The introduction is quite possibly the most important part of any writing piece, be it a blog post, report, article or an essay. However, most people have trouble writing it and procrastinate in a hope that the problem will solve in its own way.
We don’t want you to be in the same situation and experience that awful writer’s block, so we’ve gathered some important tips and guidelines to help you write a killer intro!
Why Bother Writing a Good Introduction
There are several reasons why introduction really matters:
- You won’t have the second chance to make the first impression – The first paragraph will provide your reader with the initial impression, so you need to do your best to prepare a concise, engaging and well-organized intro. It is obvious that vague and error-free sentences will kill any desire to read your paper.
- Your introduction is a road map for the rest of your work – You should give a reader a sense of the type of information you’re going to convey in your work. After reading the introduction, your readers shouldn’t be surprised when they proceed with the main body.
- Your introduction will make a reader want to read your writing piece – Ideally, you need to capture the reader’s attention right from the fist sentences and compel them reading your content.
Strategies for Writing an Effective Intro
An introduction to any piece of writing has one main function: to hook the reader and make him or her continue reading. Knowing a few techniques, you will be able to produce the most convincing intro for your particular piece.
1. Include the Catchy Element
A few things can make your introduction irresistible and hook the reader’s imagination:
- Begin with a startling information – Include a few surprising or powerful facts that are backed up by a research, of course.
- Tell a joke – Jokes serve to get the reader’s attention because they are funny and entertaining. Just choose a joke that fits your topic.
- Start with a quote – Open your writing piece with an interesting quote that you tie to your particular topic.
Ask a compelling question – Ask a question that will make a reader want to know more about the topic and read your paper.
- Open with dialogue – You can write an interesting conversation, a simple exchange between the characters on the topic.
- Provide an engaging summary – A short and captivating statement of the main points can arouse the reader’s curiosity.
- Give an intriguing example – Grab your reader’s attention by presenting a great example that relates to your writing piece.
2. Keep the Introduction Brief
There is no definite answer for how long your introduction should be. However, you need to remember that readers have short attention spans. They are impatient to get the main information, so don’t make them wait for a long time burying it deep in the article.
3. Try to Be Personal
You need to address your reader like a friend. Try to form a connection between you to make sure that your reader trusts your words and opinion. A good way to do this is to tell a personal story.
What NOT to Do in the Introductory Paragraph
Make sure to avoid the common mistakes which can ruin even the most interesting and unusual intro:
1. Don’t apologize – Never suggest that you don’t know what you are writing about or that you are not an expert in this topic.
2. Never announce your intentions – Don’t announce from the first sentence what your writing piece is about. The worst thing you can do is to write “”The purpose of my blog post is to…”
3. Don’t use the dictionary definitions – Although definitions are extremely useful, never use them in the introduction.
4. Avoid long warm-up paragraphs – Get straight to the point, don’t make your readers feel bored while reading a long warm-up introduction.