5 Effective Ways to Start an Essay for Middle School

In middle school, you’ll begin to learn writing skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life. Writing essays is a major part of middle school English curricula, as well as a factor in other classes like science and history. Learning to write an essay helps improve your mastery of English grammar, as well as teaching a vital communication technique. It’s also good for your ability to think critically. Although writing essays can be dull and burdensome for many students, it’s an important skill to learn.

When you’re writing an essay, you almost always begin with an introduction. The introductory paragraph introduces your subject to the reader, giving some general context and background information. This part “sets the stage” for the rest of your paper, and contains the thesis statement. Your thesis statement is arguably the most important part of your essay. It consists of a sentence or two that provides a clear, concise summary of the overall idea of your paper.

Even when you’ve decided on a topic and a thesis statement, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to open your paper. Getting started is often the hardest part, but there are several techniques that you can use to gain your reader’s attention from the very beginning. Here are five ideas for great ways to open your middle school essay:

  • Open with a question. It’s quite common for writers to begin a paper by asking a question, which the paper will then proceed to answer. A question can help pique your reader’s curiosity and draw them into your paper.
  • Open with an interesting fact. An interesting piece of trivia about your subject can also be a good opener for your paper. This could be a historical fact, or a recent discovery about a topic.
  • Open with a short anecdote about your subject. Telling a brief story is another good way to introduce a topic.
  • Open with a relevant quote. A great quote that encompasses your subject is a time-tested way to begin a paper. The Internet has made it easier than ever to find interesting, relevant quotes for any occasion.
  • Open by stating your thesis directly. In most cases, a paper’s thesis statement is located toward the end of the introductory paragraph. However, you can also open with the thesis. This approach isn’t as common, but it can still work well in many cases, especially if you’re a good writer.

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