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Writing an Introductory Paragraph
Transcript of Writing an Introductory Paragraph
Why are you STILL torturing us?
Because, as I've said before, your introductory paragraph is very, very, VERY important!!
You need to know how to write a good introductory paragraph so that your reader will keep on reading.
How do I get my reader's attention?
Glad you asked! There are four methods you can use to get your reader "hooked."
1.) Broad, general statement about topic
This is where you can give your readers information they need to know to understand your essay.
2.) Explain the importance of your topic to your reader. Why is this something they should care about?
3.) Use an incident or brief story
4.) Use a quotation
Method #1: General Statement
Begin with a broad general statement about your topic.
As you write your introductory paragraph, narrow it down to your thesis statement.
This method eases your reader into your thesis statement by providing background information for it.
In this paragraph, the writer talks GENERALLY about diets and then narrows down to a SPECIFIC diet.
Bookstore shelves today are crammed with dozens of different diet books. The American public seems willing to try any sort of diet, especially the ones that promise instant, miraculous results. Authors are more than willing to invent new fad diets to cash in on the craze. Unfortunately, some of these fads are ineffective or even unsafe. One of the worst is the "Palm Beach diet." It is impractical, doesn't achieve the results it claims, and is a sure route to poor nutrition.
Method #2: Explain the importance of your topic to your reader.
Your readers will want to keep reading if they see that the topic you are writing about is important to them.
Show your reader how this topic applies to him/her
Show your reader why he/she should know more about this topic.
Diseases like scarlet fever and whooping cough used to kill more young children than any other cause. Today, however, the child mortality rate due to diseases has been almost completely eliminated by medical science. Instead, car accidents are the number one killer of our children. Most of the children fatally injured in car accidents were not protected by car seats, belts, or restraints of any kind. Several steps must be taken to remedy this serious problem. There should be better education about the importance of child safety restraints, tougher child-restraint laws, and better enforcement of the laws we have.
Method #3: Incident/Brief Story
Use an incident or a brief story.
Stories are naturally interesting. They appeal to the reader's curiosity.
A story will grab the reader's attention right away.
The story should be brief and should be related to your main ideas.
Be careful of using personal stories. ONLY use a personal story if the prompt asks about your own experiences.
Method #4: Use a Quotation
A quotation can be something that you have read in a book or article.
The quotation can be something you have heard, like a popular saying or proverb. Ex: "Never judge a book by its cover."
Your quotation could be a current or recent advertising slogan. Ex: "Reach out and touch someone."
Using a quotation in your intro lets you add someone else's voice to your own.
ALWAYS introduce a quote. Don't just drop it in.
"Fish and visitors," wrote Benjamin Franklin, "begin to smell after three days." Last summer, when my sister and her family came to spend their two-week vacation with us, I became convinced that Franklin was right. After only three days, I was thoroughly sick of my brother-in-law's corny jokes, my sister's endless complaints about her body, and their children's constant invasions of our privacy.
Early Sunday morning the young mother dressed her little girl warmly and gave her a candy bar, a picture book, and a well-worn stuffed rabbit. Together, they drove downtown to a Methodist church. There the mother told the little girl to wait on the stone steps as the children began arriving for Sunday school. Then the young mother drove off, abandoning her five-year old because she couldn't cope with being a parent anymore. This incident is one of thousands of cases of child abuse and neglect that occur annually. Perhaps the automatic right to become a parent should no longer exist. Would-be parents, instead, should be forced to apply for licenses granting them the privilege of raising children.
It seemed that all they did was drive, and, and each time they stopped it was to visit another site. That morning in Washington D.C. was different. They stepped out of their hotel and walked four or five blocks. Suddenly, she was amazed by all that surrounded her: the Capitol building off in the distance, the White House to her left, a vast field of grass and two ponds reflecting a towering white monument. It was the Washington monument. Through his courage, leadership, and patriotism, Geeorge Washington was able to accomplish so much.
"There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard" (Hillary Rodham Clinton). A democracy is a system of government that places the power in the hands of the people. If individuals in a given society are not granted equal access and representation, then that government cannot claim to be a true democracy. The lack of female voices in the U.S. government creates an imbalance of power based on gender. Despite the small percentage of women involved in high level government positions, pioneers like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Condaleeza Rice are leading the way towards gender equality in politics.