How to Write an Introduction for an Argument Essay

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A good introduction is vital in attracting a reader’s attention to your essay. For argument essays, the introduction must orient readers to the subject being argued. Before you get started on the introduction, make sure that you have a solid topic to argue and a strong thesis statement that presents the argument.

1 Think about other introductions

Think about other introductions that you have read. Which ones have made you want to read on?

2 Make that you

Make sure that you have a full understanding of your subject and its many angles. Understanding different angles or interpretations of the subject will help you decide how to attract the reader’s attention.

3 Consider your audience

Consider your audience. Knowing who will be reading the essay will be helpful in knowing what type of introduction to write. What will the audience consider to be most important?

4 Hook the reader in the first sentence

Hook the reader in the first sentence. You can do this many ways: include an interesting fact about the subject, provide statistics, quote an expert or tell a short relevant anecdote. The first sentence of the introduction is critical because it should be interesting enough to make the reader want to read more. This is the first impression that you will make on the reader.

5 Tell the reader what the argument is

Tell the reader what the argument is, but do not use phrases like, “This essay will argue….” State the subject in a much more interesting way. Make the subject and the side being argued very clear.

6 Include some background information on the subject

Include some background information on the subject, but not too much. You should just provide a brief overview to orient the reader.

7 State the thesis

State the thesis. Don’t forget that the thesis statement must be in the introduction. It is commonly the last sentence of the introduction, but it doesn’t have to be.

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.