Things NOT to do in an introductory paragraph:
The following material is adapted from a handout prepared by Harry Livermore for his high school English classes at Cook High School in Adel, Georgia. It is used here with his permission.
Students are told from the first time they receive instruction in English composition that their introductory paragraphs should accomplish two tasks:
The second task can be accomplished by a carefully crafted thesis statement . Writing thesis statements can be learned rather quickly. The first task securing the reader's interest is more difficult. It is this task that this discussion addresses.
First, admit that it is impossible to say or do or write anything that will interest everybody. With that out of the way, the question then becomes: "What can a writer do that will secure the interest of a fair sized audience?"
Professional writers who write for magazines and receive pay for their work use five basic patterns to grab a reader's interest:
What follows is an explanation of each of these patterns with examples from real magazine articles to illustrate the explanations.
1 Historical review: Some topics are better understood if a brief historical review of the topic is presented to lead into the discussion of the moment. Such topics might include "a biographical sketch of a war hero," "an upcoming execution of a convicted criminal," or "drugs and the younger generation." Obviously there are many, many more topics that could be introduced by reviewing the history of the topic before the writer gets down to the nitty gritty of his paper. It is important that the historical review be brief so that it does not take over the paper.
from "Integration Turns 40" by Juan Williams in Modern Maturity. April/May, 1994.
The victory brought pure elation and joy. It was May 1954, just days after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. At NAACP headquarters in New York the mood was euphoric. Telegrams of congratulations poured in from around the world; reporters and well-wishers crowded the halls.
[After reaching back forty years ago to bring up the landmark Supreme Court decision that started school desegregation, this article discusses school segregation in the present time.]
2 Anecdotal: An anecdote is a little story. Everyone loves to listen to stories. Begin a paper by relating a small story that leads into the topic of your paper. Your story should be a small episode, not a full blown story with characters and plot and setting. Read some of the anecdotes in the Reader's Digest special sections such as "Life in These United States" to learn how to tell small but potent stories. If you do it right, your story will capture the reader's interest so that he or she will continue to read your paper. One caution: be sure that your story does not take over the paper. Remember, it is an introduction, not the paper.
from "Going, Going, GONE to the Auction!" by Laurie Goering in Chicago Tribune Magazine. July 4, 1994.
Mike Cantlon remembers coming across his first auction ten years ago while cruising the back roads of Wisconsin. He parked his car and wandered into the crowd, toward the auctioneer's singsong chant and wafting smell of barbecued sandwiches. Hours later, Cantlon emerged lugging a $22 beam drill-for constructing post-and-beam barnsand a passion for auctions that has clung like a cocklebur on an old saddle blanket. "It's an addiction," says Cantlon, a financial planner and one of the growing number of auction fanatics for whom Saturdays will never be the same.
[This is an anecdote, a little story about one man and his first auction, that is the lead to an article about auctions. In this article the author explains what auctions are, how to spot bargains in auctions, what to protect yourself from at auctions, and other facts about auctions and the people who go to them.]
3 Surprising statement: A surprising statement is a favorite introductory technique of professional writers. There are many ways a statement can surprise a reader. Sometimes the statement is surprising because it is disgusting. Sometimes it is joyful. Sometimes it is shocking. Sometimes it is surprising because of who said it. Sometimes it is surprising because it includes profanity. Professional writers have honed this technique to a fine edge. It is not used as much as the first two patterns, but it is used.
from "60 Seconds That Could Save Your Child" by Cathy Perlmutter with Maureen Sangiorgio in Prevention. September, 1993.
Have a minute? Good. Because that may be all it takes to save the life of a childyour child. Accidents kill nearly 8000 children under age 15 each year. And for every fatality, 42 more children are admitted to hospitals for treatment. Yet such deaths and injuries can be avoided through these easy steps parents can take right now. You don't have a minute to lose.
