Presentation on theme: "February 26 & 28, 2013 MUGS Shot Book Project QuickWrite Part II ENGLISH 091 Turn in: Essay #2 and Peer Critique of Essay #2 Essay #1 Second Draft."— Presentation transcript:
The 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… present the focus of your essay and give your reader some general information about your subject. catch your reader’s attention so that he/she will become interested in reading your essay.
An introduction always includes: Some general statements about your subject 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 in the next slide begins with general information and becomes more specific. General Information and Focus The 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. Example #1
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 The Introduction
General Information and Focus 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. Example #2 Specific focus of essay and thesis statement.
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 Example #2
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. Use a story or example of a personal experience. Use a quotation. Use a question or questions. The Introduction
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
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.
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
Have a minute? Good. Because that may be all it takes to save the life of a child—your child. Accidents kill nearly 8000 children under age 15 each year. And for every fatality, 42 more children are admitted to hospitals for treatment. Yet such deaths and injuries can be avoided through these easy steps parents can take right now. You don't have a minute to lose. Questions Example #3 Here’s another example of how you can use a question to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction. Question
The last inch of space was filled, yet people continued to wedge themselves along the walls of the store. Uncle Willie had turned the radio up to its last notch so that youngsters on the porch wouldn't miss a word. Women sat on kitchen chairs, dining-room chairs, stools, and upturned wooden boxes. Small children and babies perched in every lap available and men leaned on the shelves or on each other. --Maya Angelou, "Hope" Show—Set the Scene Example #1 Here’s another example of how you can use a question to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction.
Niagara Falls is a city of unmatched natural beauty; it is also a tired industrial workhorse, beaten often and with a hard hand. A magnificent river--a strait really--connecting Lake Erie to Lake Ontario flows hurriedly north, at a pace of a half-million tons a minute, widening into a smooth expanse near the city before breaking into whitecaps and taking its famous 186-foot plunge. Then it cascades through a gorge of overhung shale and limestone to rapids higher and swifter than anywhere else on the continent. Show—Use Description Example #2 Here’s another example of how you can use a question to catch a reader’s attention in an introduction.
Introductions to AVOID Weak opening paragraph The purpose of this essay is to examine the effect of Einstein's theories in the historical context of accepted propositions and laws of motion and the effect these theories had on current thinking in the field of physics. In so doing, the author will show that despite opposition to Einstein's theories when first published, these were indeed special works that reshaped current thinking to replace the ideas propounded by Galileo and Newton. Stronger opening paragraph Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity and Theory of General Relativity reshaped the world of physics by contradicting the existing laws of motion proposed by Galileo and developed by Newton. Although Einstein faced great opposition when proposing his theories, his work reshaped the thinking of future generations of physicists.
Introductions to AVOID Apologize. Never suggest that you don't know what you're talking about or that you're not enough of an expert in this matter that your opinion would matter. Your reader will quickly turn to something else. – Avoid phrases like the following: In my [humble] opinion... I'm not sure about this, but... Announce your intentions. Do not flatly announce what you are about to do in an essay. In this paper I will... – The purpose of this essay is to... – In this essay I will... – Get into the topic and let your reader perceive your purpose in the topic sentence of your beginning paragraph.
Introductions to AVOID Use a dictionary or encyclopedia definition. – According to Merriam-Webster's WWWebster Dictionary, a widget is... – Although definitions are extremely useful and it might serve your purpose to devise your own definition(s) later in the essay, you want to avoid using this hackneyed beginning to an essay.
Introductions to AVOID Avoid asking generic questions. Insightful questions that truly ask your reader to consider the issues you are discussing can be useful. Stay away, though, from generic questions that simply fill up space. Here's an example. "What is college? What is an education? Well, the benefits of a college education are numerous."
Introductions to AVOID Avoid sweeping, empty generalizations. In other words, watch out for statements like, "Since the beginning of time, education has played an important role" or "Throughout the history of the world, college has been placed on a pedestal.
References For more examples, please visit the following sites: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~uwc/Writing%20Resources/Handouts/introductions.htm www.virtual.yosemite.cc.ca.us/lumanr2/English_25/Introduction.ppt http://essay-lab.com/basic/introduction.php http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/intros.htm NOTE: Examples from the presentation were compiled from the above sources.
Assignment #1: Revise the following using what you learned about writing engaging introductions. Your responses MUST be typed. Example 1: Everyone has to have a job. Whether it is a full time job or a place where you only work part time or even if you have no job at all your job is probably that of being a student or a housewife or simply doing chores around the house. For some retired Senior Citizens their hobby is their job or they may work by doing volunteer work. This is why I say that everyone has to have a job. But not everyone has a job that they like. The job that I currently have is terrible. Example 2: We live in a society that is filled with dangers every minute of every day. Every day we see newspaper or TV reports about crime. The most fearful of these crimes are crimes against the person, especially rape. Women are especially vulnerable to attack because they are perceived as weak. A woman should carry a stun gun to protect themselves.Homework
Assignment #2: Using what you have learned, choose one of the stories you started during last Thursday’s QuickWrite. Revise the introduction to make it creative, engaging, and thoughtful. You MUST type your revision. Book Project #3: Review the last 50 pages you have read. From the main character’s perspective, write about what has happened so far. Include thoughts and feelings the character might be having. Length: 300-500 words (1-2 pages) *Both assignments DUE TUESDAY, March 5 th * Bring your Book Project book AND your textbook next Tuesday.Homework