How to Write a Strong Introduction for an Analytical Essay

How to Write a Strong Introduction for an Analytical Essay

in this screencast I’m going to talk to you about how to write a strong introduction for your analytical essay on a novel as you know and we’ve discussed there are four key ingredients that need to be a part of your introductory paragraph you need a hook to capture the reader’s attention you need a title and an author to be acknowledged about your whatever the book you read who wrote it in what is called needs to be in the intro some background information so that your reader who may or may not have read your book already has some context to understand your analysis and finally you end with your thesis let’s start talking about a hook there’s two things you need to know about a hook number one it needs to be interesting it needs to grab your readers attention and make them want to keep reading the second thing is it has to be related to the topic of your overall essay it can’t just be some random interesting thing that has nothing to do with what the rest of your essay is about if you’re totally stuck and you can’t think of a first sentence that is captivating and related to your topic here are three things you could try you could start with a quote for example if I was writing an essay on Elie Wiesel’s memoir night I might start like this in his award-winning memoir Holocaust survivor alive ISIL says I am not so naive as to believe that this slim volume will change the course of history or shake the conscience of the world books no longer have the power they once did those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow that’s a quote that’s going to get you thinking and I would be would be my responsibility to weave that into the purpose of my essay other than a quotation another way you can start off and hook your reader is the question for example in the book milkweed that I’ve been doing my essay on there the main character witnesses several kids eating newspaper because they’re starving so if I started with the question have you ever known hunger so severe that you would consider eating a newspaper that should be pretty provocative and get people thinking other than a quotation and a question you could also do a startling statement surprising fad something that makes the want to keep reading to learn more for example I might start with the word Holocaust is from the Greek hollow meaning hole and calls those meaning burnt it refers to an animal sacrifice in which the entire animal is burned from there I would then need to lead into weave that in make a connection to this idea of the the where the word comes from and what was what was done in the Holocaust okay so that’s just some things to get you thinking for the hook for ways to start leading get related to your topic but getting your reader interested next up we have identifying the title and the author I’m going to throw you show you three different sentences that do this from basic to better to most sophisticated so my basic sentence Jerry Spinelli is the author of milkweed true story he is the author of milkweed and that’s the book I’m writing about and he’s the author of it it’s pretty basic though let’s see if we can do a little better milkweed by Jerry Spinelli is a novel set during the Holocaust better because I give a little bit more information about the novel rather than just the title and the author but I think I can do better in his novel milkweed Jerry Spinelli invites us to experience the Holocaust through the eyes of a young boy who misunderstands everything except the love of family and the different forms it can take this is far more sophisticated because not only am i identifying the title and the author I’m actually weaving that directly into the beginning of my summary you can do this strive to write like this so after hook and title and author we’re going to talk about background information you know you need to do a plot summary in about four to five sentences make sure that the information you’re giving actually relates to the topic of your essay there’s a lot you could say about this book you only want to say the things that your reader needs to understand in order to be able to process what you’re saying in your essay so here’s what I’ve got from milkweed Misha is an orphan who is taken in by a group of young Jewish thieves simple-minded and ignorant of his own identity Misha adopts the identity of those around him first as a gypsy and then as a Jew when he follows a family of a fren Janina into the ghetto Misha’s inability to understand the true nature of the events around him forces the reader to focus on the simple acts of caring that take place amidst the suffering these are actual photographs taken in the warsaw ghetto just so you know through misha’s eyes we witnessed the devastation of the warsaw ghetto as well as the selfless acts of love and hope that persisted in spite of it that’s it for my summary I hope you see that I kept it at a pretty general level I didn’t get into much specifics but it gave you enough context to understand what this book is generally about so the rest of my essay will make sense alright we’ve done hook we’ve done title and author and we’ve done background information let’s move on to thesis I hope you already watched my screencast on how to write a strong thesis because I’m not going to go into that I’m just going to refresh your memory that your thesis has to state the purpose of your essay you’re going to spend your whole essay proving it it’s written as a fact and it comes at the end of your intro here’s my thesis the best authors are those who create characters that readers can empathize with in milkweed spinelli uses several techniques masterfully to create empathy and his readers including dramatic irony revealing character emotions and a unique choice of narrator now what I want to show you is what this all looks like when you put it together and zoom in so you can read it this is my introductory paragraph for my essay on milkweed my hook what happens to a boy who has no identity at a time when identity can be won salvation or a mark for death then everything else in this paragraph is directly from the Prezi I just gave you it’s directly from the Prezi that I just gave you you can see if you go back all I did with copy and paste all those pieces together I want you to pause this video right now and I want you to read this introduction through from start to finish I want you to feel how it flows and see what you are capable of creating raise your level of expectations you can write like this I broke it down for you step by step slow down pause go back and read it