How To Start An Essay


how to start an essay

One of the main ways your knowledge will be tested at college or university is with essays. They’re a good way of seeing whether you’ve taken in information, and whether you can analyse it on your own. If you’re not used to writing essays, constructing them can seem daunting. How do you start writing an essay?

Here are all the tips you need to get started. Once you have the start down, you’ll see it’s easier than you’d think.

Starting Your Essay

An essay is a unique way of writing, different to writing something else like a research paper or book. In an essay, you’re looking to answer a specific question or put forward a certain view. As you write, you should be looking to use evidence to support the points you make, and construct an argument that sways your reader to your line of thinking.

This all starts with the beginning of your essay. You’re looking to introduce your essay and let your reader know what you’re hoping to do with the text. Whatever your aim is, you want to get the reader’s attention quickly and get them on board.

How To Start An Essay

You don’t want to get stuck on starting your essay, especially when you’re on a deadline. As such, here’s how you can get it started. You’ll often find that once you’ve got over the empty page and started typing, the rest will come a lot more easily.

Plan ahead: You won’t be able to start writing right away, as soon as you get your assignment. You’re going to need to plan your essay out first. When you have a plan, you’ll be able to start your essay much more easily.

Firstly, understand what kind of essay you’re being asked to write. That will affect how you start the essay. For example, a persuasive essay will need a different kind of introduction and layout than an analytical essay would.

Then, start planning out the topic you want to cover and the points you want to make. In some cases, your professor may give you the topic, or a choice of topics. You’ll then want to map out all the points you want to make, so you can organise them into an argument that works throughout your essay.

Come up with your thesis: Now, let’s think about the thesis of your essay. What’s the main point you’re trying to make? You’ll refer to this in your introduction, so you’ll want to hammer this out now. Your thesis will be a very direct statement, something that cuts to the chase. For example, your thesis could be, “The evidence shows that we cannot ignore climate change any longer”. It’s to the point, and shows the reader what your essay will be about.

Work backwards: If you’re not sure how to start your essay, you don’t have to panic and stare at the blank screen until something comes to you. Instead, you can work backwards. Start writing out the body of your essay, outlining your points. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find it a lot easier to go back and put in the introduction.

Pick how you’ll start your essay: There are several ways in which you can write an introduction. These are often called essay hooks, as they are what will encourage the reader to keep reading. For example, you can start with a fact, that encapsulates the argument that you want to make. You can also start with quote, especially if you’re writing an analytical essay about a certain person’s work.

In a lot of cases, you can simply state your thesis directly. That’s a very straightforward way of getting started, and helps you start getting your ideas down into the essay itself.

Examples Of How To Start An Essay

There are many ways of how to start an essay, and it will depend on your topic and the type of essay you’re writing. Here are some examples to show you how you can write that introduction and get started.

  • With the evidence available to us, it’s clear that climate change can no longer be ignored.
  • “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” - William Faulkner. In Faulkner’s novel Requiem for a Nun, he uses this theme of perspectives of the past to tell the story.
  • Undergraduate students in work study programs earn an average of just $1,794 a year, which is around the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in this city.

Now you have some ideas on how to get started writing your essay, and get readers hooked on what you have to say. There’s lots of different ways to start, so use a theme that works for your essay. If you still don't know what to do, it's better to let professional essay writing service save your time.

written by Mary Watson

editor and tutor, 12 years experience

Mary, our exceptional editor and online tutor, brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. With her extensive expertise in academic writing, she guides and mentors aspiring students, providing them with constructive feedback that propels their essays to the next level.