The introductory paragraph of an article serves as your thesis statement. It is what hooks a reader to what you plan to convey in the body of the post to follow.
This basic understand can be applied to just about any creative work. From writing blog posts to copywriting for a brand like BrainMD and Integrative Therapeutics, where the brand needs to grab the reader’s attention so they capture the attention of the reader. This works best if you are clear, precise, and straightforward with your initial statement.
Be bold with your statement. Then support your argument with the rest of your content.
50 Words or Less as a Best Practice
The number of sentences found in your introduction is less important than its actual length. You should try to keep your presentation to about 50 words.
Placing that limitation on your writing forces your creativity into a place where you must be precise with your words. Fluff and fillers don’t belong in your thesis statement.
If you are writing a longer piece of literature, such as a novel or a 50-page research paper, your introduction will be more extensive because there is more information to cover. You might have the intro be a couple of pages in length.
Long papers still follow the 50-word rule when determining the overall thesis statement of the piece. Even novels adopt this rule.
Think about some of the iconic first lines in some books.
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
That piece from Little Women sets the stage for the rest of the story, drawing up the curtain of imagination’s stage to encourage the reader to keep going.
How to Write an Incredible Introduction
1. Grab the attention of the reader immediately. Use an anecdote, relevant quote, or a specific fact that startles the individual to keep reading.
2. Provide some background information for your thesis statement. It helps to offer some generalized content before being specific.
3. Be bold with your thesis statement. Arguments are meant to be controversial because that is how you cause an echo chamber to grow silent. Get as many of your main points as possible into the introduction.
4. An introduction that is too short is as problematic as one that is too long. You need to grab the reader’s attention, transition them to the rest of the text, and establish the theme of your narrative.
5. Learn and understand the ACE writing method. This will help you to form a more cohesive and factual article that will make going back and reviewing your introductory paragraph easier.
Writing has some generalized rules to follow, but it is essential to remember that some were meant to be broken. The introduction should be as long as it needs to be to convey information to others.