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Opening and Concluding Paragraphs

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Presentation on theme: "Opening and Concluding Paragraphs"— Presentation transcript:

1 Opening and Concluding Paragraphs
First Impressions and Final Thoughts WS 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

2 First Paragraphs for different types of essays
ATTENTION GRABBER Next two (at least) sentences must be background about the novel/play or topic The middle sentences smoothly transition the reader from the Attention Grabber to the Thesis. An intro paragraph should be about 4 sentences THESIS STATEMENT Contains your subject/topic and Two arguable points

3 Attention Grabber Strategies
1. The Outside Connection 2. The Global Statement 3. Using a Quote 4. An Anecdote 5. The Straw Man 6. The Dramatic Fact Wait, isn’t there one missing?????

4 What about using a Question?
DON’T DO THIS - EVER! Usually the question is not answered Sometimes it even includes second person: Ex: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be lonely? In Of Mice and Men… Also, do not use a command: Imagine, being the only one left on earth.

5 Strategy #1: The Outside Connection
Starts with broad statement about a theme that relates to your thesis Give example from literature, author’s life, or other history that relates to this theme. Don’t connect to pop culture or anything that seems out of character Transition into your thesis clearly to avoid confusing the reader.

6 The Outside Connection Example:
A locust swarm only truly begins when just one gets hungry. A single specimen will release a pheromone that spreads like fire throughout every locust in a radius of miles and thus the nightmarish, omnivorous swarm begins, devouring everything in sight. Broad Theme The same can be said of human beings; people mimic each other, taking cues from others actions justifying their own crimes with the sins of others. Culture is, in the end, a set of rules and that game is won by those who know how to play. Transition Those who understand the social rules of a group will fit in the best because conformity invariably leads to acceptance and humans are naturally sound animals who will develop systems to regulate each other’s behavior. Thesis: Topic is rules and behavior

7 The Outside Connection Example:
The mentor archetype spans from Greek epics to modern novels. Broad Theme In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout matures into a well-rounded young woman due to the influence of several guiding figures. Transition In This Other Novel, the mentor teaches the protagonist that… Thesis

8 Strategy #2: Global Statement
Start with a broad statement and then narrow toward your thesis. Similar setup to Outside Connection. Very versatile – works in a variety of situations. Don’t be too broad or vague.

9 Global Statement Example:
For generations, parents, religion, and schools have had a monopoly on morality. Broad Narrowing From these three sources, children traditionally acquired their ideas about what is right and wrong, which goals are important in life, and how other should be treated. More Narrowing Today, the media has become another powerful force influencing young people. Television is implanting in children negative values about sex, work, and family life. Thesis

10 Strategy #3: Using a Quote
Always include a lead (TLQ) into the quote as well as a citation. Avoid quoting the literature that the essay will be about – quote a famous speaker or another novel.

11 Using a Quote Example: Lead into Quote Transition Thesis
Noted philosopher Aristotle once said, “Man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all.” Without societal controls that regulate behavior, there is nothing in this world more dangerous than human beings. In William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies, the schoolboys on the island have been released from the tether of civilization and are about to discover their own propensity for evil. Transition The worst of them is Jack, the head choir boy, who changes from… Thesis

12 Strategy #4: Anecdote A brief story that relates to your thesis, no more than a few sentences. Unless it’s a personal essay, no first person.

13 Using an Anecdote Example:
At a Michigan high school, the student body nominated Whitney Kropp, an awkward sophomore, for Homecoming Court. Without considering the humiliation that she might feel or how the town would react, Whitney’s classmates congratulated themselves not only on their sense of humor but their ability to pull off a coordinated prank. Anecdote The students’ actions illustrate the cruelty that a large group can inflict on a single, vulnerable individual. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the schoolboys, stranded on a deserted island, prey upon Piggy, who has been made a scapegoat for many of the same reasons. Transition Thesis Piggy discovers that…

14 What kind of essay might this strategy work well for?
Strategy #5: Straw Man Begin with an idea that is the opposite of your true position. Then prove it wrong. Be sure to clearly transition from the false idea to your true position! What kind of essay might this strategy work well for?

