Introduce the Essay. He decked the woman at the counter, and in the ensuing melee, he was shot by a security guard. It was recently featured in the writer’s obituary: A 17-year-old boy chased his pet squirrel up a tree in Washington Square Park yesterday afternoon, touching off a series of incidents in which 22 persons were arrested and eight persons, including five policemen, were injured. So if you’re not sure that your writing is up to par with that of a leader, we’re happy to take a look and make suggestions. What are we talking about here, political revolution or a new brand of soft drink? After all, one of the greatest fictional leaders, Daenerys Targaryen, didn’t think she was much of a leader at first either. He points out the labels attached to the bright metal doors, counting out loud. If your content doesn’t hook readers up front, they’ll bolt. A thesis statement tells the reader what your leadership essay is really about. Why add to their torment by naming them here? And by the time you've laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone. This lady just gave birth in a barn — just know that this is accomplished rarely. A good lead embodies much of what the story is about—its tone, its focus, its mood. A note about the question lead. Many ways exist as far as how to write a lead, the styles of which likely differ based on the tone or voice of the piece and intended audience in a story—and even the overall length of the story. Eden Meirow is a full-time copywriter and part-time freelance writer. Don’t do this. Here’s an example of an anecdotal lead that works great in a crime story: “It’s just after 11 p.m., and Houston police officer Al Leonard has his gun drawn as the elderly black man approaches the patrol car. Or you can do both: you can ask a question and immediately suggest the answer that your essay will argue. A lead or lede refers to the opening sentences of a brief composition or the first paragraph or two of a longer article or essay. Here's an example. The opening paragraph includes a thesis sentence. Questions of Length and Order. A good lead provides all the information the reader requires in just a few words. They're part of the classic reverse-pyramid news story structure. Once you begin, you can usually find your lead buried a few paragraphs down in this “get-going” copy. These are: Most often found in straight news reports, this is the trusty inverted-pyramid lead we learned about in Journalism 101. Just the facts, please, and even better if interesting details and context are packed in. one by the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty. Related Tags: how to write a great lead writing introductions. Or we waste hours writing and rewriting the first few lines, rather than getting on with the body of the piece..."The first sentence points the way for everything that follows. The good news about finding a hook? Here's an example of the steps you can follow that help you outline your essay. A long feature in a magazine can get away with a lead that builds more slowly than an in-the-moment news story about a breaking news event in a daily paper or on a news website. They can take many styles and approaches and be a variety of lengths, but to be successful, leads need to keep the readers reading, or else all the research and reporting that went into the story won't reach anyone. Keep It Simple Even the strongest stance won’t be compelling if it’s not structured properly and reinforced with solid reasoning and evidence. Do you want to learn more about the recent virgin birth? So make sure your intro really hooks them and draws them into your essay. Start writing anything. Conflict: Good stories have conflict. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead.” — William Zinsser, On Writing Well. . Wait to explain less important aspects until the second or third sentence. The most important step in writing an essay or research paper is to fully comprehend the essay question. This tactic is for essay-writing middle-schoolers. Funny thing about this blog post: When I sat down to write it, it dawned on me that I was trying to write a good lead for a post about how to write a good lead. Orienting is important throughout your essay, but it is crucial in the beginning. You need to research your topic and know what you plan to write about. Here are a few notes on things to avoid when writing leads: Finally, good reporting will lead to good leads. Still, others might emphasize defining the audience and message to those people in the first 10 words. Funny thing about this blog post: When I sat down to write it, it dawned on me that I was trying to write a good lead for a post about how to write a good lead. When you're ready to write, what you need is not a finely polished opening sentence, but a clear statement of your theme. If you’ve reported your story well, your lead will reflect this. Now take a good look at yourself and all the awesome leadership qualities lying within, and bring them out on paper. What problem are they trying to solve? It may mean providing a brief overview of events or a summary of the text you'll be analyzing. In other words, the order in which you accomplish the business of the beginning is flexible and should be determined by your purpose. What question or problem will you be thinking about? That’s right, in Daenerys’s thesis statement, she outlines the characteristics of leadership that she’ll address in the body paragraphs (loyalty, courage and determination, and balancing forgiveness and punishment). The paragraph goes on. By listing a proven fact or entertaining an interesting statistic that might even sound implausible to the reader, you can excite a reader to want to know more. The history-of-the-world (or long-distance) opening, which aims to establish a context for the essay by getting a long running start: "Ever since the dawn of civilized life, societies have struggled to reconcile the need for change with the need for order." If the source text is brief, such as the First Amendment, you might just quote it. Use descriptive language and vivid examples. All three leads sum up the news in a straightforward, clear way — in a single sentence. We heard you loud and clear. Find these elements in the story you’re writing and lead with one of those.