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How to write an introduction paragraph
Transcript of How to write an introduction paragraph
if You Know the structure!
How to write an introduction paragraph
create a HOOK
These techniques are especially helpful when writing an introductory paragraph. You might:
1. begin with a funny story to set a humorous tone
2. begin with an anecdote that reveals some key trait of your character
3. start with a simple fact that will be important later
4. set the mood with vivid, specific details; in other words, add a snapshot (imagery)
5. draw your readers into your writing with a question or two
6. gain your reader’s attention with a startling fact, a confession, quotation, or hint of
what’s to come
7. start out with dialogue
These introductory paragraphs grab the reader’s attention. What strategies do they use?
“Two cups of coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, and a hot pretzel.” It was a typical order at the snack bar at the citywide garage sale my parents helped run every April. The event was supposed to raise enough money to make some improvement. This was my first year at the snack bar, though, and I was worried that instead of raising money, I would end up owing it.
I was only eight, but I remember it like yesterday. I was sitting in doctor’s office when they gave my parents and me the shocking news. “I am sorry to tell you this, but your daughter’s condition is getting worse. The only way to fix it is by surgery.”
His mother was ugly. His father was ugly. But Shrek was uglier than the two of them put together. –
They murdered him. – The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
NO NO !!!
As a writer, your top objective in the introduction should be to catch the reader’s attention. (A hook)
After all, if the introduction DOESN’T get the reader interested, he or she is unlikely to continue reading.
What is a Thesis?
The thesis of an essay is a statement of the main idea of that essay. I
t is the statement of what the writer is going to explain, defend, or prove about his topic
. It is usually placed at the
end of the introductory paragraph.
The thesis statement is a complete sentence that presents a viewpoint about the topic which can be defended or shown in the essay. A thesis statement should not be a simple statement of fact.
Read each of the following statements. If you think the statement is a fact, mark
it with an F. If you think the statement is a thesis, mark it with a T.
1. In the United States, kindergarten is not mandatory
2. Putting a child into kindergarten before he or she is physically or emotionally ready can have several unfortunate effects on a child.
3. In some European countries, children do not begin formal schooling until age seven or eight.
4. Many students in community colleges have part-time jobs while they are going to school.
5. Working a part-time job while going to school puts an enormous strain on a person for a variety of reasons.
6. Five actions need to be taken to save the grizzly bear from extinction.
7. To save the grizzly bear, we need laws from Congress, the cooperation of hunters and campers, and an educated general public.
8. It is estimated that approximately 200 grizzly bears live in Yellowstone National Park.
9. The discovery of many artifacts in Russell Cave has changed some of the theories previously held about life in North America thousands of years ago.
10. Russell Cave is the oldest known home of human beings in the southeastern United States.
Try to develop thesis statements of your own on the following topics:
WHAT NOT TO SAY IN YOUR INTRODUCTION
1. Avoid telling the reader that you are beginning your essay:
In this essay, I will discuss . . .
I will talk about . . .
I am going to prove . . .
2. Do not apologize in your paper:
Although I am not an expert . . .
In my humble opinion . . .
3. Do not refer to later parts of your essay:
By the end of this essay one will agree . . .
In the next paragraph people will see . . .
4. Do not use trite expressions. Since they have been so overused, they will lack interest.
Using such expression shows that you have not taken time to use your own words to
express your ideas. Some examples of trite expressions are:
busy as a bee
you can't tell a book from its cover
haste makes waste
5. Do not make your introduction too long. This paragraph usually needs about half as
many sentences as your body paragraphs. (The length of the introduction may vary in
proportion to the length of the essay. A long 2,000 word research paper may require a
Functions and Purposes of a Thesis Statement
• To announce the topic to the reader
• To reflect a judgment about the topic
• To provide the reader with a blueprint for what is to come in the paper