Teen Tuesday – Introduction Writing Help and Awesome Student Examples!

I’ve been grading essays like mad the last week or so – both 4-6 page senior research papers and 4-paragraph freshman essays about the novel Fahrenheit 451. Two of such essays caught my eye and made my jaw drop in awe as I read their introductory paragraphs. They were so amazing I wanted to share them with you. Also, as a bonus, for those of you students out there in middle school, high school, or college who are still having to write essays, you could take a few notes on what an amazing intro looks like. Introductions can be difficult if you don’t know the basics.

First, the freshman’s intro for an essay about technology in both a novel and in today’s society:

Imagine a society where death is an everyday occurrence  and nobody really knows each other anymore.  A world plagued by war and stricken by idiocy.  Technology controls the everyday lives of citizens, and the government has become corrupt.  This is the case in Ray Bradbury’s novel, Fahrenheit 451, where technology has gone from helper to killer, and entertainer to ruler.  Today’s society also depends on and misuses technology.  As seen in both the futuristic setting of Fahrenheit 451 and today’s current society, technology is causing the downfall of society by misuse and overuse.

(The freshman used the basic 3-part intro format: interesting statement as an attention-getter, introducing the basics of the story and technology in today’s society, and then a strong thesis statement that states what the whole essay will be about.)

Second, the senior’s intro for his research paper on Satanism (no, I’m not promoting Satanism and neither was he – he just wanted to research something interesting):

When one thinks of a Satanist, they might picture a sacrificial alter in the middle of a dark room, images of a demonic being ruling over blazing lakes of inferno, and maybe even a defiled corpse that has been offered as tribute for the gain of dark forces. While many of these morbid cases have come to be a reality in some places, they are completely misguided. True Satanism would never involve the mutilation of another creature, nor does it recognize any deity or “Satan.” If anyone were to delve into the depths of this “feared religion,” they would need to understand the practices of the church, along with the principals, theories, and the legendary founding of one of the most controversial religions to ever step into the light.

(The senior used a similar structure. His attention-getter was an anecdote or descriptive imagery that caught the reader’s attention while also introducing the topic. Then he tied that attention-getter to his actual thesis by explaining a few things about his topic and actually countering what was described. Lastly, he gave a very strong thesis is broad enough to cover his whole essay, but also specifically worded so the reader knows exactly what the essay will discuss and what direction it will take.)

I love reading student writing this well-done! I hope you enjoyed it to and got some good advice for your next essay. 🙂

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on December 18, 2012.

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