Here are some suggestions for getting started. First, determine the context in which you want to place your topic. In other words, identify an overarching category in which you would place your topic, and then introduce your topic as a case-in-point. For example, if you are writing about dogs, you may begin by speaking about friends, dogs being an example of a very good friend.
How to Start an Essay
Alternatively, you can begin with a sentence on selective breeding, dogs being an example of extensive selective breeding. You can also begin with a sentence on means of protection, dogs being an example of a good way to stay safe. The context is the starting point for your introductory paragraph. The topic or thesis sentence is the ending point.
Once the starting point and ending point are determined, it will be much easier to connect these points with the narrative of the opening paragraph. A good thesis statement, for example, if you are writing about dogs being very good friends, you could put:. Here, X, Y, and Z would be the topics explained in your body paragraphs. In the format of one such instance, X would be the topic of the second paragraph, Y would be the topic of the third paragraph, and Z would be the topic of the fourth paragraph, followed by a conclusion, in which you would summarize the thesis statement.
Identifying a context can help shape the topic or thesis. Here, the writer decided to write about dogs. Then, the writer selected friends as the context, dogs being good examples of friends. This shaped the topic and narrowed the focus to dogs as friends. This would make writing the remainder of the essay much easier because it allows the writer to focus on aspects of dogs that make them good friends. Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence. If the thesis contains multiple points or assertions, each body paragraph should support or justify them, preferably in the order the assertions originally stated in the thesis.
Thus, the topic sentence for the first body paragraph will refer to the first point in the thesis sentence and the topic sentence for the second body paragraph will refer to the second point in the thesis sentence.
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Generally, if the thesis sentence contains three related points, there should be three body paragraphs, though you should base the number of paragraphs on the number of supporting points needed. Every body paragraphs uses specific details, such as anecdotes, comparisons and contrasts, definitions, examples, expert opinions, explanations, facts, and statistics to support and develop the claim that its topic sentence makes. Most teachers will reward creativity and thoughtful organization over dogmatic adherence to a prescribed structure.
Many will not. If you are not sure how your teacher will respond to a specific structure, ask. Organizing your essay around the thesis sentence should begin with arranging the supporting elements to justify the assertion put forth in the thesis sentence.
Not all thesis sentences will, or should, lay out each of the points you will cover in your essay.
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The writer may next ask what characteristics dogs have that make them true friends. Each characteristic may be the topic of a body paragraph. Loyalty, companionship, protection, and assistance are all terms that the writer could apply to dogs as friends. Note that if the writer puts dogs in a different context, for example, working dogs, the thesis might be different, and they would be focusing on other aspects of dogs. It is often effective to end a body paragraph with a sentence that rationalizes its presence in the essay. Ending a body paragraph without some sense of closure may cause the thought to sound incomplete.
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Each body paragraph is something like a miniature essay in that they each need an introductory sentence that sounds important and interesting, and that they each need a good closing sentence in order to produce a smooth transition between one point and the next. Body paragraphs can be long or short.
Beginning the Academic Essay |
It depends on the idea you want to develop in your paragraph. Depending on the specific style of the essay, you may be able use very short paragraphs to signal a change of subject or to explain how the rest of the essay is organized. Do not spend too long on any one point. Providing extensive background may interest some readers, but others would find it tiresome.
Keep in mind that the main importance of an essay is to provide basic background on a subject and, hopefully, to spark enough interest to induce further reading. Whatever the true reason, the fact remains that my favorite holiday of the year is Easter Sunday.
The historical event also paved the way for Senator Clinton as she warmed her own vocal cords in preparation for a presidential race. In each example, the first sentence draws the reader in to find out how the interesting fact leads to a point. Some people might find a deep and mysterious meaning in this fact…. Definition: A homograph is a word with two or more pronunciations. Produce is one example….
Anecdote: Yesterday morning I watched as my older sister left for school with a bright white glob of toothpaste gleaming on her chin. I felt no regret at all until she stepped onto the bus …. The body of your introductory paragraph should fulfill two functions: It should explain your first sentence and it should build up to your thesis statement. You'll find that this is much easier than it sounds. Just follow the pattern you see in the above examples.
Here are some hook ideas that can be implemented into your essay
During the revision stage for the paper as a whole, you can make further refinements to the introduction as needed. Share Flipboard Email. Grace Fleming has a master's degree in education and is an academic advisor and college enrollment counselor. She lectures and writes about study skills. Updated January 08, Construct your introductory paragraph with the following:.
Related good starting essay sentences
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