A. Start with a good “hook” 1. rhetorical question - just not “have you ever…” 2. attention grabbing image 3. make it sound like you want to write it 1. Top yellow part – the hook - broad, not focused on the actual work itself - just a similar idea or something INTERESTING 2. Middle orange part - transition into talking about the work - give the title and author 3. Bottom pointed white part - thesis statement that answers the prompt SHOULD BE BETWEEN THREE AND SIX SENTENCES LONG A. Flip the candy corn from the intro 1. rephrase the thesis (don’t say it exactly the same way) - white part 2. recap the argument and broaden back out to more universal ideas - orange 3. leave the reader knowing the paper is over - yellow. 1. Introduce new ideas in the conclusion 2. THANK the reader for reading your essay 3. Contradict your argument 4. End with “The End” Space is limited! Make these changes: For STAAR intros – skip the middle orange part. Start with that attention grabbing sentence or two; then, CLEARLY state your thesis. For STAAR conclusions – rephrase your thesis like always; then, ask yourself, “Why does this idea matter?” End your conclusion with a statement that tries to answer that question. DO NOT tell the reader what to do (that’s for the 10th grade essay) but help them understand the importance of your idea.