Introductions and Attention Grabbing Leads A lead: The first two or three sentences in your introductory paragraph that need to “grab the reader’s attention.” To do this you can start with . . . An amazing or unusual fact A descriptive segment A quote A question A statistic An anecdote
An amazing or unusual fact An unusual, amazing, little-known fact that is presented to surprise your readers. More germs are transferred by shaking hands than by kissing. It may be hard to believe, but Michael Jordan did not make his high school’s varsity basketball team when he was a sophomore. When young and impoverished, Pablo Picasso kept warm by burning his own paintings.
A descriptive segment A vivid 2-4 sentence description that uses the five senses to illustrate an example of some kind. Snow falls like ten million pieces of translucent paper over a field of trees. The rustic smell of burning wood travels out of the cabins and across the winding mountain roads of Ruidoso, New Mexico. The sun sparkles across the ocean as the oncoming waves kiss the soft golden sand. Hawaii is a popular tourist attraction, and it is easy to see why.
A quote The words of an authority or expert on the subject you are writing about. Be sure to include the expert’s title and last name. My mother, Carmen Montes, always says, “When someone is kind to you, pay it forward.” Fictional wizard Albus Dumbledore said, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but a greater deal of bravery to stand up to our friends.”
A question The use of a rhetorical question allows the reader to immediately think about the topic you are about to discuss in your essay. It is used to provoke deep, meaningful thought. How much time do you spend in front of a monitor screen a day? If the keys to healthy living is a good diet and exercise, why is it so hard to keep fit? What if you woke up one day to find that your entire life was only a very vivid dream?
A statistic Information presented as a number, ratio, or statistic/percentage The average American eats about 46 slices of pizza every year. More people die of smoking related illnesses each year than die of fires, automobile accidents, and homicides in the U.S. More that 60 percent of the packaged food items in American grocery stores contain genetically altered ingredients.
An anecdote A short, explicit story used to illustrate a major point. My favorite thing to do as a kid was walk along the dirt trails on my grandparents farm. Walking has always been one of the things I like to do to clear my head and reconnect with nature. As soon as my brother comes home from school, he turns on the TV, switches on his X-box, and immerses himself in a video game. He says it helps him unwind after a long, tiring day at school.