Cathy A.
Cathy A.

How to Start an Essay - Easy Writing Tips to Get You Started

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Published on: Dec 4, 2019

Last updated on: Jun 9, 2023

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Are you a student who has to write many academic essays but never gets desired appreciation and grades from instructors?

Writing an essay is a part of every school and college student’s life. Even if you are not a student and in your practical life, you will be dealing with essays in the form of reports, etc.

Some people have strong writing skills but still lag. Writing an essay is as wide as a world. You cannot just take a pen and paper and start writing.

Several procedures are involved in the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing processes of developing an essay, and each process is equally important.

This blog is written to signify the importance of a good start of an essay and how an essay is started in general.

Pre-Writing Steps of an Essay

All types of essays are written with a format and an outline. Whether an argumentative essay, persuasive essay, expository essay, or any other essay, has some concrete rules that must be followed.

We have split these rules into three phases of the writing process.

  • Pre-Writing
  • Writing
  • Post Writing

As this blog is about starting an essay, it will be focusing on the pre-writing and writing phases.

What do you do when you have just been given the assignment to write? You surely don’t go home, take a pen and a paper and start writing.

There is a whole detailed process to be taken before you grab a pen. However, the following are the few steps you initially take when writing an essay:

  1. Choose a topic

    The very first step to take is to come up with a topic. If your instructor has already given you a topic, this step will not be taken. But if not, then you will have to put in some extra effort.

    Choose a topic that interests you and you know will interest your readers. The topic should be exciting and pleasing for the targeted audience. Ensure that the topic or issue selected should be easy to gather information on.

  2. Brainstorm

    After choosing a topic, brainstorm ideas in which they can be presented. Next, write down the angles in which it can be described. Then, just think of the information you want to add to your essay.

  3. Research

    Your ideas and perspectives are raw and cannot be added to the content. However, to formally present them, you need the information to support your ideas and stand.

    Research the key points for the body of your essay.

  4. Outline

    Split your researched information into parts to give structure to your essay. The basic essay outline includes an introduction, main body, and conclusion paragraph.

    Divide your information into these parts and start the writing process.

Writing Process of an Essay

The writing process starts when you have successfully taken all the above-mentioned steps.

People often do not realize how important it is to take the right start. If the starting of your essay is not effective then you will never be able to write a good essay.

Your essay starts with an introduction. Writing an introduction is as hard as any part of an essay.

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How to Start an Essay Introduction?

An introductory paragraph is the first paragraph of an essay or paper. Its purpose is to introduce the topic and main argument of the essay to the readers.

To make your essay worth reading, add some basic ingredients to your introduction. The major components of an essay introduction are:

Background Information

Following the hook comes the background information on the chosen topic. The background information is given after a hook because you need your reader’s attentive mind for background information.

Here you state the main idea and its background in a precise manner. The trick is just to give an overview and not reveal extra information that should be a part of the essay’s main body.

Never bombard information on readers. It will just scare them away. All you have to do is to just make them familiar with the main concept.

Thesis Statement

It is the last ingredient of an introduction and the most important one. Finally, a thesis statement is the main argument stating an essay’s main goal and objective. It is a claim made by a writer and proved in the essay. Therefore, all the content that follows the introduction aims to prove and support this claim.

A strong thesis statement is arguable. However, never form a thesis statement on facts as the readers are already aware of it and will not be interested in reading your essay.

After writing an introduction comes the body paragraphs. Each paragraph has a topic sentence, and everything in that specific paragraph talks about it. Always start a paragraph using a topic sentence or a heading. Together, all the paragraphs strive to prove the thesis statement.

All the paragraphs are arranged to maintain a proper flow leading to the conclusion.

How to Start an Essay? - Examples

Here are some examples of starting your essay in different ways.

How to Start an Essay With a Hook?

Start an essay introduction with an essay hook. It is an opening line or statement that works as an attention grabber for the readers.

You are writing your essay for people to read. If there is no audience, what’s the point of even writing? And to have an audience, your topic, and its introduction should be so interesting that readers find it hard to resist. To do this, a hook is used.

Make the first line of the first paragraph of your essay exciting to instantly grab the reader’s interest.

There are different types of hooks used for multiple essay topics. Depending on the piece of writing, a hook can take the following types. Here are some great how to start your essay example for complete understanding.

Take a look at these hook examples and make your opening interesting.

How to Start an Essay With a Quote?

A hook can take the form of a quotation as well. The quotations and sayings of famous and influential people are a great way to set the tone to grab the reader’s attention and interest.

Make sure that if you’re using a certain quote or saying, it should be relevant to the topic and written in inverted commas.

Here is an example that shows how to start your essay with a quote example.

"Q: What did Eve say to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden? A: 'I think we're in a time of transition.' The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and anxieties about social change seem rife. The implication of this message, covering the first of many periods of transition,...." (Betty G. Farrell, Family: The Making of an Idea, an Institution, and a Controversy in American Culture. Westview Press, 1999)

How to Start an Essay With a Question?

Another interesting and engaging hook is a question. When you ask a question, you directly engage your audience to respond to your statement. So, even if they do not know the answer, hit them with rhetorical questions to make them find an answer in your essay.

Here is an example of starting an essay with a question.

"What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates.” (Emily R. Grosholz, "On Necklaces." Prairie Schooner, Summer 2007)

How to Start an Essay With a Fact?

