TODAY’S GOALS:
• You will learn how to set up an
introduction paragraph
• You will write your best
introduction paragraph
WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION?
“Continuous effort - not strength or
intelligence - is the key to unlocking our
potential.”
~Winston Churchill
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Introductions
An introduction should capture a reader’s interest and
tell what the writing will be about.
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Introductions
An introduction should capture a reader’s interest and
tell what the writing will be about.
Why is the second introduction more successful than the
first? Click on the i-icons to find out.
i
Four and a half billion years ago, there were lots of volcanoes
that were erupting all the time. The heat and gases from the
volcanoes created huge clouds and lightning storms as well.
i
Everywhere, over the entire earth, volcanoes constantly
spewed gases into the sky. As heat and gas rose into the
atmosphere, massive clouds formed, blotting out the stars.
From one end of the globe to the other, lightning storms
cracked and flashed. This is what the earth was like four and a
half billion years ago.
Next
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Introductions
An introduction should capture a reader’s interest and
tell what the writing will be about.
Why is the second introduction more successful than the
first? Click on the i-icons to find out.
i
Four and a half billion years ago, there were lots of volcanoes
that were erupting all the time. The heat and gases from the
volcanoes created huge clouds and lightning storms as well.
ii
Everywhere, over the entireCLOSE
earth, volcanoes constantly
spewed gases into the sky. As heat and gas rose into the
atmosphere, massive clouds formed, blotting out the stars.
From
one end ofpaints
the globe
to the other, lightning storms
This introduction
a picture
of what earth
was like. ItThis
creates
cracked
and flashed.
is what the earth was like four and a
excitement
and helps
half
billion years
ago.readers
i
imagine an earth completely
different from what they see
around them.
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Introductions
An introduction should capture a reader’s interest and
tell what the writing will be about.
Why is the second introduction more successful than the
first? Click on the i-icons to find out.
ii
CLOSE
Four and a half billion years ago, there were lots of volcanoes
that were erupting all the time. The heat and gases from the
created
huge
This introduction
is flat
andclouds and lightning storms as well.
i volcanoes
uninteresting. It gives
Everywhere,
over
the entire earth, volcanoes constantly
information, but
it doesn’t
spewed
gases
into the sky. As heat and gas rose into the
capture the
reader’s
atmosphere,
clouds
imagination ormassive
draw readers
intoformed, blotting out the stars.
the essay.
From
one end of the globe to the other, lightning storms
cracked and flashed. This is what the earth was like four and a
half billion years ago.
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Introductions
A successful introduction
• captures the reader’s interest
• communicates the topic and purpose
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Introductions
You can use a variety of strategies to catch your reader’s
attention. Click on the strategy you want to explore.
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• Lively Description
• Surprising Statements
• Quotations
• Anecdote
• Strong Opinions
• Questions
• Direct Address
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Introductions
Lively Description
Sensory details and figurative language can add
energy and interest to an introduction. Description
can engage readers by painting a picture and
establishing a mood.
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Introductions
Lively Descriptions
How could description be used to improve this introduction?
Winter came upon us suddenly. It seemed like overnight
that we went from autumn leaves to early-morning frost.
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Introductions
Lively Descriptions
The writer uses details to paint a vivid picture of fall turning
into winter.
Winter came upon us like the sudden opening of a tomb.
Almost overnight it seemed that the last multicolored
banners of autumn leaves had been wrenched from the
trees by the wind. . . . Then came the early-morning frost
that turned the long grass white and crisp as biscuit.
—Gerald Durrell, A Bevy of Beasts
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Introductions
Surprising Statements
Grab a reader’s attention by beginning with a
surprising statement or a startling fact.
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Introductions
Surprising Statements
Grab a reader’s attention by beginning with a
surprising statement or a startling fact.
Here are some examples:
• Three years after they’re introduced, about 75 percent of all
consumer goods are no longer on the market.
• The city of Vernon, California, has a daytime population of
about 44,000 people, but only 93 people actually live there.
• Six thousand languages are spoken in the world today. At
the current rate of extinction, we may be down to 200 at the
end of the century.
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Introductions
Surprising Statements
A surprising statement or a startling fact can make your
reader want to keep reading.
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Introductions
Surprising Statements
A surprising statement or a startling fact can make your
reader want to keep reading.
How does the first sentence grab your attention?
Every year in the Danish town of Silkeborg, thousands of
visitors file past the face of a murder victim. No one will ever
know his name. It is enough to know that 2,000 years ago he
was as human as ourselves.
—Maurice Shadbolt, “Who Killed the Bog
Men of Denmark? And Why?”
Click to see the answer
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Introductions
Surprising Statements
A surprising statement or a startling fact can make your
reader want to keep reading.
How does the first sentence grab your attention?
i
Every year in the Danish town of Silkeborg, thousands of
visitors file past the face of a murder victim. No one will
ever know his name. It is enough to know that 2,000 years
ago he was as human as ourselves.
—Maurice Shadbolt, “Who Killed the Bog
Men of Denmark? And Why?”
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MENU
Introductions
Surprising Statements
A surprising statement or a startling fact can make your
reader want to keep reading.
How does the first sentence grab your attention?
ii
CLOSE
Every year in the Danish
town of Silkeborg, thousands of
visitors file past the face of a murder victim. No one will
his name. It is enough to know that 2,000 years
Itever
grabsknow
your attention
ago he you
wasdon’t
as human
because
expect as ourselves.
that thousands of people will
gather every year to look
at a
—Maurice
Shadbolt, “Who Killed the Bog
dead person.
Men of Denmark? And Why?”
