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How to write an Introductory paragraph

One today is worth two tomorrows. Ben Franklin

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

When you write an introductory paragraph, keep in mind that . . .


Writing an introductory paragraph is like greeting someone. The paragraph should be short and to the point like saying, Hello!
Also, you dont want to get into the meat of the essay. Simply give the audience a concise idea of your essays purpose.
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Remember that the introductory paragraph . . .


Is the most important paragraph of the essay Must be at least 50 words long or three sentences minimum Needs to do three things
Briefly introduce the topic Cleary state your position Provide three reasons
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Even though there are several ways to begin an essay, I recommended that you choose one particular method and perfect it. Why?
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Because if you keep using the same method, you will . . .


Become an expert in this particular method. Moreover, if you already know how you will begin your essay, you will be more prepared, relaxed, and confident.
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Let us consider different types of introductory paragraphs . . .


General statement introduction Question introduction Quotation introduction
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Examples of general statement introduction


Almost every time that you turn on the television you will find a number of shows which are extremely violent. Many public schools have decided that their students should use uniforms. In the United States of America the public burning of our flag has become a common sight.
(These are three different example of how you can begin your paragraph. If you will notice in the first sentence you simply introduce the topic. You do not state your position yet.)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

Examples of question introduction


Are you ever bothered by the excessive violence on prime time television? Do you think that to improve our public school education the students should be required to wear uniforms? Should we allow citizens to burn the United States flag in public?
(You can also begin your essay by asking a question. A question usually takes you to the heart of the problem quickly.)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

viewing of extremely violent television shows is the number one cause of violence in our inner cities. The Monitor recently conducted a study and concluded that students in public schools where uniforms are mandatory have less problems and perform better academically. A recent article in The Austin Statesman states that most Americans are very much against flag burning in public and are in favor of passing a law banning this activity.
(Finally, you can begin an essay by providing some information from a magazine or newspaper you might have read. This introduction is a bit more difficult to write, but just as effective as the other ones.)

Quotation introduction A recent article in Time magazine states that the

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

In the next three slides you will view completed introductory paragraphs.

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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General statement introduction


Today smoking is an issue which is on everybodys mind. The whole country is divided on this issue. Some people believe that smoking should be banned everywhere while others are not so harsh. However, I believe that tobacco should be outlawed because smoking endangers everyones health, pollutes the environment, and drains us of valuable energy.( 57)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002
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Interrogatory introduction
What do you think about banning smoking? The whole country is divided on whether smoking should be banned. I firmly believe that smoking should be outlawed because it endangers everyones health; it pollutes the environment, and it drains us of valuable energy. (41)

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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Quotation introduction
In The Monitor it was recently stated that smoking is the greatest threat to our health. The whole country is divided on this issue. I believe that tobacco should be outlawed because it endangers everyones health; it pollutes the environment, and it drains of valuable resources. (49)

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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Final reminders !!!!


Be concise and to the point! Do not go into too much detail! At least 50 words minimum! You must do three things . . . introduce topic state position provide reasons
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Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

Assignment: Write an introductory

paragraph for the following topic.

Many high school seniors have many financial obligations and need some form of income. Do you think that seniors should be allowed to go half a day to school and work half a day?

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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The next slides present a couple sample introductory paragraphs.

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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Do you think that college athletes should be paid more than just tuition? Many people believe that college athletes should get paid while others believe they should not. I adamantly believe that college athletes should be paid because they practice long hours; the schools are profiting through the athletes efforts, and this would make college life much less stressful for the athletes.
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Created by Jos J. Gonzlez, Jr. Spring 2002

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