Strategies for writing Introductions

1.Revise this thesis statement. Include the main topics that you would cover in an essay; then write an introduction in which the thesis statement appears at the end.

Thesis: My essay is about the price of college. I will discuss how it is too high.

2.Below is an introduction that gets right to the point. It does not, however, grab the interest of readers likely to read articles on exercise. Rewrite this introduction twice, using two different strategies from the list below.

Exercise is important. Unfortunately, too few Americans get enough daily exercise. If Americans would commit to exercising for twenty minutes, three times a week, they would see individual benefits like weight reduction, reduced stress, and improved productivity. They would also see social benefits like decreased health costs and greater civility.

Strategies for Writing Introductions

-Tell a story. Stories from history or personal experience engage our interest and our emotions.

-Quote someone else. A poetic statement can provoke readers to think; a thoughtful statement from an expert can signal that others share your view.

-Pose a question. A provocative question readers would like to answer can encourage them to read on.

-Describe a situation. A few vivid descriptions can engage readers’ imaginations.

-Offer a surprising fact or statistic. Information that shows the seriousness of the issue can make readers feel a duty

3.What did you do today?  Write a short essay that describes your day using chronological order.  When you finish, write a new version of the essay below the first that instead uses importance organization.

4.Consider the following title, introductory paragraph, and conclusion of a composition that you have been asked to peer review. Note that the body paragraphs between the introduction and conclusion are not shown here.


[Title and introductory paragraph]

The End of an Era

Since the early civilizations, humans on this planet have communicated in various different ways resulting in global change hoping for the better, but usually ending up being worse. Communication has served as a medium linking isolated communities to big cities. In the twenty first century, the internet has equipped mankind to connect to one another simultaneously for the first time in world history. With this incredible discovery, the desire to connect and interact with individuals has become a reality when social networks began to spawn up all over the world. These technologies have displayed the ability to do great things, but the truth is the more time spent in front of the laptop, on the cellular phone, or anything blocking the portal to reality we live in will soon be lost in translation.

5.The following is the third paragraph of a composition.  Revise the paragraph to improve its organization, unity, coherence, and development.

Isaiah and I were still amazed from all the glorious paintings and pictures we just saw, so we said to ourselves, less looking and more screaming! So we started to look for our first roller coaster. As soon as we saw our first roller coaster, it was amazing. We looked up and saw that it was called the Mine Train. We didn’t know what the ride did, but as I heard someone talking, someone said, “the ride is amazing man! Over 50mph on the cart and a huge drop at the end!” I then grabbed my friend Isaiah as he was still starring and trying to figure out what the Mine Train was. We went to the line and try to wait patiently. We waited and waited then finally, we were up next! I stepped into the cart and I was so excited that I felt I won free candy for life. When I heard the guy controlling the roller coaster said. “alright everyone who’s all ready for the Mine Train!'” I yelled at the top of my lungs and said “YES!” When the roller coaster started, a big smile came on my face. I looked at Isaiah and I saw him with the same thing. The roller coaster started and it was really smooth at first. I asked myself why is this going so slow. Then all of a sudden it picked up. “Whoa!” I yelled. It picked up so fast that my head went back and hit the seat. The roller coaster was now at top speed doing fifty degree angles every five seconds, then it stopped. The roller coaster now came to a complete stop and then we started going up. “Isaiah this is it get ready!” As we were going up. I knew this was the big moment. The big drop was coming. When the roller coaster came to the top, it went down so fast that my skin on my face felt like it was coming off. The wind was brushing my skin. The excitement was now here! For about thirty seconds of that intense fast drop, the ride came to an end. When Isaiah and I got off the ride, I was the happiest kid alive. We then explored for more rides. We walked for about ten minutes and then Isaiah pointed out a ride called the Runaway Mountain. It sounded cool to us so we got in line. When we got on the cart Isaiah was really scared because it was a ride where you couldn’t see anything while riding the roller coaster. Isaiah then got over it and got in the same cart as me. As we were going up we couldn’t see anything. It was pitch black as if someone tied a thick towel over our faces. So when the roller coaster came to a stop, it went down so fast it scared the heck out of Isaiah and I. We couldn’t tell where the roller coaster was taking us. and that’s when it got fun! When it came to a stop Isaiah and I were pretty freaked out and excited at the same time. The rides here at this park are full of thrill and fun but it’s not fun when you don’t go with your friends or family.