[This article begins with a surprising, even shocking, statistic, 8000 children die each year from accidents. The article then lists seven easy actions a person can take to help guard a child against accidents. These range from turning down the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to putting firearms under lock and key.]
4 Famous person: People like to know what celebrities say and do. Dropping the name of a famous person at the beginning of a paper usually gets the reader's attention. It may be something that person said or something he or she did that can be presented as an interest grabber. You may just mention the famous person's name to get the reader's interest. The famous person may be dead or alive. The famous person may be a good person like the Pope, or he or she may be a bad person like John Wilkes Booth. Of course, bringing up this person's name must be relevant to the topic. Even though the statement or action may not be readily relevant, a clever writer can convince the reader that it is relevant.
from "Dear Taxpayer" by Will Manley in Booklist. May 1, 1993.
The most widely read writer in America today is not Stephen King, Michael Chrichton or John Grisham. It's Margaret Milner Richardson, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, whose name appears on the "1040 Forms and Instructions" booklet. I doubt that Margaret wrote the entire 1040 pamphlet, but the annual introductory letter, "A Note from the Commissioner," bears her signature.
[This is the first paragraph of an article about the lady named above. The author used the names of three famous, modern American writers to get a reader's interest. Notice that the first name on his list is a name that is probably more widely known than the other two. Stephen King has been around for some time now, and everyone, from teenagers to grandparents, know his name whether they have read his books or not.]
5 Declarative: This technique is quite commonly used, but it must be carefully used or the writer defeats his whole purpose of using one of these patterns, to get the reader's interest. In this pattern, the writer simply states straight out what the topic of his paper is going to be about. It is the technique that most student writers use with only modest success most of the time, but good professional writers use it too.
from "The Tuition Tap" by Tim Lindemuth in K-Stater. February, 1994.
In the College of Veterinary Medicine and Engineering, for example, nearly one-third of the teaching faculty may retire by the year 2004. In the College of Education, more than a third of the professors are 55 years old and older. The largest turnover for a single department is projected to be in geology. More than half of its faculty this year are in the age group that will retire at the millennium, says Ron Downey of K-State's Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. The graying of K-State's faculty is not unique. A Regents' report shows approximately 27 percent of the faculty at the six state universities will retire by the end of this decade, creating a shortage of senior faculty.
[This is a straight forward introduction that gets right down to the topic of the aging of the faculty of Kansas State University. There are no historical reviews, no surprising statements, no anecdotes, no quotations from or about famous people. This is a discussion that leads to further discussion about the topic. The biggest difficulty about this type of introduction is that it can get boring. It is not likely to get the interest of anyone except those who are already interested in this subject. Use this pattern with caution.]
These patterns can give a "lift" to your writing. Practice them. Try using two or three different patterns for your introductory paragraph and see which introductory paragraph is best; it's often a delicate matter of tone and of knowing who your audience is. Do not forget, though, that your introductory paragraph should also include a thesis statement to let your reader know what your topic is and what you are going to say about that topic.
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Populareducation is a concept grounded in notions of class, political struggle, and social transformation. PopularArticle of Education. Beginning Research, Action Research, Case Study, Interviews, Observation techniques, Education Research, Evaluation Research in Education. Narratives, Presentations, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Methods, Questionnaires, Writing up Research.
A better definition of education that aligns with how many psychologists and other cognitive scientists talk about learning is “cognitive cartography,” or mental mapmaking. There’s no doubting that adult education is a huge industry nowadays. But what is it about internet education that makes it so popular. The fact you’re reading this article online suggests you already have that understanding.
Popular Literature Versus Scholarly Literature: What’s the Difference? Popular Literature.universities, or other institutions of education or research. They submit articles to the editors of the journals, who decide whether or not to publish. Finding Empirical Research Articles in Education and Psychology. Databases have a broader definition of “research” than strictly empirical studies. It includes articles from popular business magazines and trade publications.
