What Is a Good Way to Start an Investigative Essay


Writing an investigative essay will eventually teach you how to write an argumentative essay because the steps in creating both types mostly coincide. You have to find, build up, and evaluate the information on the chosen topic when writing an investigative essay. Writing an argumentative essay requires you to do the same, while establishing your position on the topic and supporting it with the collected evidence. Investigative essays also resemble research papers but are less formal, so it is possible to introduce some bits of your personal experiences and opinions in them.

The structure of this type of essay does not differ much from other scholarly pieces of writing, and presupposes the presence of an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion.

The techniques to start an investigative essay are traditional because they are designed for all types of essays. According to them, the opening paragraph of the essay should contain a “hook” that will make the reader read it to the end.

You can start your investigative essay with:

  • A quotation:
  • This technique helps demonstrate that you are an expert in the sphere, and know the basic works of the scientists that explored this topic before you. Choose the most striking quotations of the most famous scientists. For example, if you have to investigate the negative influence of using a mobile phone while driving, resort to some famous quote by Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell.

  • A general question addressing the reader:
  • Rhetorical questions encourage the readers to participate in the future investigation and look for the answers together with the writer. For instance, if you are writing an essay about a certain career, you may start by asking the reader whether it is possible to live a day without the work done by its representatives.

  • A shocking visual image:
  • If you shock your target reader at the very beginning of the essay, you will create an emotion that will make him or her read it with enthusiasm to the end. The phrases that are most commonly used to introduce an investigative essay this way are: “imagine,” “picture yourself,” “envisage,” or “fancy.” For instance, to start an essay on a certain war battle, ask the reader to imagine an ordinary person that got caught in it and the thoughts he or she had.

  • A joke:
  • As investigative essays allow more freedom in the choice of words than research papers, you can start your essay with a joke about the thing you are going to investigate.

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