• Find an example on-line (on a blog, news site, whatever) of a good introduction. Paste it in and explain why you think it is strong. What technique(s) does the writer use that you could use in your own introduction?

Introductions are an extremely important part  of a paper.  It indicates to a reader if the text is worth or not worth reading.  An example of a good introduction that I found on a blog is posted below:

Picture it: You’re in a hurry. You’re focused on school or work or family or friends, where there are a thousand things going on. You stop “real quick” to eat in the middle of the day. Halfway through the meal – or a little while after – you remember it’s Friday. And it’s Lent! And that’s a burger in your stomach!!

In the words of Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”

You can find this blog post at this link: http://www.lifeteen.com/blog/why-do-we-abstain-from-eating-meat-on-fridays-during-lent.  This introduction grabs the reader’s attention right away.  It is a strong introduction because it successfully lures in the reader by using an anecdote, at the same time, it sets the tone for the rest of the writing.  Also, It is a topic that is currently happening.  All of these techniques spark an interest in the readers.

  • Find an example on-line of a weak introduction. Paste it in and then revise it to make it stronger.

Here we are, on Fat Tuesday – and if you’re like me, you’re scrambling to decide what exactly you’re giving up for the next 40 days. Will it be candy – no, procrastinating… or maybe you’ll finally tackle that missing prayer time. The possibilities seem infinite and overwhelming. Before you know it, there are going to be ashes on your forehead and all your Catholic friends will be asking, “So what did YOU give up this year?”

The link to this blog post is right here: http://www.lifeteen.com/blog/a-plan-for-your-lent.  This introduction does a pretty good job with getting the audience’s attention.  The writer uses a question as an attention-getter, and that is a successful way to get your readers to think.  However, if certain phrases or terms were defined or expanded on, this introduction would be a lot stronger.  Also, if it delivered a more exciting statement as the first sentence, it would make the readers want to read more. 

Revision:

Let’s get things kicked-off!  Fat Tuesday is here, and it’s the last hoorah before you decide what sacrifices need to be made.  Fat Tuesday also known as Mardi Gras is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the day that marks the fasting season of Lent.  If you’re like me you’re scrambling to decide what exactly you’re giving up for the next 40 days.  Will it be candy – no, procrastinating… or maybe you’ll finally tackle that missing prayer time.  The possibilities seem infinite and overwhelming.   Before you know it, there are going to be ashes on your forehead and all your Catholic friends will be asking, “So what did YOU give up this year?”   

  • As an undergraduate, I always used a quote to begin a paper. What technique(s) have been successful for you in introductions?

You can get the reader’s attention in a number of ways.  A technique that really works for me is to include a question in my introduction.  It forces your readers to think, and it also helps lead your readers on to the rest of your paper.

  • As always, check out what your fellow sufferers classmates are doing. What do you think of the examples they found? Is there something you can use in your own writing? 

My fellow classmates seem to be including questions or exciting statements to their revised introductions.  I am sure that I will include one of these tools in my own writing.  It seems to be very successful.