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Free Writing Assistance: Three Winning Examples of Essay Introductions

A fascinating essay introduction, after which your reader simply can’t put the paper down, is often the most difficult part to craft. Fortunately, you can pick one of the opening techniques that are proven to be efficient, and learn from examples how to use it properly.


“‘Never mistake activity for achievement,’ John Wooden said, but it is just the sort of thing that happens in public school. A student who is active during classes often gets higher grades than a shy one with a more profound knowledge. Some people see standardized tests as a remedy for this unfairness, while others claim this cure might be worse than the disease.”

A meaningful quotation is a great way to open almost any sort of essay. Just make sure that the quote is relevant to your topic, be ready to explain the connection, and transit smoothly to your thesis statement.


“For seven years my father worked at Walker’s, he would come home at 10 pm, shut the door gently, then make his way upstairs, stepping softly in order not to bother us. He did not know we lay in beds awake, waiting for his footsteps to assure us everything went its normal way; only then could we sleep. But one dark November night we waited in vain. As clock arms approached half past ten, the house remained silent.”

An anecdote is any funny, moving, or thrilling story that fits into a single paragraph. This introduction technique enables your reader to know the person or thing you are writing about better and hence emphasize with them.

Anecdotes work best to open personal narratives (as in the example above), but other kinds of essays can benefit from them as well. For example, writing about Marie Antoinette, begin with a story of how she accidentally stepped on her executor’s foot and begged his pardon.

A piece of fact

“Although it is common to say ‘light as a cloud,’ the average cloud weighs about 800 tons, which is roughly as much fresh water as 2000 average Americans use per day. If we discovered a way to turn these lots of vapor into potable water with minimal losses, we could solve the problem of arid regions.”

The fact you use as a hook should be interesting for your reader to learn, and relevant to the subject of your essay. Meanwhile, the opening bit of fact should not be one of those you use to prove your point; save them for your essay body.