Five Ways of Writing GP Essay Introduction

Writing an introduction in the absence of proper knowledge can be a challenging task. Similarly, getting different ideas from different people on this matter might complicate the situation even more. And there are times when you cannot manage to write a single word. You think of different ideas and yet none of the ideas help you get on the board. Or you get stuck in the middle of the sentence and no matter how hard you try your can’t move on. Now, in this article I will try my best to wipe away all the confusions surrounding you and make you able to write an introduction for different types of essays. I hope you won’t have these problems after reading this article.

Now, being candidly honest, there are no hard-and-fast rules about how you should write your introduction paragraph. Therefore, if two different people give you two different ideas on writing an introduction, then chances are that both of them are right, especially if they have some knowledge on the field. And this is exactly what happens most of the time with students, when student complain that one teacher said this while another said it was wrong.

Since there are no specific rules, first you need to understand the purpose of introduction paragraph to write it well. The introduction paragraph generally serves the following purposes:
  • It introduces the topic.
  • It sets background and lays the foundation for your further arguments.
  • It states the thesis and informs readers about what to expect in the essay later.

Now, if you meet these purposes, then your introduction will be quite good, no matter however you frame it. Yet, I've described five ways of writing the introduction for general paper essays, below, to simplify this process even further.

1. Defining Keywords
One way to introduce is by defining the keywords of your essay question. Using definition in introduction is appropriate when the meanings of certain terms need to be clarified, when it is either necessary or simply appropriate and when you need to set limit to the scope (or focus) of your essay.

Here are two example essays which use this method to introduce the essay:

2. Using Anecdote
Another way of beginning your essay is to use anecdote. An anecdote is a short and interesting story about a real incident. Such anecdotes can set a good background for your essay and communicate your argument to the reader implicitly. If you can come up with one, your essay can be very attractive to your readers as well as effective in conveying your message.

Essay using this technique:

3. Using quotations and/or rhetorical questions
Quotations can include any famous sayings, or proverbs which are suitable in the context of the question. Such quotations not only make it easier to begin your essay, but also provide you with more ideas on the topic. So, it is another useful way to introduce your essay.

Essay using quotation for introduction:

4. Moving from general to specific
Another way to begin your essay is by making a general statement about the topic. You first introduce the general ideas on the topic and then proceed towards more specific ideas, which you’ll be discussing in the essay later.

Examples of the essays, using this style in introduction:

5. When none of the above are useful
If you find the above discussed techniques unsuitable or difficult to implement on your essay then there’s this last way. This normally doesn’t fail and is quite easy. As said already, there’s no fixed rule that you should follow in writing your introduction. But, if you can’t work with the above ones, this one can be your fixed rule which works.

First of all, brainstorm the ideas you’ll discuss later in your essay. Four to five ideas are enough for A level general paper. Second, make one or two general statements about the topic and write them in the beginning. Afterwards, directly state the ideas you just brainstormed. They can be expressed either as short phrases, each of which separated by a comma, or in the form of complete sentences. Finally, write down your thesis statement. In this setting, your thesis statement will express your overall inclination. For example, it will help the reader know whether you are going to discuss for the topic, against the topic or remain neutral on the issue.

Below is an example of the essay which uses this method:

Don’t forget this guideline:
Devise a first-sentence attention grabber, but make sure that this sentence is on topic and appropriate. - ( How to Write a Good GP Essay Intro

Additional reading
If you want to read other references on this topic, I recommend you these two additional links:

Lastly, if you found yourself stuck in the middle of writing, searching either for the ideas or for the exact word that describes what you want to express, then here are my suggestions. Without trying to be perfectionist, express your ideas however you can. If you can’t get any idea even after mulling over for a few seconds, then cross the sentence and write a different idea altogether which you can comfortably write. I mean do not hesitate to cross your answer and think over on the new ideas. A few mistakes won’t do much harm but if you cannot complete your essay for that matter, perhaps you’ll lose more. So, move on even if you know that your idea is just okay and not perfect.


  1. Pls can provide steps for writing int'l essays

  2. how many words are required for an introduction??

  3. There is no such hard and fast rule about the size of the introduction. However, I recommend between 80 to 100 words.

    1. Mr Gaire, the links you provided as the examples doesnt display any essays. can you fix this?

    2. Thanks for pointing this problem out. I've just sorted it! Happy reading!

  4. I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean by int'l essays! This site deals with GP essays only.

  5. Thanks for sharing this nice post. The main steps in whole essay writing process are revising and proofreading.

    Essay Writing Guidelines

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. can you start an essay by a narration?

    1. Of course you can! You just need to have a good, succinct story to narrate! :)

  8. should the introduction show that we are going to write about for argument and also the against argument of the given topic later on in our essay?

    1. Your question is not very clear to me.

      If we are going to discuss on both aspects: for and against, then whether we need to clarify that right in the introduction or not is apparently what you are trying to ask.

      In that case, it is a clear Yes! You need to mention your intention of discussing on both sides (for and against) in the introduction itself.

      That way, your introduction will be more connected to, and more representative of the rest of your essay. Otherwise it will be like, putting a dog's head to the body of a camel. There will be eyes, nose, ears, and mouth all at the right place and still it will not look good! :)

  9. Your article is very useful for beginners! I don't know how to express my gratitude to you, sir... I have just found this post, and very glad to see it there!


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