Getting the First Paragraph of Your Article Right

Two things really stand out to get readers to your content, the title and the first paragraph. The visual attraction of an article shouldn’t be discounted. The format of paragraphs, including pictures or video in your article will get the reader’s attention. However, a great title and first paragraph will keep their attention long enough to get them to read your material. Getting the first paragraph right can make or break your article.

A concise well written first paragraph says a lot about you as a writer and the information you are conveying to your reader. The opening paragraph should include the topic the material is about, reasons why you are writing the article and any points you will cover in the article. Blog posts and other written material can differ slightly from an article.

The first paragraph is an introduction for the reader to information they are searching for. Keep the opening paragraph ideally to six sentences. You can make it longer, but try to keep it under ten sentences if possible. Many editors and experienced writers indicate that you should try not to repeat yourself if at all possible.

The first sentence of a paragraph is usually closely related to the title. Some writers will use the first sentence to say something witty or cute related to the title or content. Displaying a little wit is great, but don’t allow it to distract from your material. If you are writing about a serious subject this type of information may not play well.

The first sentence usually simply tells the audience what your article topic is.The second sentence found in the first paragraph will tell the reader why you are writing the article.

Many writers use the second sentence to share the benefits or advantages that readers will receive from your information. The second sentence will give the hook and encourage a reader to continue reading an article.

After the first and second sentences have been created the next couple of sentences are used to introduce the points that are covered with the article. There is no right or wrong way to display these. Though, you should make certain you put as much information as possible into these sentences for your reader without distracting from your quality.

The final sentence of the first paragraph should wrap up the entire paragraph. This is usually where you lead into your content.

Getting the first paragraph right is extremely important and these are general guidelines for developing one that will get your reader interested. Many writers struggle with the first paragraph and what content to include. This should be an easy to understand way to navigate through this course.

You don’t have to write your first paragraph first, you could write it last. Additionally, if you discover the second paragraph works better as a first paragraph- use it. It’s important to read your information and attempt to view it from a reader’s standpoint. Find out what works and what doesn’t work then tweak it when necessary.

These are also several things to keep in mind when writing your first paragraph.

·         Keep it simple and to the point.
·         Make the reading easy to understand
·         Proofread and edit
·         Make changes if necessary

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