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The Tempest

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					Writing an Introduction

         English 12
     The Tempest Essay
   Purpose of an Introduction:
 1. To get the reader's attention.
 2. To lead the reader into your paper
  and to establish your thesis.
 3. To control your essay by moving
  from a general discussion of the
  subject to the specific thesis that your
  paper will prove.
           How do I begin?
 You   could begin with an attention
 grabber. This information must be true
 and verifiable, and it doesn't need to be
 totally new to your readers. It could
 simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly
 illustrates the point you wish to make. If
 you begin with a piece of startling
 information, follow it with a sentence or
 two of elaboration.
                     Example:
   People love magic. Last year, magician David
    Copperfield did over 300 shows at the MGM
    Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. At over $100 a
    ticket, audiences of over 1200 were delighted
    by his otherworldly abilities. Prospero,
    Shakespeare’s title character in The Tempest,
    also dazzles the audience with his command of
    magic. His command of the island, his control
    over Ariel and Caliban, and his ability to cause
    a storm while protecting those within it all point
    to a man with tremendous magical gifts. As
    with David Copperfield, it is the magic that
    makes the show The Tempest worth viewing.
                How do I begin?
   You could begin with a quotation from the play
    that reflects your thesis. Follow this quote with
    a sentence or two of elaboration.
                     Example:
   “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”
    (I, i, 44-45) In Shakespeare’s The Tempest,
    evil is pervasive. Prospero has been treated
    cruelly by his brother Antonio, but he himself
    has gone on to treat Ariel, his fairy and slave,
    with contempt.        After the storm, when
    Antonio and Sebastian arrive on the island, it
    is clear that history is set to repeat itself. It is
    only by foiling the plans of the evil doers on
    the island that Prospero is able to rid himself
    of the evil within, and forgive.
               How do I begin?
   If you tread carefully, you can begin with an
    anecdote. An anecdote is a story that illustrates
    a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the
    point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a
    very effective opener for your essay, but use it
    cautiously, as it could sound either hokey or
    irrelevant.
                    Example:
   My friend Karen was one of six girls raised by a
    single mother in rural Ireland. She went to all-
    girls schools from kindergarten until her
    graduation from high school, and then went to
    a women’s college. She had very little
    experience of men, and ended up marrying the
    first boy she ever dated. Like Miranda in
    Shakespeare’s The Tempest, my friend Karen
    was not troubled by her limited knowledge of
    men. Miranda’s innocence, unaffected and
    unadorned beauty, intelligence and forthright
    nature caused Ferdinand to fall in love at first
    sight. Like my friend Karen, Miranda’s lack of
    experience with men worked in her favor.
               How do I begin?
   Summary Information: A few sentences
    explaining your topic in general terms can lead
    the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence
    can become gradually more specific, until you
    reach your thesis. This is called the “funneled”
    form of introduction, and it is quite popular.
                   Example:
   Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a study on the
    nature of imperialism. At the time that the
    play was written, England was creating a
    global empire, with holdings in India, Africa,
    and North America.         The island in The
    Tempest represents the new world. Through
    a study of Prospero’s treatment of Caliban
    and Ariel, as well as a discussion of the
    absurd ambitions of Stephano and Trinculo,
    the reader can assess Shakespeare’s views.
    It is clear from a reading of The Tempest that
    Shakespeare was against imperialism.
             How NOT to Begin!
   “Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘guilt’ as: ‘a
    feeling of responsibility or remorse for some
    offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or
    imagined.’”…EEK! English teachers see this all
    the time, and it HURTS!

   “In this essay I will…” Argh! That’s about as
    subtle as a train wreck. The passive voice is
    appropriate for formal, persuasive essays.
     Elements of an Introduction
An introduction should include:
- A brief summary of the action of the play or a
  description of the characters being discussed
- A hint as to the topics to be discussed in the
  essay – this can be specific, or more general if
  there are numerous topics being discussed
- A THESIS – What will you prove to your reader
  in this essay?
DESPITE WHAT WE TOLD YOU IN GRADE
  10, THE ORDER DOES NOT MATTER;
  WRITE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

				
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