Introduction Techniques

For Persuasive Writing
Writing Structure
Every piece of writing—no matter
the format—should have a
beginning, a supportive middle, and
an end.
Introductory Paragraph
If readers like what they read in the first few
sentences, they’ll read on. The Introductory
Paragraph should contain the following:
• Attention Getter
• Position/Thesis Statement
• Optional: Preview Sentence
Make sure the reader knows what you are
writing about in the first couple of sentences!
Attention Getter
• Purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and
entice them to read more.
• This should be the first thing the reader sees;
put it first, before the position statement and
the preview.
• Following are suggestions for attention
getters that would be suitable for persuasive
Statistic or Fact
• Use a fact or statistic that helps set up what
you are going to say in the rest of your paper.
Remember to tell where you got the
According to the Association of School
Guidance Counselors, 38 percent of 13- to 15-year
olds have been the victim of a bully. I believe
that schools need to do more to prevent
Hypothetical Situation
• Start by describing a situation that may occur
that would make the point you are trying to
promote. You may start sentences with
Picture this… or Imagine…
Hypothetical Situation
Our family is on our way to Grandma’s house
for a visit. Normally, the four hour drive is filled
with Bobby and me flinging insults at each other.
You and Dad get involved, begging us to stop and
threatening us with punishment.
Now, imagine a peaceful car ride. You and Dad
can have a pleasant conversation without all the
drama coming at you from the back seat. This could
come true if I had an i-Pod to listen to in the car. If I
had an i-Pod Bobby would not annoy me because I
could plug in my earbuds and tune him out while I
enjoy my favorite music. I think you should consider
getting me an i-Pod for my birthday.
• Find a quote that fits in with your topic and
supports your position.
• “Chewing sugar free gum is the easiest way to
prevent cavities when brushing is not
convenient.” This finding resulted from a study
by the American Dental Association. I believe
we should be allowed to chew gum in school.
Chewing gum helps keep mouths healthy,
freshens breath, and helps students
• Use a series of sentence fragments to focus
the reader’s attention on images you want
them to think about.
Monstrous hurricanes. Cities swallowed by
the ocean. Species of animals and plants
becoming extinct. Drought and famine threaten
the human race. This is all a real threat due to
the problem of global warming. I believe that
global warming is a real problem that needs the
immediate attention of the Earth’s scientists.
• State a definition in your own words that ties
to your topic.
Responsibility: showing that you are reliable
or dependable. Many 16-year-olds show
excellent responsibility. However, more often
16-year-olds have not proven to be responsible.
I believe that the driving age should be changed
to 18 years old.
• Question is one of the first introductory
techniques we learn as young writers. Now
you’re in 8th grade. If you use a question, it
must be reflective and higher level
• Avoid questions that can be answered with a
simple yes or no.
• Questions should guide the reader into
thinking the way you want them to think
about your topic.
• Do NOT say: Do you think 16-year-olds should be
able to drive?
• Instead, say:
What makes a person responsible? Just
because you’re 16 years old, does that mean you
are more or less responsible than someone older
or younger than you? Is it fair to judge
someone’s abilities on a number? I believe that
the driving age should remain at 16 years old.
Now it’s your turn…
• No matter what product you are creating, you
should have an introduction that includes an
attention getter and your position/thesis
• Choose 3 of these techniques to try for your
• Of the 3 attention getters that you tried,
choose the one you think will work best for
your product and use it!