Debate Writing

Cathy A.

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

Published on: Jan 17, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 18, 2022

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A debate is a structured argument where the two sides speak for and against a specific topic. It is an excellent way to improve public speaking skills. Moreover, it also enhances our ability to develop a convincing argument. However, debate writing requires a proper format structure.

The main purpose is to persuade the audience and judge that your opinion is right. Similarly, writing a winning debate is dependent on the research work and the ability to cite the facts correctly.

Most students consider it is challenging because they do not have a clear idea of the template and debate types. Look at this blog to get a detailed understanding of drafting a perfect debate in no time.

What is Debate Writing?

A debate is a formal contest of argumentation where two opposing teams defend and attack a given resolution. Similarly, it is also a persuasive manner of speaking to convert one’s opinion into your viewpoint.

Here, the speaker either speaks for or against a particular topic being discussed. Moreover, it is the process of preparing and writing the debate before its formal presentation.

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

Types of Debate

Below are the different  types of debates  to help you get started.

The following is a detailed description of these debate types.

Debate Writing Format

The debate writing for middle or high school follows the same format structure. Here, we have mentioned a detailed format for you to get an idea of the parts of a debate.

Opening Statements and Clarification

It includes opening sentences with three arguments and clarifying questions.

In this section, the debaters repeat and analyze the opponent’s arguments and position.

Here, the debaters will summarize their positions after detailed arguments with the opposing team. Similarly, it also allows them to explain why their opinion is best.

After a detailed discussion, each team must answer the questions in a 20-minutes long session.

Check out the given debate writing template to get a better understanding.

Debate Template

How to Start a Debate?

Follow the below-given steps to start a debate speech.

speech examples

How to Write a Debate?

The following are the steps to write a debate speech.

1. Understand the Debate

The first step to write a debate is by understanding its nature. Here, both teams will be given a topic, and they will choose an affirmative or negative stance.

2. Research the Topic Thoroughly

Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the debate. Make a list of critical points and use credible sources to cover them in your arguments.

3. Develop a Debate Outline

Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail.

It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber. Introduce your topic and present the context with the help of a  thesis statement . Also, provide a brief overview of the students’ arguments to understand the direction of the debate.

It is the main section of the debate that discusses the major arguments in detail. Moreover, it further includes logical reasoning and evidence to support the thesis.

The conclusion of the debate is the last chance to demonstrate significant ideas. It summarizes the main body by adding emotion and drama to the words. However, do not forget to add a closing sentence that leaves a lasting impression.

4. Writing the Debate

Start writing the final draft of your debate. Mention the crucial elements of persuasion that are logos, pathos, and ethos. These are used to explain the effects of the resolution in the real world.

Also, use  transition words  to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs. Lastly, edit and proofread your work to avoid plagiarism, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

How to End the Debate?

End the debate by making sure that you have included the following elements. It will help you access the credibility of your debate.

Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some amazing  debate tips  and tricks for you to write a perfect one.

Debating Techniques

Below are some easy  debating techniques  to write a primary and high school debate.

Bad Debating Techniques

Here are some bad techniques that should be avoided while writing a debate paper.

Debate Writing Examples

Check out the following debate writing sample to get a better idea of the concept.

Debate Example for Ks2

Debate Example for Class 7

Debate Example for Class 8

Debate Example for Class 9

Debate Example for Class 11

Debate Example for Class 12

If you need some samples to learn speech and debate writing, refer to our  debate examples .

Debate Writing Topics

The following are some impressive debate writing prompts for you to get an idea.

Have a look at our list of  debate topics  to get more unique ideas.

Hire Professional Writers for Your Debate Writing

This comprehensive guide to debate writing will help you write a perfect one for your high school or college. However, we know that having high-quality debates are important to you.

Therefore,  is the  top essay writer service  for you. They have advanced degrees with years of experience to draft impressive cursive writing in school debates.

Furthermore, we will also provide you with a debate paper example to get an idea. All you have to do is to contact our customer team and specify your requirements.

You can also buy speeches and debates from our  writing services  at affordable rates. Thus, place your order now to get your debate written within the given deadline.

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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What Are Examples Of Debate Opening Statements? Killer Debate Opening Statements

What are examples of debate opening statements

Crafting a debate is simple. A debate is a structured holding of a specific subject. Speakers have the chance to present their ideas that propose or go against the subject matter. However, coming up with a debate opening statement is a challenging task.

An opening statement is a crucial part of a debate. It offers the first impression to the audience and prepares them for the shreds of evidence to be presented eventually in the debate.

