Writing Introductory Paragraphs
It's time to write the essay. There you sit, looking at a blank computer screen. Between now and the deadline, you've got to fill that screen with 2000 words of essay. And you have to start with an introductory paragraph. Right, here you go - what's your first sentence going to be? Come to that, what's your first word going to be? 'The'? 'It'? 'Bananas'?
No wonder it feels scary. But it doesn't have to. Writing an introductory paragraph needn't be like facing your first bungee jump. In this section, we'll look at a less stressful way to produce an effective opening paragraph for your essay.
First of all, here is one very practical point: don't write your introductory paragraph first. Write it last, when you have finished the rest of the essay. When you start to write, you're at your most stressed. That's a bad time to write your opening paragraph, because opening paragraphs are especially important. First impressions matter. Also, one of the things which an introduction needs to do is to provide a kind of 'menu' for the essay, to say what the essay contains. You'll find it much easier to write the menu when you've written the essay. Also, you'll be feeling less stressed when you've written the essay, and you can concentrate on the specific task of writing a good introductory paragraph.