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Writing Powerful Introductions

When you write, what's the best way to begin? Many students start with a simple sentence, such as "I will write about my hometown", or they use no special introduction at all. Here are six ways to write better introductions.

1) Write about a problem

Everybody has problems! Most of our energy each day is spent trying to solve problems. By starting your writing with a problem, you automatically hook your readers into searching for a solution. Your readers will start to think about how they might solve the problem or wonder what solution you have in mind. But be careful not to take too much time on the problem itself. This is an introduction, not the body of your writing.

2) Write about a story or start with a joke

A very brief story or joke that illustrates your main idea can also hook the reader. Use clear details and vivid descriptions to appeal to your readers' senses and emotions. For example, if you want your readers to give up smoking, describe the painful effects of an elderly person who is unable to stop coughing, unable to breathe freely. If you are writing about an interesting place, describe what the readers would see, what they would hear, what they would taste, so that they can almost feel they are there. A joke, if it really fits the topic, can also make your readers more receptive to your ideas. Look at How to Tell Jokes for a simple way to remember jokes and stories.

3) Start with a question

This is one of the easiest ways to begin writing. However, be careful not to use questions that are too simple. If everyone already knows the answer, they will not be interested in what you write next. Remember, you have to make them think! "Do you like to eat?" is not very interesting. However, "Have you ever spent more than $100 dollars on one meal?" will make your readers start dreaming!

4) Write a bold statement or use an interesting statistic

If you begin with something like, "In the United States, fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce!", your readers will want to know your point of view on this topic. You can look up statistics on the Internet for just about any topic, so go to it!

5) Start with a quote from an important person

This kind of introduction has two advantages. As with the other ways, it gets your readers to think about what you will say next. In addition, the words of important people have the ability to persuade many people. "If Bill Gates said it, it's probably true", many people will think.

6) Write about necessary background information

This is not a very interesting way to begin, but sometimes it's necessary to help your readers before you begin. Some topics will be too difficult for readers to follow without some help, so you may have to provide basic information first. If possible, try to write about this information using one of the five opening techniques above!

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