If you know the ways of writing an introductory paragraph for different purposes, more than half of your task is done. The main key in writing anything, be it an introductory paragraph for an essay or for a research paper, is to hold the reader's attention. This is one the most important tips that you should never ignore. Writing an introduction is the most important factor in any piece of writing and hence you can use figures of speech to jazz it up.
If you refer to the examples of famous speeches or reflective essays, you will know that it is not always necessary to follow convention. A reason behind this is that if you follow the mundane type of writing, your writing does not stand out from the ordinary. So, for example, even if you are writing on a serious topic like 'corruption: where does it start', you can give a humorous touch to it in the introduction that sounds interesting.
While experimenting with innovative techniques is alright, you must not skip the fundamentals. Informing the reader about the topic and giving them a full overview in that short first paragraph holds lot of importance, because that is the actual purpose.
Depending on the type of your essay you can use different essay writing tools for writing the introduction. If it is an essay to be written for your school work, starting it with an idiom or some famous quote by a well-known person which has some context to your topic will make for a good introductory paragraph.
For Research Papers
The best formula for writing an introduction for a research paper is in your research work itself. Yes, while you research on various research paper topics, you come across many facts gone wrong by some researchers. You can have a base out of those interesting facts and cash in on their work by just using it for adding spice to your introduction.
You can speak about some controversy that has sparked many discussion forums. But ensure it is short and does not divert too much of attention from what you have got to offer them. Apart from this, it will also help if you answer the most important question, i.e. what will the reader learn after reading your research paper.
While writing skills for writing an introduction is an essential point to be worked upon, it is as important to maintain a connection with the same in the concluding paragraph. It not only maintains the flow of your writing, but works as a logic link too, giving completeness to the paper.
As they say, first impression is the last impression, it holds true here too. And studies say that the impression that your writing, be it an article, novel, report or short story, stays with the reader even if he happens to forget the crux of the matter. That is why it is all the more important to give the gist of the essay or research paper in the introduction as well as the conclusion. So hope these tips help you.