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					                     INTRODUCTION TO THE ESSAY

                                        PART ONE:
                               The Introductory Paragraph




                              Prof. N. Dawkins
                      Miami-Dade Community College
                                   North Campus




These materials were developed from program texts and materials contributed by Professors:
                                         L. Biaggi
                                        N. Dawkins
                                     L. Pierre-Philippe
                                Multimedia by Prof. Williams
Diagram of a Paragraph

   I. Topic Sentence
   A. Major Support
        minor support
   B. Major Support
        minor support
   C. Major Support
        minor support
   II. Conclusion
Diagram of an Essay

I.        Introductory Paragraph

     I.     Body Paragraph 1
     II.    Body Paragraph 2
     III.   Body Paragraph 3

 IV.       Concluding Paragraph
                                         Introductory Paragraph
Topic Sentence                            A. General Statements
                                             1.Opener sentence
                                           2.Elaborator sentence
                                              3.Bridge sentence
                                           B. Thesis Statement


 A. Major Support
    minor support
                    II. Body Paragraph 1
                      A. Topic Sentence
                       1. Major Support
                        a. minor support
                       2. Major Support
                        a. minor support
 B. Major Support
    minor support      (Conclusion*)


                    III. Body Paragraph 2
                      B. Topic Sentence
                        1. Major Support
                        a. minor support

 C. Major Support       2. Major Support

    minor support       a. minor support
                         (Conclusion*)



                                                        IV. Conclusion
II. Conclusion                                           Restatement
                                                       or summary of the
                                                         major points
                                                     and a final comment.
                 Comparison
                 Breakdown


                          Introductory Paragraph
Topic Sentence              A. General Statements
                              1. Opener sentence
                            2. Elaborator sentence
                               3. Bridge sentence
                           B. Thesis Statement
A. Major Support
    minor support   II. Body Paragraph 1
                       A. Topic Sentence
                        1. Major Support
                         a. minor support
                        2. Major Support
                         a. minor support
                         (Conclusion*)
B. Major Support
   minor support


                   III. Body Paragraph 2
                    B. Topic Sentence
                      1. Major Support
                       a. minor support
                      2. Major Support
                       a. minor support
                      (Conclusion*)
II. Conclusion

                 IV. Conclusion
                 Restatement
                 or summary of the
                 major points
                 and a final comment
The introductory paragraph is the first paragraph in an essay. It serves to capture
the reader’s attention and inspire him or her to continue to read the rest of the
composition. Therefore, the introductory paragraph is very important. It has two parts.
It consists of the general statements (3-5 sentences) and the thesis statement.
General statements do not contain the major support. The thesis statement must contain
major supports. Let’s examine these two parts carefully.

Part 1: General Statements (3-5 sentences)

1. Sentence # 1 is called the opener.
      There are five basic types of openers.
    a. 1 or 2 questions related to the general topic

       When was the last time you used public transportation?
       How was your experience?
     b. comment about the past that is related to the general topic

        Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade County officials made a
        commitment to improving public transportation.

     c. a description (or definition) of the general topic

          Public transportation is a system for conveying a large
          number of people conveniently and inexpensively
          d. a personal anecdote related to the general topic
              I was ten years old when I took my first ride on the Metro
              Rail.

          e. an explanation of the importance or relevance of the general topic
               Public transportation is an important service to the people of a large county like
               Miami-Dade County.

2.    Sentence # 2 is called the elaborator.
      One or two sentences which explain (elaborate) the opener. The elaborator
      is still general because it serves to clarify the first sentence (opener). The
      elaborator can provide more information about the topic, or the
      elaborator can state a reason for the situation expressed in the opener.

                                  Examples:
     a.         When was the last time you used public transportation? How was your
                experience? Using public transportation should not be unpleasant.

     b.        Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade County officials made a commitment to
               improving public transportation. Several millions of dollars were set
               aside to design a public transportation system for the entire county.
c.   Public transportation is a system for conveying a large number of people
     conveniently and inexpensively. This system should meet the daily
     transportation needs of thousands of residents and visitors.

d.   I was ten years old when I took my first ride on the Metro Rail. This
     was an important day for the entire community.

e.   Public transportation is an important service to the people of a large county like
     Miami-Dade County. People must have transportation to satisfy many
     important needs.
3. Sentence # 3 is called the bridge.

