Sometimes when we write an essay we forget that we're speaking to someone (a reader). We also forget that the beginning of our essay is technically the first impression that we make on the reader, while the conclusion is our last chance to get the reader's attention. Rather than focusing on writing an essay that is simply "correct" (in terms of grammar, following your assignment requirements, etc.) good writers also consider whether or not they've left a lasting impression on their reader.
Think about it: the movies you've seen and the books you've read, the ones that really stand out in your mind, probably had an intriguing opening and a compelling ending. Your essay topic may not be as exciting as your favorite movie, but that doesn't mean you can't make sure that your ideas stand out in the reader's mind.
If you're not sure how to begin and end your essay, consider using what's often called the "hook" technique. The idea behind this method is that if you hook your audience (get their attention) in the beginning of the essay, they'll want to continue reading so that they can find out how everything will turn out in the end.
For example, to use the hook technique you might begin by saying: Students are often surprised to know that many of their instructors were not high-ranking students in their own graduating classes. In fact, one of the most well-respected Composition instructors here at Madeup University flunked Freshman English not once, but twice!
Then, you might conclude your essay by saying: Any student at Madeup University will tell you that the teachers who once struggled in their subject area are the most helpful. Remember that Composition teacher who flunked Freshman English twice? That was Mrs. Somebody--a popular Composition teacher and well-liked tutor in the Writing Center on campus. The best guides are those who've experienced the struggle themselves; these teachers truly help students climb toward academic success.
Remember, it is not enough to hook your audience in the beginning. You also have lead them on a journey that comes back around in your conclusion. There is no such thing as “next season” in papers- so NO CLIFF HANGERS!
Making the RIGHT Impression
Simply put, your introduction and conclusion are the first a last chance you have to grab your reader. They are crucial in the development of trust, likability and agreement.
Below are some helpful hints to get you on your way towards becoming an impression master!
- Write the body paragraphs before you write the introduction and conclusion
- People often get hung up on how to begin their papers, and this means more time staring at a blank screen getting discouraged. Instead try writing your thesis and your body paragraphs first. Once you have written your body, go back and read over it asking yourself, “What is it I really want to say?” or “How do I want my reader to feel about my topic?”
- Save one or two interesting quotes or insights for your introduction and conclusion
- Be careful here. Quotes are great, but the reader wants to hear what you have to say about the topic. Sometimes it’s better to find a great quote that goes against your position/topic. That way you set yourself up as a real scholar, and you create and interesting “conflict” for your reader from the beginning.
- Catch the reader's attention by beginning with a "hook," then conclude or resolve that concept in your conclusion.
- Remember, readers aren’t going to be interested just because your name is at the top of the paper. The hook is how you show your personality to your audience, and resolving that hook is how you show your intelligence. Like a good person, a good paper should be well- rounded!
- Think about your audience! Demonstrate that you care about their interests, opinions, and ideas in your introduction and conclusion
- No one cares about someone who doesn’t care about them. A carefully thought out introduction shows readers that you as a writer care about their enjoyment and understanding rather than just pontificating ideas.
Introduction and Conclusion Checklists
A good introduction should…
A good conclusion should…
Describe what you plan to write about
Remind the reader of the main ideas that were discussed in the essay
Give the reader some idea of how you plan to discuss or approach your topic
Tie up any loose ends by resolving any unresolved questions, statements, or ideas
Give background information on your topic (when appropriate)
Discuss what can be done about your topic in the future (when appropriate)
Include a clear, concise thesis statement
Offer suggestions on ways that the reader can get involved with your topic/cause (when appropriate)
Establish a connection between the writer and the audience
Try, one last time, to convince the reader to agree with you (when appropriate)
Nowadays online shopping becomes more popular than in-store shopping. Is it a positive or a negative development? Give your reasons and examples.
Now that we can buy just about anything with a few mouse clicks from the comfort of our home, very few people actually feel the need to venture into brick and mortar stores. There is no denying the fact that online shopping has become more popular than in-store shopping. This trend has both positive and negative aspects.
The huge popularity of online shopping can be attributed to the fact that it makes shopping easier. It saves both time and money. Buyers no longer have to drive all the way to shops to buy things. Also, online stores tend to offer attractive prices probably because they have lower overhead costs. This allows them to sell items for deeply discounted prices. This can lead to major cost benefits for shoppers. In addition, online shopping makes it easy to buy things from any part of the world. Even if an item is not available in your country, you can buy it from online stores. Online shopping also allows you to compare prices before hitting the purchase button.
On the flip side, the ease of online shopping has made many people compulsive shoppers. Most of us spend lots of time on the internet every day. And while we are on the internet, we get bombarded with numerous advertisements. For a compulsive shopper, this is a good reason to splurge. The fact that online shopping encourages us to buy things that we do not need or use cannot be denied. This can lead to debts. Also, there are security concerns. When you buy things online, you run a small risk of getting your financial information exploited by hackers. Of course, good anti-virus and anti-malware programs can offer a great deal of protection. But almost every week, we hear about data breaches at major online retailers.
To conclude, online shopping has several advantages and disadvantages. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Of course, the shopper has to exercise some common sense and keep their device free of malware if they want to enjoy the benefits of online shopping.
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