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Leads snag a reader's eye, and entice, intrigue and hook them into reading… Writing an Effective Lead.

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Presentation on theme: "Leads snag a reader's eye, and entice, intrigue and hook them into reading… Writing an Effective Lead."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leads snag a reader's eye, and entice, intrigue and hook them into reading… Writing an Effective Lead

2 The smooth white surface of a cigarette. As you light it you slowly relax. You feel the day is over. How can you resist? I can. Just think about all those people you are hurting, the innocent people trying to live a normal life. Then you walk by with a cigarette in your mouth. People stare at you in disgust. You try to ignore it, but all the faces are looking, watching, waiting. You sit by the subway entrance in a huge crowd. The smoke slowly drifts into the smoggy air. You hear coughing, sniffling, whispering. They cover up their noses to get away from the scent. Annotations: Grabs readers attention. Implies an organizational structure. Includes multiple strategies (scenario, taking a stand, contrasting situation). Adequate choice of support Thesis/position stated

3 High School Expository Pre-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A My talent is playing baseball. The way I developed this skill is practicing pretty much my whole life. Baseball has taught me that you cannot get frustrated when youre having trouble hitting or fielding a ground ball. Baseball is a very humbling game. Annotations: Little attempt to get readers attention Implies a vague structure Contains some announcements that seem to be a disconnected list Support not clearly connected to thesis Vague thesis

4 High School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A It was the bottom of the 6 th inning and we were down by one run. It was our rival team and the biggest game of the year. There were men on first and second and I was up to bat. The catcher put the ball on the tee, then I swung as hard as I could and the ball went flying and the two men on base came home. I knew then, that I loved the game of baseball. Annotations: Adequately engages the reader Implies a reason by reason structure (why I love baseball) Includes an anecdote and draws a conclusion Appropriate support for the thesis. Thesis present (I love baseball).

5 Pre/Post Persuasive Conclusion Example Pre Starting and ending school two hours later is an exceedingly bad idea. When all of the pros and cons are found, the cons effortlessly outnumber every pro. I agree with sleeping longer, but I would rather be released from school earlier. I believe that the verdict over school times is a no- brainer; Leave school times the way that they are and have been for years. Post If school ended two hours later, Phil would fall asleep in first period after staying out past midnight the night before. The schools must realize that the answer of changing school times is a no-brainer: leave school times the way they have been for years. The school should go along with the old saying, Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

6 High School Pre/Post Expository Introduction Example Pre Ever since I was a young child, I have dreamed of having super hero powers. Three of those powers are the power to be invisible, the power to fly, and the power to have super human speed. These powers would be great because I could do secret missions for the government, I could save people in tough spots, and I could get out of tough spots myself. Post "98, 99, ready or not, here I come!" shouts my little sister Jackie. She looks everywhere and finds everybody, except for me. Nobody can find me because I am invisible. Invisibility is one of a few super hero powers I have always wished to have.

7 High School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A It was the bottom of the 6 th inning and we were down by one run. It was our rival team and the biggest game of the year. There were men on first and second and I was up to bat. The catcher put the ball on the tee, then I swung as hard as I could and the ball went flying and the two men on base came home. I knew then, that I loved the game of baseball. Annotations: Adequately engages the reader Implies a reason by reason structure (why I love baseball) Includes an anecdote and draws a conclusion Appropriate support for the thesis. Thesis present (I love baseball).

8 It gives readers an idea of what the rest of the writing will say. It provides a reason for readers to keep reading. An Introduction Serves Two Purposes

9 Anecdote Lead Yesterday morning I watched as my older sister left for school with a bright white glob of toothpaste gleaming on her chin. I felt no regret at all until she stepped onto the bus …

10 SHORT, CATCHY SENTENCE "Crowds! I hate them!"... ""Flick! Flick! Flick! The police car's flashing blue light told its own story."

11 COMPARE OR CONTRAST Personal narrative example: When I was seven, I thought my father was all- powerful and could do no wrong. When I was seventeen, I thought he was a jerk. CONCLUSION: My father wasnt the god he seemed when I was seven, but he was sure a lot better and wiser than I thought he was when I was seventeen.

12 PUNCH lead The Punch lead consists of a blunt, explosive statement designed to surprise or jolt the reader. The best friend was dead.

13 CHALLENGE Lead A challenge raises reader expectations and creates tension. A challenging opening statement is effective for a thesis that calls for changes to be made in public policies or personal actions, such as in persuasive essays and argument or analysis papers: Chances are, if you live outside city limits in any of California's twenty-one rural counties, you couldn't use public transportation if you wanted to. There isn't any.

14 BACKGROUND lead This is the same as the Picture lead except it draws a vivid word picture of the news setting, surroundings or circumstances. High seas, strong winds and heavy overcast provided the setting for a dramatic mission of mercy in the North Atlantic on the first day of the year.

15 Character performing an action It is nearly 10 p.m., and the toll taker at the Triborough Bridges Manhatten Plaza is near the end of her shift. Her routine is methodological, icily efficient. She glances out the window to see the kind and size of vehicle approaching…. Source: Sol Steins Stein on Writing

16 CONTRAST lead - The contrast lead draws contrast between two opposite extremes - tragedy with comedy, past with present, age with youth, beauty with ugly. Less than 3 years ago, two college friends decided to build a website to exchange their favorite videos. Today Your Tube is owned by Google and gets over 25 million unique visitors to the site each month.

17 PICTURE Lead PICTURE lead - The picture lead draws a vivid word picture of the person or in the story. The idea is to have the reader see the thing as the writer saw it. Standing tall and straight, easy to smile, unfurrowed brow under glistening eyes, Mary told of her dramatic attitude change, having seen her business results turn around after bringing in a consultant.

18 QUOTATION lead - This lead features a short, eye-catching quote or remark, usually set in quotation marks. Use this only if the quotation is so important or remarkable it overshadows the other facts of the story. "You really don't know what freedom is until you have had to escape from terrorist captivity", says Tom Dennon, an Air Force pilot stationed in Iraq.

19 Make the reader curious. Make them wonder who, what, when, why, where, and how. You dont have to ask a question, but you can hook readers by forcing them to read beyond the first sentences. Make them desperate to keep reading. Here is an example: Oh no, not another shoe, Sharon Bennett remembers telling her husband, Michael. (Macleans, Mystery Afoot, July 7, 2008). This article is about severed feet that keep getting washed up on the shores of British Columbia. If its normal for feet to wash up, shouldnt it happen all the time?

20 A sense of mystery…. Water doesnt trickle down from the right basin of Jeanette Davis sink – it pours. (Alana Casanova-Burgess) What do you notice about this lead? It is a simple subject-verb sentence, using active verbs. Most importantly, it creates a whiff of mystery, and makes us want to read on.

21 Examples of POOR Leads TOPIC: baseball "In this paper I am going to tell you about baseball. Do not announce your intentions: In this paper I will... The purpose of this essay is to...

22 Water doesnt trickle down from the right basin of Jeanette Davis sink – it pours. (Alana Casanova-Burgess) What do you notice about this lead? It is a simple subject-verb sentence, using active verbs. Most importantly, it creates a whiff of mystery, and makes us want to read on.

23 Lets Practice Work in groups of two or three. Your group will be given a poorly written lead. Your assignment is to write a better lead together. You will be asked to present your revised lead to the class. APPLICATION: look at writing in your writing folder and revise some of your own leads to improve them.

24 A note about examples… The most powerful examples you can use for instruction and modeling in your classroom are examples collected from your students. Although we have provided several examples, we encourage you to find your own.


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