- Slides: 14
Writing the Introductory Paragraph
Introductory Paragraph • Get get the reader’s interest so that he or she will want to read more. • Let the reader know what the writing is going to be about (thesis statement).
Introductory Paragraph • Begin with a broad, general statement that you narrow down to your thesis statement. – Keep in mind that thesis provides the main idea for the entire composition. • Use a question or series of thought-provoking questions. • Use quotations.
Introductory Paragraph • Start with a startling statement, fact, or statistic which will get the reader’s attention to surprise, horrify, anger, or amuse the reader into reading more. • Use exaggeration where appropriate, but don’t be obnoxious.
Introductory Paragraph • Startle – Buyers beware! A suit, shined shoes, a Rolex, Old Spice, and a dazzling smile don’t make someone an expert. People should not let smooth-talking advertisers, manufacturers, and car salesmen sell them the wrong car. – Topic sentence: They can get the car that's just right for them if they follow this advice.
Introductory Paragraph • Humor (Exaggerate) – Our neighbors have all moved away—again, and it’s all Mom’s fault—again. – First it was Christmas wreaths in July, and then it was plastic eggs in December. – Topic sentence: Leaving holiday decorations up during the wrong season cause many problems.
Introductory Paragraph • Horrify – Imagine a line of dead and mangled bodies stretching for twenty-five miles— 25, 000 corpses. That is the number of victims of drunk driving every year. It’s hard to believe that the number is increasing in spite of the ads and community awareness efforts. – Topic sentence: The time has come to take more specific measures to get drunk drivers off the road.
Introductory Paragraph • State the importance of the topic. – Present statistical data, facts, figures that underscore the issues about to be discussed. – Present this in an objective manner; this is not the place to give your opinion. The facts speak for themselves. • Use an anecdote. – The best anecdotes are those coming from popular culture—stories and events that people are aware of and talking about.
Introductory Paragraph • Sample Anecdote: Friends – Two friends were standing in a bank when a pair of robbers entered. Not only did the thieves clean out the tellers, but also they walked around with bags and ordered everyone to throw their valuables in. Just as the robbers got to the pair, one of the friends turned to the other, passed him a bill and said, "By the way, Joe, here’s that twenty dollars I owe you. "
Introductory Paragraph • Use the opposite of what you plan to write about. – This is done for dramatic effect, as in “What if the world were like this instead of what the world, or situation about to be discussed, truly is? ” – Readers are often fascinated, intrigued by this type of approach. • Use a combination of the strategies.
WHAT NOT TO DO!
Introductory Paragraph • Never apologize. – Don't suggest that you don’t know what you’re talking about or that you’re not enough of an expert in this matter that your opinion would matter. • Avoid phrases like – In my humble opinion. . . – I'm not sure about this, but. . .
Introductory Paragraph • Never announce your intentions. – Do not flatly announce what you are about to do in an essay. • Never write – In this paper I will. . . – The purpose of this essay is to. . .