What they'll do today in class:
- Get classmate feedback on their worksheet -- focus/development
- Discuss introductions
- Write a legible intro
- Workshop intros for focus and expectations of evidence
Connection to course goals: The first activity emphasizes the importance of feedback in the revision process. The final activity asks them to consider how the choices they made in their introduction set-up expectations for their essay, and also is practice for the main workshop on Wednesday.
Exchange your sheet with a classmate. Once you've exchanged, respond to the following questions…
- Initial feedback on your focus and development worksheet.
- Are there any other ways you could narrow this focus? Will a reader easily be able to follow this "map" within the allotted space (750-100 words)?
- Are their examples DIRECTLY relevant to the focus/thesis they stated above? Will the examples be specific enough for a reader to understand? Are there any other examples you can think of that would be useful for this writer?
- Are the explanations of their examples clear?
Transition: We've been talking about purpose, audience and focus, and typically an introduction involves setting up and considering all three. Let's look more specifically at how to write introductions.
Introductions - Let's start by reviewing the reading from the PHG. According to that section, what are the goals of an introduction?
- Get the reader's attention
- Introduce and focus on your main idea (thesis)
- It sets up expectations for what you'll cover in the rest of the essay\
- You may want to define the terms "lead-in," "essay map", and "thesis"
- Then ask - what are some different ways or options for "lead-ins"?
- Personal example - description of a person or place
- Example from a case study - Startling fact or statistic
- Statement from a book - Striking question or questions
- A common error or mistaken judgement
3) Write an introduction.
- Based on the information we just discussed about introductions, write an introduction which accomplishes these goals.
- These intros don't have to be incredibly polished; they're a rough draft of your potential intro. But MAKE THEM LEGIBLE.
Focus and intro workshop. We're going to look at each other's introductions to see how effectively they grab the reader's attention, how well they set-up the overall main point of the essay, and what expectations they set-up for what the rest of the essay will cover.
- Exchange intros (pass them one person to the right)- After reading the intro, respond to the following questions on a separate sheet of paper (you want them to use a separate sheet of paper because if there's time more than one person will respond to each intro, and you don't want the second or third person to see what the person before them wrote)… Give them about 5 minutes to respond to these questions.
- How effective is the lead-in? Will it get the audience's attention? What other possibilities would you suggest for a lead-in and why?
- Looking at the intro, underline what you take to be the overall main point (thesis) of the essay.
- Based on the introduction, what do you think the rest of the essay will address? What points will the author make? Write a BRIEF outline of what you expect the rest of the essay to look like based on the expectations set-up in this introduction.
- Once you've finished answering these questions, pass the introduction one person to the right, and pass your responses back to the writer. (thus a new person will be responding to the introduction and the writer will collect these responses as they're completed. Hopefully everyone will get at least 2 people to read their intro, so they can compare their responses).
After at least two people have read each intro, have them return their responses and the intros to their writers. Each person should end up with their intro, and at least two responses. Then have them look over their responses (they can do this at home if you run out of time) and consider the following questions…
- Are the responses consistent in what they identified as the thesis?
- Are they consistent in the outline they provided of the rest of the essay?
If the answer to either of the above questions is 'no', think why they weren't consistent and how you might clear up the thesis and/or expectations. A 'no' is a pretty good sign that you're not clearly getting across what you need to get across.
- How well did your lead-in work? What other options were suggested? Will any of these work better?
- Based on the feedback you received, make a quick list of what you'll want to keep in mind when revising the introduction and writing the rest of the draft