Monday, October 31, 2011

Experiment with Essay Leads

" I never proceed without an opening I think will produce a good piece of writing. That's the only never in my personal toolbox"-- Donald Murray
  • Anecdote: a brief story that captures the essence of the issue or situation
  • Quotation: a voice not your own that speaks to or exemplifies the problem or issue
  • News: the writer gives the reader the who-what- where-why- of the situation or issue
  • Background: the writer gives a brief history of the issue or situation
  • Announcement: the writer tells the reader what he or she is going to say about the issue or situation and takes an attitude.
  • also consider...a statistic, deliberate contradiction, starting fact or idea
Some Leads to Avoid, Please...
A dictionary definition
A question to the reader
A cliche
A lead that isn't focused

Excerpt taken from Nancie Atwell 2002," Lessons That Change Writers"