You have a few tasks to complete, good students. Tonight, I’d like you to:
- add your peers to your blogs (I will give you the list)
- create the following categories for your blogs: Hamlet, Portfolio, The Art of Blogging, and Writing Tasks.
- The Hamlet section will deal with your thoughts about the play
- The Portfolio section will be dedicated to your work about your future area of study
- The Art of Blogging section will give you an opportunity to explore your own interests (please note, however, that this section will be formally evaluated). We will talk about this at great length.
- The Writing Tasks section will house any remaining work. Both your American Mind piece and your Mundane task fall into this category.
- In your blog, write an introduction using one of the approaches we will discuss today. Your thesis will address this basic question: why (blank) matters.
For the next two days, we will focus on writing introductions. As we begin, I’d like you to think about our brief work with organizing principles yesterday. If you recall, I asked you to organize your work chronologically so that the steps of a process are clear to the reader. I’d like you to approach introductions in the same way. What steps must you complete to make this paragraph an effective introduction?
(Note: for our purposes, we will always make the thesis the last sentence of the introduction)
The General to Specific method can be used in a variety of situations, but it is most common in the introductions to essays. The writer uses a general to specific introduction to move the audience from a general discussion of the topic to a specific and clear thesis. Here are some examples:
|Topic||The presidency of George Bush||The film Toy Story 3|
|Potential beginning||What American voters want from a President||How animated films have become mainstream|
|Narrowing the topic||What American voters expected from George Bush||Why Pixar’s work is so popular with the public|
|Thesis||George Bush did not live up to the expectations of the American people.||While Toy Story 3 features the same lovable characters as the first two films, the story fails to capture the hearts of the viewers.|
Choose one of the thesis statements below, and write an introduction that will move the reader from the general to the specific (the thesis). You are NOT writing the essay itself.
- Despite the distance between users, social media provides surprisingly complex and meaningful ways for users to communicate.
- Publishing lies or slander on the internet is not a crime, but it should be.
- Sadly, our culture tends to focus on the worst qualities of professional athletics, thus ignoring the true value of sport.
Other Methods for Writing Introductions
- Anecdotal: begin the introduction with an experience (yours or someone else’s) that helps you lead the reader to the thesis. This can also include a hypothetical scenario in which you ask the reader to imagine him/herself in the situation you’ve presented.
- Informative: use a relevant and compelling bit of information to entice the reader. Make sure, however, that your introduction clearly connects the fact to the thesis.
- Contrasting: Present statements, facts, or explanations that seem to support a particular view, and “flip” your perspective just before reaching the thesis. For example, you begin your introduction by explaining why something may be bad, but lead the reader to a thesis that argues that the thing is actually good.
I also want you to understand that these methods are not restricted to essays. Let’s take a look at some other forms of communication that rely on these styles. We will consider the openings of the media pieces below. Remember that the introductions may combine several techniques:
- A discussion of video game narratives
- A discussion of world hunger
- A video about our eating habits
- A video explaining the importance of trying new things
- A video about great leaders
- A video about nurturing creativity