∑ To grab the reader's attention
∑ To present your Thesis = Topic of essay & Author's Point of View (APOV) about your topic)
Some Grabber Techniques
Give startling remarks, define an important term, explain importance of your topic, address your reader directly, tell an amusing anecdote, ask a provocative question, shock the reader, explain relevant interesting background, raise an issue, set the scene, explain the value of your topic, give a vivid description, give startling statistics, use sarcasm (contradict your main idea), offer an assumption, challenge the reader, etc.
Thesis is the broadest general statement of your essay. It should include all of the Main Ideas (Topic Sentences) in the essay. The purpose of the essay is support (prove) this statement.
In this example below, notice how all the main ideas clearly support the Thesis.
Thesis: Because of his skills and interests, Lester is an ideal guy to add to our rock band.
Main Idea 1 Lester loves to be the center of attention and is an energetic entertainer.
Main Idea 2 Lester is a creative and well-trained flashy guitarist.
Main Idea 3 No matter how long it takes, Lester will work on something until he gets it right
What makes a great Introduction
∑ Something that makes the reader want to read further; it really grabs a reader's interest
∑ Originality, uniqueness, something never heard before or said this way
∑ A clear Thesis
-A topic that a reader would want to read about
-An Author's Point of View that is unique, creative, thoughtful and thought provoking.
What makes a weak Introduction
Something that makes a reader not want to read further
∑ It does not create reader interest and actually turns a reader off instead of on.
∑ No originality, rehashed stuff, things we have all heard before
A confused or oversimplified or unoriginal Thesis or worse
yet a thesis that is common knowledge
There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are several introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.
It is time, at last, to speak the truth about
Thanksgiving, and the truth is this. Thanksgiving is really not such a
terrific holiday. . . .
What is the charm of necklaces? Why would anyone put
something extra around their neck and then invest it with special
significance? A necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a
scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates. We
might say, it borrows meaning from what it surrounds and sets off, the
head with its supremely important material contents, and the face, that
register of the soul. When photographers discuss the way in which a
photograph reduces the reality it represents, they mention not only the
passage from three dimensions to two, but also the selection of a
The peregrine falcon was brought back from the brink of
extinction by a ban on DDT, but also by a peregrine falcon mating hat
invented by an ornithologist at Cornell University. If you cannot buy
this, Google it. Female falcons had grown dangerously scarce. A few
wistful males nevertheless maintained a sort of sexual loitering ground.
The hat was imagined, constructed, and then forthrightly worn by the
ornithologist as he patrolled this loitering ground, singing,
I've finally figured out the difference between neat
people and sloppy people. The distinction is, as always, moral. Neat
people are lazier and meaner than sloppy people.
It was in Burma, a sodden morning of the rains. A sickly
light, like yellow tinfoil, was slanting over the high walls into the
jail yard. We were waiting outside the condemned cells, a row of sheds
fronted with double bars, like small animal cages. Each cell measured
about ten feet by ten and was quite bare within except for a plank bed
and a pot of drinking water. In some of them brown silent men were
squatting at the inner bars, with their blankets draped round them.
These were the condemned men, due to be hanged within the next week or
One October afternoon three years ago while I was
visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to
fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of Earl Grey from her Japanese
iron teapot, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two cardinals
splashed in the birdbath in the weak Connecticut sunlight. Her white
hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low.
ďPlease help me get Jeffís pacemaker turned off,Ē she said, using my
fatherís first name. I nodded, and my heart knocked.
They woof. Though I have photographed them before, I have
never heard them speak, for they are mostly silent birds. Lacking a
syrinx, the avian equivalent of the human larynx, they are incapable of
song. According to field guides the only sounds they make are grunts and
hisses, though the Hawk Conservancy in the United Kingdom reports that
adults may utter a croaking coo and that young black vultures, when
annoyed, emit a kind of immature snarl. . . .
Ben and I are sitting side by side in the very back of
his motherís station wagon. We face glowing white headlights of cars
following us, our sneakers pressed against the back hatch door. This is
our joy--his and mine--to sit turned away from our moms and dads in this
place that feels like a secret, as though they are not even in the car
with us. They have just taken us out to dinner, and now we are driving
home. Years from this evening, I wonít actually be sure that this boy
sitting beside me is named Ben. But that doesnít matter tonight. What I
know for certain right now is that I love him, and I need to tell him
this fact before we return to our separate houses, next door to each
other. We are both five.
I like to take my time when I pronounce someone dead. The
bare-minimum requirement is one minute with a stethoscope pressed to
someoneís chest, listening for a sound that is not there; with my
fingers bearing down on the side of someoneís neck, feeling for an
absent pulse; with a flashlight beamed into someoneís fixed and dilated
pupils, waiting for the constriction that will not come. If Iím in a
hurry, I can do all of these in sixty seconds, but when I have the time,
I like to take a minute with each task.
I spy on my patients. Ought not a doctor to observe his
patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully
assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of hospital rooms and gaze.
Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to
discover me. But they never do.
As a child, I was made to look out the window of a moving
car and appreciate the beautiful scenery, with the result that now I
don't care much for nature. I prefer parks, ones with radios going
They arenít what most people think they are. Human eyes,
touted as ethereal objects by poets and novelists throughout history,
are nothing more than white spheres, somewhat larger than your average
marble, covered by a leather-like tissue known as sclera and filled with
natureís facsimile of Jell-O. Your belovedís eyes may pierce your heart,
but in all likelihood they closely resemble the eyes of every other
person on the planet. At least I hope they do, for otherwise he or she
suffers from severe myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia
(far-sightedness), or worse. . . .
Do you have a clear appropriate topic?
Do you have a clear & unique APOV about this topic?
Do you have enough "Grabber" techniques to really grab the reader's attention?Are your techniques unique, original, interesting