Every Writers problem: Those First Words … Or: How to write an introduction!!

Published 2015/07/03 by Dr. Dannii Cohen

jjWriting an introduction to anything is always difficult. How do you catch the eye, especially with the short attention-span people have nowadays. How can you write something so interesting that it hooks the reader and keeps your work in their minds for a long time to come?

Do you go for a short Twitter style: “This is important read”, or do you go in-depth? Do you choose a shouty tabloid headline, or a serious heavy title.
I myself usually go for a combination of the two, as I want to attract and inform.

Like this:

  • Example

“Vegetarianism is the best option to prolong your life …
Scientists have discovered that the best way to prolong your life is to cut meat from your diet.”

Others might choose to do it like this:

“Live longer quit meat

Meat is the biggest killer, scientists say. Why should we cut bacon from our breakfast? Continue reading to find out.”

  • Other ways

There are numerous ways to go with it, but it always has to come from without yourself, and has to feel right for you. The only thing to remember is that you have to engage the reader in your piece and give out information from the start. A spicy hook, fact or statistic at the start wins half the battle. A big winner too is finding a fun anecdote or interesting quotation. You can also;

  • Start your essay as a question

“Does giving up meat make you live longer?”

“Long life means no meat?”

But don’t fall in the trap of continuing as a question, answer the question after the title.

“Does giving up meat make you live longer?

According to scientists, it does. Let me explain etc”

  • Be familiar with the topic and if possible, love it.

Don’t choose a subject just because you think it looks cool. The only way to write engagingly is if you either love or are very familiar with the subject matter. The audience will notice if you are overreaching or just writing filer.

  • Remember your readers

Another thing to remember is there are different writing styles for different subjects and different mediums.
An essay for a science paper does not need to be as catchy as an article for a journalism course.
But in both cases you need to remember that you are not writing just for you, other people have to read and feel included, and most importantly have to UNDERSTAND your work.

So lets sum up

  • You need to be catchy, but in a way you are comfortable with.
  • You need a hook, an anecdote, a quotation or an interesting statistic.
  • Be familiar with the subject
  • Cater to your audience.
  • Remember there IS an audience.

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