How To Write The Introduction To An Expository Essay

October 26, 2022 Umer
introduction for expository essay

Catching Readers Off-Guard

When you introduce a thing to the readers, it is about making the first impression that can stick. If it does not, they will not care about moving to another sentence let alone going through the succeeding sections until the conclusion of the essay.

The best thing about an introduction is that it can catch readers off-guard. Many writers employ tricks like quoting another author or presenting a fact that can be amusing or shocking to the readers. This is necessary to get the readers into the fold. Otherwise, they will abandon the reading before even starting it.

Expository Essay Writing 101

Students often find it hard to write expository essays because they cannot understand their nature. This is true to some extent because their understanding of expository essays is limited to simple definitions and explanations.

An expository essay is a type of essay that conveys only factual information to the readers. The prose is often unadorned with no subjectivity and personal character of the writer. All the contents of the essay are presented in an easy-to-follow manner with no room for confusion or ambiguity. That’s why the format of many manuals and how-to articles is expository because it provides actionable information to the readers.

The major sections of an expository essay are the same, as a narrative or descriptive essay. These include an introduction with a hook, some context, and a thesis statement. The main body explains the arguments and supporting evidence, one for each paragraph. In the end, the conclusion summarizes the major points in a compact form.

Best Ways To Write Introduction For An Expository Essay

Understandably, school and college students struggle with writing impactful introductions. Most of the time, they understand the importance but feel the pressure so not a single permutation of opening lines cut it for them. This dilemma can be resolved with some editing and proofreading sessions. Still, many writers feel stuck on what to do with the opening.

In this section, we will explore four distinct angles that they can explore in their essays. We recommend personal discretion and understanding based on the scope and reach of the essay.

Sharing A Fact

Since there is no room for personal character and figurative language in an expository essay, it can help writers to start with a fact. It can be anything that relates the fact or piece of information with the broad theme of the essay. For instance, if a student is writing about corruption in society, he can share a fact or statistic to get the attention of the readers. Before sharing, make sure it is credible and references facts to the source. Otherwise, it will end up weakening the narrative for both the writer and the readers.

Asking A Query

This is an interactive way for a writer to start his expository essay. By asking a question, a writer involves the readers in the essay. They are no longer readers but participants in the journey. This is helpful in both cases, whether the writer provides the answer to that question in the end or not. A thesis of an expository essay is also a question, but this does not count in this category and should be answered before the conclusion. This query is something deeply connected with the essay but is different in reach and scope from the main question epitomized in the thesis statement.

Opening With Thesis

For other essay types, it is recommended to state the thesis in the closing lines of the introduction. But when it comes to writing the introduction to an expository essay, exceptions can be made. That’s why you can open your essay with the thesis statement. This makes sense because it set the perfect stage for the context and background information before diving deep into the arguments and their evidence. Still, it is best to keep things bold and brief to avoid monotony. A thesis statement should be able to connect with the readers and should not exceed more than a couple of lines.

Citing A Quote

Readers love one-liners and quotes. So, one of the best ways to write the introduction of an expository essay is by citing a quote. The rules of sharing a fact apply here too, such as the quote should be relevant, authentic, and referenced to the source. There is no need to exactly start with a quote. You can add better value to it by providing some context to it. This way, it will make a better impact on the readers and help them cover the gaps. Writers should go through multiple sources and scenarios before moving forward.

Practical Tips To Ace The Opening

Sometimes, simple knowledge or theory is not enough, especially for students. They are new to the routine and cannot grasp all the elements in the first go. Still, they need to write quality expository essays to pass first class. That’s why we are sharing practical tips and tricks for the students so that they can ace the opening of their essays. Each has its area of influence, so the best way to do so is by accumulating the essence of all.
The Right Hook
This term is either used in boxing or literature. But we are talking about the effects of opening lines on the readers. A hook is often used in the form of a literary device, such as a question, a statement, or a fact. Its purpose there is to connect with the readers and grab their attention. The right hook in expository essays is about balancing the elements and understanding the essence of the write-up.
Sufficient Context To Connect The Dots
Readers are stakeholders in an essay. Much of the rhetoric and context are provided so that they can help themselves in understanding the contents of the essay. So, while writing the essay, there is space for both the elements of suspense and secrecy as well as revealing at the perfect time. But an expository essay, in the end, should have enough context to make the write-up an actionable piece of writing.
A Comprehensive And Bold Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is the sum of the main idea or theme of the essay. It consists of a couple of sentences distilling the main idea or theme of the essay. That’s why one of the best ways to start an expository essay is by stating the thesis in the beginning. Wherever you put the thesis statement, it should be bold, comprehensive, and cover all the basis for the topic and the title.

F.A.Q

Why is the introduction of an expository essay an important part?

The introduction is one of the most important sections of an expository essay. It not only provides the necessary context to the readers but also helps the writers to attract them. There are countless “ideal” ways to start an essay. We have covered many ways in this essay that will help students cover their write-ups.


Does outlining the whole essay in the beginning help?

Of course, it does. Many students complain about writer’s block because they don’t know what to write when they get stuck in the middle of the process. Contrary to this, outlining the whole essay can save time and effort and keep the project on track. If you want to complete your project on time and save trouble, it is important to outline – from start to finish.


What is the ideal place to state the thesis of the essay?

There are two important places where writers can state the thesis, especially in an expository essay:

  • The most common place is the concluding lines of the introduction. It helps the writers to transition from the introduction to the main body. It also aids readers in understanding the depth and scope of the thesis statement.
  • In the case of an expository essay, you can write the thesis statement in the beginning. This can help them start the essay with a better impact.

What are the hallmarks of an expository essay?

Different types of writings are defined by the hallmarks and features that they exhibit to their readers. When it comes to expository essays, these are their distinct features:

  • Factual information
  • Objective tone and voice
  • Devoid of opinions and personal views

How can I utilize a quote in the introduction of an expository essay?

One of the best ways to utilize a quote in the introduction of an expository essay is by bridging it with the contents of the essay. For instance, if you are writing an essay on the jury system in the US, you can start with a quote that sheds light on the premises of the essay as well as the jury system in the country.


What is the role of objectivity in expository essay writing?

Objectivity reigns supreme when it comes to writing expository essays. Since these essays are about factual, actionable information, they should have objective and unambiguous information to ensure that the majority of the readers arrive at the same conclusion. This is one of the hallmarks of expository writing and students should keep that in mind while writing one.


Getting A Good Start With Expository Essays

Beginning on the right footing is important while writing expository essays. These are complicated and hard to ace, compared to narrative and descriptive essays. That’s why we have dedicated this blog to writing a winning introduction.

There are a lot of dynamics and mechanics involved in writing the opening section alone. So, novice writers and students should keep all the necessary elements in mind to materialize the desired effects.

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