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ESSAY WRITING. An Introduction. The Introductory Paragraph. Purpose: To introduce the essay topic Must contain a: HOOK: An interesting introduction to the essay BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Mentions the text, writer and gives a brief summary of the text pertaining to the topic of the essay
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ESSAY WRITING An Introduction
The Introductory Paragraph Purpose: To introduce the essay topic Must contain a: HOOK: An interesting introduction to the essay BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Mentions the text, writer and gives a brief summary of the text pertaining to the topic of the essay THESIS: an argumentative statement that tells the reader the PURPOSE of your essay (may contain your three points/arguments)
THESIS STATEMENTS • Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel. • In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore. • Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature. • Which one of the three statements is a thesis statement? How do you know?
Sample Introductory Paragraph • “A bomb explodes, roaring like thunder. The earth shakes. A rocket screeches through the night sky. The rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire is heard throughout the night” (Hosseini 56). No it’s not the next blockbuster movie chronicling the hair-raising adventures of some new hero. It is a glimpse of life in Afghanistan as portrayed in KhaledHosseini’sThe Kite Runner. Afghanistan is a country marred by decades of political turmoil and historical conflict between ethnic groups. These groups are the Pasthuns, Sunni Muslims that are the majority of the country, and the Hazaras, Shi’a Muslims who are the oppressed minority. Hosseini reveals the disparity between the social classes through the eyes of Amir, a young and wealthy Pashtun. The reader experiences Afghanistan from the time of the Zahir Shah monarchy until the Russian invasion which causes Amir and his father to escape to the United States of America. Amir’s return to Afghanistan shows readers the country’s deterioration at the hands of the Taliban. In the novel, readers are introduced to Hassan, a Hazara, who is Amir’s childhood friend and servant, and Assef, a sociopathic Pashtun. Hosseiniuses the characterization of these boys to show readers that politics have a significant impact on people’s lives.
Body Paragraphs • Purpose: Develop each argument in DETAIL • Paragraph must contain: • Topic sentence • Point (explained thoroughly) • Evidence/Proof A(passage from text) • Explanation of proof A • Evidence/Proof B • Explanation of proof B • Concluding sentence
Sample Body Paragraph • Hosseini uses the character of Hassan to portray the damaging effects of a biased political system on ethnic minorities. At a young age Hassan is sodomized in an alley by Assef with the help of two others. When one of Assef’s friends questions the morality of what he is about to do, suggesting it is a sin, Assef replies “there’s nothing sinful about teaching a lesson to a disrespectful donkey... it’s just a Hazara” (80). This shows how the upper class viewed Hazara people within Afghan society as Assef is able to justify his actions by implying that Hassan is so inferior that God will not judge him for his actions. He also further degrades Hassan by referring to him as “it”. Later on in the novel, the eventual Taliban rule over Afghanistan brought with it more severe actions towards Hazaras. Once it was discovered that Hassan was staying in Amir’s house in Kabul, Taliban men were sent to take possession of it. Hassan objected to this and tried to explain that he was there protecting the house until the owner returned; however, the Talib men doubted him, suggesting “he was a liar and a thief like all Hazaras” (230). They then ordered Hassan to his knees in the street and shot him in the back of his head, and then shot his wife when she became hysterical. An act as vile as this opens readers’ eyes to the extremes to which political influence can affect the lives of minorities. Through Hassan’s life the reader is able to understand the negative effects of social disparity and Afghan politics.
Concluding Paragraph • Purpose: remind the reader of the purpose of the essay • Paragraph must contain: • A restatement of the thesis • Brief explanation of three points/arguments • A general statement related to the topic that will have a lasting impression on the reader(s)
Sample Concluding Paragraph • The importance of these characters is to paint a vivid picture of the physical, psychological, and emotional damages that politics can have in an individual’s life. Through the development of Hassan’s character, readers are shown what happens when politics show preferential treatment of certain ethnicities.Similarly, Hosseini uses Amir’s character to show the impact of Communists and the Taliban on upper class society. Lastly, he uses Assef’s character to show that even an antagonist can face struggles when a country is governed or controlled by a politician of a distinct ethnicity. Politics are meant to safeguard the citizens of a country; yet, in corrupt countries, corrupt individuals impose personal ideals onto all citizens, creating chaos in place of order.