Moving from Prewriting to Essay
Writing the Introduction:
 Introductions are often the most frustrating part of a
paper for students because many students are unsure
of how to begin, what to say first.
 The following format allows students a useful template
that often aids greatly with this problem.
Three-Part Introduction: Hook
 The first part of our three-part introduction consists of
what is called a hook. A hook is something that gets
the reader’s attention and draws them into the essay. A
hooks can take the form of a startling fact or
provocative question, but can also take the form of an
interesting story or description. Note that the Hook
cannot be something that’s just random. It needs to
relate to the topic at hand.
Three-Part Introduction:
 The second part of the three part introduction is called
background. This section of the introduction provides
the reader with information about the issue at hand.
When an essay is written in response to an article, as
our assignment is, students should Paraphrase the
author’s idea in at least two sentences of THEIR OWN
 Be sure to include signal phrases to credit the ideas
taken from the author.
Three-Part Introduction: Thesis
 Write your thesis as a single declarative sentence that
makes your claim (what you’re trying to persuade the
reader of) clear.
Example Introduction:
 The following is an example student introduction from a paper on
speech codes on college campuses:
 Imagine a world where you are limited by law on everything you had to
say because the government didn’t want anyone to be offended. It
sounds like it could make for an interesting novel; however, this type of
censorship is occurring on campuses all across America in the form of
speech codes. In their article “Speech Codes: Alive and well at
Colleges,” Harvey Silverglate and Greg Lukianoff argue against the
imposition of speech codes on college campuses. Although these
speech codes were intended to combat harassment and racism on
college campuses, Silverglate and Lukianoff argue that these speech
codes infringe on students’ First Amendment Rights and cause more
harm than good. Speech codes on public college campuses should be
 Hook=Green Background=Blue Thesis=Red
Body Paragraphs:
 Most body paragraphs for our essay will follow the
following format:
Topic sentence
Essentially, the topic sentence will contain one of the
reasons that we’ve come up with to support our thesis.
The evidence will consist of facts, examples, quotations,
paraphrases, or summaries that support the topic sentence.
The commentary will explain in your own words how the
evidence you’ve presented supports your topic sentence
and ultimately your thesis.
Example Body Paragraph:
 This is the body paragraph from a student essay on gender roles.
 One Reason that today’s women should adopt more of the qualities
traditionally associated with men is that too many women today are
being sexually harassed and are not taking a firm enough stand against
the men harassing them. Ehrenreich, for example, was sexually
harassed by a professor at a conference: “Only minutes into the
conversation—held in all too adjacent chairs—it emerged that he was
interested in something more substantial than a meeting of the minds”
(12). It was clear that the professor was sexually interested in
Ehrenreich and that Ehrenreich was not interested in the professor.
Still, Ehrenreich states that she had to put up with his unwanted
advances for twenty minutes before finally leaving (13). By adopting a
more assertive attitude that is more traditionally associated with men,
torturous incidents like this could be prevented from dragging on and
may be prevented from happening again with a simple call to the police
or hotel security.
 Topic sentence=Green Evidence=Blue Commentary=Orange
Using the Words and Ideas of
Others as Evidence:
 As the body paragraph shows, writers often use ideas
and quotations taken from others as a form of
evidence. However, when writers do this they need to
make sure that they avoid plagiarism by correctly
crediting the sources they use.
 There are two main ways to correctly introduce
sources into your paper:
 Direct quotations
 Paraphrase
Using Quotations:
 Quotations are the author’s words exactly.
Therefore, if you use a direct quotation, you must
make sure that you copy the words of the author
exactly as they appear in the source and put
quotation marks around them. You must also
introduce them with a signal phrase. You should
always introduce the author fully the first time,
then refer to him or her only by last name after
 When you paraphrase, you must put the author’s ideas
in your own words.
 Paraphrases are usually shorter than the original
source and take a slightly broader stance.
 Do not include your own opinion in the actual
paraphrase. Remember, you are incorporating the
author’s words to support your opinion.
 Paraphrases are cited and introduced just like
 According to bell hooks, loving parents are
essential to our culture, but they must
reconsider aligning discipline with punishment.
 Here are some good techniques for writing
 Summarize main ideas
 Highlight the most important issue
 Ask a rhetorical question that will get readers
 Predict the future
 Offer a solution to a problem
 Call readers to action
 Never introduce a new supporting idea. The main
supporting ideas of your essay should be in the body
paragraphs. The conclusion is where you finish the
essay and leave your readers with a sense of
fulfillment and closure.