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  1. Leads

  2. Creating an Effective Lead Sometimes getting started is the hardest part for writers. • In the “I believe” essays we read so far, what kinds of leads (beginnings) did the author’s use? • Were they effective? Did they introduce the topic/story well?

  3. Having a powerful hook in your essay will grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading on…YOU WANT THAT! • Some of the authors we read from did start their essays with “I believe”. However, there are many other ways to begin an essay. I highly encourage you to try other ways. • What other ways are there, you ask?!

  4. A Good Lead. . . • Captures the interest of readers • Makes them want to read on! • Ways to do this: • A question • A quote • A definition • An anecdote (short story/description) • A hypothetical situation

  5. Examples: An Essay About Dogs • A question: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live life through the eyes of your K9 companion? • A quote: Famous actress Marilyn Monroe once said, “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.” • A definition: In the dictionary, a dog is merely defined as, “a domesticated carnivorous mammal.” However, they mean a lot more to that to the average human being. • An anecdote: After having what I still regard as the worst day of my life, I came home and immediately buried my head in my hands and started crying. When I looked up, my dog was sitting right beside me, her head in my lap. Now, that’s a true friend. • Hypothetical Situation: Imagine that. . . .

  6. Adding PIZAZZ to your Personal Essay • Make sure your essay is about something you truly care about/believe in-enough to write about. • Readers want to know YOU-what you know, feel, think, believe • Give your readers opportunities to connect with your belief and your essay. Think about the small moments and the BIG PICTURE.

  7. Adding PIZAZZ to your Personal Essay • Use details to draw the reader in, be specific! • Use the five senses-what did you see, hear, smell, taste, touch? • Make sure your readers can come away from reading knowing what the point was

  8. Supporting Your Belief in Writing • D: Dialogue – Add in dialogue, thoughts and comments, that are relevant and were a part of the story you are discussing. • R: Rhetorical Question- A question that is relevant to the story you are discussing that helps the reader understand you point. • A: Anecdote – A short story or description of a moment in the story you are writing about • P: Personal Experience – Your reasoning, from a personal experience, for why you believe what you do. • E: Example- An example of how your belief is represented in life • S: Statistic- Real evidence that supports your belief

  9. Sentence Stems • Take a look in your personal essay packet of papers…

  10. Writing your Personal Essay • Tell a story about YOU • Be Concise-Focused and Specific • Name your belief • Be positive-write about something you DO believe • Be Personal

  11. Sharing your Personal Essay • You all have wonderful and important stories to share. • While no one will have to share, I definitely encourage you TO SHARE! • Students who are interested in sharing upon completion of the essay can sign up to read during class…

  12. Submitting to This I Believe • To submit your This I Believe Essay, go to