No matter what it is you write, the crucial aspect to any writing is the introductory paragraph. It does not matter if the paper is long or short, the introductory paragraph should begin with a sentence that catches the reader’s attention. It has to make the reader compelled to continue reading to find out the moral of the story or how it ends.
A well-constructed introductory paragraph will begin with a strong first sentence that will lead the reader into the next three or four sentences that provide details about the subject of the paper. The introduction sets the stage for the paper and the thesis statement, which provides the point of view of the paper.
With some practice writing a killer introductory paragraph will become the second nature for most writers. The introductory paragraph contains a first sentence that grabs the reader’s attention, additional sentences that add information and details about the subject matter, and a thesis statement that brings a claim or view that the writer supports or will build on.
The initial sentence should always engage the reader. The first sentence is the hook that will draw the readers in and hold their attention captive. It is the writer’s chance to create a good first impression that will make the readers continue reading the paper. It is also the writer’s chance to be clever and, when appropriate, witty.
There are several ways to go when constructing the opening paragraph. When researching the subject, look for surprising facts most people would not be aware of and include them in the first sentence. An example might be if the subject is the Pentagon, a surprising fact might be that the building has more bathrooms than necessary. Always explain the fact to make the paragraph understandable to the reader. An explanation for why there are so many bathrooms would also provide the hook to draw the reader in and continue to read the paper rather than to go onto something else.
Humor such as a funny story is a great hook to draw the reader in and make the first paragraph worthy of continued attention from the reader. It might be a short personal story with a humorous consequence or it might be a traditional story that changes with the years but keeps the same theme. Do not make it complicated or the reader will lose interest.
Using a quote is another great paragraph introduction. Attribute the quote to the proper person or take credit for it, if it is your own quote. The chosen quote should be relevant and lead to the point of view of the paper. Sometimes, a statement that sets a tone of curiosity might be the hook that will reel the reader in, or it also might be a definition or anecdote.
The body of the introductory paragraph will fulfill two purposes. It will explain the first sentence and then add details to the point of view the paper. Explaining what has already been established is not a difficult task. The supporting sentences will be the glue that holds the introductory paragraph together and sticks with the reader for the duration of the paper.
Once the first draft of the paper is complete, return to the first paragraph and make sure the point made in the first sentence holds true, and the supporting facts provide a bit of zing to the paper. If the introductory paragraph does not grab the reader’s attention, he will move onto the next task quickly.
Writer’s should also keep in mind that even the best constructed introductory paragraph will not resonate with all readers, but it should capture the attention of the majority of the readers.
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