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Austin English 11 The Introduction The introduction is the most crucial part of an essay for the reader. A good introduction pulls the reader in and makes him want to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Austin

Let's Write an Introduction
  • Austin
  • English 11

The Introduction
  • The introduction is the most crucial part of an
    essay for the reader. A good introduction pulls
    the reader in and makes him want to keep reading.
    As a result of this pressure, writers often find
    it difficult to compose a successful introduction
    paragraph. By following a few simple steps, the
    writing process becomes much easier. A
    well-written introduction should include the
    following three elements an attention getter, a
    brief overview of the subject matter, and a
    thesis statement.

  • Take a moment to think about your subject matter.
    What first interested you about this subject? Use
    this as a starting point for composing your
    attention getter. Consider if there is an
    interesting fact, statistic, or reference to a
    current event that you can use to gain readers'
    attention. The attention getter needs to welcome
    your reader to the essay and pique his interest.

Step 2
  • Support your attention getter with background
    information. The "meat" of your introduction
    paragraph should consist of facts and information
    that the reader needs before continuing on to the
    rest of your essay. Here you also need to
    convince your audience that the topic you address
    is important. For example, if you were writing
    about the African rain forests, you would need to
    tell your reader why their existence is important
    and what benefits they offer humankind.

Step 3
  • Compose your thesis sentence. A thesis sentence
    acts as a road map for your reader. It should
    connect to the information you have already given
    and state the goal of your essay. What is your
    essay attempting to prove? Rather than being a
    fact or a description, like your earlier
    sentences, a thesis sentence generally takes a
    stance on an issue. The thesis sentence should be
    a statement you can confirm and support with the
    essay's body paragraphs. Below is an example
  • "Whether through character foils or the fantastic
    duplication of a character, Fyodor Dostoevsky
    utilized the double to explore the human psyche
    and give depth to the tribulations of his

Steps 4 and 5
  1. Continue to write the rest of your paper, keeping
    an eye on your thesis and how each point in your
    essay supports that statement.

5. Reread your introduction paragraph in light
of the essay you have now composed. Does your
introduction relate to the information you convey
in the rest of the work? Is your thesis sentence
properly supported? Or, have you found that while
writing, some of your ideas changed? If so, edit
your introduction to reflect those changes.
Writing a Thesis for a Compare/Contrast Essay
  • No matter what your major, as a college student
    you will most likely have to take English
    literature and composition classes and write a
    compare contrast essay. Many students get nervous
    when their professors ask them to write an essay
    about the similarities and/or differences between
    two or more texts or ideas, especially when
    writing the thesis for the essay however,
    writing a thesis for a compare contrast essay is
    not as difficult as you may think. Here are some
    general guidelines and examples for how to write
    a thesis statement for a compare contrast essay.

Number 1
  • When writing a compare and contrast thesis
    statement, read the assignment sheet, and make
    sure to follow the professor's instructions. Each
    professor usually has his or her own
    idiosyncrasies, so underline everything the
    professor expects you to include in the thesis.
    While writing the thesis, refer back to the
    underlined notes.

Number 2
  • To write a compare and contrast thesis, make a
    list of similarities and differences between the
    texts, ideas, people, or events.

Number 3
  • Narrow down similarities and differences to
    specific ideas to avoid writing a compare and
    contrast thesis that is too broad. For example
    the compare contrast thesis, The media depict
    people in different roles compared to the
    realities of the general population, is too

Number 4
  • One way to start a compare and contrast thesis is
    by using words like whereas, while, even though,
    and although to suggest a contrasting element
    will follow.
  • For example Although the media depict most women
    as housewives and stay-at-home mothers, in
    reality many women work full time and put their
    children in daycare.

Number 5
  • Make sure the thesis for a compare and contrast
    essay compares and contrasts two or more ideas.
    One of the most common basic ways to write a
    thesis statement for a compare contrast essay is
    as follows
  • While "first author's name" story "first author's
    story title," underscores themes of "A," "B," and
    "C" and "second author's name" story, "second
    author's title" reveals themes of "D," "E," and
    "F," it is apparent by juxtaposing these two
    texts that (make statement about what readers
    learn by comparing and contrasting the two texts
    in the context of their themes). For example,
    write a compare and contrast thesis as follows

An Example
  • While Jane Austin's novel "Pride and Prejudice"
    underscores themes of pride, prejudice and women
    and marriage, and Mary Shelly's story
    "Frankenstein" reveals themes of madness, the
    sublime, and justice, it is apparent by
    juxtaposing these two novels that most women
    during the early nineteenth century felt trapped
    in a patriarchal society that restricted the
    roles of women, especially in marriage.

