Home Blog An Ultimate Essay Writing Guide Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively

Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively

Learn How to Start an Essay Effectively

Did you get assigned an essay as an assignment for school?

Are you staring at the blank screen not knowing where to start?

It is highly important to know how to start an essay effectively.


You must be familiar with the phrase “the first impression is the last impression?”

Similarly, with any piece of writing the impression you make on the reader with your introduction sets the one for the rest of the text. This makes them decide whether or not they want to invest their time reading it further. Thus, making the introduction a highly critical part of any paper or essay.

If you are stuck at this stage, unsure how to begin writing, then this is just the right place for you.

Dive in!

When writing an essay, you must know that there is no hard and fast rule for starting it. There are four main types of essays: argumentative essay, persuasive essay, descriptive essay and expository essay.

Similar to the different types of essays, there are several different ways to start an essay. However, the most commonly followed way is the hamburger essay method.

This method is also known as the introduction, body and conclusion. Where the hamburger buns are the introduction and the conclusion, and the main ingredient – the meat is the body of the essay.

When you start writing an essay, follow this method and you will be good to go.

How to Start an Essay Introduction

The introductory paragraphs of any piece of writing hold the most importance, as they help grab the reader’s attention and makes them decide whether or not they should invest their time.

Similarly, in an essay, the introduction acts as a roadmap and sets the tone for the content of the rest of the essay.

As we pointed out earlier that there isn’t a set way to start an essay. But the one thing you need to be mindful of is that your introduction is catchy as well as informative.

To make your work interesting, and attract the reader’s attention with the opening line, you must use a hook sentence.

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Essay Hook

An essay hook is the opening sentence used as an attention grabber and as a motivator for the reader to make them read further.

However, a hook sentence doesn’t substitute the introduction. Instead, it opens your essay in an interesting manner. There are different types of hooks that you can use. For instance, you can begin your essay with a quote, or by asking some rhetorical questions.

Depending upon the nature and topic of your essay, you can use any of the following hooks:

  • Quote
  • Statistics
  • Anecdote
  • Personal story
  • Questions
  • Common misconceptions

For example, if you are writing a literary essay on Anna Karenina, you start by posing a question like “Do you think Anna would still be in love with Alexei if she wouldn’t have committed suicide”? and then answer it in your essay.

To learn more about writing engaging opening lines for your essay, here are some interesting hook examples to give you an idea.

Background Information

After you have hooked the reader, the next step is to introduce the topic to your reader. Inform them about the main idea of your essay and present background information to make it easier for them to understand what is being talked about in the essay.

However, make sure to not bombard the reader with extra information at this stage. You don’t want them to get overwhelmed with excess information and stop reading further.

Just give enough information to familiarise them with the whole idea of making it easier to understand. When you look for information on your topic, only use credible and authentic sources. Performing an exhaustive research before beginning writing is an inevitable part of the essay writing process.

Thesis Statement

The last component of an essay introduction is a thesis statement. The thesis statement summarizes the entire concept and states the main objective of the essay.

The purpose of the thesis statement is to make a claim about the topic and to engage the reader, making them wanting to read till the end.

A thesis statement should be arguable and not based on facts that the reader already believes in. Your teacher wants to read something interesting and engaging and the only way to do that is to provide them with some new and arguable information.

A good thesis statement is arguable, defendable, as well as informative. You can learn more about writing a thesis statement along with examples.

Once you have successfully started your essay introduction, the next section is the body.

Different Ways To Start an Essay

Now you know the essential elements to consider when starting to write your essay. Following are some of the different ways that you can consider to start your essay.

How to Start an Essay With a Question?

Starting an essay with a question is one of the most easiest and effective ways to get the attention from your readers.

In this way the reader will think about the essay subject and will want to find out how the author has answered the question.

How to Start An Essay With a Quote?

The internet has made it easy for us to access quotes from writers, historical figures, and scientists. Starting an essay with a quote will help you to have their attention immediately.

Make sure to quote someone with credibility and the quote is also important to have some association with your topic.

How to Start an Essay With a Fun/Interesting Fact?

The start of an essay is a great opportunity for you start with an interesting fact or statistics. Everybody loves to read interesting and fun facts as they provide some relevant background information about the topic.

For serious essays, you can start with some shocking statistics to immediately grab your reader’s attention.

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How to Start an Essay Conclusion?

The last section of an essay is the conclusion, and this is where most students go wrong. They start it abruptly and leave the reader confused without providing sufficient information.

When writing the conclusion for your essay, remember that this will be the last thing you leave your reader with. So, don’t make it vague. Use this opportunity to restate the thesis and summarize the main points.

Remind the reader why your stand on the particular topic was correct. Avoid introducing any new information at this stage.

While we have covered everything about starting your essay and its different sections, to learn more about the content, here is a complete essay format.

Mistakes To Avoid When Starting an Essay

How to begin an essay in a wrong way?

The outline is the important task to start with. So what is next.

Following are some of the things that you should avoid if you want to start an essay in the best possible way.

  • Never start with a definition from a dictionary
    The definition taken from dictionaries or even websites are quite obvious and boring. Other than that, teachers do not recommend using such open source encyclopedias.
  • Avoid writing broad and generalized introduction
    Set a timer and watch whether your introduction is more than 25-30 seconds long. If it is, then make it short.

Get Professional Help

If you are still facing difficulty or you’re finding yourself stuck in the writer’s block, the essay experts at 5staressays can help you out.

Whether you need help perfecting a rough draft, or need an essay written from scratch just reach out to our professional writers and they will handle the rest.

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