Content writing

Sentence Starters: The Secret to Starting Sentences Right

Last updated:
June 19, 2024

Just as we follow recipes to make delicious meals, you can use sentence starters as ingredients to cook up your next article.

Sentence starters are words or phrases that set up for the rest of the sentence—whether it’s to introduce ideas, provide a transition between thoughts, or emphasize a point. So when you hit a creative roadblock, they can be a great way to help you brainstorm and add variety to your content.

We’ve included our favorite sentence starters in this article, sorted by introductions, topic paragraphs and conclusions. If you’re looking for some writing inspiration, just grab a starter to get the words flowing again.

How can sentence starters help me?

When you’re stuck for ideas, sometimes all you need is the right prompt to get you back up and running. This is where sentence starters come in handy—they provide a base to help you generate ideas and organize your thought process.

Content-wise, sentence starters can clarify your points as well as smooth out the structure and flow. Firstly, they provide signposts for a change of topic; secondly, they add variation to your sentences to keep your writing from sounding monotonous.

As award-winning writer Gary Provost famously illustrated:

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”
Gary Provost

Do you hear how much of a difference sentence starters can make?

While it takes years of practice to write as brilliantly as Gary Provost, sentence starters are a great way to bring life to your writing.

If you need a little help getting started, Hypotenuse AI's article writer can give you an immediate boost. Simply input your topic and keywords, and let our AI generate content that you can use to kickstart your next article.

When should I use a sentence starter?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

A sentence starter can be inserted anywhere in a paragraph. Used correctly, they make your writing more readable for your audience.

However, if used inappropriately or too often, they may disrupt the flow instead. There are situations when you should be especially careful with your use of sentence starters. For example:

  • In business writing, emails or other professional communications: This is because they can become unnecessary fillers and come across as unprofessional. In most cases, getting straight to the point will suffice.
  • In personal writing: Liberal use of sentence starters is also not recommended for personal letters, especially if you are close to the person you are writing to. They can make your writing sound too formal or stilted.
  • For padding your paragraphs: Sentence starters should not be used as a way to restate information that has already been mentioned. Always aim for clear writing without redundant details. Creating an outline will help you achieve that better.

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for when you should or shouldn’t use a sentence starter, so use your better judgement when reading through your text to decide whether it sounds off.

Now that we’ve covered the why and when, on to the good stuff. Below, you’ll find examples of sentence starters for different sections of your content.

Good sentence starters for Introductions

A strong opening is crucial to create interest in your article from the get-go. Start off with a sentence that introduces the topic and invokes your reader’s curiosity. You can get a reader thinking by asking a question or by stating a provocative opinion.

If all that comes to mind is the dreaded "in this article", we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our favorite sentence starters that you can use:

  • In case you're wondering, here's what I'm using…
  • One thing I've been loving lately is…
  • I've been using a new product and I love it…
  • I'm going to show you how to…
  • What do you think about...
  • How would you feel if...
  • Have you ever wondered...
  • I'm not sure if you're familiar with...
  • The thing I love most about...
  • There's a lot of debate about...
  • One thing is for sure...

Aside from grabbing a reader’s attention, the introduction is your chance to set the tone and entice them to keep reading. Remember to connect with your audience and establish how your post can offer them valuable insights or knowledge.

Good sentence starters for topic paragraphs

By Marylou Fortier on Unsplash

Once your reader is hooked, it’s time to reel them in.

A good sentence starter can help to convey the essence of a paragraph. Quotes and questions are a great way to introduce a new idea, engage your audience, and make them reflect on their own perspectives. You can also make use of examples. To illustrate this point:

“A funny, profound, inspiring quote is a quick way to spice up material.” – Sam Horn

On average, online users read about 20% of the text on a page. Therefore, it is crucial to produce content that adds value to your reader’s time. To achieve this, you can back up your statements with statistics to lend credibility to your argument.

By using a variety of sentence starters, you can produce clear paragraphs that keep readers invested in your article.

