About HealthI was just wondering what would be the proper way to start a essay paper off? Being the topic is why or why not I want to be a healthier person and would I like to lose or maintain my...

About Health

I was just wondering what would be the proper way to start a essay paper off? Being the topic is why or why not I want to be a healthier person and would I like to lose or maintain my current weight.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need to decide which position you are going to take, first of all. That will be your thesis.  Your first paragraph should lead into that thesis, letting the reader know that you are going to be talking about health.  Start with some general statements about health, move on to some statements about your personal health, and then end your first paragraph with your thesis statement. The thesis statement should state your position and explain why you have that position. For example, I might take the position that I should not lose weight, so I might have a thesis statement like this:

Weight loss is not a good idea for me because I am already a little underweight, because I worry about osteoporosis, and because at my age, it would be difficult to tone my skin afterwards.

Notice the "becauses" in my thesis statement.  Each one of those is going to be a body paragraph that discusses that reason.  So, the thesis statement is important in helping you set up the entire paper.  No matter what kind of paper you write, you need to set this up for yourself, and also, for your reader to be able to follow along easily.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For any essay, narrowing the topic and generating a thesis are going to be the first steps.  Try brainstorming both sides of the topic and see which side you can more easily support.  Then, you will need to decide what your thesis will be and how you will prove this thesis.  You may even want to generate an outline of the entire paper before you begin writing the introduction.  It sounds like a lot of work to do before writing, but it is important that all the elements of your paper fit seamlessly together.  Your introduction should begin with a hook, or something that grabs the audiences attention.  You will want to work your way from the hook to the thesis statement which should be the last sentence of your introduction.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Speamerfam's answer is excellent, as is her example.  It's crucial to use the opening paragraph to set up the rest of the paper -- to provide the reader with a "road map" of where the rest of the paper will be going. Someone once said that the essence of effective writing is to create expectations in your reader and then satisfy those expectations.  Creating expectations is the crucial function of the thesis statement in particular and of the opening paragraph in general.

If you send me a message, I will be glad to send you a much fuller model you might be able to use.

Good luck!


stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There's a big difference between writing a paper about whether or not you want to become a healthier person and writing one about whether you should lose weight or maintain your current size. You need to narrow your topic to one of those possibilities and determine your thesis - the approach you are going to present in response to your topic.

Deciding to become healthier by exercising for a set amount of time every day will lead to a very different opening to your paper than deciding that you need to lose weight because you have genetic risk factors for diabetes.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might like to find some kind of statistic that would act as a "hook" or an attention grabber to focus the reader on the issue that you are going to talk about. I would probably want to start the essay with some kind of shocking statistic about the rise of obesity in today's world and take it from there.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to agree with stolperia. The ideas you presented are very different. In order to write your essay, you need to decide which specific topic you are going to write on. You can bring up your weight in the introduction and use it as a reason why you would like to live a healthier life.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
You can begin your essay with some interesting statistics related to whichever side you choose. Then you have caught your reader's attention and developed an interest in the topic, as well as having worked toward establishing a case to prove your point.