However, using a personal anecdote as an attention-grabber in a statement of intent, like one that you would include as part of a college or fellowship application, can set up the entire essay and make it easier to bring your essay full-circle in your conclusion.Use a personal anecdote that tells the story of a personal struggle, or a unique experience, to convince the reader to learn more about you and how you've grown.If you can't cite your surprising fact, don't use it, because a lack of credibility will undermine your entire essay, no matter how well you grabbed your reader's attention at the beginning. She has sat on the editorial board of several non-academic journals and writes about creative writing, editing and languages.
Relevance is more important than fame when using quotes as an attention-grabber; in fact, using a cliche can frequently backfire, giving your reader less incentive to continue reading your paper.
If you can't find a quote easily, try an online quotation database that you can search by keyword, like The Quotations Page.
As a general rule, numbers and statistics can be very powerful rhetorical tools.
Because quantifying phenomena is such a challenge, using a statistic, fact, or number immediately draws your readers' attention and impresses upon them your mastery of the topic you're treating.
The thesis should tell in one (or at most two) sentence(s), what your overall point or argument is, and briefly, what your main body paragraphs will be about.
For example, in an essay about the importance of airbags in cars, the introduction might start with some information about car accidents and survival rates.The introduction should start with a general discussion of your subject and lead to a very specific statement of your main point, or thesis.Sometimes an essay begins with a "grabber," such as a challenging claim, or surprising story to catch a reader's attention.It might also have a grabber about someone who survived a terrible accident because of an airbag.The thesis would briefly state the main reasons for recommending airbags, and each reason would be discussed in the main body of the essay.An attention-grabber with good potential for success is a quote from someone notable or relevant to the topic of your essay.A quote used at the beginning of a piece of writing is called an "epigraph." If you are using multiple sources to write your essay, find a quote from one of your supporting sources to strengthen your writing.It's not necessary to include an attention-grabber at the start of every paragraph; well-constructed paragraphs and clear transition sentences will keep your reader interested.Crafting an essay with careful attention to organization and cohesiveness is your best bet for essay-writing success, so if you find yourself struggling to come up with an attention-grabber for the beginning of your introduction, move on and come back to it later.The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give him/her an idea of the essay's focus.Attention-grabbers should go at the very beginning of an essay to hook your reader.