The Long Composition - Ms. Filkins

For the introduction in an essay, there are three parts: the hook, the
bridge, and the thesis. The opening statement usually functions as a
"hook" or attention grabber to draw in the reader. You can choose
from five different types of hooks: the question, the quotation, the
anecdote, the generalization, and the definition. After the hook comes
your bridge statement, which explains how the hook is relevant to the
thesis. The last sentence of the introductory paragraph contains the
thesis statement, a sentence or two that is the central idea of your
• Question Hook: You ask your reader a question. Ex: “Have you ever been
accused of doing something you didn’t do?”
• Quotation Hook: You can use a quote by a famous author, singer, actor,
philosopher, etc. Ex: Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of
suffering, it is full also of overcoming it.”
• Anecdote Hook: An anecdote is usually a short narrative of an interesting,
amusing, or biographical incident. Ex: “When I was a freshman in high
school, I was sent to the office for insubordination, however, I was not a
bad kid; my teacher just wasn’t very fond of me.”
• Generalization Hook: You make a generalization about society that relates
to your topic. Ex: “Works of literature often feature characters that are
accused of a crime they didn’t commit.”
• Definition Hook: You define something that needs to be defined in your
essay. Ex: Reasonable doubt is defined as a real doubt based upon reason
and common sense after careful & impartial consideration of all evidence or lack
of evidence in a case.
The most important bridge statement in an essay is found
within the introductory paragraph, and it sets the scene for the
reader. What your bridge says is dependent upon your hook.
• If you choose the question, you may want to generally answer
the question.
• If you choose the quotation, explain the quotation in terms of
your essay’s central idea.
• If you choose the anecdote, discuss how the anecdote ties into
your essay’s central idea.
• If you choose the generalization, loosely discuss the themes
found in your essay’s central idea.
• If you choose the definition, loosely discuss the definition in
terms of the themes found in your essay’s central idea.
Body paragraphs have six parts: background, topic sentence, lead in,
example, explication of the example, and a wrap up. For a long
composition, you should write three body paragraphs. Each body
paragraph should focus on three subtopics that prove your thesis is, in
fact, valid. For a long composition, you should have nothing less than
three body paragraphs.
• Background information: This is where you should give
background about the story, any basic facts your reader needs to
know, and define any more key terms.
• Topic sentence: Your topic sentence is the subtopic you will address
that proves your essay’s thesis is valid.
• Lead in: A lead in usually takes the form of a transition into your
• Example: In a long composition, you do not use direct quotes.
Instead of direct quotes, you are supposed to summarize a quote, in
your own words, from the text in order to back up your subtopic
and overall thesis.
• Explication of your example: You must analyze your example by
explaining how your example proves your thesis is valid.
• Wrap up: You must use strategic repetition and relate your findings
in the body paragraph back to the thesis of your long composition.
Your conclusion is the place where you bring your essay to an end
without leaving any loose ends. Your last paragraph should be at
least six sentences.
• Transition & Restated Thesis: Use a sophisticated transition (stay
away from “in conclusion”) and simply restate your thesis from
your introduction
• Summary of Main Points: Summarize each body paragraph in a
sentence each.
• Transition & Theme Statement: Use a sophisticated transition
before you conclude your long composition with a strong statement
that gets your reader thinking about life or human nature without
moralizing or trivializing anything.