, if the reader has to do more research to get the meaning of the quote and its relevance to your essay, it will be meaningless.


How you strategize your essay in the beginning, is what determines if your essay will be interesting or not. Have you tried any of the above hooks? If not, give it a try.

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