If you are a beginner in debates, do not beat so hard on yourself for not knowing how to write an opening statement. The article here will guide you accordingly on how to be a star in debate opening statements.

Elements Of Opening Statements

Whether a trial or a school debate, a debate needs to contain the following essential elements.

The opening statement should entail a theme that acts as a framework for any evidence presented. The theme needs to align perfectly with the topic evidence and support your debate side.

Most times, theme expression might be difficult with no backed-up arguments. Arguments are not allowed in opening statements.

As long as the opening statement remains non-argumentative, debate rules might allow you; to state the theme of the case at the beginning and end of an opening statement.

The most significant way of developing an opening statement is by using a single summary sentence. Employ a non-lawyer tone when doing that.

Present the heart of the case effectively by answering the question, what really happened here?

Present the scene

After introducing the theme of the case, this is the time to present the scene. Work on your framework that you earlier presented.

You might illustrate the scene in a story and present people and papers as they naturally align with the case theme. Stir up the audience’s attention and make them look forward to it as the debate progresses.

No arguments

The debate audience cannot generate opinions until all the pieces of evidence are laid out. As mentioned above, it is improper to bring in arguments during opening statements.

How can a debate participant introduce his or her case without arguing? You can manage through this by ensuring your opening statement properly presents what the laid-out evidence proves.

It would help if you did not express your opinions in an opening statement nor send attacks to the opponent side.

All you need to succeed without arguing is to assemble your evidence and facts appropriately.

To pass this test, ask yourself this question; are you effectively describing the presented evidence or rather drawing a conclusion from it?

The description should be part of the opening statement. The conclusion belongs to the closing argument.

Despite arguments being non-permissible in debate opening statements, you still need to be persuasive. To make your debate part fascinating, describe your evidence results to your audience.

The facts will firmly argue the case. There will be no need for arguments when you perfectly fit your facts and evidence.

Deal with all facts

Is it important to expose the “bad” factual information in your opening statement? It is quite wise to address even the harmful information before your opponent side does it for you.

By presenting both the bad and good information, you might earn more credits from the audience.

You might alternatively wait and see how the debate activities will flow. Most times, the audience does not expect a negative opinion about your debate evidence.

You can go along with the middle ground and spend few moments discussing the damaging information. Or, you might pass through the positive evidence first and then address the harmful facts. Try to emphasize their less importance to the debate subject.


The debate opening statement should be straightforward. Avoid beating about the bush. Nonetheless, it would be best if you leveraged exaggeration in some debate cases.

For example, you might take keen on the other’s party pleadings. There might be the use of exaggerated facts that lack suitable proof.

Your opening statement might be highly effective if you move around the debate space. It applies to the sections aligning with the set rules . You can employ movements when pitching out a new different point.

It will grab more attention from the audience and keep them intact to your debate case. For critical points, you might get closer to the audience for stronger emphasis.

However, do not overdo the movements. Do not let the audience grasp more of your movements than your debate points. Move around effectively. You will act as a threat when you invade the audience’s space.

Tips For Writing Opening Statements

Now that we know the crucial elements of debate opening statements like the back of our hands let us jump in for several tips on writing opening statements.

Note down your introductory remarks

You need to be aggressive in your opening statement. During the first minutes of your opening statement, the audience is more alert. Create a good impression and win their attention.

You might give remarks of a summary of your points and proclaim your theme.

Mention your actors and places

At this part, you might want to introduce your things; papers or witnesses. It helps in making the evidence real. The audience might likely engage and believe in your tale.

Define and identify your disputes

It would be helpful to define your points of contention to the audience. You may outline, in simple language, the contents, and reactions of the complaint. Portray a general aspect of the conflict without attacking the other party.

Tell a story

The story section is the body of your opening statement. Gather around simple words and sentences when telling the story. Most times, the audience gets facts from this part .

Also, the stories need to be persuasive to stick to the audience’s minds. They should make sense with the evidence laid out. And make the audience anticipate the debate progress.

Point out your weaknesses

Discussing your weaknesses at the beginning might make you look honest. However, try to shade some positive attitude when your opponent brings that up.

Keep the section brief. Only include weaknesses that might interfere when showcasing your supporting evidence and facts.

Conclude your opening statement

You can conclude your opening statement by summarizing your theme and asking the audience for a particular decision.

Finish off your opening statement with a confident stature. Be sure the audience knows your stand on the topic and their remaining role to play.

Standard Rules For A Debate

There are standard rules you need to comply with when running a debate . Regardless of being an organizer, or a participant, you need to follow them strictly.

You may get yourself disqualified in case you breach these laws. Thus, it would be best to have a clear grasp of the debate rules to avoid penalties.

