Published on March 3, 2014
Writing the Introduction to an Essay A Paragraph That Creates Interest in What You Have to Say (and gives readers a sneak peek!) Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost. More presentations, handouts, interactive online exercises, and video lessons are freely available at Time4Writing.com. Consider linking to these resources from your school, teacher, or homeschool educational site. The rules: These materials must maintain the visibility of the Time4Writing trademark and copyright information. They can be copied and used for educational purposes. They are not for resale. Want to give us feedback? We'd like to hear your views: email@example.com Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Think of your introductory paragraph as a recipe with three important ingredients: 1. a strong topic sentence 2. mention of the main points your essay will cover 3. a concluding sentence Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
1. Write a Topic Sentence Here are some ways to do this: • start with a hook (use a question or quotation) • start with a plan (tell your reader what to expect) • start with a teaser (build curiosity & anticipation) Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
The Hook One way to grab your reader's attention is with an interesting quotation, question, or piece of information in the topic sentence: "I do not like to write -- I like to have written," reflected American author Gloria Steinem. or "Have you ever eaten a sundae so big that it almost toppled over before you could finish?" or "Not all animals that have fins and swim in the ocean are actually fish." Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
The Plan "My Another way to begin your essay is with a topic sentence that simply lists each three subject you will are covering: favorite foods be spaghetti, pizza, and jelly beans." This opening sentence helps you easily divide the rest of your essay into its three different paragraphs and tells readers what they can expect. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
The Teaser You can also build your reader's anticipation with a topic sentence that is an action statement: "We practiced all week to get ready for the big game." Now the reader really wants to know how hard you practiced, and whether all that work paid off! Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
The No-No Here is a type of topic sentence that is not a very strong way to begin your essay: "Hi my name is . . . and I’m going to tell you about . . ." The readers know you're going to tell them something, so you don't need to say it. Just introduce the subject and begin. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
2. Mention your main points But don't give everything away! Assuming you started with a topic sentence relating to sports in general, this would be a good follow-up sentence mentioning the main points of your essay: However, the three sports that I like best are soccer, tennis, and riding. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
3. Your concluding sentence This is okay, but needs stronger writing: "Here are the reasons why I love penguins." This includes much stronger word choices: "Your favorite animal is probably not the penguin, but you might change your mind after you hear my reasons for loving penguins so much." Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Remember to follow the "recipe" to write a strong introductory paragraph: topic sentence + main points + concluding sentence Science fiction is such a fascinating genre for middle school students. Of all the books I've read this year in 6th grade, my favorite ones are Dark Life, Inkheart, and A Wrinkle in Time. You probably wouldn’t pick the same books, but you might just change your mind after you hear the reasons these science fiction stories are my favorites. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
The end. More free ESSAY WRITING resources: the thesis statement the conclusion comparing & contrasting types of essays (narrative, persuasive, comparative, expository) • • • • Eight-week ESSAY WRITING courses: elementary school middle school high school • • • Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
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