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09/05/2019

Any suggestions on how to write my Introductory paragraph?

QUESTION
Any suggestions on how to write my Introductory paragraph?
Subject: Compare and Contrast my culture to another culture.
It can be Religion, Food, Dances, Marriage, etc.

I am comparing Guatemala’s Education (systems and such) with California’s education.

xD

I know this is a pretty “ugh” topic.
But how may I make my intro STRONG?

I just want suggestions.

ANSWER
Well I don’t know much about Guatemala or California’s education system, since I live in Australia, but what you need to make your intro strong is to make it evocative. You don’t want your teacher or marker sitting there thinking “why the hell am I stuck here with these boring papers” you want them to be genuinely interested in your paper. And so I cannot stress enough the importance of the first impression. The first impression the marker will have from your paper will determine whether or not he’s going to give a sh*t about your paper for the next ten minutes. It is vital that you HOOK the reader in your first sentence, and then to maintain it throughout your entire intro.
To hook the reader, you need something to IMMEDIATELY grab their attention, to get them to shift in their seat, fix their glasses and pay more attention. You need to push their buttons. If the comparison in general is going to show something tragic or emotionally distressing, then DISTRESS them. If you’re going to be spiteful or show anger, show it immediately. But be careful not to give too much away, as this will detract from your body. You also don’t want them to know everything, so they’ll WANT to read more and learn more, instead of just blurting out everything and leaving nothing else but repeated words for the audience to read. Here are some from my past papers as examples.

(Discuss your interpretation of the word ‘family’) “Look in any standard dictionary and you’ll find quite a few definitions for the word ‘family’. I have a dictionary of my own. In my dictionary, it is defined as: “a human sanctuary”.

(Is alcohol responsible for the increase in the level of street violence in our city streets?) “alcohol works by replacing the oxygen in our blood with itself, meaning that less oxygen reaches our brain. People cannot think well, and it is hence the culprit of many violent incidents. Alcohol is indeed responsible for the increase in violence in our city streets.”

(How is technology affecting our everyday life?) “the human civilisation has existed for thousands of years now, and its advances in science and ethnology for the first few thousand years was minimal. Since the industrial revolution though, technology has advanced exponentially. Technology is essentially changing our lives.”

See how I don’t start out with the traditional matter-of-fact main argument/ thesis and give the three supportive sentences? Be interesting, evocative, appealing and creative. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is best to go with the traditional one, but this is usually much more powerful. Just remember:
-First (couple of) sentence(s) must ENGAGE the reader
-you are not obliged to state your body paragraph’s arguments, but in a full essay like yours, it is better that you do.
-make ABSOLUTELY SURE that you EXPLICITLY state your thesis or main point of writing this essay, whether it’s to state what your endeavouring to do, what your hoping to discover/prove, or are outright trying to argue. Your main issue must be clear and coherent.
After all that, I hope it helped. It’s quite a bit to get your head around, but with repetition and practise it will get easier. Good luck!