6.The following essay contains five paragraphs that each contain five errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, or usage. Copy and paste the essay, and then revise to correct the errors.


Flannery O’Connor’s short story, The Train, was published in 1948; her first novel, whose first chapter is drawn from “The Train,” was published in 1952. The distance her work evolved is clear from its opening sentence. That distance is most easily calculated through a comparison of the novel with O’Connor’s five published stories, which were labeled as chapters of a novel in progress.

Her first novel differs dramatically from the stories in both style and theme, the prose of the novel is simpler and stronger, O’Connor finds in it the narrative tone which she continued to employ in her later fiction. More important the novel demonstrates that, in the process of writing her first novel, O’Connor was discovering those themes that were to be central to all her later fiction; the questions of vision and salvation.

Both “The train” and the first chapter of the novel, placed the central character at the beginning of a quest, but the shape of that quest is very different in the two versions. The young Haze Wickers equipped with a neutral name that will change to Hazel Weaver in a later story and finally, in the novel, to Hazel Motes, is on board a train moving toward his new home. After discharge from the army. He is entirely preoccupied with the past.

Haze is first concerned with the porter, whom he believes is from his hometown of Eastrod (and O’Connor provides us with enough evidence that we believe it, too.) He is concerned with making conversation with a fellow passenger Mrs. Wallace Ben Hosen, because “his mother had always started up a conversation with the other people on a train.” Haze Wickers would like things to be as they were: He would like to be back in Eastrod and being comforted by his mother’s values. Without his home and his mother, he has no sense of who he is or where he fit in.

Haze knows that Eastrod, no longer exists and that his mother is dead, but on his last furlough he returned to the deserted town anyway, sleeping in the old house. It takes rejection by both the porter and Mrs. Hosen to jolt Haze into the realization that he is indeed homeless, isolated. At the end of the story, Haze abandoned by the porter in his windowless berth, feels a nausea that is not simply the result of having bolted down his dinner earlier in the dining car, he recognizes that he is completely cut off from everything familiar.

7.Locate two complex professional documents (such as reports, brochures, sets of instructions, and fact sheets) online. Choose samples that incorporate design elements such as visuals, coloring and shading, text boxes, or marginalia, in addition to more common format elements like line spacing, highlighting, font size, and margins. Cut and paste the URL to these two documents into the writing space.

Then, under each URL, write an analysis of each document in turn. First, critique each document’s overall effectiveness in terms of format and design. Second, explain what format and design elements each document uses and what purposes these elements serve. Finally, explain some ways you might format and design each document differently, either to make it overall more effective or to make it work just as well but in a different way.




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4 section

1.How good are you at explaining things to people? What things do you most commonly find yourself explaining? What is the last thing you explained in writing? How did your audience receive your explanation?


Brainstorm a list of topics for a possible informative essay. Then, choose a topic and write a brief informative essay on one of the topics that you have discovered that you explain well.



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Finding a good restaurant is difficult. It might have wonderful servers but the ambiance of a convenience store. It’s hard to find that one place where all the ingredients come together to deliver an extraordinary dining experience.


Write a short essay that evaluates a recent dining experience. Begin by identifying your criteria (e.g., the food, the service, the ambiance) and your evaluation scale (e.g., four stars, three forks, or a thumbs up). Then, use the criteria to write a review of your dining experience. Will this place give your readers something extraordinary or less than ordinary?


Here are three suggestions to help you get started:


– Focus around a thesis. Your thesis might explain your ultimate evaluation of the dining experience. Then, support your thesis with specific details from your trip to the restaurant.

– Organize logically. After introducing the restaurant, location, and date of your visit, you might evaluate the experience according to what you noticed first, second, and so on, or according to which criterion is most important.

– Provide specific details. Describe all your sensory experiences. You might also use analogies to help readers better visualize your descriptions (e.g., “The atmosphere was warm and tropical, like eating in a greenhouse.”).

– To expand your essay, you might compare more than one restaurant. For example, where can readers find the best hamburger in town?



