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The introductory paragraph not only gives the reader an idea of what you will talk about but also shows them how you will talk about it.Put a disproportionate amount of effort into this – more than the 20% a simple calculation would suggest – and you will be rewarded accordingly.
For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required.
The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.
If yours is much longer you might want to consider editing it down a bit!
Here, by way of example, is an introductory paragraph to an essay in response to the following question: "Do we learn more from finding out that we have made mistakes or from our successful actions?
Before you even get to this thesis statement, for example, the essay should begin with a "hook" that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on.
Examples of effective hooks include relevant quotations ("no man is an island") or surprising statistics ("three out of four doctors report that…").Active voice, wherein the subjects direct actions rather than let the actions "happen to" them – "he scored a 97%" instead of "he was given a 97%" – is a much more powerful and attention-grabbing way to write.At the same time, unless it is a personal narrative, avoid personal pronouns like I, My, or Me.Seal the deal by directly stating why this example is relevant.Here is an example of a body paragraph to continue the essay begun above: Take, by way of example, Thomas Edison.Only then, with the reader’s attention "hooked," should you move on to the thesis.The thesis should be a clear, one-sentence explanation of your position that leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about which side you are on from the beginning of your essay.The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures.He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try." "No man is an island" and, as such, he is constantly shaped and influenced by his experiences.People learn by doing and, accordingly, learn considerably more from their mistakes than their success.