Introductions

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Essay Introduction

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Introductions

  1. 1. The Introductory Paragraph The Paragraph that Hooks Your Reader Introduction ------------------------------
  2. 2. An Introduction Definition and Purpose An introduction is the first paragraph in your essay and contains the thesis statement. The main purposes of an introduction are to… <ul><li>catch your reader’s attention so that he/she will </li></ul><ul><li> become interested in reading your essay. </li></ul><ul><li>present the focus of your essay and give your </li></ul><ul><li> reader some general information about your </li></ul><ul><li> subject. </li></ul>
  3. 3. An introduction always includes some general statements about your subject and a thesis statement that announces the focus of your essay. The thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the introduction because it is the most specific. Notice how the introduction below begins with general information and becomes more specific. An Introduction General Information and Focus
  4. 4. An Introduction General Information and Focus Specific focus of essay and thesis statement. General statements provide background information on the focus of health care for homeless people with HIV. There are a number of frightening disease epidemics occurring in the United States today, but one of the most frightening is the epidemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Among the most serious of these sexually transmitted diseases is HIV which leads to AIDS, a fatal disease. HIV is especially problematic among homeless people. This particular population is difficult to treat due to a number of barriers such as, limited access to health care, mistrust of health care professionals, and a lack of awareness of the disease, itself.
  5. 5. An Introduction A Closer Look Let’s look at that introduction again and see how the sentences become more and more specific leading to the thesis statement. There are a number of frightening disease epidemics occurring in the United States today, but one of the most frightening is the epidemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Among the most serious of these sexually transmitted diseases is HIV which leads to AIDS, a fatal disease. HIV is especially problematic among homeless people. This particular population is difficult to treat due to a number of barriers such as, limited access to health care, mistrust of health care professionals, and a lack of awareness of the disease, itself. General Statements More Specific Very Specific: Thesis Statement
  6. 6. Example #2 General Information and Focus Here is another example of how an introduction can begin with general information and become more specific with a thesis statement at the end.
  7. 7. Example #2 General Information and Focus Specific focus of essay and thesis statement. General statements provide background information on the steps the Indian government is taking to reduce population. Overpopulation and finding ways to reduce it are big concerns of many developing nations today. One nation that is concerned about this issue is India. One of the biggest causes of overpopulation in India is the high infant mortality rate. Parents often have more children because they are fearful that if some children die, there won’t be enough children to take care of them in their old age. India is taking some important steps in dealing with this problem. Some of the steps the Indian government is taking are providing birth control for women, improving pre-natal care, and educating women on the benefits of having fewer children.
  8. 8. Example #2 A Closer Look Look at the example below to see how the sentences in the introduction become more and more specific leading to the thesis statement. Overpopulation and finding ways to reduce it are big concerns of many developing nations today. One nation that is concerned about this issue is India. One of the biggest causes of overpopulation in India is the high infant mortality rate. Parents often have more children because they are fearful that if some children die, there won’t be enough children to take care of them in their old age. India is taking some important steps in dealing with this problem. Some of the steps the Indian government is taking are providing birth control for women, improving pre-natal care, and educating women on the benefits of having fewer children. General Statements More Specific Very Specific: Thesis Statement
  9. 9. An Introduction Catch the Reader’s Attention In addition to stating the thesis and providing some general information on your subject, an introduction also needs to catch a reader’s attention and cause him/her to become interested in reading your essay. There are several ways you can introduce your subject and catch your reader’s attention. <ul><li>Use a story or example of a personal experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a quotation. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a question or questions. </li></ul>
  10. 10. A brief dramatic story or example can be used to get the attention of your reader. Look at the example below and think about how it catches your attention. Catching Attention Using a Story or Personal Experience
  11. 11. Personal Story or Example A personal story can “hook” your reader into wanting to read more. Thesis Statement When the car accident happened, my brother was left with a broken arm, leg, and hip. My mother nearly died due to head injuries. However, we all survived due to the team of emergency medical technicians who responded quickly to the scene and provided us with the help we needed. After my experience of being involved in a car accident, I saw how I could use my interest in first aid and desire to help other people through becoming an emergency medical technician. Now, after twenty years of work as an EMT, I think it is the most rewarding job I could ever have and feel that the occupation, itself, has numerous advantages over other occupations in the health care field.
  12. 12. Personal Story or Example Example #2 Here’s another example of how you can use a story to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction.
  13. 13. John’s parents divorced when he was in elementary school. After the divorce, his mother had to go to work to support him and his three sisters. This disrupted John’s home life in serious ways. Without the constant supervision of his mother and the lack of a father for a role-model, John began skipping school and socializing with the wrong group of people. He eventually turned to taking drugs and was later arrested for being a drug dealer and sent to prison. John is not unlike other prisoners. In many prisons today, over half of all inmates come from divorced families. Divorce can be the catalyst that unleashes emotional problems in children and can affect children psychologically, mentally, and socially. Personal Story or Example Example #2 An example of a story in the third person. Thesis Statement
  14. 14. Sometimes controversial or well-known quotations can be used to surprise your reader. Look at the example below and notice how a quotation can be used to get you interested in the rest of the essay. Catching Attention Using a Quote
  15. 15. Using a Quote A well-known quotation from American literature. Thesis Statement Henry David Thoreau, an American poet, once wrote, “ Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify!” These words of advice are difficult to follow in a society where a hectic pace of life is the norm and the attainment of more material goods is encouraged. However, I believe that this philosophy of living simply has quite a bit of merit. The difficulty of following this philosophy is knowing where we should begin. If we examine Henry David Thoreau’s life carefully, I believe we will find a number of ways in which to simplify our own lives and yet live richly. (Quotation from: Watson, 1951)
  16. 16. Quotation Example #2 Here’s another example of how you can use a quotation to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction.
  17. 17. Horace once wrote, “ Many blessings do the advancing years bring with them.” For many senior citizens in the United States today, old age can often come as a curse. Many older people suffer from ill health, loneliness, and/or financial instability; however, life in later years does not have to be this way. Many senior citizens can experience the blessings of advancing years that Horace once wrote about. In order to do that, let’s consider ways in which old age actually enhances life. (Quotation from: Watson, 1951) Quotation Example #2 Quotation Thesis Statement
  18. 18. Another way to catch your reader’s attention is with a question. Questions can make your reader begin thinking about the subject in your essay. Catching Attention Using Questions
  19. 19. Have you ever run in a marathon? Most marathons are twenty six miles. Have you ever heard of one-hundred mile marathons? The state of Colorado hosts a one-hundred mile marathon each year. People from all over the United States and the world run in this marathon. Some of the top runners in this race have been members of the Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Tarahumaras do not train for marathons, but their lifestyle and culture promotes, develops, and supports this type of athletic endeavor. Using Questions Questions that may surprise your reader. Thesis Statement
  20. 20. Did you know that one of the eight architectural wonders of the world is located in Cambodia? Angkor Wat is an ancient Buddhist temple that was the center of culture and religion for the Khmer empire for several centuries. It was only recently re-discovered by a French explorer during the 1800’s. It has now become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Southeast Asia. If you visit Angkor Wat, you will find much to admire in its size, historical significance, and beauty. Questions Example #2 Here’s another example of how you can use a question to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction. Question Thesis Statement

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