There’s nothing like not knowing the definition, or meaning, of a word or phrase to make you shrink from participating in class, in a meeting, in a discussion abouteducation. This blog featured many great educationarticles for K-12 educators. We would like to bring you the top 12 articles for teachers in local schools. Top ten Most PopularEducationArticles of the year may available below.
In the National Science Education Standards, the content standards define scientific literacy. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articlesabout science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. What is a Scholarly Article or Book? A scholarly article or book generally is based on original research or experimentation. It is written by a researcher or expert in the field who is often affiliated with a college or university. A glossary of teaching strategies can help almost everyone involved in education .
Using expression in conversation has great impact in relationship. Student should understand on how to use it and what condition require it. In this article, I’m trying to explain few simple thing about ‘expression‘. About Expression. What is expression? Expression is a situation when we show our feeling to the other people. When a some one asking a question, it.
Learning by Using Mobile Phone. Mobile Phone is a gadget that is easy to obtain. It available in local market and everyone is recommended to have at least one. It has so much benefit to be used as tool to learn many things. Modern Mobile Phones have so many features. While it has so much benefit, Why we didn't use it to improve the skills in studying the lessons. Mobile phone could be used to retrieve information from the internet. It is best to find few materials from internet and read it while there is time to do that. Learning is an activities performed by student to study about anything. Learning activities was done by doing some observations or research. In simple term, it can be done just by sitting in home or by reading newspaper. The activity that is done to retrieve information and knowledge is considered as Learning Activities.
Learning English Effectively is an activity performed by student to maximize their time while achieving great result at the same time. It was inspired by using excellent Teaching Plan for teacher. Student may learn seven times a week and still have no improvement in their skills and knowledge. It is because they trying to memorize and not to analyze. local teacher always ask student to memorize on what was available in books. The old pattern to learn should be changed. Learn to memorize is good for few things and very bad for many things. To learn effectively, student should understand on what they should learn and how to improve their minds easily.
gathering with friends is an activity which will make student happier. During my research in local school few months ago, I wasn't surprised if the result is student really love to hangout with friends rather than spending times in class. They learn in class for several hours and it make them losing the mood. Gathering with friend will bring back the mood and there is one positive effect, improve the knowledge. The professor agree with my research and showed me few facts through email. I may need to post it here in future. Basically student is learning hard in class and learning fun outside of class while gathering with their friends. There is no difference between inside and outside of class. Both of them enable student to learn. Teacher should understand if student may able to improve the skills just by gathering with friends. What they need to do is creating good environment to make it happen.
Studying in University is like as a luxurious lifestyle in local area. It is because not so many people able to continue the education. The problem is always with economical issues. Learning in University is requiring lots of funds and that is one of the cause why education is really expensive in my area. let’s relax for a moment and.
Two example of teaching and Learning Materials above were totally different as the first example was quite easy, simple but quite easy to understand. The next example was hard, need lots of thought and may not too easy to be read by casual reader. It is encouraged for student to write the article or essay using the first standard above. Teacher may choose the best method based on their judgment. While writing the first example above, I was thinking saving poor children is an important agenda for government and public. I wish all children able to get and continue the education.
The usefulness of English Learning and Teaching Materials could be measured by the result of the implementation. Here is an example for both of them which can be used by student and teacher. It is an opinion from a student which trying to sum up and commenting an essay about “Sumpah pemuda”, an article which written by my professor. It consist of how student and young generation can help building the nation by studying harder and lead the nation. The example is designed to be as simple as possible while keeping it looks like written by student in Junior high school. It may looks complicated at first but it was written as is. At last, it was only an example and the purpose is to closely match an article writing by student.
Finally, an essay is divided into three parts. The beginning is often referred as introduction. It basically used as the brain storming to make reader ready for the next elements. Without good introduction, reader may have no idea on what they read and why the need to read it. That Is why it is great to start with good and appealing sentences. Always avoid using ‘heavy’ and mild language as it will reduce the value of introduction. Body or Content is the next elements in Essay. It describe essay with good structured paragraphs along with good supporting materials.
