How to Write an Introductory Paragraph for an Argumentative Essay

Arguments can take on all sorts of characteristics and span a wide spectrum, from the tried and true “silent treatment” method, to lots and lots of tears and the gnashing of teeth.

But we like to keep it classy around here. Academic settings, top-siders, argyle socks, you get the idea. At the risk of insulting the body and conclusion paragraphs, the introductory paragraph is the most important piece of your essay, IF you write it correctly. You might ask why ‘IF’ is capitalized. Well, IF you are wondering why, you need to keep reading.

Reel’em in!

  • Capture your reader’s attention with a little bit of drama.
  • Gain the reader’s interest with a captivating fact or figure.

OK, now that you have your reader’s attention, it is time to let him/her now why this essay is so important.

Show some background

  • This argument didn’t come out of nowhere. Provide the necessary background to inform and prove that you know what you are talking about. But please, don’t try to rewrite history.
  • In case you weren’t paying attention to the last point, keep it simple. Too much information will bog down your thesis and give your reader every excuse to think about anything other than your essay.

Providing only the essential background has now effectively convinced your reader that you know what you are talking about and since you are well-informed, you might be capable of presenting a worthy argument. Time is of the essence, so don’t wait to take the next step.

Set the tone

  • This is your essay. Assert yourself by providing just enough information to show how confident you are in the facts linked to your thesis.
  • Make it clear that while you are open to and understand the conflicting point of view, your evidence is so persuasive that the powers that be will feel compelled to agree with you.

At this stage your reader is hanging on with bated breath, beginning to agree with you. Don’t blow it!

State your thesis

  • Don’t show your cards just yet-that’s what your body paragraphs are there to accomplish.
  • As discussed with background information, do not provide so much evidence that your thesis becomes vague.
  • Just be honest. Keep it simple. Let your reader understand why you feel a certain way, what it means to you, and how it can be achieved.

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