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 Too much focus
 Insights and observations

       Throughout the twentieth century, virtually every
        aspect of modern medicine has reaped the rewards of
        technological advancements. Society will be forever
        indebted to those pioneers who conceived the vast
        array of preventions, treatments, and cures that are
        readily available to mankind today. Apparently, the
        imaginations of these pioneers know no boundaries,
        for every day we are informed of progress in yet
        another domain of study.
              Introductions Cont.
 Start with the middle
 Example of a student who should have begun
  his paper with a statement he had in the middle
       He begins with the sweeping impersonal statement
        “Throughout the twentieth century, virtually every
        aspect of modern medicine has reaped the rewards of
        technological advancements.”
       A better start came from the middle, “Five years ago,
        a brain tumor destroyed my brother’s pituitary gland.”
          Introductions Cont.
A  good lead does not have to be this
 shocking to be effective. You can write
 different kinds of effective leads.
    Standard Lead
    Creative Lead
    Action Lead
    Personal or Revealing Lead
    Quotation Lead
    Dialogue Lead
                   Standard Lead
   Most common leads used
   Answerers one or more of the six basic questions: who,
    what, when, where, why and how
   Gives reader an idea of what to expect

       Of all the characters that I've "met" through books and
        movies, two stand out as people that I most want to
        emulate. They are Attacus Finch from To Kill A
        Mockingbird and Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham from
        Field of Dreams. They appeal to me because they embody
        what I strive to be. They are influential people in small
        towns who have a direct positive effect on those around
        them. I, too, plan to live in a small town after graduating
        from college, and that positive effect is something I must
        give in order to be satisfied with my life.
                      Creative Lead
   This lead attempts to add interest by being
    obtuse or funny. It can leave you wondering
    what the essay will be about or make you smile.

       If you like storms that clear a path of change and arcs that bridge
        communication gaps, slide down my rainbow into the whirlwind
        of my life. In a sense, I'm taking the world by storm. I'm either
        blessed or cursed with an optimism born not of ignorance, but of
        idealism based on personal experience. Perhaps foolishly,
        perhaps not, I believe that enough people in this world care for
        humanity to lift us out of our downward spiral of poverty,
        depression, and despair. Caring is just the first step, though.
        Next, people have to work together to achieve the social reforms
        necessary for our survival. I have chosen to concentrate my
        whirlwind energy in the reform of feminism.
                        Action Lead
   This lead takes the reader into the middle of a piece of
    action. It is perfect for short essays where space needs
    to be conserved or for narrative essays that begin with a

       Struck with sudden panic, I hastily flipped through the many
        papers in my travel folder until I spotted the ticket. I nervously
        thrust it toward the beaming stewardess, but took the time to
        return her wide smile. Before stepping into the caterpillar tunnel I
        looked back at my parents, seeking reassurance, but I sensed
        from their plastered-on grins and overly enthusiastic waves that
        they were more terrified than I. I gave them a departing wave,
        grabbed my violin case, and commenced my first solitary
        Personal or Revealing Lead
   This lead reveals something about the writer. It is always
    in the first person and usually takes an informal,
    conversational tone.

       Ever since I was little, I've had this overwhelming desire to travel
        the world. It seemed I was forever reading Motorland, hoarding
        travel brochures, and tacking up pictures of the places I wanted
        to visit all over the walls of my room. It was difficult for me to
        fathom that there could possibly be people living in faraway
        places, people who spoke strange languages, who practiced
        unusual customs, and who had cultures so different from my
        own. My parents couldn't understand my fascination for these
        distant places, nor did they share my passion for them. They just
        thought I was a dreamer, and they were right. I was.
                Quotation Lead
   This type of lead can be a direct quotation or a
    paraphrase. It is most effective when the quote you
    choose is unusual, funny, or obscure and it should not
    be too long. Choose a quote with a meaning you plan to
    reveal to the reader as the essay progresses. Some
    admissions officers caution against using this kind of
    lead because it can seem like you are trying to impress
    them or sound smart. Do not use a proverb or cliché,
    and do not interpret the quote in your essay. The
    admissions committee is more interested in how you
    respond to it and what that response says about you.
                     Dialogue Lead
   This lead takes the reader into a conversation. It can
    take the form of an actual dialogue between two people
    or can simply be a snippet of personal thought.

       "Je deteste des Americains," said the old Swiss woman sitting
        across from me. Her face contorted into a grimace of disgust as
        she and her friend continued to complain that Americans had no
        culture, that they never learned another language, and that their
        inferior customs were spreading throughout Europe like an
        infectious disease. Each hair on the back of my neck sprang to
        attention, as I strained to hear the women's inflammatory
        remarks. I gripped my bag of McDonald's harder with each
        insulting phrase.
 Don't   Summarize. Synthesize.
     You DO NOT need to recap the essay
      paragraph by paragraph
     you DO want to reiterate key themes, but
      preferably not in a way that merely repeats
     One way to add a strong sense of closure is
      to invoke your introduction in the process of
                Conclusions Cont.
   Expand on Broader Significance
       tie your ideas to some broader implications. However, do not
        get carried away. Stay grounded and focused on your personal

       “I cautiously placed my Star of David necklace around my neck
        as I once again boarded a plane to leave for Jonquiere, Quebec.
        For the following six weeks, I studied in a country where few
        people knew of the Jewish religion, and where those who looked
        at my necklace noticed it only for its beauty. Classmates in my
        courses knew of Judaism solely through stereotypes from
        television. For many, I was the first Jew they had met. I spoke
        less of my faith as a Jew, yet noticed its impact on me more. My
        necklace was my identity. I pulled it from underneath my shirt
        and placed it on the outside of my clothing, not caring if the
        diamond side faced forward.”
                 Conclusions Cont.
   Avoid Adding Entirely New Information, Except to Look
       speaking of goals in your conclusion is a strong way to end

       “I hope to continue performing and studying music after high
        school. One of my band members met Sean Lennon last week
        while in the Village and said that Sean was very interested in
        hearing the demo we will be finishing in late November. Just the
        opportunity to present my music to a larger audience makes me
        realize how deeply I want to share the positive experience music
        has been in my life. Every time I make a new film, DJ a radio
        show, or record music with my band, I hope to promulgate music
        that will inspire other people to listen closely to the music that
        surrounds and impacts their lives.”

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