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How to Write an Introductory Paragraph

Saptakee Sengupta
The quality of your first paragraph will make a strong impression, good or bad, in the mind of readers. Read on to know more about writing the ideal introduction to your literary work.
A good introduction invites the readers' minds to go deeper into the subject matter. If you are a passionate reader, you know what difference a catchy first line/paragraph/chapter makes. Let us see some tips on writing a good introduction.

How to Write an Introductory Paragraph

The way you write the first paragraph differs according to the nature and subject matter of the work―it's different for letters, essays, or research papers. However, certain factors are common between all of them.
It should clarify what you are actually going to elaborate on in the subsequent paragraphs, or the content matter of the body. Imagine the line 'There was a hole in the ground, and a Hobbit lived in it' instead of Tolkien's famous opening line. Get my point?

For Essays

There are ample ways to start an essay. It depends upon the nature of the essay, i.e., argumentative, expository, descriptive, interrogative, persuasive, compare and contrast, etc. You can start with quotes or describe a personal experience in brief.
You can also pick up extracts from movies or stories that resonate with the content matter. While writing argumentative essays you have to mention whether you are writing in favor or against the topic. Make it concise, and not too elaborate.

For Thesis

A scientific experiment does not require a detailed, flowery prologue. You have to clearly explain the aim of the experiment, and define the procedure in a short and precise manner. Write concise statements if it's an introduction for a literary thesis.
In literature you enjoy the freedom to introduce citations and quotes of renowned people. However, this idea does not apply for scientific journals.

For Letters

Official or informal letters present an entirely different situation. In case of official letters, you have to directly come to the subject without explaining any personal details. You have to mention the purpose, venue, date, day, and the necessary details, in the introduction itself.
Use specific words to clearly display the core purpose of the business letter. DON'T it elaborate. Informal letters have no defined rules for writing an introduction, and you can begin as you want, especially the receiver of the letter knows you well.

For Speech

Like essays, the first part of a speech depends largely on the occasion. In a friendly setting, it is always recommended to begin with a joke―a good one. Relieving some tension right at the beginning is a good way, and the laughter from the joke will also help you calm your nerves.
In formal speeches, begin by acknowledging the dignitaries, and like in the case of formal letters, jump right into the subject matter. Your first words play an important role in creating your image in the minds of their receiver. Make sure they are appropriate and enjoyable.