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Introductions
Quotations
Beginning with a quotation can lend impact and
authority to an introduction.
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Introductions
Quotations
Beginning with a quotation can lend impact and
authority to an introduction.
How would a quotation give this idea more impact?
You have only to take a look at Lorin Adkins to know he
believes in taking care of his health. His trim, muscular, 79year-old body is in great shape.
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Introductions
Quotations
Beginning with a quotation can lend impact and
authority to an introduction.
The quotation gives the introduction more credibility—it is
not just what the writer thinks, it is what the subject
believes.
You have only to take one look at Lorin Adkins to know why
he says things like: “No wealth is greater than your
health.” His trim, muscular, 79-year-old body tells the rest of
the story.
—Jan Elerman, “World Class at 79”
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Introductions
Strong Opinions
Beginning with a strong opinion is likely to get your
readers’ attention because it might challenge their
beliefs.
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Introductions
Strong Opinions
Beginning with a strong opinion is likely to get your
readers’ attention because it might challenge their
beliefs.
How could this introduction to a persuasive essay be made
more compelling?
Many people think that there is life on other planets.
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Introductions
Strong Opinions
Beginning with a strong opinion is likely to get your
readers’ attention because it might challenge their
beliefs.
In this revised introduction, the writer starts with a strong
statement of opinion and then elaborates on the experience.
There is life on other planets. Communications from
extraterrestrials have come to us in many forms.
Midwestern farmers, southern blue-collar workers,
Massachusetts bankers—even the government—
have seen evidence of the existence of other life
forms in the universe.
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Introductions
Anecdote
An anecdote is an interesting or amusing brief story,
often about a person.
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Introductions
Anecdote
An anecdote is an interesting or amusing brief story,
often about a person.
What kind of anecdote could make this introduction more
interesting?
Al Capone was one of the most famous gangsters of the
1920s. He was a powerful figure who also seemed
mysterious.
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Introductions
Anecdote
An anecdote is an interesting or amusing brief story,
often about a person.
This brief story hooks readers at the beginning of an essay
about gangsters in the 1920s.
The man, in an immaculate suit with broad lapels,
narrowed his eyes against the sun as he stepped from the
shadowy doorway. Pulling his hat down, he tossed a dime
to the dazed, grubby boy standing before him. “Go get me
a couple Cokes, willya?—and step on it kid!” So it was
that my grandfather met Al Capone.
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INTRODUCE YOUR TOPIC
Make sure to include:
 The title of the article you’re summarizing/analyzing
 The author/s of the article
 A small intro to the topic you’re going to discuss/what the article is about/what
the prompt is asking
FINALLY!
Add a smooth transition and then your thesis statement!
And TADA! You have an introduction!
INTRO OUTLINE
•Hook/Attention Grabber
•Introduction to Issue/Topic
•Thesis Statement
EXAMPLE (STANDARD)
“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but
progress” (Joseph Joubert). Famous revolutionaries, powerful leaders, and desperate
housewives are all connected by their unanimous ability to argue well and, in doing
so, create progress. Argument is an art honed and perfected by anyone who wants to
generate change; it is honed through becoming at expert with the tools of argument,
or rhetorical devices. One such man became such an expert with rhetorical devices
that he almost single handedly lead the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson,
author of “The Declaration of Independence,” so effectively uses emotional, ethical,
and logical appeals in his writing that he convinces even the most steadfast of
loyalists to rebel against Great Britain.
EXAMPLE (STANDARD)
The music was composed as a drinking song for an 18 th-century London social
club. The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key to commemorate a battle.
And on March 3, 1931, “The Star-Spangled Banner” officially became the national
anthem of the United States. Ever since then, people have been complaining that the
tune is unsingable and the lyrics are offensive. In response to these complaints, a bil
l was recently filed in Congress to replace “The Star-Spangled Banner” with “America the
Beautiful” as our national anthem. For a number of reasons, this bill deserves wide
support.
(Shelby Wilson, “Time for an Anthem the Country can Sing”)
EXAMPLE (STANDARD)
U2 have always produced rhetorically powerful songs. From the spiritually driven
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” to the blantantly sexual “If You Wear That
Velvet Dress,” audiences have been persuaded to examine their religious doubts as
well as to give in to their emotions. Never a band content in sticking to one style, their
music has evolved and taken many forms. Their more recent songs show a level of
complexity so far unsurpassed in music, drawing heavily on the ambiguity of paradox in
songs like “So Cruel” while evoking sensory overload with the aid of the list structure in
“Numb.” But one of the most powerful songs dates back to their early years, when their
style was Senecan-like, seemingly simpler and more direct. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” stands
out as one of U2’s finest songs. Its rhetoric is successful because of its simplicity, not despite it.
(Mike Rios, “The Rhetoric of U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’”)
YOUR WRITING PROMPT
Read the article, “Schools in Ferguson Area
Prepare for an Emotional Opening Day.”
After reading, summarize in your own terms the advantages and
disadvantages of discussing the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri in the
classroom. Be sure to cite evidence from the text to support your summary.
Follow the conventions of standard written English.
INDIVIDUAL TASK
Writ an introduction for the Ferguson writing prompt. Make sure it follows the outline
for introduction and includes one type of hook.
Let me or Mrs. Burnett know when you are finished.
PEER REVIEW
Exchange papers and revise and edit.
Is the hook clear and connected to the topic?
Is there an introduction to the topic and the articles/authors alluded to in the
prompt?
Are there proper transitions or is it choppy?
Does it make sense to you?
Is the thesis included?
Sign your name. I will take this up for a grade.
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