Monday, October 4, 2010

"Where Do I Even Start?"

As I sat down at my laptop ready to create a blog post about writing interesting introductions, I found myself unable to figure out how I was going to begin. How should I introduce a blog about introductions? This very problem has not only been an issue for me when writing papers, but seems to be a common trend among students. At the Writing Center, students bring in great ideas and bodies to their essays, but a lot of the time cannot come up with a way to start their compositions. In this blog post, I will discuss how you can keep a teacher or a reader enticed and interested in your paper, pulling them in and grabbing their attentions.

Have you ever began your introductory paragraph with a question? Asking a question at the beginning of a paper that relates to your topic of discussion will make the reader feel involved in your piece. These questions could be in the form of a "yes" or "no" answer, or they could be more in depth yielding a longer response. Try to stay away from questions that deal with opinion if you are writing an analytical or professional paper, but rather a question that makes the reader active and interested in your ideas.

"Writing is thinking on paper," William Zinsser, an American writer, once said. When you are trying to think about how to begin your essay, try using a meaningful quotation. If your quotation relates to your argument or discussion that will follow, you are successfully introducing readers to this topic and giving them a glimpse of what is ahead. These quotes can be shocking, funny or of any tone, but just be sure to cite your source as well.

As I did in the beginning of the blog post, using a scenario can be an amusing manner in which to begin an assignment. Scenarios could be personal or general depending on the genre of paper being written but should have significance dealing with the rest of your paper. If you decide to use a scenario, keep it brief and down to a sentence or two so that your reader does not get tired of reading.

No matter what type of introduction you plan on using, there are three points to remember. First, always describe to your reader what you will be discussing. Second, be concise but compelling to gain interest. And lastly, AVOID DEFINITIONS AT ALL COSTS. Dictionary introductions can be very boring, think of a more creative way to start. So the next time you ask yourself, "Where do I even start?" remember these helpful hints and you will be well on your way.

No comments: