Those first few words of the second paragraph—which a reader cannot help but skim—surprise us and thus draw us in.
How can the narrator be happy after all that sorrow?
The introduction should make sense and "hook" the reader right from the start. Typically, just three or four sentences are enough to set the stage for both long and short essays.
You can go into supporting information in the body of your essay, so don't tell the audience everything all at once.
"In March 2006, I found myself, at 38, divorced, no kids, no home, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I’d had no human contact for weeks because my satellite phone had stopped working.
All four of my oars were broken, patched up with duct tape and splints.This reversal compels us to find out what happened.Most people have had streaks where nothing seems to go right.We feel sorry for the writer but are left wondering whether the article will be a classic sob story.It is in the second paragraph where we find out that it's quite the opposite.This is important if your subject has more than one meaning. Sometimes I think of the shoppers as white rats in a lab experiment, and the aisles as a maze designed by a psychologist.The other thing that makes this a successful introduction is the fact that Mary leaves us wondering. Most of the rats—customers, I mean—follow a routine pattern, strolling up and down the aisles, checking through my chute, and then escaping through the exit hatch. My research has revealed three distinct types of abnormal customer: the amnesiac, the super shopper, and the dawdler." This revised classification essay begins by painting a picture of an ordinary scenario, the grocery store.I had tendinitis in my shoulders and saltwater sores on my backside."I couldn’t have been happier...." Here we have an example of reversing expectations.The introductory paragraph is filled with doom and gloom.Yet, it is the possibility of a turn of fortunes that compels us to keep going.This writer appealed to our emotions and a sense of shared experience to craft an effective read.