Although these subjects certainly loom in all his works, a close examination of Lolita reveals that morality — the way people treat each other — is just as major a concern for him as language and art. Today it is required reading not only in literature courses but also in philosophy courses that explore the nature of love. Begin with a short anecdote or narrative When the original movie version of Lolita was released in the early s, Sue Lyon, the young actress who starred as the provocative "nymphet" of the title, was judged too young to be allowed to see the movie in the theater.
Begin with an interesting fact or statistic Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov — two acknowledged masters of English prose — were not even native speakers of English. Begin with a question or several questions that will be answered in the paper How could a book now acknowledged as a masterpiece not only of fiction but also of English prose have been banned when it was published?
How could a novel that dealt with love and art be thought of as pornographic? Why would a society so mindful of free speech as America ban any book in the first place? Although he was born in Russia and lived for many years in England, Germany, and France before coming to America in , Vladimir Nabokov is now considered one of the great American novelists of the 20th century. This opinion, however, is not based solely on his mastery of English prose.
His novel Lolita has been said to have captured the essence of American life in the s better than any novel written by a writer born in this country. Begin by stating a long-term effect or effects without immediately stating the cause It caused howls of protest from the guardians of public morality in the s.
You then proceed to provide the relevant context for that thesis. The Storytelling Strategy. You use an anecdote that illustrates salient aspects of the essay's central issue and then link the anecdote to your thesis about that issue.
Though the error is minor, the fact that it occurs in such a prominent place may lead the reader to assume that the writer is careless or unprofessional. GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U. The introductory paragraph includes a paraphrase of something said by a famous person in order to get the reader's attention. Warnings Stay on topic. A good writer knows never to turn in a piece of writing without going over it at least once or twice. Topic and context are often intertwined, but the context may be established before the particular topic is introduced. However, if the objective or your essay is to write a specific analysis, then "RUSSIA" would be far too general a topic.
This strategy is often combined with one of the others, especially No. These strategies are ultimately means to accomplish three interrelated rhetorical purposes of strong introductions.
All three are concerned with your readers, but the second also pays attention to your dialogic partners: the other scholars whose work you engage. Those three purposes are to:. We have two main suggestions for hitting that spot. The first involves a general approach to the challenge, and the second builds on it with more specific advice. The strategy involves moving from your arresting assertion to the context that sharpens its stakes.
At the same time, this possible objection helps clarify the situations in which it makes sense to employ the bold-pronouncement strategy: those in which readers of the journal will immediately recognize the striking quality of the thesis, the ways it seeks to take the scholarly conversation in a substantially new direction. Why might authors go for just the hook or just the I? You might opt for the all-hook intro because you want to demonstrate up front your mastery of a body of relevant scholarship.
You might opt for the all-I intro because you want to give your readers credit for knowing a lot about the relevant scholarly conversation rather than rehearsing points you believe they are already familiar with. Another honorable justification, but one that often has the unfortunate effect of suggesting that you are actually not familiar with what other scholars have said.
We also want to note that using the hook and an I approach is ultimately less a matter of sheer quantity -- X number of sentences or paragraphs to others, and Y number to your ideas -- than of argumentative quality. Good introductions do not just repeat what other scholars have said; they analyze it and find an opening in it for their contribution. Effective uses of the hook and an I can create that opening in numerous ways: they can point to significant aspects of your object or objects of study that previous work has overlooked; they can indicate how previous work explains some phenomena well but others less well; they can point to unrecognized but valuable implications or extensions of previous work; or they can begin to make the case that previous work needs to be corrected.
The list could go on, but the key point is that you want to make your audience see the same opening you do and pique their interest in how you propose to fill it.
This approach to introductions has ripple effects on the larger activity of writing an effective essay. Introductions and abstracts. We often find that authors use their first paragraphs for their abstracts. We do not recommend this tactic, because, as we have discussed in a related article , introductions and abstracts have different purposes.
As we say, abstracts are spoilers not teasers, because they give your audience a condensed version of your whole article: what your claim is, why it matters and how you will conduct your argument for it. Introductions, by contrast, are teasers that soon stop teasing. The tease comes with the hook, the construction of the opening for your argument, and ends with the full expression of the I, the articulation of your thesis statement or statements.
Order of composition. We have all heard the advice that one should write the introduction last.
But as with most rhetorical matters, one size does not fit all. Beginning to write by constructing the opening you want to fill and how you want to fill it can be a productive way to guide your whole argument. Two-way traffic between the introduction and the rest of the argument can also be an effective strategy. In such cases, the draft of the introduction guides the conduct of the argument, and then the details and directions of the argument lead you to revise that draft. And so on for as many rounds as you need to make everything as clear and compelling as possible. Choosing a strategy.
In other words, for most scholarly arguments more than one strategy can be adopted in the service of a strong introduction. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.
General Writing The Writing Process. Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements Summary: This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.