Building Better Introductions

of 32 /32
Building Better Introductions

Embed Size (px)


Building Better Introductions. What is the intro duct ion?. LEADS (DUCT) the reader INTO (INTRO ) your paper 1. Grabs the reader’s ATTENTION ( attention getter or hook) 2. Creates a common ground, or CONTEX T, which act as a springboard to the topic (background information/ context ) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Building Better Introductions

Page 1: Building Better Introductions

Building Better Introductions

Page 2: Building Better Introductions

What is the introduction? LEADS (DUCT) the reader INTO (INTRO) your paper

1. Grabs the reader’s ATTENTION (attention getter or hook)

2. Creates a common ground, or CONTEXT, which act as a springboard to the topic (background information/ context)

3. Presents the general TOPIC.

4. States the position/idea/claim = thesis statement ( a controlling statement that previews what are you going to prove, how are you going to prove it, and the main points of essay)

Page 3: Building Better Introductions


Attention getter Context Thesis Statement

Page 4: Building Better Introductions

Build on your foundation:the THESIS STATEMENT!

•A thesis statement is a CONTOLLING sentence, to help you keep you writing FOCUSED & COMPLETE..

•THESIS sort of sounds like these two words:

“THIS IS . . .”• “THIS –IS (thesis)” exactly what you plan to prove/say, in

the order you will say it your writing.

Page 5: Building Better Introductions

Synthesis Essay Thesis Statement

Especially in the face of adversity, belief in personal dreams seems essential for a meaningful life, as introduced in Langston Hughes’ “Harlem”, activated in the characters of A Raisin in the Sun, and further clarified via the moving diction of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Page 6: Building Better Introductions

The thesis controls the essay….

Especially in the face of adversity, belief in personal dreams seems essential for a meaningful life, as introduced in Langston Hughes’s “Harlem”, activated in the characters of A Raisin in the Sun, and further clarified via the moving diction of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Body paragraph #1—Harlem’s dreams deferredBody paragraph #2—RITS dreamersBody paragraph #3—Dill’s dreams

Page 7: Building Better Introductions

“Funnel” the Introductory info!

Begins with a very broad general idea and continues with more and more specific ideas until it arrives at the thesis sentence—the most specific idea in the introductory paragraph.

Page 8: Building Better Introductions

Funnel Introduction

Page 9: Building Better Introductions

Funnel Introduction

Page 10: Building Better Introductions

Funnel Introduction

Start with the most general idea you can think of that is related to your thesis (key words). Get progressively more specific (at least two more steps) until you arrive at the thesis.

Page 11: Building Better Introductions

Why use an attention getter?

It is essential that stories, magazine articles and especially essays begin with good hooks because a writer is often judged within the first few sentences.

“Hook” the reader with an appropriate opening!

Page 12: Building Better Introductions

1. Startling Statement All human beings are

capable of the most gruesome crimes imaginable. It is only because of the customs and controls of civilization that we do not become brute savages (good and evil theme).

Page 13: Building Better Introductions

2. QuoteAs Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Nelson Mandela once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, which most frightens us.” (leadership theme)

Page 14: Building Better Introductions

3. Shocking StatisticAccording to the United Nations,

over 240 million people, forty percent of them being children, are starving in the world today. In addition, this planet has already begun to experience shortages of gas, oil, and other important natural resources.

Page 15: Building Better Introductions

4. AnalogyThe models that grace the pages of

magazines seem to be better than anyone we have ever met: They seem elegant, untouchable, and perfect. However, just as magazine covers are manipulated to hide imperfections, readers, too, sometimes fool themselves into ignoring the flaws of individuals whom have been built up to be perfect beings. (superficiality theme)

Page 16: Building Better Introductions

5. Historical Background The Romans called it cerevisia - gift of cares, goddess of grain. Ancient Babylonians, Chinese and Egyptians all concocted it; the god Osiris, in fact, is credited with being the world’s first brew master. Hammurabi made laws about it. He invented the running tab, allowing his subjects to settle up at the local dram shop after they had harvested their corn. George Washington brewed it at Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. During World War II, Wilson Churchill outfitted a floating brewery so that thirsty tommies fighting in the Far East could get their deli rations. Ethel Kennedy sips it with a shot of brandy or schnapps, while in Pittsburgh, steel workers use it as a “wash” for whisky. Last year, Americans consumed an estimated 160 million barrels of beer – 90 quarts for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. Behind all those suds is a $6 billion-a-year industry, and it is an industry in turmoil.