Number 6
  • Keep in mind it is also possible to compare
    contrast fewer ideas and concepts.
  • For example While Morrisons novel underscores
    the theme of self-loathing by the main
    characters, Faulkner's story elucidates the theme
    of patriarchal supremacy.

Number 7
  • For texts or ideas that have mostly similar
    meanings, use the following basic compare
    contrast thesis Whereas "author's names" in
    "names of both works" both use similar themes of
    "A" and "B to underscore the meaning of "C," each
    author also uses themes such as "D" and "E" to
    augment the ideas of "F." For example, here is a
    suggested compare and contrast thesis
  • While both Toni Morrison in "The Bluest Eye" and
    William Faulkner in "Light in August" use themes
    of racism and oppression to underscore the
    effects of post-slavery America, the different
    settings and eras in each novel suggest that
    oppression and inequality had changed very little
    in the United States from Faulkner's post civil
    war years to Morrison's civil rights' era one
    hundred years later.

Just So You Know
  • While many professors suggest using themes to
    compare and contrast ideas, it's also important
    to be familiar with other literary devices for
    compare and contrast essays. Use a variety of
    rhetorical devices such as allegory,
    characterization, climax, symbolism,
    foreshadowing, figurative language, simile,
    imagery, irony, metaphor, motifs,
    personification, tone, and others to write a
    thesis statement for a compare and contrast

Tips Warnings
  • Unless your professor states otherwise, place the
    thesis as the last sentence of the first
  • Most colleges and universities have writing
    centers where tutors help students with essays.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to write your
  • Keep in mind that writing is a process most of
    the time it takes many drafts to write an
    excellent essay.
  • Most English classes use the Modern Language
    Association (MLA) for formatting.
  • For MLA formatting make sure to underline or
    italicize titles of books. Use quotes around
    short stories and poetry.

Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph
  • 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 . . .

Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph
  • 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 . . .
  • Get into the topic and let your reader perceive
    your purpose in the topic sentence of your
    beginning paragraph.

Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph
  • 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.

Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph
  • Dilly-dally. Get to it. Move confidently into
    your essay. Many writers find it useful to write
    a warm-up paragraph (or two, even) to get them
    into the essay, to sharpen their own idea of what
    they're up to, and then they go back and delete
    the running start.

Essay on the Archetype of a Journey The
  • 1. Write an attention getter. Read the prompt
    for an idea (journey or path of life quote would
    be good).
  • EX. Author Ursula K. LeGuin has said, It is
    good to have an end to journey toward, but it is
    the journey that matters in the end.

  • Her quote implies that striving toward a goal or
    overcoming obstacles associated with a goal
    defines us as human beings and is more important
    than the goal itself.
  • Think about how the JOURNEY defined your
    characters in the three selections you read.
  • Phoenix Jackson
  • Grandfather
  • Slaves escaping oppression -

Attention Getter
  • In a quote for the attention getter, tell
  • Who said the quote
  • What authority that person is (who is this person
    an author, motivational speaker, ??
  • Put the quote in quotation marks
  • Document the quote (the authors of the web
    page last name or the title of the web page).
    Be sure to copy down all information that will go
    on the Works Cited page.

  • Ursula K. LeGuin, author of poetry and prose, has
    said, It is good to have an end to journey
    toward, but it is the journey that matters in the
    end (Ursula K. LeGuin Quotes).
  • Ursula K. LeGuin Quotes. Brainy Quote.
  • BookRag Media Network, 2001.

Background Information
  • You might want to define archetype and then
    explain how the journey is an archetype.
    Archetypes can be plots, characters, settings,
    themes, or images.
  • Use information from the prompt to explain that a
    journey is looking for an ideal place or better
    land (like in Follow the Drinking Gourd) a
    failure to find or hold on to that ideal (like in
    The Leader of the People) or a questing hero,
    person, or people (like in A Worn Path).

Thesis Statement
  • In literature the archetypical journey has been
    used to relate how human beings from different
    TIMES and CULTURES share similar problems, have
    similar feelings in the time of adversity, and
    devise similar solutions.
  • PROBLEMS Follow the Drinking Gourd
  • FEELINGS The Leader of the People
  • SOLUTIONS A Worn Path