Persuasive WritingGET STARTED WITH THEINTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH
What’s so important about the Introduction It indicates the topic of the essay It gives an idea of the essay’s organization It establishes the tone of the essay It provides background on the topic’s importance It provides a CLEAR statement of the essay’s intended purpose in… … THE THESIS STATEMENT!
So, how do I get started?If you’ve done your prewriting, then your introductory paragraph will not be verydifficult. If you haven’t done your prewriting, your task will be more difficult. So,let’s just assume you’ve done your prewriting because, I mean, why wouldn’t you? PARTS OF AN INTRODUCTION • Hook • Bridge to thesis statement • Thesis statement
Thesis comes first!As strange as it sounds, you begin the composition of your introductionby writing the final sentence of the paragraph – your thesis statement.Writing in introduction without a thesis in mind would be like planninga vacation without a destination in mind. If you don’t know whereyou’re going, how will you ever get there? A THESIS STATEMENT CONTAINS • An arguable point • A position on the argument • A glimpse of the essay’s structure
Anatomy of a bad thesis It does take a position on the issue, so that’s good.I think children over the age of 12 should have cell phones.Avoid first Saying “I think” makes We are missing the glimpseperson this immediately at the essay’s structure. I unarguable. No one could have no idea where thepronouns. argue that is not what you author is headed with this think. See? argument.
The Arguable PointThis is just what it sounds like. Your thesis has to be a point thatsomeone could argue against. It needs to be something for which you canoffer proof and something worthy of proving. BAD THESIS GOOD THESIS I think that Children over the age of 12 children over the should have cell phones because they promote age of 12 should responsibility, assist with have cell phones. organization, and enhance independence.
Your turn: Create an effective thesis Already have a draft? Haven’t started yet? Look at the thesis you have. Based on your If there are personal pronouns prewriting, decide on the best (any pronouns that name you position to take on the or your reader) you need to argument. revise. Create a thesis statement that Make sure you express a expresses an arguable position position on the issue. and offers a look at the reasons Make sure your thesis is you have taken that position. arguable. Be sure to avoid personal Make sure you offer a glimpse pronouns (any pronouns that as to why you have taken your name you or your reader) in position. your thesis.
Next comes the hookNow that you know where you’re headed, you can figure out where to begin. Thepurpose of the first sentence is to “hook” you reader – make him interested inwhat you have to say. Since this is the very first impression, it needs to set the toneand be powerful. IDEAS FOR THE HOOK •Personal examples •Quotations •Facts or statistics •Rhetorical questions •Current events •Contrast to the thesis statement
Examples of Hooks•Personal example My life was transformed on my 12th birthday when I pulled back the wrapping on my gift and saw the word “Droid” on the box beneath.•Quotations “Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow.”•Facts or statistics The world is a dangerous place, but it might be worse without cell phones. In fact, 40 percent of mobile phone owners said they found themselves in an emergency situation and having their cell phone helped.•Rhetorical questions Does anyone know of an adult who doesn’t have a cell phone?•Current events Recently there has been a movement to add cell phone technology to the number of tools used in the classroom.•Contrast to the thesis statement Cell phones are, perhaps, the most annoying invention of our generation. However, as annoying as they are, no one who has one wants to give it up.
Your turn: Create an effective hook Already have a draft? Haven’t started yet? Look at the first sentence you Based on your thesis, decide on have. the best type of hook for your Is it engaging? Does it make the essay. reader WANT to read? Does it relate in some way to Do a little research if you need your thesis? to. Find a quote or a statistic Does it offer a logical next that will really pop for your sentence? reader. If your hook doesn’t pass all Create an opening sentence these tests, check out the that will wow your audience “Haven’t started yet” and allow you to write a logical instructions for help in next sentence. revising.
Your turn: Building the bridgeOnce you have the first sentence and the thesis statement, you’re past the mostdifficult part. You see where you’re starting; you see where you’re going. Now allyou need is a few sentences to bridge the gap between the two sentences. Already have a draft? Haven’t started yet? Read over your first Add two or three sentences after paragraph and make sure your hook that effectively and the hook and thesis are logically connect it to your logically and effectively thesis. Make sure your thesis is connected. Make sure your the final sentence in the thesis is the final sentence paragraph. in the paragraph.Aim for an introductory paragraph of five to six sentences in length. Once youbridge the hook and the thesis statement, you’re all finished with the intro!