Page 17: Building Better Introductions

6. Provocative Question

In a country known as “the land of opportunity,” who would have thought that the American Dream might one day be out of reach for

much of its population? Or, in fact, that the notion of personal dreams could be denied any citizens, based only on their race or gender? (racism or sexism theme)

Page 18: Building Better Introductions

7. Image makingPink isn’t easily contained on a normal

concert stage, regardless of its size. She hungers to be airborne, kicking and bouncing and twisting high into the air on bungee cord and cable, or tossed and spun from one dance partner to another, as she was last night at Staples Center in Los Angeles. On the third stop of her 2013 tour, she flew as much as anyone from The Avengers. (Review intro)

Page 19: Building Better Introductions

Styles of Introduction


Anecdote or Scenario

Page 20: Building Better Introductions

Contrast Introduction

Especially appropriate when your thesis contradicts or modifies a commonly held belief or assumption.

For example, if your thesis sentence is, "It is more difficult to learn to ski than most people realize," you could write an introduction such as this:

Page 21: Building Better Introductions

Example #1Most people assume that learning to

ski is not extremely difficult. They imagine the process consists of little more than strapping on two long boards and pushing off at the top of a hill Learning to ski is more difficult than these people realize, and it requires long hours of practice, extremely good physical condition, and a lot of determination.


Page 22: Building Better Introductions

Contrast introductions frequently begin with phrases or clauses like the following:

• Americans today tend to believe that ______.

• Conventional wisdom has it that________.

• Common sense seems to dictate that _________.

• People often say that _______.

• Many people assume that_______.

Page 23: Building Better Introductions

Your turn… Write a contrast introduction for your paper. First ask yourself what commonly held belief or

idea your thesis contradicts. Start your introduction with a presentation of

this assumption, explain it in some detail (a couple of sentences)

Then, after a signal of contradiction (however, on the other hand, but), present your thesis.

Page 24: Building Better Introductions

Anecdotal/Scenario Introduction  Tells a brief story in order to

introduce the thesis. For example, if you were writing a

paper arguing that fighting global warming is essential to preserve the global economy, you might begin the paper by telling a story about a farmer in Australia who went bankrupt last year as a result of a drought that scientists believe was caused by global warming

Page 25: Building Better Introductions

Anecdotal/Scenario Introduction. If you were writing a paper about

the importance of education in ending the poverty cycle, you might tell a story about a girl who escaped her poor neighborhood by studying hard and getting into college.

Page 26: Building Better Introductions

Example #1Anna V. Popova was at home

with her daughter when she saw the flash, then heard explosions, then found the windows of her enclosed balcony blown in; her neighbor, with identical windows, escaped without property damage.

Page 27: Building Better Introductions

Scientists believe the space rock that tore through the atmosphere on Friday morning and blew apart here was the largest to have entered the atmosphere since 1908 and that it was unusual as well for the scale of its effects: more than 1,200 people injured and broad property damage.

Page 28: Building Better Introductions

Example #2Altoona mom Kim Jones feels

good earning her own way.Jones grew up in a rough,

poverty-stricken part of New Jersey where drug dealers huddled on street corners and children got shot in the crossfire of gang violence walking home from buying a loaf of bread.

Page 29: Building Better Introductions

That's nearly the life her own children - now ages 20, 14 and 10-year-old twins - ended up having, too. That is until Jones made a choice to flee an abusive relationship and give her children a different life. They landed in Altoona five years ago.

Page 30: Building Better Introductions

Example #3In Appalachia, many communities have had

their water supplies destroyed by coal mining operations. From Boone County, West Virginia to Pike County, Kentucky residents have had their water contaminated with a long list of deadly, cancer causing pollutants like arsenic, barium, lead, manganese and other chemicals at concentrations federal regulators say is unsafe to drink. The drinking water of Appalachian families was so polluted it burned their skin when they had to bathe in it because they had no other source of water.

Page 31: Building Better Introductions

Anecdotal/Scenario Introduction

Whose story can you tell to hook your reader?

Page 32: Building Better Introductions

Another Provocative Question Fortunately, at the present time, only certain

nations of the world are suffering greatly from the effects of overpopulation, pollution, and shortages of food and other natural resources. However, as the Earth’s population continues to increase at an alarming rate, all nations will eventually be gravely affected. As a result, how much longer can the nations of this planet afford the luxury of looking upon each other as separate when it comes to issues such as food supply or ecology? How long can responsible citizens continue without global planning in areas crucial for human survival?