15 Using Straw Man Example:
People hear a great deal about divorce’s disastrous impact on children. They are bombarded with advice on how to make divorce as painless as possible for their offspring, and numerous heartbreaking stories about the confused, grieving children of divorced parents abound. Little attention has been paid, however, to a different effect that divorce may have on young people, for children of divorced parents may become skilled manipulators, playing off one parent against the other, worsening an already painful situation. In Making Them Pay, a novel by… False False To True

16 Strategy #6: Dramatic Fact or Statistic
Works best on research papers, persuasive essays, etc. Not very useful for response to literature or SAT style essay Be sure to have a reputable source and cite it.

17 Using Dramatic Fact Example:
In a poll conducted by columnist Ann Landers, seventy percent of the respondents stated that, if they could live their lives over, they would choose not to have children. This startling statistic makes one wonder what kind of experience these people thought parenthood would be. Though parents want their children to share their values, follow their paths, and succeed where they failed, most parents also have unrealistic expectations for their children. In My Daughter, the Rocket Scientist, the autobiography of…

18 Finish your Thesis Statement before you attempt your Attention Grabber
Finish your Thesis Statement before you attempt your Attention Grabber. Then, think backward. Does your thesis remind you of something, spark an idea? Which strategy will work best?

19 Concluding Paragraphs
Final Thoughts

20 Then… Concluding Paragraph Restate thesis in different words.
Reflect upon or extend what was already stated in the body of the essay or the AG/hook. Make predictions about the topic Then…

21 Concluding Paragraph Restate thesis in different words.
Reflect upon or extend what was already stated in the body of the essay or the hook. Make predictions about the topic. Include a universal statement, like a reverse global statement. Last sentence should be insightful; Something new…perhaps one final piece of commentary on the topic/subject that you wrote about.

22 Concluding Paragraph Last Sentence
The last sentence is largely dependent on the hook in the opening paragraph. Imagine this is your VEHICLE. Try to exit the same car in which you started your journey.

23 Final Thoughts THINK about what you WRITE!
That means if it sounds lame, don’t write it! Does what you wrote add value? Does it relate directly back to the thesis? Does it relate to the topic sentence? Is the topic sentence arguable?

24 Final Thoughts: Too much of ANYTHING gets BORING.
That means the same word, phrasing, sentence beginning, hook, TLQ, or anything else for that matter. Variety is the key.

25 CLASS ASSIGNMENT On a separate sheet of paper, create an opening paragraph using one of the six strategies. You will be given a thesis statement and you will do the rest. The class will “vote” on the best opening paragraph and some changes will be made. (Winner gets a prize)  Everyone will then write their finished paragraph in their journal.

26 Open-Ended Practice Prompt
Many persons believe that to move up the ladder of success and achievement, they must forget the past, repress it, and relinquish it. But others have just the opposite view. They see old memories as a chance to reckon with the past and integrate past and present. —Adapted from Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, I've Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation Prompt: Do memories hinder or help people in their effort to learn from the past and succeed in the present? Support your argument with appropriate evidence from your readings, observations, or experiences. subject/topic opinion two arguable points Thesis Statement: Memories help people to learn from the past and succeed in the present by enabling them to learn from past mistakes and by preventing them from making similar mistakes in the future.

27 Open-Ended Practice Prompt
“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” --Horace Consider this quotation about adversity from the Roman poet Horace. Then write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Horace’s assertion about the role that adversity (financial or political hardship, dander, misfortune, etc.) plays in developing a person’s character. Support your argument with appropriate evidence from your reading, observation, or experience. subject/topic opinion two arguable points Thesis Statement: Adversity can enhance a person’s character by enabling them to become more resilient and better able to adapt to life’s changes.

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