Mr. DiLeo


Crafting Effective Introductions

Hook the Reader

The Marriage Proposal

How do people propose?

– Stadium Screens – Highway Billboards – Newspaper Advertisements – Scavenger Hunts – Rollercoaster – Bended knee – Letter/E-mail/text message/tweet

Pretend You’re Ready to Propose

• You’ve finally found the one with whom you want to spend your life. To be sure you get it right, you’ve decided to craft your proposal.

• Write the first 1-3 sentences of your proposal.

Writing an Introduction

No matter the format or purpose of a written work, an effective introduction is


to grab the reader, focus his or her thinking, and intriguingly relay information or persuade.

Formal Writing

•Narrative—tells a story to express a view •Reflective—recalls significant moment •Expository—explains •Persuasive—convince the reader of something

Strategies for Effective Writing •Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric – Persuasion and speech •Three categories for persuasion – Ethos ( ee-thos ) – Logos ( loh-gos ) – Pathos ( pey-thos )

Ethos (



• Persuasion through author’s trustworthiness and reliability – Example: – How does this ad incorporate trustworthiness?

Logos (loh-gos)

• Persuasion through use of reason – Example: – How does this ad use reason to persuade?

Pathos (



• Persuasion through an appeal to emotion – Example: – How does this ad appeal to emotion?

Back to the marriage proposal . . .

• Which method would be most effective for persuading your love to say “yes”?

•Ethos, Logos or Pathos?

The Power of Love to Unite •Let’s use the rhetoric tactic of


in a formal essay to persuade a reader of love’s power to bring people together.

• Where do we start?

– The hook of the introduction

• • • Different tactics for effective introductions:

grabbing or hooking the reader’s interest


an amusing or relevant story that is short and to the point

Painting an Image:

using imagery to create a resonant picture


a concise, often witty phrase that relates thematically

How the Hook Connects to an Introductory Paragraph

• Anecdote Example Last July fourth, the humidity broke at dusk and a cool breeze swept in off the lake and two people huddled close together. They stared at each other and everyone else faded away. Even the crickets were silent. There was magic in that moment, a wonderful intangible something that connected them. It was like they had been lifted into the sky and set among the stars. Their smiles could have been the face of Heaven. When the first firework exploded over the lake, the woman screamed and hugged the man, saying, “I thought I was falling.” He held her. He promised to never let her fall. That magical moment of connection is something these two will return to again and again over their life together. Somehow, in this crazy world, love brought these two together. That is the power of love: it can unite people with a bond that lasts a lifetime.

• Painting an Image Example The couple sits on the swinging bench so close there is no distinction between their bodies. They rock back and forth, the chain gently squeaking. Wrinkled hands linked so tightly, their old skin might still be young and taut, their bones strong and solid. They are fading like the red sun setting in the distance, but as they smile at each other with fake teeth and cataract eyes, they know that though their bodies crumble, their love will never falter. Love is an intangible entity that is strong enough to endure the years and overlook the decay of old age. Love is a uniting force that knows not crumbling teeth or bad eyes; it knows only of the human heart and its capacity for affection.

Aphorism/Quote Example

• “You don’t marry someone you can live with; you marry the person you cannot live without.” Love is not toleration; it is necessity. People are brought together through love not because it is convenient, but because it is essential. When love unites two people, they are like air for the other: they will die without their partner. Love is one of the strongest emotions and its power to unite is as mystical as it is undeniable.

Application • What you need to do: – Select one of the techniques discussed (

Anecdote, Paint a Picture, Aphorism/Quote

) – Use that tactic to employ pathos (

elicit reader emotion

) to create the opening hook of an essay about . . .

• Blanche DuBois

Blanche DuBois

• Explore how Blanche is a victim of a cruel and indifferent world • THINK: How can we use Pathos to hook a reader’s interest?

• Which technique should we use? Anecdote? Paint and Image? Aphorism?

Who wants to share?

• Assess the hook: – Which technique is used?

– How is pathos employed? – How does the opening grab your attention?

– Do you want to read more? Why? Why not?


• There are many different techniques available for crafting effective introductions and luring in the reader.

• You can now experiment with future assignments using Anecdotes, Paint a Picture, and Aphorism/Quote • You can also expand from using pathos to using ethos and Logos as well.

• Select the best technique for the task • UP NEXT: Critical Lens Essay • How can pathos be used for an essay about Of Mice and Men?