How to Write an Introduction: An Ultimate Guideline

Fifteen seconds. That is how little time you have to catch the attention of the reader and make him want to read your text further. Over 50% of website visitors leave it if they don’t find anything interesting in the first lines.

So if you want to grab and hold the attention of the audience, you need to master the art of writing an introduction. Follow our guidelines and you will surely succeed!

Goals of a powerful introduction

Apart from a good organization and structure, an important goal of the introduction is to let readers know that your text is worth attention and can be useful. So why should someone read your text?

Answer this question in your introduction and persuade the audience that it has come to the right place. Below we have collected the most powerful tactics and examples to help you craft an outstanding introduction!

Why should someone read this?

At the beginning of this article, you read that over 50% of readers leave the page within fifteen seconds. Such statistics helped me to show why this article matters.

This is one of the most powerful ways to show readers why the text is worth their attention.



Start with an anecdote

You have probably heard about hook sentences. They are appropriate for all types of writing whether it is an essay, a dissertation or a blog post. A hook can be statistics (as in our introduction), a joke, story from your own life or a quote.

Depending on the topic and the tone of your text, you need to choose an appropriate hook and intrigue readers. The chances that the audience will read further will greatly increase!

For example:

In August 2010, Will Colton was hiding from police in a forest house in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly he heard a knock on the door.

Even if your article is technical or a step-by-step guide, you can apply the above storytelling technique. Think about what problems your audience had to face before they started searching for the answer and then start with a short relatable story to catch their attention.

Tell readers ‘It’s not for you’

Psychologists have a well-known trick: if you tell a person ‘Whatever you do, don’t think of a blue banana’ the first thing people will do is imagine a blue banana. The same approach can be used when working on the introductory section.

For example:

Why do you seem so pissed off? I haven’t even started the post and you are already angry. Why can’t I reach you?

Be personal

Sharing a personal story is another way to hook the audience. It is a well-known storytelling technique, which allows boosting the curiosity of the audience. Readers will either relate or will find your story so unique that they will be motivated to learn more.

For example:

I try writing in my diary but nothing comes out. I was ambitious even before I learned how to write. I was born and raised in a refugee family that spoke Hungarian and my classmates always reminded me that I didn’t fit in.

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Ask questions

Some specialists may claim that this technique is too popular and already seems overused but inserting a question from time to time is a great way to make introduction interesting.

It is even more effective if the person needs to go on reading in order to find the answer.

For example:

What will you do when you are one-on-one with a bear, trying to break into your tent?



Practice writing an introduction

Unfortunately, there is no universal way of writing a catchy introduction. The chosen technique will depend on a variety of factors: selected topic, general tone, and your target audience. However, we have prepared a list of tips to help you get started:

  • Your introduction should remain brief. There are no specific requirements to the size of an introduction but try to stick to a few paragraphs if it is an academic paper and to three sentences if it is a blog post;
  • Remain specific. Get rid of all the excess words, which make your text boring and wordy. Your introduction should be specific and clear;
  • Consider deleting the first sentence. Usually, essay writers use the first sentence as a warm-up. Eliminate it and see whether it makes your introduction better;
  • Keep the promise. Writers often want to impress the readers at once, promising things (answers) that they are not able to keep. Make sure you provide all the answers in your post;
  • Start with the article. Often it is better to work on the main paragraphs and then to return to the introduction. In such a way you will know what key elements of your story are.

Take your time to create a catchy and remarkable introduction. Ask friends or relatives to read the draft, use online software and don’t hesitate to draw inspiration from multiple examples online!
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