Revision for the Six Traits of writing by wanghonghx


									 The Alpha
 & Omega
of Writing :

(more sophisticated)
Introductions and Conclusions
How can I write an intro?

   There are three basic ways to write an
    ◦ You can write the introduction after you write
      the body of your essay.
    ◦ You can write the introduction before you write
      the body of your essay.
    ◦ You can rough out the introduction first and then
      focus and revise it once you have written your
    ◦ If you are in a timed writing situation, you often
      are forced to write it first, so here are some tips.

Writing Situation:

The principal of your school has suggested that
watching TV causes students ’ grades to drop.

Directions for Writing:

Think about the effect watching TV has on your
grades and your friends ’ grades.

Now write to convince your principal whether
watching TV causes students ’ grades to drop.
   Professional writers who write for magazines and
    receive pay for their work use six basic patterns to
    grab a reader's interest:
    ◦ historical review
    ◦ anecdotal
    ◦ surprising statement
    ◦ famous person
    ◦ analogy
    ◦ create an image
Wait, where are the other patterns
         I already know?
   Common openers for young writers
    ◦ Dictionary definitions (“Webster’s defines
      courage as….”)
    ◦ Opening with a question (“Did you know.…”)
    ◦ Surprising statistic (which may not be that
      surprising OR true) (“Teenagers spend over
      250 hours a week watching television….”)
   We are going to practice new ones that
    are more interesting.
Historical Review
   Some topics are better understood if a brief
    historical review of the topic is presented to
    lead into the discussion of the moment.
   Such topics might include
       "a biographical sketch of a war hero,“
        "an upcoming execution of a convicted criminal,“
       "drugs and the younger generation."
       It is important that the historical review be brief
        so that it does not take over the paper.
Example Historical Review
   When TV was first introduced to America in the
    1950’s, no one imagined it would become such a
    cultural phenomenon. Families would gather
    around to watch old black and white variety shows
    like Ed Sullivan; now, kids have hundreds of channels
    to choose from, and many of them choose
    educational programming on channels like
    Discovery, the Food Network, and Health TV.
    While television does still provide a variety of
    entertainment, its educational possibilities are
    endless and can actually help children learn about
    the world.
   An anecdote is a little story. Everyone loves to listen
    to stories. Begin a paper by relating a small story that
    leads into the topic of your paper. Your story should
    be a small episode, not a full blown story with
    characters and plot and setting. Read some of the
    anecdotes in the Reader's Digest special sections such
    as "Life in These United States" to learn how to tell
    small but potent stories. If you do it right, your story
    will capture the reader's interest so that he or she
    will continue to read your paper. One caution: be sure
    that your story does not take over the paper.
    Remember, it is an introduction, not the paper.
   Young Brian walked into class, shoulder’s slumped
    and eyes half-closed. As he took his seat, his head
    fell slightly. “Take out your homework,” the
    teacher requested. The young boy realized that
    he’d forgotten the assignment on his desk at
    home. He stayed up late to watch Monday Night
    Football and was extremely tired while getting
    ready. The paper didn’t make it into his backpack.
    Brian has allowed TV to interfere with his grades.
    Like Brian, television claimed the academic life of
    many young pupils, distracting them from their
    studies, creating difficultly in staying focused and
    filling students’ minds with sometimes useless
Surprising statement:
 A surprising statement is a favorite introductory
  technique of professional writers. Sometimes the
  statement is surprising because it is disgusting.
  Sometimes it is joyful. Sometimes it is shocking.
  Sometimes it is surprising because of who said it.
  Professional writers have honed this technique to
  a fine edge. It is not used as much as the first two
  patterns, but it is used.
 Despite what you have been told, do NOT make
  up facts to startle your reader—even on the
  FCAT. It will damage your credibility as a writer.
My dog watches television. She enjoys Animal
 Planet, CSI, and any news show with a news
 crawl at the bottom. Her eyes remain fixed
 at the screen for minutes at a time (a long
 time for a dog). The same is true for many
 teenagers. Many remain fixed on the screen
 for three to four hours a night (a long time
 for a teenager). Television has claimed the life
 of many teenagers (and my dog), distracting
 them from their studies, creating difficulty in
 staying focused and filling students’ minds
 with sometimes useless knowledge.
Famous person:
   People like to know what celebrities say and do.
    Dropping the name of a famous person at the
    beginning of a paper usually gets the reader's
    attention. It may be something that person said or
    something he or she did that can be presented as an
    interest grabber. You may just mention the famous
    person's name to get the reader's interest. The
    famous person may be dead or alive. The famous
    person may be a good person like the Pope, or he or
    she may be a bad person like John Wilkes Booth. Of
    course, bringing up this person's name must be
    relevant to the topic. Even though the statement or
    action may not be readily relevant, a clever writer can
    convince the reader that it is relevant.
   Michael Crichton wrote Jurassic Park and
    many other suspenseful, well written books.
    He also developed the TV show, ER. Both
    True Blood and Bones TV series are based off
    of books. So when people argue that TV is
    just a bunch of useless drivel, I would argue
    that watching quality television shows with
    solid story development, good characters,
    and even scientific or historical facts would
    benefit students’ academic performance.
Analogy/figurative language:
 An analogy is a comparison between two
  unlike things. This technique is a hallmark
  of an inventive writer. It sets up the
  feeling that the essay will be original,
  thought provoking, insightful.
 Be careful to avoid clichés (“Life is like a
  box of chocolates….”)
   Like in the movie The Ring, televisions can be
    mysterious things. In the movie, a frightening,
    ghost-like girl crawls out. In real life, we
    often crawl in—getting lost in imaginary
    worlds that take us to far away places. These
    imaginary worlds often challenge us to solve
    crimes, examine society’s problems, and
    laugh at ourselves. The value of television
    lies in its ability to challenge students to
    think creatively, use their imaginations, and
    understand satire and social criticism.
Create an image:
   “Showing” details area always better than
    “telling” about something. Painting a
    picture in the reader’s mind is a great way
    to capture your readers’ attention, but
    only if the image is relevant and clearly
   With eyes swollen and heavy, the student stares
    intently at the 65 inch flat screen. His copy of To
    Kill a Mockingbird lies untouched on the coffee
    table before him next to the can of Mountain Dew
    and the crusts from his late night sandwich. The 20
    pages of reading just didn’t get done. Television
    claimed the academic life of many young pupils like
    this one, distracting them from their studies,
    creating difficultly in staying focused and filling
    students minds with useless knowledge.
Your assignment:
 Reread your COURAGE essay.
 Select three different methods for writing
  introductions and rewrite your
  introduction to your “COURAGE” using
  each method.
 Label your introductions.
 Double space MLA format.

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