Practical Tips on How to Start an Essay



Stuck on how to start an essay or, more specifically, the first or opening scene? Enclosed are some writing tips to ensure that you start your essay off the right way.

Your first paragraph needs to captivate your reader immediately. If you don’t manage to hook your reader very early on, the rest of your story will likely go unread. There are at least five points that the opening of your work should cover: what and who the story is about, where and when it is located, and why it has been written – everything that your readers need to know to move beyond those first few pages.

Before you even start to write your story, you should have a good idea of what it is about. If you are confused, you can guarantee that your readers will be too. It often helps to write a brief outline of your plot prior to actually writing. In any case, you can ask someone to help me with my essay. This way, you’ll have a firm guideline to work with. Contained within the opening should be an indication of what genre or type of story it is (horror, romance, comedy, etc.) and an idea of where it may be heading.

Does anything happen in your story? Does character progress in some way, is there a lesson to be learned, or an overriding theme?

It may help you if your story has an overriding premise. This premise can be as simple as good always overcomes evil or a life of crime does not pay.

Who is in Your Essay?

Names of characters are often given little thought, though they are of great importance because they can instantly reveal a character’s type. Exotic-sounding names like Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind) will probably put you in mind of someone magical like a wizard – in which case you’d be right. Names containing many hard consonants may indicate an unpleasant or evil character (Raistlin in Time of the Twins by M. Weis & T. Hickman); while those with soft consonants (Aurian in Aurian by Maggie Furey), a pleasant or good character.

The opening is the best place to establish your characters. But don’t tell your readers everything that you know about them. You may know your characters inside out and this will certainly help you to make them much more convincing and believable. Your reader, however, does not need to be bombarded with all this information -especially right at the start. Filter little points in now and again about your character, reveal them gradually by how they behave and through the eyes of other people.

Try not to make your characters perfect. Everyone has some flaw – and it’s far easier to feel sympathetic with a character that does. Stick to a few significant details. They might have crooked teeth, greasy hair, or pockmarked skin. Or maybe they’ve got rosebud lips, a button nose, and bluebell-tinted eyes. Try to keep their appearance in harmony with their character. A man is known for his meanness, for instance, may have a thin, pinched face, beady eyes, and pointed features. Look around you for inspiration and take the time to observe other people. This way, you can find some fresh ideas for your work.

Where is the Essay Set?

The most obvious way of letting your readers know the location of your story is to provide them with a name – although you must never assume that all your readers will know where this is. An exotic-sounding name may help to convey a location set outside of Earth, though additional clues will also be needed.

Some descriptions should be included on the geography of the location, architecture, features, and landmarks. You can use your character’s eyes to help with essay describe the main points of interest as he or she looks around. Perhaps your character notices something of particular interest, a clue that indicates the general tone of the story, or something that triggers a turn of events.

When is the Time Frame of Your Essay?

Unless you specify or hint otherwise, most readers will automatically assume that your story is set in the present day. If your writing is not set in the present-day, you will need to establish this in your opening.

Historical stories will require clues to indicate the general period; these clues may be in the form of objects commonly used at the time, the prevailing fashion, the latest inventions, and typical customs.

Stories set in the future will most likely benefit from a small explanation on the transition from the present to the time you are writing about. What happened in between? Are we still living on Earth? These are the types of questions that you will need to answer, but keep it short.

Why will Readers Like Your Essay?

Why should your readers want to read your story and, more specifically, why should they read past the opening? Give your readers no excuse to put your work down.

Your writing must have a point, whether this is in the form of a message, a warning, or a mystery to unravel, etc. Work carefully on the bare bones or structure of your story before you proceed.

How do You Make a Good Start?

Your essay should essentially be a telling of some turning point or crisis in the lives of your characters. It should not be an account of someone’s day-to-day routine. So there needs to be some interesting factor that will propel your story forward. And this turning point is the part that allows your characters to really sparkle – whoever they may be.

A good story should ideally unfold as this turning point is just about to occur. This immediately helps to engage your readers’ interest. Put some kind of hurdle or stepping stone in front of your character and see how they react.

The hurdle only needs to be something which, for your character, is slightly out of the ordinary. It is often how the character deals with this unexpected encounter that drives the story forward.

Ideally, start off with some action right from the first line. Start with a bang and not a whimper. Opening paragraphs may need to be cut if they don’t get straight to the point. A good story can’t begin until the waffling stops.

When you’ve finished your first draft, always go back and reread your work. Pay particular attention to your opening lines. Do they grab your interest? If not, cut them and start again.

It is the opening paragraph that will make or break your chance at being read. Editors and agents read through hundreds of manuscripts; if your opening doesn’t grab their interest, they won’t waste time reading further. Don’t give them any excuses to take their eyes off your work.

About the author: Daniel T Anderson, a writer at the essay help online service. He keeps up with advancing technologies to get acquainted with the latest technological tendencies. Besides, Daniel is keen on reading modern literature and traveling.