A Brief Outline of the Fourth Lecture
Today's Typing Lesson
Instructions for how to add vowels to Hebrew text can be found
Today's Writing Lesson
We now consider the introductory and concluding paragraphs. (See the
Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers by L.Q. Troyka and
D. Hesse for more information on this topic.)
When you write, you are trying to communicate something, and it is
your job to do so as clearly as possible. You must shoulder the
burden of making your essay as easy to follow as possible.
One of the ways you help a reader understand the flow of your ideas is
to fit the ideas--as radical as they may be--into a standard format.
Making sure that your essays begin with an introductory paragraph that
is written in the usual fashion and end with a concluding paragraph
that follows the standard format for such paragraphs will help your
readers to follow what you are saying.
The Introductory Paragraph
Most essays start with an introductory paragraph--a paragraph whose
purpose is to tell the reader what the point of the essay is. Telling
the reader what you are about to deal with makes it easier for the
reader to follow the rest of your essay--and making the reader's life
easier is what it is all about.
The introductory paragraph is meant to ease the reader into the essay.
It generally contains a sentence that describes the topic of the
essay. (This sentence is often called the thesis statement.)
It often contains an interesting fact or story related to the main
point of the essay. See, for example, this
article. The topic sentence is the next-to-last sentence of the first
paragraph of the introduction. (For the purposes of this course, the
abstract of an article does not count as part of the article.)
The Concluding Paragraph
In the concluding paragraph you generally pull together what you have
said. Often you will "hit the high points" of your a essay a second
time. If you have main points and subsidiary points, your conclusion
may be one more place where you show your reader which points were
main points. If you make sure that your concluding paragraph
really does remind the reader of your main points, you will be doing
the reader a great service as sometimes the reader is not sufficiently
expert to know which of your points were main points and which were
subsidiary points. (Once again--the importance of writing to your
potential reader cannot be overemphasized.)