Everything in this post is free, but if you like this idea, a download, rating, or follow on Tp T would be a most excellent thank you…If you want absolutely no prep for this lesson, this packet has more examples and additional print-and-use resources…Teachers of writing will instantly recognize these “dead fish” beginnings. I have, however, had considerable success using the following strategy to help students write more lively, effective introductory paragraphs.
These three pages will include background information, multiple sources, different pieces of evidence and explanation supporting that point, and often a brief description of alternative views and an explanation of why those views are not so convincing.
Smaller points supporting each of the main points might then take up a single page, or 2 - 3 paragraphsagain with evidence, explanation, alternative views and so on.
It will present your thesis, the major points in support of that thesis, and the sub-points supporting each major point.
It may have additional levels of sub-sub-points if you feel that is necessary.
Finally, even smaller points under these might correspond to individual paragraphs in the final draft.
Once you have the main points and supporting points written down, its time to start organizing.
I try, then, to give my students more chances to work out this middle part.
When using this strategy, it is very important to avoid spoon feeding the connection (a.k.a. Practice with this sort of connection making is what students need, so the more chances we can give them to work out their own mental paths, in low-stress situations, the more likely it becomes that they can write original introductions on their own.
Once youve written it, the paper will practically write itself.
Youll just be filling in the blanks, so to speakproviding specific examples and other support to flesh out and prove the ideas youve already sketched out.