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I want to acknowledged a scholarly debt of gratitude to John Langan i. Lunsford and Bill Bridges i. Boeck and Megan C. Writing, Reading and Critical Thinking for their own work in the area of opening and closing essay stratagems.
At the same time, credit must also be given to Deanne K. Finally, a sincere note of appreciation has to be extended to my colleagues and associates in the Writing Program of the Pan African Studies Department at California State University, Northridge from the time this was first written some 15 years ago in Ways of Approaching Written DiscourseDr.
I thank each for the insights and observations over the years of commitment to developing voices among the students matriculating through the PAS Writing Program.
To Simmons and Priestley, in particular, I give a heartfelt thanks for continuing the Watts Writers Workshop tradition of which we were all part of. Writing has to be worked at — and worked at constantly, every single day.
Having said that, my intent is to present another approach to writing. This article is based upon my own experiences as a writer and in the classroom — and I do this as someone whose ability and love for writing enabled me to move up out of the Jordan Downs Housing Projects in South central Los Angeles, pass through Harvard, Stanford and Antioch Universities, and settle into a position where I can now share my love for the craft and love of writing itself with others.
For those of you concerned solely with writing better paragraphs and essays, what I have to say should offer some insights on accomplishing that task.
For those of you, though, who see writing as a means to affect social attitudes and change the way people view issues and one anotherperhaps what I have to say will help jar some now thoughts into existence.
I certainly hope so. You take a seat in your living room, perhaps at the breakfast nook in your kitchen where you then pause for a moment or two while hefting the envelope from one hand to the other. Excited now with the adrenalin pumping, you put the number series to the side and read on.
That second window of opportunity is true for all audiences. Good writers know that one of the most serious errors that can be made is by opening up right away with the main purpose of the writing — this is an automatic turnoff for the reader!
You have to make the most of that time. Knowing about and being able to make effective use of the various opening strategies can only enhance your skills as a writer.
When using this gambit, it is very effective to state these questions as a series of one-liners i. The best quotes are those drawn from popular culture, from the social literature the general public i.
If you are writing to a politically conservative audience, then you might want to open with a quote from a noted conservative.
If the audience is perceived as a hip, upwardly-mobile group of African-American women, then you might want to open with a statement from someone like Joan Morgan, bell hooks, June Jordan, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker or Sistah Souljah.
If, on the other hand, you are directing your message to a teenaged readership based in the urban core, you might want to open with a quote from the socially conscious lyrics by one of the leading rap artists or groups.
Who would you use, for instance, if the paper was centered on the problems caused by gang violence? Use quotes, in other words, that connect with your audience! All audiences enjoy a story, particularly those with human interest.
In this instance, you are putting a face or faces to your composition by drawing upon an incident containing a moral center, one that you can then use in leading your audience to the thesis statement.
Here again, the best anecdotes are those coming from popular culture: You do this by presenting statistical data, facts, figures that underscore the issues about to be discussed.
This is best done by using two of the six gambits. Your more skilled writers frequently make use of this, the seventh and final opening gambit.Im reading this research paper rant attention grabbers for scholarship essays about abortion and gods grace and taking short eaks to swap dirty emails with bf.
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