Lecture 3 lead-in and conclusion

By Brian Hunt,2014-06-12 09:14
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Lecture 3 lead-in and conclusion

How to write good lead-in

    (1) catches the readers attention;

    (2) announces the subject matter and

    tone of your essay (humorous, satiric,

    serious, etc.)

    (3) set up, or leads into the

    presentation of your thesis and essay


Here are some examples of lead-ins:

    1. A paradoxical or intriguing


    ? Eat two chocolate bars and call me

    in the morning, says the

    psychiatrist to the patient. Such

    advice sounds like a sugar fanatics

    dream, but recent studies have

    indeed confirmed that chocolate

    positively affects depression and


    2. An arresting statistic or shocking


    ? One of every seven women living in

    Smith County will be robbed this

    year, according to a recent report

    prepared by the Country Robbery

    Information and Counseling


    3. A question or questions

    ? It is three times the number of

    people who belong to the Southern

    Baptist Convention, nine times the

    number who serve in the U.S. armed

    forces, and more than twice the

    number who voted for Barry

    Goldwater for President in 1964.

    What is it? It is the number of

    people in the United States who

    admit to having smoked marijuana: a

    massive 62 million.

    ? Have you ever considered the

    changes that are taking place and

    will take place in your life as a

    college student? Has it ever occurred

    to you that your professors and other school personnel have certain goals for your growth and maturity during your college years? Has it ever dawned on you that certain

    developmental changes will occur in your life as you move from

    adolescence to young adulthood? Though college students seldom think about them, key changes will probably happen to them during their college years.

    4. A relevant story, joke, or anecdote

    ? Writer and witty critic Dorothy Parker was once assigned a remote, out-of-the-way office. According to the story, she became lonely, so desperate for company that she ultimately painted Gentlemen on

    the door. Although this university is large, no one on this campus needs to feel as isolated as Parker

    obviously did: our excellent Student

    Activity Office has numerous clubs,

    programs, and volunteer groups to

    involve students of all interests. 5. A description, often used for

    emotional appeal

    ? With one eye blackened, one arm in

    a cast, and third-degree burns on

    both her legs, the pretty, blond

    two-year-old seeks corners of rooms,

    refused to speak, and shakes

    violently at the sound of loud noises.

    Tammy is not the victim of a war, or

    a natural disaster; rather she is the

    helpless victim of her parents, one of

    the thousands of children who suffer

    daily from Americas hidden crime,

    child abuse.

    6. A factual statement or a summary



    ? Texass first execution of a woman

    in twenty-two years is scheduled for

    September 17 at the Huntsvilli Unit

    of the states Department of

    Correction, despite the protests of

    various human rights groups around

    the country.

    7. An analogy or comparison

    ? The Roman kept geese on their

    Capitol Hill to cackle alarm in the

    event of attack by night. Modern

    Americans, despite their technology,

    have hardly improved on that old

    system of protection. According to

    the latest Safety Council report,

    almost any door with standard locks

    can be opened easily with a common

    plastic credit card.

    8. A contrast

    ? It has long struck me that the

    familiar metaphor of climbing the

    ladder for describing the ascent to

    success or fulfillment in any field is

    inappropriate and misleading. There

    are no ladders that lead to success,

    although there may be some

    escalators for those lucky enough to

    follow in a familys fortunes.

    9. A personal experience

    ? I realized times were changing for

    women when I overheard my

    six-year-old nephew speaking to my

    sister, a prominent New York lawyer.

    As we left her elaborate, luxurious

    office one evening, Tommy looked

    up at his mother and queried,

    Mommy, can little boys grow up to

    be lawyers too?

    10. A catalog of relevant examples ? A two-hundred-pound teenager quit

    school because no desk would hold

    her. A three-hundred-pound chef

    who could no longer stand on his

    feet was fired. A

    three-hundred-fifty-pound driver

    broke furniture in his friends’ houses.

    All these people are now living

    healthier, happier, and thinner lives,

    thanks to the remarkable intestinal

    bypass surgery first developed in


Think of a good lead-in is often

    difficult when you sit down to begin

    your essay. Many writers, in fact, skip

    the lead-in until the first draft is written. They compose their working thesis first

    and then write the body of the essay,

    saving the lead-in and conclusion for

    last. As you write the middle of your

    essay, you may discover an especially

    interesting piece of information you

    might want to save to use as your


Problems to avoid

    1. Make sure your lead-in introduces

    your thesis.

    2. Keep your lead-in brief.

How to write a good concluding


    Use the concluding paragraph to

    emphasize the validity and importance

    of your thinking. Remember that the

    concluding paragraph is your last

    chance to convince your reader.

1. A restatement of both the thesis

    and the essays major points (for

    long essays only)

    ? As much as we may dislike the

    notion, its time to reinstate the

    military draft. With the armed

    services failure to meet its

    recruitment goals, the rising cost

    of defense, and the racism and

    sexism inherent in our volunteer

    system, we have no other choice if

    we wish a protected future.

    2. An evaluation of the importance of

    the essays subject

    ? These amazing, controvertial

    photographs of the comet will

    continue to be the subject of

    debate because, according to some

    scientists, they yield the most

    important clues yet revealed about

    the origins of our universe.

    3. A statement of the essays broader


    ? Because these studies of feline

    leukemia may someday play a

    crucial role in the discovery of a

    cure for AIDS in human beings,

    the experiments, as expensive as

    they are, must continue.

    4. A call to action

    ? The fate of the World War II hero

    Raoul Wlallenberg is still

    unknown. Although Congress has

    awarded him honorary citizenship,

    such a tribute is not enough. We

    must write our congressional

    representatives today to voice our

    demand that they investigate his

    disappearance or produce proof of

    his death. No hero deserves less.

    5. A warning based on the essays


    ? Understanding the politics that led

    up to Hiroshima is essential for all

    Americans----indeed, for all the

    worlds people. Without such

    knowledge, the frightful

    possibility exists that somewhere,

    sometime, someone may drop the

    bomb again.

    6. A witticism that emphasizes or

    sums up the point of the essay

    ? No one said dieting was easy. But

    for some of us who have

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