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Don't Know How to Start an Essay? Read Ninja Writers Tips!

One of the pain points of most college students is essay writing. More specifically, they don't know how to start a college essay, or they have difficulties when it comes to it. But, this Ninja guide should put an end to all of that. Keep on reading for more details.

The Definitive Ninja Writer's Method for Starting Your Essay

1. Start Your Essay with a "Hook"

You can save some time thinking about how to start a good essay by introducing a "hook", something to intrigue the viewer, and get them to want to continue reading your essay. You can get pretty creative here, or even provocative. You can start your essay by listing some interesting statistical data, telling an anecdote, or even by asking a question. You will also come across examples where they start an essay with a quote. Ninja Writers Tip: You should use this option sparingly, because it's a cliched way of starting your essay.

2. Be Concise

Short and sweet is the way to go when writing the intro for your essay. If you are not sure how much room you have to present your thesis statement and all the necessary information a reader needs to have beforehand, you can rely on the following rule: the intro should make up about 10% of your essay. This means that, if your essay is 1200 words long, the introduction for it shouldn't be longer than 120 words. Of course, this is just a guideline, because you will be forced to break this rule on occasion.

3. Avoid Using Filler

With most essays, you will only be given so many words to present and defend your thesis. When you are writing an essay introduction, you have even less words to work with, which is why you should make each one count, as our writing Ninjas do. One of the most common mistakes made by students is when they just write filler sentences before they get to their thesis statement, which bring the word count up, but don't contribute very much. Avoid being too vague and generic. Write something that will convey some actual information, or pull the reader in.

4. Create an Outline

There will be times when you will have to present lots of information inside your essay introduction, so it would be a good idea to craft an outline for it. We've already discussed about how to begin an essay with a hook. After that, you should disclose all information your readers can find useful, such as a short movie or book summary. Even though the reader will probably be familiar with the subject matter, you should still provide some background information about the facts, statistical data, or anecdote you are presenting. Finally, you should present your thesis statement to the reader.

5. Don't Hesitate to Change the Introduction

During the process of writing your college essay, you will often find that arguments in favor of your thesis will develop and evolve. Some will be discarded and replaced with stronger ones. But, these changes will also affect your introduction, and you will be required to adjust it, or come up with a new one altogether. Also, if you are stuck at the beginning, start by writing the body of your essay first, and then come back to write the introduction. This approach might even be easier for some students.

6. Consider Your Thesis

Your thesis statement is arguably the most important element of your essay, because it contains one central idea around which you will build your arguments. Although you will argue in favor of it in the body of the essay, the intro is where you will present it first. Always make sure that your thesis is specific, interesting, and that you can prove it. If you are not able to find solid evidence to back your thesis up, then you should probably consider another one. If it's not specific enough, you won't be able to prove your point easily, because there will be plenty of counter arguments for it. Make it unique, specific, and intriguing, and you will be fine.

7. Mind Your Audience

If you are thinking your essay will be read by your teacher or professors who is already knowledgeable on the subject, you would be right, but there are cases where you will need to write an essay for a more general audience. For instance, if you are taking part in an essay writing contest, or writing an admissions essay, remember to provide your audience with enough background information, as well as as definitions for specific terms.

7 Ninja Writers Strategies to Start an Essay

Be Direct without Being Too Blunt

For instance, you should never start your essay with "This essay is about...", or "In this essay...". Instead, try the following:

Christmas is right around the corner, which is an opportunity to bring the whole family closer together. Or it would be, if the holiday itself wasn't overly commercialized, with everything boiling down to Christmas shopping, and spending time inside shopping malls. Its religious component has been lost a long time ago, and its social component is about to follow in the same footsteps. Christmas has become that time of the year when's it OK to buy things recklessly, just because they are on sale.

Ask a Question

How do you start an essay? You can try by asking a question, and then providing your reader with an answer, or invite them to give it some thought and come up with an answer themselves, as in the following example:

Why exactly are social networks so popular? Is the word "social" becoming increasingly pointless when put next to the word "network"? Social networks are helping people keep in touch, no matter where they are in the world, making the distance between them almost non-existent. On the other hand, they are creating a rift between you and the people that are close to you both emotionally and geographically. Instead of spending time together, people merely sit next at each other, with their faces glued to their smartphones.

Introduce a Contrast

Before stating your thesis, lead the reader in by offering them a contrast. This is often done by professional essay writers. It can be past vs. present, digital vs. analog, social vs. religious, or anything else you can think of. For example:

Only a couple of decades ago, a wristwatch used to be an essential accessory for both men and women. It filled its primary purpose of informing us about what time it is, as well as a secondary purpose - being a fashion statement. However, with the emergence of cell phones, and especially smartphones, the primary purpose of having a watch has been rendered almost pointless. Nowadays, we use our phones to tell the time.

Start with an Interesting Fact

Start your essay with an intriguing fact or trivia to pull the reader in and get them to keep on reading. For instance:

The best-selling sneakers of all time are Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Converse has hold over 600 million pairs even since it first introduced the model in 1917. They have become a cultural phenomenon, which cannot be said for any other pair of shoes out there. Originally worn by basketball players, they are now worn by students, rock stars, artists, fashion models, and just about everyone, which is makes them the most important pair of shoes of all time.

Reveal Something about Yourself or the Subject of Your Essay

This is also a great way to start your essay:

I don't like sports very much, neither as a spectator, nor a participant. However, I will admit that I am one of its most passionate supporters, especially the Olympics. Why? Because, in a world where politics and injustice have permeated every pore of society, sports arenas are just about the only place where the best ones always win. The score never lies. Small countries standing up to political superpowers, and holding their own. Or even winning. It's the way the world should be.

Make Use of Narration

Another strategy you can use is to narrate your way to your thesis, as shown in the example below:

They follow your every move. They know everything about you. Moreover, you are giving all over this information to them voluntarily. They make the rules, and you follow them. You don't object. In fact, you join millions of others which have done so already. Skynet is real. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Only we aren't talking about Skynet. We are talking about Facebook.

Describe a Process in Details

Before tackling your topic, describe the process that leads up to it. If you are writing about the joy of writing itself, you could do the following:

Writing is a ritual I particularly enjoy. But I prefer the old-fashioned way. Using only a pen and a piece of paper. It is a much more involving, tactile experience than typing away at a keyboard. Feeling the smoothness of the paper, the pleasant weight of the pen, and the sound they make when they come into contact with each other. The process itself is intoxicating.


These insightful tips and examples will help you navigate your way through rough waters of essay writing. If you are still not sure how to do it, get in touch with Ninja Writers today! Their professional writers and editors are ready to help you out with your essay!

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