Though more advanced academic papers are a category all their own, the basic high school or college essay has the following standardized, five paragraph structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction Paragraph 2: Body 1 Paragraph 3: Body 2 Paragraph 4: Body 3 Paragraph 5: Conclusion Though it may seem formulaic – and, well, it is - the idea behind this structure is to make it easier for the reader to navigate the ideas put forth in an essay.
You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.
Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").
Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to the thesis.
Because this is the first paragraph of your essay it is your opportunity to give the reader the best first impression possible.
The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it.
One additional quality, not part of this list, but nevertheless, very important, is creativity.
The best writing carries some of the personality and individuality of its author.
In this way we can see that the basic introduction does not need to be much more than three or four sentences in length.
If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!