1. Good sentence starters for emphasis

There's no need to be shy when starting your sentences. In fact, a dramatic opener will emphasize your point and demand your reader's attention. Here are a few examples of sentence starters that can help drive your point home:

  • I can't stress enough how important this is.
  • If you only remember one thing...
  • Let me be clear: this is critical.
  • This is the most important part of the process.
  • I cannot overemphasize the importance of this.

2. Good sentence starters for making a point

What if a single sentence isn’t enough to convey an idea in its entirety? In such cases, you would first want to clearly state the point you’re making, then build upon it for your reader’s understanding.

So, when you want to introduce a new idea, you might use a sentence starter like: "What if," "What happened is…" or "Here's the thing:".

Subsequently, to elaborate on what you've already said, good starters to use include "Anyway," "So," or "In addition,".

These starters will help you to keep your writing on track and create a flow between related ideas.

3. Good sentence starters for adding examples and information

For example:

  • For instance,
  • An example of this would be...
  • Let's take a look at an example:
  • To give you an idea,
  • To illustrate this point,
  • I'll give you an example:

4. Good sentence starters for comparing and contrasting

When comparing and contrasting people, items, or topics, using a sentence starter can help to organize your points. Some common starters for this purpose are:

  • While
  • Whereas
  • Although / Even though
  • However,
  • Likewise,
  • In contrast,
  • On the one hand / On the other hand,

These can illustrate the similarities and differences in a more clear and persuasive manner, and also add nuance to your writing.

5. Good sentence starters to explain cause and effect

Using the cause and effect structure is perfect for highlighting the logical connection between two points. It can help you explain the reasons behind a decision or highlight the consequences of an event. Let’s take a look at an example:

"By increasing the price of gas, the government is punishing the middle class."

The sentence highlights the cause (increased gas prices) and the effect (punishing the middle class). It's a clear, concise way to lay out a compelling point.

When you're trying to identify the cause and effect of a situation, these sentence starters can help you to develop your argument:

  • As a result,
  • Consequently,
  • The reason for this is…
  • Therefore

6. Good sentence starters for transitions between paragraphs

In order to provide a seamless reading experience for your audience, it's important to use sentence starters at the beginning of each paragraph. This will help to introduce new ideas or add more detail to your points while maintaining a logical flow.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • However,
  • In contrast,
  • As a result,
  • For example,
  • To illustrate,
  • Consequently,
  • Accordingly,

Ways to spice up your content

Use lists and headers to visually break up your writing. Images, videos, or GIFs can serve the same purpose and make your content more engaging. This way, you also avoid overwhelming your readers with a never-ending barrage of words.

Another way is to incorporate quotations or statistics from experts. Only 10-20% of readers make it to the end, so be sure to add flavor to your posts!

Good sentence starters for conclusions

In court, the closing argument is the final plea to the jury before deliberation begins.

This can be a pivotal moment: it provides one last opportunity to sway the verdict—to reiterate the key arguments and evidence presented over the course of the trial. It is therefore important that lawyers know their audience so as to appeal to reason or emotion.

Similarly, once you’ve written your post, be sure to wrap it up with a strong conclusion to leave a lasting impression on your readers. If you’re not sure how to start, here are a few sentence starters to help you deliver your concluding statement:

  1. In conclusion,
  2. To sum up,
  3. To finish up,
  4. In closing,
  5. In the end,
  6. In the final analysis,
  7. In closing thoughts,
  8. In the end, what matters most is…
  9. All in all,
  10. In the end, it all comes down to…

To sum up (see what I did there?)

If you're feeling stuck, sentence starters can be effective writing prompts to set your creativity in motion.

However, as with anything, be sure to use them sparingly and only when they genuinely help your writing. Overuse can make your argument seem weaker, rather than stronger.

Which sentence starter will you try first? - So, the next time you find yourself struggling to commence a sentence or paragraph, consider giving Hypotenuse AI a try.

Content Writer
Alex is a seasoned writer responsible for creating valuable, well-researched content for various industries like tech and ecommerce.

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