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Most high schools and colleges require students to take courses in general education. These courses promise to teach you a body of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that will educate you broadly and prepare you for a life of learning and engaged citizenship. In each course, however, you focus on one narrow subject, whether it is algebra, biology, American literature, chemistry, European history, ethics, anthropology, or statistics.


This approach gives you access to experts who have spent years studying their specific field. You learn how people in this field approach the world, what methods they use to investigate it, and what they’ve learned so far. Many students assume that the knowledge they gain from each class is cumulative; they just add all the parts together to be generally educated.


For years, scholars, legislators, and students have complained that general education is fragmented. Students taking individual courses cannot see how the different subjects they study fit together. The result is not one body of knowledge but many that fit poorly together. They argue that students don’t see how Sir Isaac Newton’s laws in physics connect with a study of Mayan culture, or how the study of Mayan culture connects with the Pythagorean theorem.


Write an essay that synthesizes something you learned in two or more classes to test whether they complement each other or whether they represent different bodies of knowledge with their own assumptions, methods, and standards of truth.


The following suggestions can help guide you as you craft an essay that synthesizes knowledge you obtained in two or more of your college classes:


– Focus your writing around a common topic. To help you synthesize, you might use a topic that you studied in different classes (e.g., war, sexuality, language, and so on) or a broad question (e.g., How does the individual relate to society?). You can further focus your writing by developing a thesis, your overall answer to the question, “Can the material in these different classes be synthesized to represent one body of knowledge?”


– Provide specific details. This is a challenging topic, so you might ground your discussion in specific things you learned. For example, what did you learn about Renaissance painters in your art history course? How does it relate to what you learned about the nature of creativity in your psychology course?


– Speculate actively to make connections. On the surface, the subject of Renaissance painters doesn’t seem connected to the nature of creativity. After all, with so many subjects, seeing the connections requires imagination (e.g., putting yourself in the position of an art historian or psychologist). Art historians have often wondered how so many brilliant painters developed around the same period and in the same places. Could insight into the brains of creative people help us explain a Raphael or Michelangelo?


– If you want to expand your writing further, you might interview your instructors to learn more about how they approach the world, what research methods they prefer, and what standards they use for establishing truths in their field. Do these different fields encourage students to see knowledge as part of one single body or many individual bodies? Here, too, you could use a single topic like violence, or love, or war to focus your



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Rites of passage exist in many cultures. They are ceremonies or events that mark the transition from one status to another. They might signal the move from initiate to group member or from one stage of life into another. They can also symbolize the individual’s acceptance of new values, behaviors, and responsibilities.


Write a short essay that extends this definition to an experience you have had that marked your transition from one status to another. Identifying this experience as a rite of passage can encourage you to think about the values, behaviors, and responsibilities you’ve accepted. It can also encourage you to think about how such rites exist as part of our socialization, the education and training we receive to become functional members of society.


Here are three suggestions to help you write about a personal rite of passage:


– Focus around a thesis. A concise statement of your rite of passage and what transition it symbolized can focus your discussion.


– Organize logically. You might organize around who you were before, during, and after the transition.


– Use specific details. Provide specific descriptions of what you did, and what you were thinking and feeling, during the transition.


– To expand your essay, you might discuss whether your experience was typical and whether it was a positive or negative experience.



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“Every style that is not boring is a good one.”—Voltaire

Write a short essay that reflects on your own sense of style. Define what your style is and then discuss whether you think it is more original, defined by you, or more conventional, defined for you by your peer group or by the latest offerings at the mall chain stores. Here are three suggestions to help you reflect on your own sense of style:

– Focus on a thesis. An individual’s style is elusive and sometimes contradictory. You might use an adjective, metaphor, or image to focus your writing (e.g., “My style is G.I. Joe meets goth rock.”).

– Place your style in context.  Tell the reader about where you go and who you meet and how they react to your style.  Reflect on these interactions.

– Organize logically. You might shape your paragraphs around different features of your style and around reasons your style is more or less unique. Order your points from most important to least important.

– Use specifics. Provide specific examples and extensive discussion to help us understand what motivates your style.

To expand your essay, you might interview people with very different styles from your own. What motivates them to wear army boots, cardigan sweaters, a black leather choker, or chinos?



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