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Let’s look at a few sample opening lines from an evaluation essay.The most appropriate reaction to this line would be: So what? It isn’t interesting and doesn’t grab readers’ attention at all.
Without a strong thesis, your essay introduction pretty much falls apart. There are so many things wrong with this thesis that I don’t even know where to start. Here’s what your completed essay introduction looks like. It hooks readers with a catchy opening line, provides a brief introduction to your topic, and includes a strong, focused thesis to let readers know what your paper is about.
It’s like putting together a TV stand but deciding to not use all 500 tiny screws in the plastic bag. First, in most types of writing there’s really no need to announce statements like, “In this paper…” Readers should understand the thesis without such announcements. Even though the introduction is the first thing your audience reads, the introduction doesn’t have to be the first thing you write.
Think about how narrow or how broad your introduction should be and what you’ll include in your opening paragraph to help readers understand what you’re writing about. Bad strategy to introduce the topic: Batman debuted in comic books in 1939 and has been popular ever since.
Batman was a television show in the 1960’s and was also remade into many feature-length movies.
Better opening line for a problem/solution essay: A 2014 Student Government survey revealed that 65% of commuters have been late to class in the past semester due to lack of available on-campus parking. Not only is the tone much more serious, but it includes a statistic that reveals that the problem actually exists.
If you’re writing an evaluation essay, you’ll likely be writing in first person.
“I want to tell you about the time I almost died.”I really don’t have such a tale to tell, but I bet I piqued your interest, didn’t I? Because it’s a great opening line that makes you want to learn more.
You keep reading because you want to know how the story ends.
(Of course, your professor will keep reading even if she’s not very interested, but that’s not the reaction you’re hoping for.)Without a good introduction, your paper will fall flat.
These opening lines (sometimes called hook sentences) grab readers’ attention.