Here are the rules;

Speak and treat each other fairly when in the debate. You are not allowed to use unethical language. You might save all the attacks for the arguments of the other party.

Typically, a political or legal debate awards its participants a specified time to present their views. You need to plan your ideas accordingly and pitch them out within this restricted timeline. Most opening statements take around ten to twenty minutes in front of the audience.

The ideal importance of the allocated time is to create fairness among the debate participants during their presentation. Therefore, you need to be straightforward when delivering your points and leverage your time .

Otherwise, your speech might be incomplete when the time runs out. It is a violation for a debate participant to interrupt another one during their speech. Every person has his or her time to present his or her views.

Debates do vary. Some of them might require them to hand over their papers in time. If this case applies to you, conclude your paper early for impressive reviews.

A Short Example Of An Opening Statement

Below is an outline sample of an opening statement for your debate.

The motion statement for the debate for this example is, technology harms our future .

Your opening statement might be:

Honorable Chair, our motion today is, technology harms our future. I take this opportunity to present my views against the motion.

As we all know, there is always a status of balance for everything. Technology, too, comes along with its benefits and harms. With its dynamic state, it has brought improvements to our education alongside health systems.

With all these vast benefits, how can technology be harmful to our future? Remember to use persuasive language and a confident tone. Also, you can back up your views with relevant quotes.

I believe the information presented above will assist you in crafting your opening statements for the coming debates.

It would be best to bear the tips above in mind. If you organize your points and evidence effectively within the allotted time, nothing will stand in your way from winning the debate.

Is Capital Gazette Liberal Or Conservative? Truth Is Finally Out

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How to Make an Introduction Paragraph for a Debate

Oubria tronshaw, 21 aug 2018.

The introduction is one of the most important parts of debate.

Debates provide a forum for individuals to logically examine opposing sides of an argument. During a debate, one person takes the affirmative or is in agreement with the issue. Another person takes the negative side and offers a solid disagreement with the issue. The introduction paragraph to a debate is crucial. It's your first opportunity to grab the audience's attention and help them see the issue from your point of view whether that is positive or negative viewpoint. Formulate your intro so that even if the audience doesn't hear another word, they'll know where you stand.

Explore this article

1 Researching Debate Speech Topic

After choosing your debate speech topic and the side of the issue you will take, the next step is to research it thoroughly. When researching use everything at your disposal including the Internet, library books and periodicals, media footage and personal interviews. While you are researching, take notes on your research findings. Think about your topic in present-day terms and find a way to connect to the subject in a way that means something to you personally.

2 Investigating The Debate Speech Argument

After conducting your research, next investigate both sides of the argument. While you may only have a strong feeling on one side, looking at both arguments helps make your debate speech presentation stronger. Search for holes in both theories so you'll be prepared to take either the affirmative or the negative. You'll want to use logical and not emotional arguments to support your case.

3 Writing the Introduction

Next, begin the debate paragraph introduction with what you consider to be the most solid fact that supports your case. Great ways to start a speech can include this strong research. For example, if you're arguing that condoms should be issued in middle school health classes and your research revealed 30 percent of teen pregnancies occur in middle school, start there. Grab the audience's attention by stating the most compelling part of your research right away in the opening paragraph. That strong opener is a great way to start a speech but especially a debate speech.

4 Researching Supporting Facts

After you begin writing the introduction, consider additional facts from your research to explain to the audience what will happen if your argument is not heeded. For example, if you're arguing for stricter parole requirements for child molesters, statistics the number of child molesters released on early parole that go on to be repeat offenders would be a compelling fact to include. Read your introduction paragraph, but pretend you're on the other side of the argument. Strengthen any weaknesses in your reasoning.

5 Ask for Introduction Review

Before giving your debate speech, show your introduction paragraph to someone else like your debate coach, a peer, teacher, mentor or parent. After they've read that introduction paragraph and the supporting debate speech, ask for their opinions on the content. Consider their suggestions and revise your introduction accordingly.

6 Giving the Debate Introduction

When it comes time to present the debate speech, make sure you also consider how you present the information. Other debate strategies include speaking clearly when delivering your introduction to the audience. Another strong strategy to keep in mind is to make eye contact. This shows your audience that you're speaking from your convictions, rather than simply reading something you wrote.

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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Transitions For Essays

Transitions For Essays

Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers.

© 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer .

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How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

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Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

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How to Start an Introduction for a Debate

The art of the debate is something that has been practiced among people for centuries. Like any performance or conversation though, the introduction to a debate is the most important part. Your introduction grabs your audience and gets their attention. As such, it should be one of the most thought out parts of your argument.

