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Argumentative writing - the introduction

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Ruei Ern Chea

on 29 September 2016

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Transcript of Argumentative writing - the introduction

The Introduction
Argumentative Essay
The Function of the Introduction
To introduce the topic of the essay
To present background information that may be necessary to help explain what the issue is
To state your thesis
To let the reader know what to expect in your essay
To get the reader interested
Here are some ways to begin your essay:
Step 1: Introduce the topic
On which level does the issue at hand affect us?
Step 2: State why the topic is important
To show that you are well-informed and have considered the opinions of others before making a stand.
The five parts of an introduction
In your introduction paragraph, you should:
1. Introduce the topic (hook sentence)
2. State why the topic is important
3. Acknowledge that there is a difference/ there are differences of opinion concerning the topic
4. State your thesis
1. It should be debatable
It is usually a single sentence that expresses the main point you want to argue and presents your position on the topic.
Characteristics of a strong thesis statement:
Step 4: State your thesis
What is a thesis statement?
Step 3: Acknowledge that there is a difference/ there are differences of opinion concerning the topic
1. Figures and statistics
You begin by quoting startling or interesting numbers related to your thesis.

The number of drink driving-related accidents in Singapore increased 8.2 per cent to 537 in the first 11 months of this year, compared to the same period last year. The traffic police said such accidents also resulted in 16 deaths in the same period. Overall, 2,687 motorists were arrested for drink driving from January to November this year.

2. Question
You start off by asking an/ a important question(s) that you then answer in the rest of your essay.

How much freedom do Americans really have? Are we really entitled, as the Constitution says, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? What about freedom of speech and religion? You might think Americans have a great deal of freedom, but you’d be wrong. Everyday federal and local politicians pass laws restricting the freedom of Americans, and often we don’t even know they’re doing it.
3. Current Events
You refer to well-known and recent events that relate to your thesis.

The Sandy Hook shooting, like Columbine 14 years ago, has sparked national outrage and reignited the gun control debate. Mass shootings, of course, are horrid, especially when small children are involved. These events have an emotional aspect to them that qualitatively changes them compared to other types of murder. That emotional response is valid. But other responses in the aftermath of these tragedies are not as logical. The gun debate post-Newtown is one of these responses that have been illogical, spanning everything from school safety to civil liberties. Since Newtown, there has been increased rhetoric regarding gun control. But do the solutions that are being voiced even make sense? It's interesting to note that not even all the parents of the victims in Newtown believe that gun laws are the answer. The same was true after the Columbine tragedy. Even the closest people to the victims know that the solution to these types of violence isn't exactly a mass gun ban ... it goes deeper than that.
An analogy is a comparison between two different things so you can point out something about how they are similar. The comparison often is done point by point. If your argument is a bit obscure, use an analogy to try to connect it to something that your reader will be familiar with.

Weather reports do not change the weather, but newspaper reports and the public media can influence people and have an indirect effect on moral standards.

Use a combination of styles 1 – 8. Sometimes, including a variety of ways to introduce your topic may engage your reader more effectively.
4. Quote
You begin with a famous or compelling quote that relates to your thesis.

‘Alone one is never lonely,’ writes May Sarton in her essay, "The Rewards of Living a Solitary Life." Most people, however, do not share Sarton's opinion. They are terrified of living alone. They are used to living with others--children with parents, roommates with roommates, friends with friends, husbands with wives. When the statistics catch up with them, therefore, they are rarely prepared. Chances are high that most adult men and women will need to know how to live alone, briefly or longer, at some time in their lives.

5. Situation
You launch your essay by having your readers imagine themselves in a situation that relates to your thesis.Imagine that a nice, young man moves in next door to you. He seems clean-cut and clearly enjoys being around children. Your daughter likes to go over to his house after school to play with his dog. Now imagine that this nice, young man is actually a convicted child molester. Wouldn’t you want to know this? Megan’s Law, which requires all convicted child molesters to notify local police when they move into a new area, is an important element in protecting our children.

You start by telling a brief, true story that relates to your thesis and captures the attention of your reader.

It was hard to call it science when physician Peter Hackett dangled upside down on a sheer rock face 8,000 feet above his next stopping place. And it was hard to call it science when medical researcher Chris Pizzo misplaced his ice ax, grabbed a flimsy aluminum tent pole and marched toward the summit of Everest in a glorious quest for data. Nevertheless, science it was when the 1981 American Medical Research Expedition to Everest transformed the mountain into the highest research laboratory on Earth.
1. Personal (physical, psychological, emotional)
2. Social/ Interpersonal (family, friends, colleagues)
3. Societal
4. National
5. Regional
6. International
7. Global
- Artistic -Political
-Cultural -Psychological
-Economic -Religious
-Environmental -Technological
-Ethical/ moral -Racial/ ethnic
-Legal -Scientific
In which areas does the topic affect us?
What is the purpose of this step?
1. It must be debatable -- If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people.

2. It must be narrow. Since your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence, the broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right.
Group Work!
Each group of four is to select one style to write your introduction in
Follow the five steps to write your introduction
Duration: 8 minutes
Full transcript