It can be argued that the most challenging part of writing is starting. You might have the ideas outlined in your mind, but accurately writing those ideas to capture the attention of the reader can prove to be a very difficult task. 

What you need to know about starting an essay

Starting an essay comes with its anxiety. Even the best writers try so hard to begin with the right words, so much so that before settling for the opening sentence, tons of crumpled paper containing drafts will be seen littered on the floor. 

With the decline in reading culture over the years, a book is now very often judged by its cover, especially when it comes to essay writing. If the opening paragraph does not interest the reader, all other content is discarded. 

Although the beginning sentence or paragraph is the first step in fascinating a reader, subsequent paragraphs also play a key role in maintaining the reader’s interest. In light of this, it is necessary to begin each paragraph with captivating words. 

Good starting words for an essay and its transitory body include: according to, considering, moreover, and furthermore. Other words for starting essay examples are: likewise, on the contrary, however, alternatively, conversely, notably, compelling, persuasive, and so on. These words and phrases could be used either in the opening sentence or in the body of the essay.

This article will outline tips you can use to keep your readers intrigued when starting an essay. The tips would help you grab the reader’s attention and keep them hooked on your article.

How to start your essay

Just as there are effective listening and communication skills, so too are effective writing skills. Knowing when and where to include certain words and phrases will guide you in making a magnificent opening paragraph.

  • Begin with a fascinating fact

You might consider starting your essay with an interesting fact. This might come as statistical information, which would make readers interested enough to want to read further. If you are making a statement based on statistics, you could begin the sentence with “according to,” or you could directly state the statistics. 

Ensure that the statistical fact you choose is in-line with your topic to avoid confusing your readers.

  • Begin with a question

Beginning by asking a question acts as an invitation to the reader. This allows the reader to ponder the question. In this way, you have effortlessly begun grounding their minds in the topic. 

When asking questions, it is advisable to ask only those to which the reader can directly relate. Doing this creates an engagement between you and your reader, where the reader is actively engaged in the reading process.

  • Begin by creating a drama

A bit of drama is a great way to captivate your readers when starting an essay. Start by visualizing a scene, and effectively putting that visualization into writing, while simultaneously casting it into the minds of your readers. 

Dramatization is often used in creative essays or when you write for persuasion. Nevertheless, starting an essay with a dramatic scene that relates to the topic will certainly keep your readers hungry for more.

  • Begin with a quote

One of the most powerful ways to begin an essay is to open the first paragraph with a quote. Look out for words of wisdom that directly relate to your essay topic.

The following tips might be helpful when choosing the perfect quote to begin your essay with: Avoid using frequently used quotes; quote someone saying something no one would expect; research the context of the quote to avoid misuse; appropriately introduce the quote; ensure that you use quotation marks for every quote; ensure that the quote is appropriately attributed; link the quote to your thesis; and finally, when using a long quote, use only a fragment, rather than the whole thing.


There are various ways to start an essay. However, writers often look for the most captivating ways. Some examples include starting an essay with a question, a story, an amusing fact, a joke, or even starting an essay with a quote. Irrespective of the starting style a writer picks, the ultimate goal is to deliver content that the reader enjoys.