How to write the introduction to a solution essay for FCE exam

Writing the introduction for the FCE essay seems to create a lot of problems for my students as they are very confused how to start and what to write in the 1st paragraph. Although, there are plenty of resources to learn from, none of the essays provided in courebooks or online give you a clear strategy of writing the FCE essay. Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend time studying all the essays given, instead you want to develop one method that you can easily replicate during your exam. And this is actually what my students have been doing for the last few months and it proves to work!

The way I teach my students is that an ideal introduction consists of 3 sentences:

1- sentence stating a problem or a general idea

2- sentence that shows solutions

3- rhetorical question


In order to write those 3 sentences you should follow 5 steps:

1st step– read the essay question and underline main topic and keywords

2nd step– find synonyms of the underlined words

3rd step– write the first sentence that deals with the general point of view/ problem

4th step – include the solutions that dealswith the problem- these are the points taken from the notes + your own idea

5th step– Rhetorical question that allows you to write more about the solutions


Step 1-3 are the most time consuming, especially if you’ve just started practising. Once you write 5-8 introductions you’ll master writing the 1st paragraph of your FCE essay.