Words are complex letters and characters which form a meaning. Words are essential parts in sentences. If two or more of words being combined, there would be new description and meaning for it. Student should be able to identify words as it is the basic aspect to clearly understand the conversation. Without understanding the words in sentences, it is hard.
News has been a part of modern lifestyle. It inform us of the past events which has been done and also provide us with an estimation for upcoming events as well. Did you know if most public figures said news is really important for them? News has been a great help for human being. It reports any events and archives.
Our responsibilities included a variety of tasks: (independent clause )
Our responsibilities included a variety of tasks.
haven (N) – a place where people or animals can live peacefully or go to in order to be safe
*Highlighted words or phrases are examples of incorrect usage.
(CMOS 6.127- 6.130) (GREGG 189) (APA 3.04)Time and Proportions Mail & Books Capitalization
AP Style Book 325 "Punctuation:colon"
APA 4.05 "Colon"
Fowler 158 "Colon"
MLA 3.2.4 "Colons"
Swan 474 "Punctuation (2) colon", 240. 2.i "in news headlines"
Hyphens in the Gregg Reference Manual
"Some compound words are written as solid words, some are written as separate words, and some are hyphenated. As in other areas of style, authorities do not agree on the rules.…The only a complete guide is an up-to-date dictionary…
Between Independent Clauses (Sabin 187 ) He thinks he is Superman: he has no sense of reality.
Before Lists and Enumerations (Sabin 188) These names were selected: Ivy, Izzy, Etty and Pearl
Before Anticipatory Expressions (Sabin 189–91) Attention
In Expressions of Time and Proportions (Sabin 192) 12:00 p.m .
In Ratios (Sabin 193) 2:3
In Business Documents (Sabin 194) Attention:
In Reference to Books (Sabin 195) The New Age Parent: Raising a Confident Child
Capitalization After a Colon (Sabin 196–199) Two documents arrived: the letter and the contract.
Hyphens and Dashes in the Chicago Manual of Style 6.63–69.
Introduces an element or a series of elements illustrating or amplifying what has preceded the colon (6.63)
Lowercase of capital after a colon? (6.64) When a colon is used within a sentence…the first word following the colon is lowercased unless it is a proper name. He studies two subjects: chemistry and algebra. He studies two subjects: English and Chinese.
When a colon introduces two or more sentences, or when it introduces a speech in dialogue or an extract, the first work following it is capitalized.
She didn't know what to do: Should she go back? Or should she run away?
Style Manual Abbreviations. AP (Associated Press). APA (American Psychological Association), CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style). GREGG (Gregg Reference Manual) ; MLA (Modern Language Association)
Style Manual Abbreviations (used in this website)
Most customers occasionally have to return an item: a jacket too small, some socks too bright, a scarf from Aunt Martha, but some customers return things all the time.
Some customers, called "serial returners", are constantly returning something: they buy it, they wear it, they return it.
One woman returned an evening dress with a number of telltale signs: Lipstick on the collar. Deodorant marks around the arms. The tag tucked inside the sleeve.
I have something to say to these customers: "If you are going to wear it, don't return it!"
One woman came in and returned a dress because it didn't go with her makeup. The clerk suggested: " You could change your makeup."
The lady did not return: she took her business elsewhere.
Clerks see a variety of returned items: used stockings, worn out shoes, unwanted gifts from the previous season, and even a diamond ring that wasn't shiny enough.
Managers of stores want customers to have the opportunity to return items bought in err: but they do not want people to take advantage of their policy.
Abusing return policy results in loss: Loss of merchandise. Loss of staff time. Loss of goodwill.
in err – by mistake
serial (Adj) – in a series, one thing happens after another, or something happens repeatedly
take advantage of (expression) – use a system or someone for personal gain
telltale – signs that reveal that something happenedEdit for errors.