How to Write a Good Introduction in 3 Steps (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 17, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Readers typically decide whether to continue reading the rest of an easy or article after perusing its introduction. A good introduction captures their attention and compels them to keep reading to find out how the paper concludes. Learning about excellent introductions can help you create one to communicate your ideas to a reader effectively. In this article, we list the steps to write a good introduction, explain the different types of hooks, clarify how to write background information, give the steps for presenting a thesis statement, and provide an example introduction

How to write a good introduction

The steps below highlight how to write a good introduction:

1. Understand the topic thoroughly

Consider conducting some preliminary research before writing your essay or article. Researching enables you to understand the topic, so you can decide on an order to follow. Understanding the topic also enables you to develop some key points to plan your introduction.

2. Know the three parts of an introduction

The three parts of an introduction are typically the hook, the background information or topical sentence, and the thesis statement. Learn these parts and understand how they're different from each other, how you may place them, and how you can structure your sentences in each. The hook typically comes first. As its name suggests, this allows you to hook or attract the reader's attention. This encourages them to continue reading.

Next is the background information or topic sentence. You use this information to give readers the context to understand your essay or article. The thesis statement is typically the last part of your introduction. Its content may change depending on the topic, but you usually write it to show the central idea you want the readers to take from your writing. For example, if you're writing an argumentative essay, you may indicate your position with the thesis statement.

3. Write and edit your introduction

Write the three parts of the introduction and revise it as necessary. Check for any errors and confirm that you've conveyed the ideas you want the reader to take from your essay or article with the introduction. As you do more research, you may have new ideas or notice some mistakes that require correcting. You can revise your introduction to ensure it's accurate and appealing.

Related:

  • How to Write a Topic Sentence (With Examples and Tips)

  • How To Write a Business Introduction Letter in 10 Steps

Types of effective hooks

Below are the different types of hooks you may consider starting your essay or article with:

Question hooks

Posing a question to your readers in the first sentence can effectively encourage them to continue reading. A question is an invitation to them to imagine their response and relate their knowledge or experience to the paper that they're about to read. Using this method, you may keep your question relevant to the subject matter.

Example: Would learning still be as effective if students had to interact with their classmates and teachers from behind the screen of a device rather than physically in classrooms?

Quotation hooks

If you know a quote that relates to your overall topic, you may use it if it bolsters your point. If the quote is interesting, it makes the reader wonder about the central idea and what purpose the quote serves. Seeing quotation marks may also make some readers curious about who said the quote, especially if it makes a controversial claim. When starting your introduction with quotes, ensure it comes from a credible source. If it contains idiomatic or confusing terms, you may talk about their meanings so that the readers understand and align their thoughts with yours.

Example: The popular American illustrator George Evans once said, "Every student can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way."

Statistic hook

You can use a statistic hook for more informational topics. These are quotes that relate to your overall topic, and they usually have numbers, decimals, or percentages. After quoting the statistic and stating its source, you may explain its meaning and relationship to the theme to help the reader understand it. Fun facts also belong to this category of hooks.

Example: According to Better Statistics, over 90% of employers prefer candidates with strong communication skills.

Anecdotal hook

An anecdotal hook is when you use a short story to express a point and grab the reader's attention. This story can be an event that happened or a figment of your imagination. If you decide to start your introduction with this, consider keeping the story short so readers don't spend a long time on one part of the essay or article.

Example: One day last April, Sam was looking for a new way to inspire his students when he started to consider incorporating virtual learning into his daily lessons.

Tips to develop effective background information or topical sentence

Follow these steps to create effective background information for your introduction::

1. Introduce the topic to your reader

The background information is typically the reader's first encounter with the main content of your essay or article, so ensure to introduce them to it properly. Mention the main points and give them the context that can aid them in understanding your argument. For example, you may define key terms, mention your essay's historical or geographical setting, or highlight relevant theories or research about the essay.

2. Mention the main points

Consider keeping the information broad but focused so the readers still have a reason to read the rest of your essay or article. Putting all the information about your topic in your background information may discourage the readers from reading the main body. State points you intend to return to while saving their evidence and interpretation for the main body.

3. Link background information to the thesis statement

End your background information by linking its last sentence to your thesis statement. For example, suppose you're writing an essay on whether street art is a legitimate form of art. You can discuss the ownership status of this type of art in the last sentence of your background information, while your thesis shows your position on it.

Related: How to Write a Synthesis Essay in & Steps (With Tips)

How to present your thesis statement

The following guidelines may help you when presenting your thesis statement:

  1. Make a point. Your thesis statement aims to maintain a position on the argument or essay's topic that readers can agree to or reject. You may mention several aspects of your essay in it, but ensure you convey one central idea with them.

  2. Write an initial thesis. Write your thesis before your paper, but edit it as you develop your essay and have more understanding of the topic.

  3. Place your thesis statement in the right spot. Your thesis is generally the last part of your essay's introduction. It comes after the hook and topic sentence or background information.

Related: How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper (And Example)

Mistakes to avoid when writing your introduction

Noting the mistakes below and avoiding them can improve the quality of your introduction:

  • Repetitions: Use the introduction to prepare the body of the article by presenting readers with new information in each sentence. Avoid repeating the title in the introduction to save space and encourage readers to proceed with the rest of the essay or article.

  • Lengthy introductions: One common mistake among writers with introductions is that they try to fit in as much information as they can. A standard introduction is brief while still appealing to the readers to want to read it to the end.

  • Fluff and filler words: Research the topic sufficiently and review the introduction to remove any unnecessary words. This can help your reader stay focused and encourage them to continue reading.

Related: How to Write a Conclusion (With Examples and Tips)

Example of an introduction

Review the example below for a practical application of an introduction that contains a hook, background information, and a thesis:

Would learning still be as effective if students had to interact with their mates and teachers from behind a device's screen rather than in classrooms? As technology improves, the channels for virtual learning are developing more to correct the barriers in communication and understanding between the tutor and the students. This development has grown fears about the legitimacy of virtual learning and if it promotes adequate studying than learning socially in front of a teacher. Virtual learning may not replace physical learning, but schools and colleges can benefit immensely from deploying a hybrid learning style where students alternate between in-class and virtual learning.

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