Research your part of the debate. Say for instance you are arguing for stricter gun control. You should already have your statistics on gun ownership, reasoning for stricter controls and what benefits that should have, and counter arguments against your opposition's likely points prepared before you sit down to work on your introduction.

Examine your points carefully. Your introduction should take the best points you prepared in your debate, without actually using them up front. For example, if you were opening a debate for gay marriage on the pro side, you should mention broad points, such as the idea of equal rights. You should not include specific numbers in your introduction.

Write your introduction. It should include a statement of your purpose and view on the debate, as well as list broad, persuasive points. The language used should be appealing to your target audience, and your introduction should be as brief as possible, taking no more than 20-30 seconds to read aloud.

Test your introduction on a target audience. Find someone outside of your research and ask them to read it, or to listen to you read it. Ask them for feedback. Find out what parts of the introduction work, if the language is right, and if the tone is proper. Then revise your introduction, and try it again.

Once your introduction has been revised, revamped, and tested on other people, it's ready to be read. Care should be taken that every part of your debate undergoes the same treatment as the introduction, otherwise your audience will be sucked in by a false promise.

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

How to Write an Introduction

Matt Ellis

An introduction for an essay or research paper is the first paragraph, which explains the topic and prepares the reader for the rest of the work. Because it’s responsible for both the reader’s first impression and setting the stage for the rest of the work, the introduction paragraph is arguably the most important paragraph in the work. 

Knowing how to write an introduction paragraph is a great skill, not just for writers, but for students and researchers as well. Here, we explain everything you need to know to write the best introduction, such as what to include and a step-by-step process, with some introduction paragraph examples. 

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What is an introduction?

Your introduction is a way of preparing your reader for your paper. As the first paragraph of your writing , it makes the first impression and sets the reader’s expectations for tone, voice, and writing style. More importantly, your introduction provides the necessary background for your reader to understand your paper’s purpose and key points. 

The introduction is also a way to engage and captivate your reader. An interesting, thought-provoking, or generally entertaining introduction makes your reader excited to keep reading—and an eager reader is an attentive reader.  

What to include in an introduction

Introductions generally follow the writing style of the author and the format for the type of paper—for example, opening with a joke is appropriate for some essays, but not research papers . However, no matter what your writing style is or what kind of paper you’re writing, a good introduction includes at least three parts: 

How to write a hook

The hook refers to anything that grabs (or “hooks”) your reader’s attention and makes them interested. This could be a mystery, such as posing a question and only answering it at the end of your paper. Or it could be a shocking statistic, something that makes your reader rethink what they thought they knew and become curious for more information. 

Hooks can be even more creative. Some papers start with an analogy or parable to present complicated topics in a way that someone with little experience can understand. Likewise, many writers opt to use personal anecdotes to show a more human side and spark an emotional connection with the reader. 

When all else fails, you can use a poignant quote. If you’re having trouble putting your thoughts into words, maybe one of the great minds from history has already said it well. 

You can read all about how to write a hook here, including more detailed instructions and examples. 

How to add background information

Not every paper requires background knowledge, but sometimes your reader needs to catch up or understand the context before you make your original points. 

If you’re writing about something factual, such as a scientific or historical paper, you may need to provide a small lesson on the basics. For example, if you’re writing about the conflict between ancient Egypt and Nubia, you might want to establish the time period and where each party was located geographically. 

Just don’t give too much away in the introduction. In general, introductions should be short. If your topic requires extensive background to understand, it’s best to dedicate a few paragraphs to this after the introduction. 

How to write a thesis statement

Every good introduction needs a thesis statement , a sentence that plainly and concisely explains the main topic. Thesis statements are often just a brief summary of your entire paper, including your argument or point of view for personal essays. For example, if your paper is about whether viewing violent cartoons impacts real-life violence, your thesis statement could be: 

Despite the rhetoric and finger-pointing, no evidence has connected live-action role-play violence with real-world violence, but there is plenty of evidence for exoneration, as I explain here.  

Learning to write a good thesis statement is an essential writing skill, both in college and the world of work, so it’s worth taking the time to learn. The rule of thumb for thesis statements is not to give everything away all at once. Thesis statements, and more broadly introductions, should be short and to the point, so save the details for the rest of the paper. 

How to write an introduction paragraph in 6 steps

1 decide on the overall tone and formality of your paper.

Often what you’re writing determines the style: The guidelines for how to write an introduction for a report are different from those for how to write an English essay introduction. Even the different types of essays have their own limitations; for example, slang might be acceptable for a personal essay, but not a serious argumentative essay. 