Apart from using a quotation and question as a hook, interesting facts and statistics can also be used. For example, if your topic is related to science or technology, a fact or a statistic will go perfectly.

Whatever hook you use in your introduction, make sure that it is interesting and relevant to the topic. For example, never address a serious and tragic topic with a casual and funny statement.

The stronger and relevant a hook is, the more attentive your readers will be while reading your essay.

Below is an example of starting your essay with a fact.

"The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy this, Google it………. The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing, Cheer-up! Cheer-up!.........” (David James Duncan, "Cherish This Ecstasy." The Sun, July 2008)

How to Start an Essay About Yourself?

The applicants write this kind of essay for applications. It's an opportunity to speak about themselves and their family, achievements or aspirations in detail.

Here is an example of how you can start an essay about yourself.

“Among all the creatures on Earth, the human being is definitely superior. Writing a few lines or words to introduce myself, I feel myself to be a tiny part of this entire world filled with the human beings around me. I am a human. I myself am humble, kind, caring, and courageous. I am the most respected, loved, and responsible human being. Though it is quite hard to write about yourself yet, I have tried my best to express all about myself.”

How To Start An Essay About A Person 

When tasked with writing an essay about a person, capturing the essence of that person in the opening is crucial. 

Here is an example:

"In the world of literature, few names resonate as profoundly as Maya Angelou. Picture this: a young girl, silenced by trauma and adversity, discovers the power of words within the pages of a book. Maya Angelou's life journey epitomizes resilience, determination, and the transformative power of storytelling. As I reflect upon her remarkable achievements, I can't help but recall the words she once wrote: 'You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

How To Start An Essay About A Book 

Starting an essay about a book requires setting the stage for thoughtful analysis and capturing the reader's interest. 

Check out this effective example:

"Amidst the misty moors and eerie atmosphere of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, a haunting love story unfolds, intertwining themes of passion, revenge, and the destructive power of obsession. Step into the tumultuous world of Catherine and Heathcliff, where the winds whisper secrets and the line between love and cruelty blurs."

How to Start an Essay for College?

This essay is an important part of the college application process because it allows students to show off their writing skills and personality.

Below is the best sample to know how to start your essay for college.

How to Start an Essay About Women Rights?

Here is a great sample on how to start an essay about women's rights.

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How to Start an Essay on Climate Change?

Learn how to start an essay on climate change with these perfect examples

How To Start An Essay Words 

Here is a list of words and phrases you can use to start your essay and grab the reader's attention:

  • Imagine
  • In today's society
  • According to
  • Throughout history
  • From a young age
  • It is undeniable that
  • As the world evolves
  • In the modern era
  • Picture this
  • Have you ever wondered
  • In the midst of
  • Contrary to popular belief
  • Undoubtedly
  • Reflect on
  • With each passing day
  • From the moment
  • It all began when
  • Take a moment to think about
  • Consider this scenario
  • It is a common misconception that

Tips for Starting an Essay 

Starting an essay can often feel daunting, but with the right approach, you can effectively engage your reader from the very beginning. 

Here are some valuable tips to consider when starting your essay:

  • Hook the Reader: Begin your essay with a strong hook that grabs the reader's attention. This can be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, a compelling anecdote, or a thought-provoking statement.
  • Provide Context: Give your reader some context about the topic or subject of your essay. Briefly introduce the main ideas or background information to provide a foundation for your discussion.
  • State a Clear Thesis: In your introduction, clearly state your thesis statement. This is the main argument or claim of your essay that you will be supporting throughout the body paragraphs.
  • Outline the Structure: Provide a brief overview of how your essay will be structured. Mention the main points or arguments that will be covered in the body paragraphs. This helps the reader understand the logical flow of your essay and what to expect.
  • Be Concise and Clear: Keep your introduction concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations. Instead, focus on delivering a clear and concise opening that sets the stage for the rest of your essay.

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Essay

There are some common mistakes people make when they start writing their academic essays. To make your starting flawless, never:

  • Use a definition as a hook. Using definitions is monotonous and dull. Instead, use a creative and interesting opener. Even a personal opinion to describe your point of view would go well.
  • Make obvious text styles. Your next sentence should leave your reader surprised. If you are predictable, it is pretty much confirmed that readers will lose interest in your essay.
  • Explicitly and individually give the purpose of the assignment in the introduction.

Follow this guide and start writing your essays today. Just use these tips and tricks to create the best essays or any piece of paper writing.

All skills come and get polished with practice alone. So write and write until you admire yourself.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What Is A Good Sentence To Start An Essay?

A good sentence to start an essay is one that grabs the reader's attention and introduces the main topic or argument of the essay. It can be a thought-provoking statement, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an engaging anecdote.

What Is The Best Introduction For An Essay?

The best introduction for an essay is one that effectively introduces the topic. 

It should provide necessary background information, and presents a clear thesis statement. It should also be engaging, captivating the reader's attention and making them interested in reading further.

How To Start A Paragraph In An Essay Example?

When starting a paragraph in an essay, it's important to have a clear topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. 

This topic sentence should connect to the thesis statement and provide a smooth transition from the previous paragraph. 

Additionally, it's essential to support the topic sentence with relevant evidence, examples, or analysis to develop the paragraph further.

Cathy A.


Cathy A., Literature, Marketing

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about their craft.

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about their craft.

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