Writing a Strong Introduction. Getting Your Essay Started

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1 Writing a Strong Introduction Getting Your Essay Started

2 Thesis Statements A declarative sentence that states clearly and concisely the main point that the author wishes to make. Example: The perceived injustices of the Treaty of Versailles made it a major cause of World War II. Usually a sentence that embodies a judgment, evaluation, or criticism, often apparent in its use of value terms good, better, best, valuable, worthwhile, desirable, favorable, major, most important, effective, significant, insightful, or should. A statement you consider significant, so that if someone says, So what? you can answer that question.

3 Examples of a Thesis Statement Robert Louis Stevenson s Treasure Island presents the compelling story of a young boy s pirate adventure on the high seas. In the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers, readers learn about the effects of peer pressure on the main character, Steve Harmon. In order to be successful, eighth grade students must have a positive work ethic and personal motivation.

4 Thesis Continued A thesis may also: Suggest a comparison or contrast. The treaty that followed World War II was radically different from the one that concluded World War I. Focus primarily on the causes or effects of a particular event, condition, or change. A number of economic and political developments in Europe made World War I almost inevitable. Propose a solution to a problem or recommend a policy. Community service should be mandatory for all high school students, but it should take place during the school day.

5 What is NOT a thesis statement? A Statement of fact. The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the four major powers and became effective January Merely the expression of a personal opinion. I think the Treaty of Versailles was a foolish mistake. A vague generalization. The Treaty of Versailles caused the world a lot of problems. A question. Was the Treaty of Versailles a major force in precipitating World War II?

6 Non-Examples of a Thesis In this essay, I am going to tell you about Jim s adventures with the pirates in Treasure Island. I really think that Steve Harmon experienced peer pressure in the novel Monster. This paper will tell you how I can succeed in eighth grade: by working hard, paying attention, and turning in my work.

7 Organization of the Introduction The thesis should be located at the end of the first paragraph. Generalization Thesis

8 Organization to Avoid Too much repetition and too little originality Thesis Generalization Restated Thesis

9 Types of Organization Use these organization strategies when writing your introduction: Unusual Detail Appropriate Question Bold and Challenging Statement Well-Known Quotation Personal Experience

10 Unusual Detail Begin by sharing a fact that your reader may not know. This establishes your credibility and makes your reader want to know more. Manitoba, because of its cold climate, is not thought of as a great place to be a reptile. Actually, it has the largest seasonal congregation of garter snakes in the world. Manitoba is one example of millions where the unexpected and unlikely is true. People should always expect the unexpected.

11 Appropriate Question Open with an appropriate question that requires more than a yes or no answer. If possible, try to avoid "Have you ever How many students would prefer an alternative to sitting in a desk in a classroom to learn? There is another option that's been around for millions of years. That's right--outdoor School. Outdoor school is the solution to the problems in the American education system.

12 Bold and Challenging Statement A bold and challenging statement is meant to cause some people to disagree with what you say. Just don't state that it is your opinion. Using horses and cattle in the sport of rodeo is animal abuse. What makes it more aggravating is that it is legal. According to the law, there is nothing wrong with chasing an animal down, tightening a rope around its neck, knocking it to the ground, and tying its legs together so it cannot move. Americans must act to end animal cruelty.

13 Well-Known Quotation Be sure to put quotations around the quotation and give credit to the person who said it. Of course, the quotation must be directly related to your topic. President John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. Today's Americans have forgotten Kennedy's message. We expect our country to take care of us, but we are not taking care of our country. Americans need to take responsibility for America.

14 Personal Experience Open with something that has happened to you. It could be something that is not a part of what you are writing about but still relates to the topic. Although I did later in my room, I never cried at my grandmother's funeral. I was just a little girl standing next to my grandma's coffin, feeling lost and afraid. I didn t know what happened to people after they died because no one had talked with me about it. Parents need to talk to their kids about death to prepare them for the realities of life.

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