Don’t force yourself to write in a style that’s uncomfortable to you. If you’re not good at making jokes, you don’t need to. As long as your writing is interesting and your points are clear, your readers won’t mind.  

2 Write your thesis statement 

At the beginning of writing a paper, even before writing the research paper outline , you should know what your thesis is. If you haven’t already, now is the time to put that thesis into words by writing your thesis statement. 

Thesis statements are just one sentence, but they are usually the most important sentence in your entire work. When your thesis is clearly defined, your readers will often use it as an anchor to understand the rest of the writing. 

The key to writing a good thesis statement is knowing what to ignore. Your thesis statement should be an overview, not an outline. Save the details, evidence, and personal opinions for the body of the paper. 

If you’re still having trouble, ask yourself how you’d explain this topic to a child. When you’re forced to use small words and simplify complex ideas, your writing comes across more clearly and is easier to understand. This technique also helps you know which details are necessary up front and which can wait until later .

3 Consider what background information your reader needs 

Don’t take your own experience for granted. By this point in the writing process , you’ve probably already finished your research, which means you’re somewhat of an expert on the topic. Think back to what it was like before you learned: What did you wish you had known then? 

Even if your topic is abstract, such as an ethical debate, consider including some context on the debate itself. How long has the ethical debate been happening? Was there a specific event that started it? Information like this can help set the scene so your reader doesn’t feel like they’re missing something. 

4 Think of a good hook

Writing a hook can be the most difficult part of writing an introduction because it calls for some creativity. While the rest of your paper might be presenting fact after fact, the hook in your introduction often requires creating something from nothing. 

Luckily, there are already plenty of tried-and-true strategies for how to start an essay . If you’re not feeling very creative, you can use a method that’s already been proven effective. 

Just remember that the best hooks create an emotional connection—which emotion is up to you and your topic. 

5 Write a rough draft of your introduction without pressure

It’s normal to clam up when writing a rough draft of your introduction. After all, the introduction always comes first, so it’s the first thing you write when you finally begin. 

As explained in our guide to writing a rough draft , the best advice is not to pressure yourself. It’s OK to write something that’s messy—that’s what makes this draft rough . The idea here is to get words on paper that make your point. They don’t have to be the perfect words; that’s what revisions are for. 

At the beginning, just worry about saying what needs to be said. Get down your hook and thesis statement, and background information if necessary, without worrying about how it sounds. You’ll be able to fix the problems later.

6 Revise your introduction after you’ve written your whole paper.

We recommend finishing the first draft of your entire paper before revising the introduction. You may make some changes in your paper’s structure when writing the first draft, and those changes should be reflected in the introduction.

After the first draft, it’s easier to focus on minutiae like word choice and sentence structure, not to mention finding spelling and grammar mistakes.

Introduction for an essay example

While other kids’ memories of circuses are happy and fun, what I recall most from my first time at a circus was feeling sorry for the animals—I can still remember the sadness in their eyes. [HOOK] Although animal rights in the circus have come a long way, their treatment of animals even under the new laws is still cruelty plain and simple. [BACKGROUND] The way circuses abuse animals needs to be abolished immediately, and we need to entirely rethink the way we use animals for entertainment. [THESIS STATEMENT]  

Introduction for a research paper example

What would happen to humanity if everyone just stopped having babies? [HOOK] Although more endemic in some places than others, the global decline in birth rates has become a major issue since the end of the pandemic. [BACKGROUND] My research here shows not only that birth rates are declining all over the world, but also that unless the threats are addressed, these drastic declines will only get worse. [THESIS STATEMENT] 

Introduction FAQs

An introduction is the first paragraph in an essay or research paper. It prepares the reader for what follows. 

What’s the purpose of an introduction?

The goal of the introduction is to both provide the necessary context for the topic so the reader can follow along and also create an emotional connection so the reader wants to keep reading. 

What should an introduction include?

An introduction should include three things: a hook to interest the reader, some background on the topic so the reader can understand it, and a thesis statement that clearly and quickly summarizes your main point. 

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    debate organised and structured. Number your cue cards from 1 to however many cards you have. Put the number in the top right-hand corner. If you drop your cards, it’s easy to put them back in order. Do not write on the back of cards. If you make a mistake on your card, get a new one. Debating is not writing an essay. As you

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    How to write an introduction paragraph in 6 steps 1 Decide on the overall tone and formality of your paper. Often what you’re writing determines the style: The guidelines for how to write an introduction for a report are different from those for how to write an English essay introduction.