Essay Introductory Paragraphs

Typically 3-5 sentences in length

Sentence 1:

Begin with an eye-catching sentence (e.g a quote, a definition, or a shocking / interesting statement that will draw the reader in)

Also See:

Thesis Statement
Sentences 2-4:

Briefly introduce topics from the prompt that will be addressed in the paper, if discussing books / articles, include the title(s) and author('s) name(s), and some brief information about the text.

Sentence 5 (The Thesis Statement):

Also known as the thesis statement, this is the most important part of the introductory paragraph. The thesis statement should make a controversial claim, or a strong argument, while addressing the prompt. If the thesis statement cannot be argued, then it is not strong enough. The goal of the writer is to use the thesis statement to guide the flow and organization of the paper, while still providing a point.


Remember to ask yourself: Is the first sentence eye-catching? Does the paragraph address the prompt? Is the thesis strong and controversial, and does it make a claim?

Quick Tips

• The thesis statement addresses the topic and presents the reader's point
   of view.

• Think of different thesis statements, and see which one best fits your

• Revise / alter your thesis to fit your paper, even if your original ideas
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