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 writing. 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 information. 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 bullying. 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. Quote • 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 concentrate. Fragments • 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. Definition • 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 • 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 questioning. • 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. Question • 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 statement. • Choose 3 of these techniques to try for your topic. • Of the 3 attention getters that you tried, choose the one you think will work best for your product and use it!