        The bridge connects the first two general statements to the thesis. This
        sentence is more specific than the first two sentences. It can refer to the
        actual focus of the essay. The bridge can connect to the thesis by
        making a contrast between the first two sentences and the thesis.
        Another way the bridge can connect to the thesis is by adding a specific
        statement or question.


                                   Examples:


         a.        When was the last time you used public transportation? How
                   was your experience? Using public transportation should not be
                   unpleasant. But, many public transportation users feel that
                   the system is unpleasant.


        b.        Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade County officials made a
                  commitment to improving public transportation. Several millions of dollars
                  were set aside to design a public transportation system for the entire county.
                  County leaders promised a “state of the art” system would be
                  operational by the year 2000.
c.        Public transportation is a system for conveying a large
          number of people conveniently and inexpensively. The
         system should meet the daily transportation needs of
         thousands of residents and visitors. What are some of the
         features of an effective public transportation system for
         Miami-Dade County?


d.    I was ten years old when I took my first ride on the Metro Rail. This
      was an important day for the entire community. It was the
      opening day of the first Metro Rail station in Hialeah, and I will
      never forget it.



e.    Public transportation is an important service to the people of a large county
      like Miami-Dade County. People must have transportation to
     satisfy many important needs. How would we do this without a car?
Part 2: Thesis Statement (the last sentence)

 4. Sentence # 4 is the thesis statement.

   It is the last sentence in the introductory paragraph of an essay. It is
   preceded by the 3 – 5 general statements about the topic. The thesis
   statement explains the focus of the essay, and it is specific. It is sometimes
   called the “topic sentence” of an essay. At the advanced level, a thesis
   statement must meet the criteria listed below. It must:

       a.            state the focus of the essay
       b.             indicate the essay type. (process, cause, effect,
                     definition, comparison, contrast, classification,
                     argument, etc.)

       c.            identify 2 – 3 major points which are expressed in
                     parallel grammatical forms

       d.            be written in 1 sentence

       e.            be punctuated correctly


            *Note: When introducing the major points in the thesis, use colons ( : ) after nouns or noun
            equivalents such as gerunds, and not after verbs.
                       Examples:



a.   When was the last time you used public transportation? How
     was your experience? Using public transportation should not be
     unpleasant. But, many public transportation users feel that the
     system is unpleasant. Public transportation has two unpleasant
     qualities: rigid routes and unreliable schedules.




b.   Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade County officials made a
     commitment to improving public transportation. Several millions of dollars
     were set aside to design a public transportation system for the entire
     county. County leaders promised a “state of the art” system would be
     operational by the year 2000. The Metro Rail system of Miami-Dade
     County has modern high speed trains and clean beautiful stations.
 c.      Public transportation is a system for conveying a large number of people
        conveniently and inexpensively. The system should meet the daily
        transportation needs of thousands of residents and visitors. What are
        some of the features of an effective public transportation system for
        Miami-Dade County? Reliable schedules and strategic destinations
        are two critical features of an effective public
        transportation system.

d.      I was ten years old when I took my first ride on the Metro Rail.
        This was an important day for the entire community. It was the
       opening day of the first Metro Rail station in Hialeah, and I
        will never forget it. The inaugural ride from the Okeechobee
        Station to the Metro Dade Government Center was both
        historic and exciting.



 e.    Public transportation is an important service to the people of a large
       county like Miami-Dade County. People must have transportation to
       satisfy many important needs. How would we do this without a car?
      Work and shopping transport needs can be fulfilled by public
      transportation.
           More examples of thesis statements:


 1.    Three requirements to be fully prepared in the event of a
      hurricane are getting supplies, protecting one’s home, and
      staying informed.



2.    To be fully prepared for a hurricane, South Floridians must
      get supplies, protect their homes, and stay informed.



