Sunday, January 6, 2008

Show me your introductions!

How a writer grabs a reader's attention can be the most important part of a piece of writing. After all, if the reader is bored after the first few sentences, what good is any of the rest of the essay? To catch a reader's attention, your introduction needs a compelling hook, as outlined in this excellent resource site from John Jay College.

How do you plan to start your essay? What will you do to grab the reader's attention? Select one of the styles of hooks from the John Jay writing tutorial site and write a rough draft of your introduction. Before you write, you should review these excellent exercises from John Jay to help you. Once you have it written, test drive your introduction on the blog.

Here's how I'd like you to do it.

First, review the site on introductions and write your introduction on your blog.

Next, underneath your introduction, write a few sentences that briefly explain why you chose to start your essay the way you did.

Finally, ask a question you'd like answered about your introduction. It should be a question about your writing, not the content of your essay. For example, you might ask the readers whether the question you started with works or not. Ask a specific, focused question that invites concrete feedback.

Once you've done that, go read your classmates' introductions and give them some feedback.

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