Saturday, July 14, 2018

Essay opening ideas for ANY subject or grade level

I developed three new opening ideas/themes to help elementary, middle, high school, and college-university students who struggle with opening paragraphs for essays. And I did this because “how do I start my essay?” seems to be one of the biggest questions I hear as a teacher and instructor. So here they are, and each one has a symbol or image to use as a visual reminder. They are Personal, National, and Global. The key to each is “How does the idea I need to write about have an impact on me? How does it affect me as the writer of this essay?” Once you, the student, focus your attention on each of the three, you’ll find your answer—and writing your opening idea for your essay will be much easier. 

First, is it Personal? Does this idea in the essay have a PERSONAL impact on you? For example, is it asking you to BUY something? That’s about $$. See the symbol? That’s M.O.N.E.Y. or whatever you use to buy things (credit, bitcoin, cash). If the idea in your essay is something that you NEED or WANT or think is worth having, and to get it, you have to BUY it in some form, then you’re PERSONALLY involved: this is about YOU. And to satisfy “your wants-needs”, you have to spend your savings, earnings, or however else you can pay for “it”. Think of it this way: if you have to open your wallet, purse, or whatever and however you carry your form of funds, that’s why it’s personal. You can’t just get it by asking someone because you have to PURCHASE IT. See? Personal-Purchase. It’s Perfect for an opening Paragraph. A variation of this: what does the idea ask you to DO? What ACTION is it asking you to take? WHY is that action important to you? HOW will the outcome make a difference in your life, and in WHAT APPROACH TO DOING IT must you take?

Second idea: does this idea have an impact on your HOME COUNTRY? Does this idea have an effect on WHERE YOU LIVE? That’s NATIONAL. Your nation. For example: “Does your country have a law or policy about…?” Or, is there a SOCIAL issue going on that people are talking about, arguing about, or commenting about in some manner? It’s NATIONAL. That is why it matters to you: because in some form, shape, or other decision, it affects you as a citizen. 

Third: is the idea something that impacts planet Earth? Is this something that affects ALL of us living on this world? Is it about the environment? Is it about conflict and politics? Is it about SOMETHING that we all must consider if we are to survive as a species? (Example: a huge asteroid is coming toward Earth—what must we do?) So, when it comes to your essay and how to start, just look for one of these three options. You will find one—or maybe two—or even all three—can be guides to get you started. And when you finish, you’ll have written more than you knew possible or perhaps than you’ve ever done before—and you can repeat it again and again when you’re asked to write a paper or something else.
(C) MDLOP8 2018

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