essay tutorials

  • Elaborate guide on how to start an essay

    After an instructor assigns an essay, one of the first questions that students ask is how to begin their essays. Instructors often find this to be a frustrating question because instructors cannot tell their students how to begin, they can only offer ideas for different techniques. Since essays all begin with introductory paragraphs, students simply need to learn the different techniques for writing hooks - the first part of any introductory paragraph.

    When writing an introductory paragraph, students need to include three distinct parts. The first part is the hook, which is the creative way that writers get the attention of the reader. The last part of the introductory paragraph is the thesis statement, which is like the topic sentence for the entire essay. In the middle of the introductory paragraphs, writers need to bridge the hook and the thesis with sufficient background information or other elements that help the reader learn what is coming in the rest of the essay.

    While the thesis and the bridge are formulaic, the hook can have significant amounts of creativity. It is the one place that the writer has to grab the reader and get that reader to want to read the rest of the essay. Without creativity, the reader might not want to continue reading. In order to get the hook working, it is a good idea to know the different types of hooks. Here are a few to work with:

  • Strategies For Writing An Essay

    Collection of questions: Many writers will begin a series of questions. If you do this, you begin with three questions. To make them highly effective, they should be open-ended questions rather than yes or no questions. If you cannot come up with three open-ended questions, then one or two yes-or-no questions would be ok to use.

    Quotation: This style can be fun to use because you get to find a quote from a famous person or historical figure. The quote should apply to the topic of your essay and make the reader think. If the quote is obscure or does not directly fit with the topic, you should explain the quote in the bridge of the introduction. When you use a quotation, be sure that you cite the quote so you do not have issues with plagiarism.

    Anecdote: We all love a good story, so beginning with an interesting story gets the reader’s attention. The challenge with writing an anecdote is actually creating an interesting story. If you are a creative person, this could quickly become your favorite type of hook. This style will be longer than the others, simply because it is a story. The bridge will include the connection between the story and the hook.

    Interesting statistics: The interesting statistic hook is another style that requires research, like the quote style. The key to the interesting statistic is the word “interesting” because there are several more statistics that are far from being interesting. This hook style can work with nearly every type of essay, since there are statistics available for nearly every topic. In the middle of the introduction, you will need to fully explain the statistic and how it applies to the rest of the essay, especially the thesis.

    Controversy: If you decide to write about something controversial, you can start with the controversial issue - which should be your thesis. If you know your thesis will start conversation, there is nothing wrong with breaking a few little rules - so start with the thesis. Your readers will figure it out, even if the introduction is slightly different than the norm. They will certainly remember the controversial idea that you are proposing in your essay.

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