Introductions are the most powerful tool in your writing arsenal. If you are unable to write a compelling and interesting introduction, you risk losing your reader’s attention. Without attention or interest, a reader has little reason to continue reading what you’re writing down. You can have the most brilliant treatise or ideas on the fourth page of your blog entry or book, but if you don’t have a good one, they’ll never be able to get to it. Fortunately, we have five steps which help you understand how to write an introduction to keep people reading your work!
5: Have a strong hook
Every introduction should have some kind of hook that pulls the reader in. A hook is simply something that grabs their attention and makes them want to read more. Good hooks mainly focus on giving the readers a preview of what is to come. Don’t be afraid to tease the best part of your work! Remember, the goal is to get the reader to keep reading. In today’s information-saturated world, you have only a few moments to capture their attention before it shifts to something else.
4: Share the benefit to the reader immediately.
The first paragraph of your writing is your visit card. If you don`t know how to write an introduction paragraph, this tip is definitely for you! The first question that any reader is going to ask when reading something for the first time will be “is this worth my time?” You must be able to answer that question with a quick “yes” in order to capture their attention. This usually requires a simple value offer. If you notice, in the introduction to this piece, the hook was that introductions are the most important part of writing, and then we immediately offered several ways to punch up your writing. This offer answers the question of value and keeps them reading.
3: Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
An introduction shouldn’t be coy or try to hide the best stuff. Don’t make the reader work to figure out what you’re going to be telling them. Instead, write in a clear and concise manner all of the topics that you will be discussing. This works especially well for longer pieces. For example, if you were writing a paper about developmental psychology in children you might write something like:
Today, I’m going to be writing about how technology affects the mind of a child, how parenting techniques can improve development and the areas of technology that are beneficial to children.
This is detailed enough to give the reader a preview of what is to come. This helps create a wider net, a potential reader might not be interested in the first and second subject, but the third one may be up to their alley. You can appeal to multiple groups of people by letting the audience know exactly what you are going to be covering.
2: Avoid Jargon and Gobbledygook
One of the fastest ways to kill someone’s interest in a paper is to have a long string of large, technical sounding words that only industry insiders understand. So if you don`t know how to start an introduction, don`t start it with jargon words. Language should be clean and accessible to everyone. Knowing your audience is important, some jargon terms are difficult to avoid if you’re writing an introduction to a book on theoretical physics. However, if your writing will be read by the general public, you’ll want to be sure to avoid long, technical words and sentences that become unreadable unless the reader has a dictionary handy.
1: Avoid Narcissism
Talking about yourself in the introduction, unless you are specifically writing a story from your life, generally comes off as a bit narcissistic. Avoid mentioning yourself unless it’s relevant to the work you’re writing and instead try to focus on providing as much value to the reader as possible. Telling a long-winded story about your personal opinions about the subject you’re covering can quickly turn people off, especially if they don’t know who you are. Instead, try to maintain a professional demeanor and focus on the information that you’re delivering, while still staying warm and friendly.
Writing a good introduction isn’t easy, but it is certainly one of the most important parts of the writing process. If you’re struggling to put together a concise you might want to consider using The Robot Don. The Don is a writing checker that evaluates your writing and helps you greatly improve your skills. If you want more writing articles like this sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter!