Brainstorming Great Opening Sentences for Essays

When writing an introduction for an essay, there are many things that will help you succeed, but none of them is more central than your opening sentence. Opening sentences are so important because they are going to be the first thing your reader sees when they start to read your paper, so it has to do several things. First, it must grab their attention, as a boring opening sentence is often followed by a boring paper. It must also communicate a bit about what the paper is going to be about, because part of good writing is being succinct, so you need to be more than just attention grabbing, there is also information that must be communicated.

The first thing that you will want to be sure of is to keep away from clich├ęd opening. Starting your paper with a dictionary definition, for example, is bound to give you yawns and disapproval. These things are not interesting. It is best when brainstorming to disregard your first three ideas, because these are likely other ideas that different people have thought of. Writing a paper like everyone else will get you a grade like everyone else, so keep that in mind as you forge ahead.

For the brainstorming itself, you want to do it in stages. First, think about the kind of sentences that you can open your essay with. Do you want to start with a question? Maybe an interesting fact or data. You will want to think about the purpose of your paper, is it to educate or argue, and is it there to stir a reader's emotions? You need to think about your paper in these terms because you need your opening sentence to be aligned with what the rest of your paper is trying to communicate.

Once you have a basic structure or idea, it is time to work on the sentence itself. This sentence is very important, so you will have to revise it several times to make it good. Take some care and pride in your writing, and make it something that is really memorable and sticks in the readers mind. You will want to choose each word carefully, and be sure to brainstorm other ways of saying things until you come up with something that you like. Every word has to be perfect, so do not skimp on effort here. Edit for grammar and show it around to get opinions, and soon you will have a great opening sentence for your essay.