In honor of Thanksgiving leftovers…. WRITING A STRONG INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION Writing Notes.

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Transcript of In honor of Thanksgiving leftovers…. WRITING A STRONG INTRODUCTION AND CONCLUSION Writing Notes.

Writing a Strong Introduction and Conclusion

In honor of Thanksgiving leftoversWriting a Strong Introduction and ConclusionWriting NotesIntroductionsWhats the point?First impressionsInitial impressions of your argument, writing style, and quality of workespecially important when the audience you are trying to reach (your teacher) will be grading your workRoad mapGives reader a sense of what points you will coverCapture interestPeople should want to read your paperWhy is the topic important?Consider the following topic:Education has long been considered a major force for American social change, righting the wrongs of our society. Drawing on the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, discuss the relationship between education and slavery in 19th-century America. Consider the following: How did white control of education reinforce slavery? How did Douglass and other enslaved African Americans view education while they endured slavery? And what role did education play in the acquisition of freedom? Most importantly, consider the degree to which education was or was not a major force for social change with regard to slavery.StrategiesTip #1: Start by thinking about the question (or questions) you are trying to answer. Your entire essay will be a response to this question, and your introduction is the first step toward that end. Your direct answer to the assigned question will be your thesis, and your thesis will be included in your introduction, so it is a good idea to use the question as a jumping off point.The prompt itself can also give you some clues about how to approach the introduction. Notice that it starts with a broad statement, that education has been considered a major force for social change, and then narrows to focus on specific questions from the book. One strategy might be to use a similar model in your own introduction start off with a big picture sentence or two about the power of education as a force for change as a way of getting your reader interested and then focus in on the details of your argument about Douglass. StrategiesTip #2: Decide how general or broad your opening should beKeep in mind that even a big picture opening needs to be clearly related to your topicAn opening sentence that said Human beings, more than any other creatures on earth, are capable of learning would be too broad for our sample assignment about slavery and education. the introductory sentence about human beings is mismatchedits definitely too broad and doesnt come close to addressing the specific topic. When writing, you need to place your ideas in context.StrategiesTip #3: Write your introduction lastAn introduction written at the beginning will not necessarily reflect what you wind up with at the endDevise your thesis (your argument) and then start the body paragraphsWhen you have finished your essay, read over your main points and create an introduction that is reflective of your workStrategiesTip #4: Never announce your intentionsAvoid statements like In this paper, I will argue that Frederick Douglass valued education. While this sentence points toward your main argument, it isnt especially interesting. It is much more convincing to tell us Frederick Douglass valued education than to tell us that you are going to say that he did. Assert your main argument confidently. After all, you cant expect your reader to believe it if it doesnt sound like you believe it!FormulaHook: Attract the reader's interest by telling them that this paper relates to something interesting. What makes a topic interesting? Some combination of the following attributes makes X something worth looking at. X matters: When X rises or falls, people are hurt or helped. X is puzzling: it defies easy explanation. X is controversial: some argue one thing while other say another. X is big (like public education) or common (like traffic jams). FormulaBackground: What information should your reader have before delving into your paper? How can you transport the reader from wherever they are to the setting of your paper?FormulaAddress the Question: Tell the reader what this paper actually does. Think of this as the point in a trial where having detailed the crime, you now identify a suspect and promise to provide a persuasive case. The reader should have an idea of a topic question that will have a more or less satisfactory answer by the end of the paper.FormulaThesis: What is your arguable point?Refer to thesis notesThis might get rolled into one of your other introductory elementsFormulaRoad-map: Outline the organization of the paper. Avoid writing an outline so generic that it could apply to any paper ("the next section is the middle of the paper and then we have the end"). Instead customize the road map to the project and possibly mention pivotal "landmarks that will be seen along the way. problems, solutions, resultsCharacter A, Character B, Character CKeep this short!

Intros to AvoidThe place holder introduction. When you dont have much to say on a given topic, it is easy to create this kind of introduction. Essentially, this kind of weaker introduction contains several sentences that are vague and dont really say much. They exist just to take up the introduction space in your paper. If you had something more effective to say, you would probably say it, but in the meantime this paragraph is just a place holder.Example: Slavery was one of the greatest tragedies in American history. There were many different aspects of slavery. Each created different kinds of problems for enslaved people.

RecapFormula = Hook + Background + Address Question + Thesis + Road MapNever announce your intentionsDetermine how broad or specific your intro should be before beginningAvoid common intro errorsSample IntroGiven all of the freedoms that were denied enslaved individuals in the American South, one might wonder why Frederick Douglass focused his attentions so squarely on education and literacy. In the 1800s, slavery was a way of life in the American South. Slaves had no real way to educate themselves, meaning that few knew how to read or write. For Frederick Douglass, education was the major force for social change in regard to slavery. Not only did it provide important life skills, it also improved slaves sense of self worth, and ultimately helped them aquire freedom.ConclusionsWhats the Point?Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. Allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to summarize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

FormulaAnswer the question "So What?" Show your readers why this paper was important. Show them that your paper was meaningful and useful.Address your thesis one last timeSynthesize, don't summarize Don't simply repeat things that were in your paper. They have read it. Show them how the points you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together. Redirect your readers Give your reader something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the "real" world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general.Create a new meaningYou don't have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper is worth more than its parts. StrategiesPlay the So What Game. If youre stuck and feel like your conclusion isnt saying anything new or interesting, play the so what? game. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask So what? or Why should anybody care? Then ponder that question and answer it. Heres how it might go:You: Basically, Im just saying that education was important to Douglass.So what?You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen.Why should anybody care?You: Thats important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally.

Conclusions to AvoidThe Thats My Story and Im Sticking to It ConclusionThis conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they cant think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.Conclusions to AvoidThe Random Fact Conclusion This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldnt integrate into the main paper. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave communitySample ConclusionWhile other factors certainly drove social change in regard to slavery, few were as influential as education. Everyone needed to know how to read and write in order to be successful, and slaves were no exception. Improving their own education made slaves see their own worth and drove them to fight harder than ever before for their freedom. Frederick Douglass no only saw the value of education, he recognized that it was vital for the acquisition of freedom.Essay TopicTo help students feel better prepared to learn, Hanes now requires all students to wear a belt pack (also known as a fanny pack, but theyre not letting you call it that) at all times while at school. The school is providing the belt pack, which has extra writing utensils, a small first aid kit, erasers, and other school supplies. Pick a side and make the case for or against the belt packs. You must make it clear why the packs are beneficial or detrimental.Essay must be at least 5 paragraphsA strong introduction (containing a thesis) and conclusion are necessary and will account for 50% of your grade