How to Start an Essay: Simple Steps to Follow

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You know this essay is important and you want to give your best to write it well. The only question is: how do you even start?

You Don’t Know How to Start a College Essay?

Every single essay your professors assign is a big part of the final grade. You might think it’s easier for them to grade essays and that’s why they are assigning them, but that’s not the case. The essay is important because it helps you develop critical and analytical thinking skills. It prepares you for all the writing you’ll face in the real world. If you don’t know how to begin an essay, you’ll keep procrastinating. Don’t worry; is here to help. We’ll teach you how to start an essay with a quote, catch phrase, anecdote, and other tricks that will keep you going.

There are multiple ways to start an essay. The first sentence is important, but so is your preparation. You have to be inspired and confident. In this guide, you’ll find a detailed explanation of the initial stages of the essay completion process. If you just sit and expect yourself to write a great paper in an hour, you’ll get blocked. If you approach this process with the right mindset, you’ll get it done. We’ll give you tips on how to get it done!

Remember: when you start well, everything will go smoothly.

The Ultimate Guidance on How to Start an Essay!

This is the ultimate tip on how to begin a college essay: start as early as possible. How do you do that? As soon as you get the essay question or guidelines for the assignment, start thinking about it. What is your opinion about the topic? What has your professor told you about this topic? Have you noticed any passionate arguments during the lectures?
Don’t let too much time pass before you proceed with the following steps. If you procrastinate, you’ll forget all about these initial impressions. It’s important to start while the enthusiasm persists.

1. Brainstorm!

Brainstorming is one of the most important steps to writing an essay. It helps you form opinions and stick with the best ideas you get. You can use an online tool like StormBoard or MindMeister, but plain paper and a pen is also enough.

Write down all ideas that come to your mind. Don’t be picky and don’t judge the ideas at this point; just write them down. Then, try to think how the essay would look with the best of them. What’s the idea that gives you the flexibility to argue a point? Try to create an essay map that connects the best ideas in a logical flow.

2. Preliminary Research

Search for authoritative sources of information that support your opinions. Take notes throughout this stage. You’ll need to reference those sources later on, so it’s important to know where they are coming from.

You don’t need too many sources for a simple essay. It’s okay to use less than 7, but make sure they are believable. Don’t opt for Wikipedia! Google Scholar is a great search engine that leads you to academic articles and research studies.

3. The Outline

Before you get to the writing part, you’ll need to outline the essay structure. If for example, you’re working on a 5-paragraph essay, you’ll need an introduction with a thesis statement, three body paragraphs with arguments that support that statement, and a concluding paragraph. Plan what you’ll write in all these sections.

Since you already went through the brainstorming stage, the planning process should go smoothly. At this point, you can take a look at a good essay sample, so you’ll know how the structure looks like.

4. Finally: Start Writing the Introduction

Even the most experienced essay writers can face a blockade at this point. However, since you have the outline and you know what you’re going to write, you have a foundation that will keep you going. Here are few guidelines that will help you write a great introduction:

  • Start with a quote

You can easily find an example of an essay that starts with a quote. This approach works. If for example, you’re writing an essay on the importance of education, you can use an attention-grabbing quote, such as this one:
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned at school” – Albert Einstein
Then, you’ll continue with your own words that follow that quote in a way that makes sense.

  • Use statistics

If you have a hard time thinking of your own words to start the essay, you can find interesting statistics. If for example, you’re writing a paper on the challenges of academic writing, you can start with something like this:
“97% of college students find research papers difficult to write.”

We made this up. It won’t work in a real essay since you can’t support lies with authoritative links. But, you get the point: statistics work like a charm when you use them in the introduction. However, you have to find relevant data from reliable sources.

  • Start with your own sentence and make it attention-grabbing

The first two sentences in your paper are the hook. They will seduce the reader and take them towards the rest of the content. You can start with a gripping image, scene, or personal experience, depending on the type of essay you’re writing.

Now You Know How to Start a Good Essay. Do It!

We answered the most important question: how do you start an essay? After that hook in the first sentence, you have to be very straight-forward. Provide background information on the topic, so the reader will immediately realize what the paper is about. If for example, you’re writing an essay on teenage obesity, you can provide data from research studies that show how serious the issue is. Then, at the end of the introduction, you’ll write the thesis statement – your opinion supported with three arguments, which you’ll continue discussing throughout the paper.

Once you have the introduction ready, it will be easy to continue writing that paper. Remember: you already have an outline, so follow that pattern and keep all arguments on the topic. The important thing is to start. As soon as you find your inspiration, nothing will stop you from writing a great paper.

If you have any questions or problems, Xpert Writers is always here to help!

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