In an argumentative essay, the writer’s goal is to persuade the reader of the point he or she is making. The point of the essay is called the thesis statement, and the thesis statement usually is the last sentence in the opening paragraph.
In order to persuade the reader, the writer must present the reader with a number of facts, data points, and/or statistics in a cohesive order to support the thesis statement and make a clear argument. The first paragraph is not the place to inundate the reader with data points. Instead, the first paragraph should be used to clearly introduce the reader to the overall topic of the essay, in this case the first paragraph should clearly define what human trafficking is at the highest from level.
From there, the first paragraph should add clarifying details which act as a funnel to make your point more specific until the final sentence, the thesis statement, pinpoints the argument you will make and defend in the body paragraphs. Perhaps the middle sentences in the first paragraph could describe the location of human trafficking, the time period of human trafficking, or its intersection with entities like federal governments or organized crime. This will help set the stage for the reader.
The first paragraph is also used to hook the reader’s interest, so do not be afraid to “shock and awe” the reader in order to pique their interest in the topic.