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How to write an

Introductory paragraph
One today is worth two tomorrows.
Ben Franklin

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

When you write an introductory


paragraph, keep in mind that . .
.
Writing an introductory paragraph is like
greeting someone. The paragraph should be
short and to the point like saying, Hello!

Also, you dont want to get into the meat of


the essay. Simply give the audience a
concise idea of your essays purpose.
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

Remember that the introductory


paragraph . . .
Is the most important paragraph of the
essay
Must be at least 50 words long or three
sentences minimum
Needs to do three things

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

Briefly introduce the topic


Cleary state your position
Provide three reasons

Even though there are several


ways to begin an essay, I
recommended that you choose
one particular method and perfect
it.
Why?
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

Because
if you keep using the same
method, you will . . .
Become an expert in this particular method.
Moreover, if you already know how you
will begin your essay, you will be more
prepared, relaxed, and confident.
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

Let us consider different


types of introductory
paragraphs . . .
General statement introduction
Question introduction
Quotation introduction
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

Examples of general statement


introduction
Almost every time that you turn on the television you

will find a number of shows which are extremely violent.

Many public schools have decided that their students


should use uniforms.

In the United States of America the public burning of our


flag has become a common sight.

(These are three different example of how you can begin your paragraph. If
you will notice in the first sentence you simply introduce the topic. You do not
state your position yet.)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

Examples of question
introduction
Are you ever bothered by the excessive violence on
prime time television?

Do you think that to improve our public school education


the students should be required to wear uniforms?

Should we allow citizens to burn the United States flag


in public?

(You can also begin your essay by asking a question.


takes you to the heart of the problem quickly.)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

A question usually

Quotation introduction

A recent article in Time magazine states that the viewing of

extremely violent television shows is the number one cause


of violence in our inner cities.
The Monitor recently conducted a study and concluded that
students in public schools where uniforms are mandatory
have less problems and perform better academically.
A recent article in The Austin Statesman states that most
Americans are very much against flag burning in public and
are in favor of passing a law banning this activity.
(Finally, you can begin an essay by providing some information from a magazine or
newspaper you might have read. This introduction is a bit more difficult to write, but just
as effective as the other ones.)

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

In the next three slides you will


view completed introductory
paragraphs.

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

10

General statement introduction


Today smoking is an issue
which is on everybodys mind.
The whole country is divided
on this issue. Some people
believe that smoking should be
banned everywhere while
others are not so harsh.
However, I believe that
tobacco should be outlawed
because smoking endangers
everyones health, pollutes
the environment, and drains
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
us
of valuable energy.( 57)
Jr.
Spring 2002

11

Interrogatory introduction
What do you think about
banning smoking? The whole
country is divided on whether
smoking should be banned. I
firmly believe that smoking
should be outlawed because it
endangers everyones health; it
pollutes the environment, and
it drains us of valuable energy.
(41)
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

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Quotation introduction
In The Monitor it was recently
stated that smoking is the greatest
threat to our health. The whole
country is divided on this issue. I
believe that tobacco should be
outlawed because it endangers
everyones health; it pollutes the
environment, and it drains of
valuable resources. (49)

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

13

Final reminders !!!!

Be concise and to the point!


Do not go into too much detail!
At least 50 words minimum!
You must do three things . . .
introduce topic
state position
provide reasons

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

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Assignment: Write an introductory


paragraph for the following topic.

Many high school seniors have many


financial obligations and need some form of
income. Do you think that seniors should
be allowed to go half a day to school and
work half a day?

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

15

The next slides present a


couple sample
introductory paragraphs.
Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,
Jr.
Spring 2002

16

Do you think that college athletes should be


paid more than just tuition? Many people believe
that college athletes should get paid while others
believe they should not. I adamantly believe that
college athletes should be paid because they
practice long hours; the schools are profiting
through the athletes efforts, and this would make
college life much less stressful for the athletes.

Created by Jos J. Gonzlez,


Jr.
Spring 2002

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