What Is a Lead-in Statement?

The lead-in statement catches the reader's attention.

In writing, a lead-in statement is the opening of an essay or other piece of writing. This statement is part of the introductory paragraph and the first thing the audience reads and is thus meant to keep the reader’s attention.

1 Purpose

An effective lead-in statement not only captures the reader’s attention, but also allows the writer to naturally segue into the topic of the paper. Typically, the lead-in statement will relate to the topic at hand.

2 Types

There is no one way to write a lead-in statement. This opening sentence can be creative like an interesting anecdote, a surprising fact that the reader may not know or a relevant mention of a famous person. There are more conventional ways of writing a lead-in statement, such as writing a very brief history of the topic or simply stating what the paper is about.

3 To Avoid

Despite the number of options in writing a lead-in statement, there are several measures not to take in writing the opening. For example, opening with a definition from the dictionary may not effectively catch the reader’s attention. While stating the topic is a viable option, it is not recommended to state it as some variant of “The topic of this essay is...”

Danny Djeljosevic is a freelance writer and blogger living in San Diego, Calif. He pursues a variety of interests including writing (blogs, prose, screenplays and comic books), criticism and filmmaking. Djeljosevic has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida.