The first part of any piece of academic writing that you come across will be the introduction. This can make the reader want to see what you have in store further down or it can make him or her stop reading altogether. Even if you change directions further on, that first paragraph sets the tone on how your essay will be judged. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can use that phenomena to your benefit:
Sometimes finding examples of academic writing can be hard. You may need to check several sources if you want to get one that suits your purposes. Fortunately, finding incomplete samples is fairly simple and since your biggest concern is the opening lines, you can benefit from these truncated versions. You can even ask friends who are wary of lending their work out if they will at least let you see the introductory paragraph alone.
The use of samples is most helpful if you learn from what you see. Write down everything that stands out to you about these good examples. Were they witty? Were they long winded? Were they concise? By answering these questions you can get a sense of the writers’ styles and how they made the piece more or less successful.
Different people might divide an introduction in different ways but you will often see some similarities. Learn to identify opening statements, thesis statements and any other parts that seem likely to be required of you to include. It pays to remember that there are many ways to write anything that can be written so if there is a method that does not match your needs, you are by no means obligated to adopt it.
Having gone through all of this, you can begin to figure out your own approach to future writing assignments. By practicing essay writing whether you have been assigned anything to do or not, you become more advanced than if you waited on others to influence your writing. This is how people develop expertise.
There are many parts of essay writing that you will become familiar with as time goes by. The important thing is to not get daunted by how much work is involved and allow yourself to learn from mistakes.