3.    To be fully prepared for a hurricane requires the following: getting
      supplies, protecting one’s home, and staying informed.
             Body Paragraphs

a.     When was the last time you used
public education? How was your experience?
Using public transportation should not be unpleasant.
But, many public transportation users feel that the
system is unpleasant. Public transportation has
two unpleasant qualities: rigid routes and unreliable
schedules.
        The fixed and limited routes of the public transportation
system limit its usefulness for many people who work in rural
areas. For example, there are no Metro-rail stations in the far
northern and southern boundaries of the county. As a result,
residents of these outlying areas are limited in their ability to
participate in the employment and entertainment opportunities
of metro Miami and Miami Beach.
        Additionally, because buses and trains are not always
punctual, they cannot confidently be used by people who
must report to work at a specific time. In an informal survey
of 200 public transportation patrons, 90 percent reported that
a bus or train had been more than 15 minutes late at least
one day a week for the past four weeks. This inefficiency can
have serious consequences. When a bus or train arrives
fifteen minutes late, it is not always a minor irritation, it may
cost a commuter his or her job.
b.     Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade County officials made a
commitment to improving public transportation. Several million
dollars were set aside to design a public transportation system
for the entire county. County leaders promised a “state of the
art” system would be operational by the year 2000.
The Metro Rail system of Miami-Dade County has
modern high-speed trains and clean beautiful stations.
       The Metrorail is often the fastest way to get to
heavily trafficked destinations in the county. The
train has a top speed of 55 mph and is not slowed by
red lights and stop signs. Even though trains must
stop at stations, each stop averages only 3 minutes.
As a result, the Metrorail covers rush-hour routes
much faster that the average commuter driving the
same route. During rush hour, a train is scheduled to
arrive at each station every six minutes.
        Metrorail stations are also very attractive. They are
well-lighted, well-maintained, and staffed with 24-hour
security. Furthermore, Metro’s Art in Transit Program selects
artists to show their work in Metrorail stations. Anyone
patronizing the Metrorail will be pleasantly surprised to find
original works of painting and sculpture gracing the walls of
the train stations.
c.      Public transportation is a system for conveying a large
number of people conveniently and inexpensively. The system
should meet the daily transportation requirements of thousands
of residents and visitors. What are some of the features of an
effective public transportation system for Miami-Dade County?
Reliable schedules and strategic destinations are
two critical features of an effective public
transportation system.
       For patrons to have confidence in public transportation,
service must be consistent and punctual. Users must know
that by relying on the posted arrival and departure times, they
will never be late for work. In Miami, The Metrorail promises a
train every six minutes during rush hour and every fifteen
minutes during midday hours. Customers should be able to
rely on these projections.
        Additionally, a competent transportation system
provides ample coverage of the most heavily traveled areas of
a city. Service to downtown, major malls, and the beaches
should be frequent and staffed with several buses and/or
trains. Also, additional resources should be allocated for
special events, such as major concerts or sporting events, for
which vastly increased usage is projected.
d.     I was ten years old when I took my first ride on the
Metrorail. This was an important day for the entire community.
It was the opening day of the first Metrorail station in Hialeah,
and I will never forget it. The inaugural ride from the
Okeechobee Station to the Metro Dade Government
Center was both historic and exciting.
        Part of the thrill was knowing that what I was doing was
a first. I could also sense the pride of my fellow passengers
over the modernization of Miami. Like Chicago, San Francisco,
and New York, Miami now had its very own train system. Of
course later hundreds of thousands of people would ride the
train, but on that day I was doing something unique in the
history of Miami.
        It was also exciting simply because I had never been
on a train before. Racing at fifty miles per hour high above
the ground gave me the feeling of flying. As I watched the
housed and cars whiz by me below, it was as if I was in a
futuristic hovercraft. For a ten-year-old child with an active
imagination, it was an incredible adventure.
e.    Public transportation is an important service to the
people of a large county like Miami-Dade County. People
must have transportation to satisfy many important needs.
How would we do this without a car? Work and shopping
transport needs can be fulfilled by public
transportation.
       An estimated twenty percent of the 1,700,000 adults
in Miami-Dade do not own cars. Many of these 340,000
people are employed in service industries that require them
to travel to large employment centers, such as shopping
centers, hotels, hospitals, or the airport. Without public
transportation, most of these workers could not fill many of
the service-related positions that are so crucial to Miami’s
economy.
        The same workers that help others to spend money
are valuable consumers in their own right. These workers
spend millions of dollars annually on necessities and
entertainment. The malls, movie theatres, and nightclubs
of Miami owe part of their profitability to the dollars of
these service workers. Businesses also are indebted to a
reliable transportation system that carries these shoppers
to their destinations.

				
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