How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction in College

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction in College

An argumentative essay is a common assignment that students encounter in college. These papers require you to investigate an issue by collecting, generating, and evaluating support evidence before you establish a concise position on the topic. Thus, putting up a convincing argument on paper could turn into a nightmare if you do not understand the key elements that complete a case. Throughout your paper, every paragraph carries weight and should be well written to win the reader that you have a mastery of the subject. Perhaps the introduction is one of the most important and sensitive paragraphs, yet complex to develop. Read on to find out more on how to write an argumentative essay introduction.

What this document is about:

We understand the role of the introduction paragraph. We have therefore designed this handout to address the following areas.

  • Developing an argument introduction
  • Parts of an argument introduction
  • Model argument introduction

As you can see, this menu covers everything you need to master to create an awesome intro for your argument. Keep reading…

How to write an Argumentative Essay Introduction

An introduction paragraph is an important part of any academic paper. It is what the reader digests before going through the rest of your essay. As a result, it creates the first and the last impression about your writing style and ability to handle the subject matter.

No one wants to spend his or her time going through a mediocre paper; stamp your authority confidently in your introduction and give your reader a reason to read on. A good argument introduction does the following things:

FOUR Functions of an argument essay introduction:

  1. Introduces your topic – An introduction allows you to tell the reader relevant information about the issue you are handling. In other wants, you orient your audience with this section to ensure that you are moving at the same pace.
  2. States the significance of your topic – A good introduction should tell the importance of the topic without any delay. This answers the so what question, which pops in the mind of every reader. Why should they care about your topic?
  • Identifies different views on the topic – As you think about how to write an argumentative essay introduction, focus on varying positions people hold on the topic. A good argument intro should therefore be a pointer to supporting and opposing sides of the issue.
  1. Describes the structure and thesis of your essay – Before you delve into your argument, the reader wants to understand the order and organization of your work. Again, remember to articulate your main idea as you end your introduction. This will form the basis of your argument and direct your audience.

With this understanding, let us consider an example of an introduction from a model essay. Be keen to notice how the intro plays the above four crucial functions.

Example #1: Sample Argumentative Essay Introduction

In this essay Legalization of Marijuana, the author tackles a thorny issue of allowing the use of marijuana. Here is the intro:

The legalization of marijuana remains a contestable issue in the United States. Since the government outlaws its use, Americans choose to abuse the drug secretly to evade police harassment, arrest, and eventual incrimination. Those who support this ban argue that marijuana is a major contributor toward high crime rates and fetal health complications in the U.S. However, this is not the case as legalizing marijuana across America will have psychological, physical, economical, and spiritual benefits.

Step by step method of how to write an argument essay introduction

Since a good argumentative essay introduction must have different elements and accomplish a certain goal, you must follow a straightforward approach when developing your first paragraphs. This will ensure that you do wander as a writer and address the needs of your audience as you introduce them to your little world of writing.

As you go through this process of how to write an argumentative essay introduction, remember that they are not stringent rules to follow but rather suggestions to put a smile on your face as you attend your assignments.

Here we go…

STEP 1: Develop your hook

Your first sentence when writing an argument should be a ‘hook.’ Are you wondering what a hook is? Well, a hook is a statement that grabs the attention of your audience. Make the reader want to know more about your topic by starting your essay in an interesting manner. Try these tricks when ‘hooking up’ your audience:

  1. Start with startling statistics – Begin your intro with surprising figures. For example, if you are writing about the benefits of marijuana, quote the annual revenue that the U.S loses by criminalizing the drug.
  2. Start with anecdote – It is a common approach among veteran writers. Here, you begin with a short but interesting story. Make sure the story is relevant and does not take away the attention of your audience from the focus of the topic.
  • Start with a quote – Quote from prominent personalities will always get the attention of readers. For example, when writing an argument on abortion, you could start with President Obama or Donald Trump’s views on the same. This would leave your audience salivating for more

STEP 2: Give background information of your topic

The basis of how to write an argumentative essay introduction is meeting the needs of your readers. Once you have the attention of your audience, do not lose it. Get on to relevant details about the topic, which will help the reader understand your case better.

Do not give unwinding explanations. Keep it brief since you still have the body section where you will explain your findings. As you give the background information, address the following questions:

  1. What is the issue?
  2. Who cares about the issue?
  • How prevalent is the issue?
  1. Why is the issue important?

STEP 3: Develop your thesis statement

Your thesis should come at the end of your introduction. It is the last sentence before you get down on your argument. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. It states your main idea. A good thesis should be:

Clear – Do not beat around the bush. Tell your reader exactly what you stand for. Do not leave your reader to guess your position on the issue.

Have a single idea – A good thesis carries only the idea you intend to advance in your paper.

Contestable – Choose a position that spurs a debate. Fact, well-known phenomena or questions are not thesis statements.

With this understanding of how to write an argumentative essay introduction, let us consider another example.

Example # 2: Sample Argumentative essay introduction

Here are model argumentative essays with great introductory paragraphs. Take a look at them and see how the writers piece their first paragraphs.

  • Is It Possible For the Foreign Policy Leaders to Behave As Rational Actors?
  • Should Handguns be banned?
  • Should Government Invest More Money In Building Shelter House?

The Don’ts of how to write an argumentative essay introduction

In the above sections of this guide, we have focused on steps that will guarantee you a good argumentative essay introduction. Keep the tips even as we discuss common errors that students commit. See to it that you are not a victim:

Common argumentative intro errors

Avoid very long introductions – A standard introduction is 10% of your paper. Avoid long and boring explanations.

Avoid dictionary definitions – Unless it is necessary, leave out definitions of terms and slot them elsewhere in the body of your paper.

No thesis – Your introduction MUST end with a thesis statement.

Do you still want more tips on how to write an argumentative essay introduction? Here are more examples of essays with awesome intros:

Example #3: Sample argumentative essay introductions

Is Recycling Worth It

Cigarette Smoking

With this guide, you are set to handle any argumentative essay assignment. What remains is thorough practice. You will do great!

How to Write an Argumentative Essay Introduction in College: References

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How to Create a Powerful Argumentative Essay Outline