In this lesson, our instructor Rebekah Hendershot gives an introduction to writing: the beginning. She starts by explaining what a hook is and how to write a good hook. Then she explains the thesis statement, how to find it, and where to place it.
A hook is some element at the beginning of your writing that captures your readers attention.
To write a good hook:
Start with an arresting image.
Choose something that would pique your interest, such as a secret or a tantalizing promise.
Use the element of surprise.
A thesis statement is the main idea of your essayusually a one- or two-sentence summation of what youre writing about.
To find your thesis statement, jot down ideas as youre sketching out your essay. The idea you understand best, or think about most, will probably end up as your thesis.
In a traditional essay, the thesis statement goes at the end of the introductionusually the last sentence of the first paragraph. However, the thesis may be found as early as the first sentence or as late as the very last sentence.
For good examples of great hooks and thesis statements (and all-around great essay writing), I recommend Spider Robinsons book The Crazy Years: Reflections of a Science-Fiction Original. Its a collection of his newspaper columns for the Toronto Globe & Mail. Many of these columns were reprinted on his website, www.SpiderRobinson.com.
When in doubt, use your most audacious hook and your strongest thesis statement; read good writing and see how those writers do it; and have fun!
Writing Part One: The Beginning
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
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