Functions of the Introductory Paragraph
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Functions of the Introductory Paragraph · · To capture the reader's attention and to encourage further reading . ·· To give readers a general idea of what will be discussed in the essay, using the thesis statement.

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Functions of the Introductory Paragraph

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Functions of the introductory paragraph

Functions of the Introductory Paragraph

·· To capture the reader's attention and to encourage further reading.

·· To give readers a general idea of what will be discussed in the essay, using the thesis statement.

·· To supply any necessary background information and establish the writer’s attitude and/or authority on the topic.

·· To state the thesis or main point that the essay will support and preview the organizational plan.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

FUNNEL

Begin with background information about your essay topic. Narrow to your thesis by giving the reader the situation, issues, or events surrounding the topic that relate to your thesis or main point.

IMAGERY OR ANECDOTE

Begin by relating an anecdote or a brief story that helps the reader draw a mental picture of your essay topic.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF INTERESTING FACTS OR FIGURES

Lead into your thesis by acknowledging your topic’s positive aspects. Or start by providing key facts such as dates, times, places, names, and statistics to give historical context and credibility to your essay.

ASKING A REVEALING QUESTION

Begin by asking a question that is new and surprising and that reveals information about your essay topic. The question should provide a basis for what your essay discusses.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

QUOTATION AND EXPLANATION

Begin with a quotation from a book, article, poem, or interview that illustrates your point, introduces your thesis, and gives credibility or authority to your writing. Explain what the quotation means and how it relates to your thesis.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

FUNNEL

Adults are returning to school in growing numbers. Enrollment at technical schools, two year colleges, four year colleges and universities is at an all-time high. Hard pressed to find enough classroom space, schools are developing telecourses and computer-based classes to meet the growing demand. These returning adult students are diverse: recent retirees, empty-nesters, “downsized” executives and laid-off workers, and aspiring mid-career professionals. The number of adults returning to school will continue to grow as more baby-boomers reach retirement, the slowing economy fuels more lay-offs, and technology continues to transform education.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

IMAGERY OR ANECDOTE

In Downtown Atlanta’s rush hour traffic, a car belches black smoke into the air as its driver zips from one lane to another beating the fleet of oncoming cars to the left turn. Narrowly escaping a four-car pile up, the driver honks his horn in victory. Moments later, car and driver are once again inching along as traffic slows to a crawl in the wake of another accident. Although automobiles offer great flexibility and convenience for their owners, congestion, air pollution, and accidents caused by reckless driving are some of the negative effects of the automobile on our cities.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR INTERESTING FACTS OR FIGURES

To the list of professional basketball players such as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird who have become household words, we can add another name: Shaquille O’Neal or “Shaq” for short. A few short years ago Shaq was yet another high school basketball player who had dreams of becoming an NBA player. But unlike the great majority of high school hopefuls, Shaq had the unbeatable talents of which sports fame and fortune are made. Shaq began his career with the Orlando Magic. He now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. How Shaquille O’Neal was discovered and how he became a nationally known player makes an interesting story….


Functions of the introductory paragraph

ASKING A REVEALING QUESTION

Are we going back to previous times when children had no more rights than cattle? Some migrant children still work fourteen hours a day picking fruits and vegetables on farms. Can we afford to spend money on putting people into space? Countless children live on the streets with no place to call their own.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

QUOTATION AND EXPLANATION

“Fish and visitors,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, “begin to smell after three days.” Last summer, when my sister and her family came to spend their two-week vacation with us, I became convinced that Franklin was right. After only three days of my family’s visit, I was thoroughly sick of my brother-in law’s corny jokes, my sister’s endless complaints about her boss, and their children’s constant invasions of our privacy.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Body Paragraphs: What they do

·Make up the bulk of the essay.

·Support the claim by providing reasons that show why the claim represents a reasonable, logical, sensible way of thinking about the subject.

·Define key concepts.

·Develop just ONE idea per paragraph.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

I. Radar

A.Radar, another method for tracking hurricanes, is used to detect rain along the coast.

B. It tells scientists the amount of rainfall and shows the bands of rain in the hurricane.

C. It also shows the eye and the eye wall.

1. The eye wall is an organized band of clouds, intense rain, and strong winds surrounding the eye.

D. Scientists use this information to show the movement of hurricanes and the tornadoes that sometimes come with them.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Sample Body Paragraph

topic sentence

Supporting details

Radar, another method for tracking hurricanes, is used to detect rain along the coast. It tells scientists the amount of rainfall and shows the bands of rain in the hurricane. It also shows the eye and the eye wall. The eye wall is an organized band of clouds, intense rain, and strong winds surrounding the eye. Scientists use this information to show the movement of hurricanes and the tornadoes that sometimes come with them.

Explanation

Concluding sentence


Functions of the introductory paragraph

A conclusion should

·stress the importance of the thesis statement,

·give the essay a sense of completeness, and

·leave a final impression on the reader.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Suggestions

·Answer the question "So What?"

Show your readers why this paper was important. Show them that your paper was meaningful and useful.

·Synthesize, don't summarize Don't simply repeat things that were in your paper. They have read it. Show them how the points you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together.

·Redirect your readers Give your reader something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the "real" world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general. Think globally.

·Create a new meaning You don't have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper is worth more than its parts.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Strategies

·Echoing the introduction: Echoing your introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full-circle. If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay was helpful in creating a new understanding.

Example

Introduction

From the parking lot, I could see the towers of the castle of the Magic Kingdom standing stately against the blue sky. To the right, the tall peak of The Matterhorn rose even higher. From the left, I could hear the jungle sounds of Adventureland. As I entered the gate, Main Street stretched before me with its quaint shops evoking an old-fashioned small town so charming it could never have existed. I was entranced. Disneyland may have been built for children, but it brings out the child in adults.

Conclusion

I thought I would spend a few hours at Disneyland, but here I was at 1:00 A.M., closing time, leaving the front gates with the now dark towers of the Magic Kingdom behind me. I could see tired children, toddling along and struggling to keep their eyes open as best they could. Others slept in their parents' arms as we waited for the parking lot tram that would take us to our cars. My forty-year-old feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving California, my vacation over, to go back to my desk. But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Challenging the reader: By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the paper, and they may apply it to their own lives.

Example

Though serving on a jury is not only a civic responsibility but also an interesting experience, many people still view jury duty as a chore that interrupts their jobs and the routine of their daily lives. However, juries are part of America's attempt to be a free and just society. Thus, jury duty challenges us to be interested and responsible citizens.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Looking to the future: Looking to the future can emphasize the importance of your paper or redirect the readers' thought process. It may help them apply the new information to their lives or see things more globally.

Example

Without well-qualified teachers, schools are little more than buildings and equipment. If higher-paying careers continue to attract the best and the brightest students, there will not only be a shortage of teachers, but the teachers available may not have the best qualifications. Our youth will suffer. And when youth suffers, the future suffers.


Functions of the introductory paragraph

Posing questions: Posing questions, either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main ideas together to create a new meaning.

Example

Campaign advertisements should help us understand the candidate's qualifications and positions on the issues. Instead, most tell us what a boob or knave the opposing candidate is, or they present general images of the candidate as a family person or God-fearing American. Do such advertisements contribute to creating an informed electorate or a people who choose political leaders the same way they choose soft drinks and soap?


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