In the previous section, “How to do an introduction”, we review essential points to take care of before starting to write our essay: sources of information and literature review; and the language. In this section we will review more thoroughly the language we will need and various ways to start our essay.
How do you make a perfect introduction?
You can not give a simple answer to this question, because there are no magic formulas for writing. Sometimes, the writing of an introduction, not perfect but effective, arises by a stroke of luck.
The essay, as stated by José Luis Gómez Martínez, in his Theory of the essay, can arise from any pretext: something we see happening on the street, in the office, at school; of the taste of a pancake, of a rainy day, of wetting our feet in a deep pothole thinking it was a shallow puddle, etc.
This same quality of the essay, which emerges from the events of everyday life, allows, through the anecdote, to raise the idea in the head of the reader to try to generate empathy.
An example: Suppose we will talk about the origin or genesis of the socks. Well, reader, a cold night, those that sink to the bone, I searched in the dark glove in the second drawer of the dresser, because I needed to leave for a medicine at the pharmacy.
Groping, I picked them up and closed the drawer; but, the moment I put them on, I realized that there was no hole in my fingers. I turned on the light and remembered that Mom was visiting at home. I had taken a pair of socks instead of gloves. And seeing my left hand, a stump inside the sock, I thought, for a moment, if the gloves and socks originated at the same time. Or if the gloves were first, and then the socks; or vice versa.
We can introduce the reader to the essay in an effective way by sharing an anecdote that could happen to any of us. However, we must be careful when using anecdotes of a more specific nature, for example, when a hawk attacked us while climbing a boulder. These types of anecdotes can be very attractive, but only to a small group of people who can share, to some degree, the experience of climbing a cliff.
Knowing how to make a perfect introduction is difficult, and you have to focus, more than anything, on the readers. Another way to start our introduction by calling the attention of the reader may be with a rhetorical question, for example: Did I live it or dreamed it?
This question, to delve into the exemplification, I think it would serve us to start an essay about “hypnogogic hallucinations”, and attract the attention of a large percentage of the reading public. It awakens curiosity and at the same time connects us with an experience that the vast majority of people have experienced, and does not know its causes.
Another way to initiate an introduction and capture at the same time the total attention of the reader from the first moment, can be with a statement that causes a stir in the mind of the reader. Some controversial words or phrases can help us.
Take an example of the French theater of the late nineteenth century, in a work by Alfred Jarry called Ubú Rey: the curtain opens and there is a man with an outstanding belly with a spiral drawn from his navel that covers his entire torso. The first thing the individual does when the curtain is raised is to shout the word “Merde!”, Which means “feces” (for not writing another that might offend the readers of this page).
The audience, as expected, is stunned, shocked. This is just one example of a start of shock with a controversial word spoken in public and in a play more than a hundred years ago. However, we must be careful how to make a perfect introduction, or close to it, because if we put a lot of controversy at the beginning of our essay with a word or sentence that either causes or causes repulsion, rather than impact and leave readers stuck , we run the risk of not being read to us.
To learn how to make a perfect introduction, or close to it, it is necessary that we exercise our writing and that we never lose our main objective, which are the readers or the reader.