The essay blues: I don't know where to start!

Have you ever heard someone make that statement? I don't know where to start! It's a common problem in just about every classroom (and many home offices). So what's the solution? Start with a Starter! Writers who struggle with the introduction (that first paragraph), are often reminded to start with a starter.

The starter is the eye-catching, attention-grabbing statement your reader sees first. There is a variety of starters at your disposal. I'll share one of them with you here. A strong starter often used to capture the reader's attention is the quote. You can start your paper off with a quote. First, consider your topic. Let's say it's a paper on free expression. Your first reaction might be, "OMG, how boring is this?" Once you shake that reaction and begin to buckle down, you could search quotes online and begin your paper with, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Next, tell your reader who made the quote (Benjamin Franklin). Now you have your reader's attention. From there, you could begin by telling your reader a few important things about the art and importance of free expression. The more you write, the more you cure yourself of the essay blues.

*For a good example of a starter:

Check out Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." His starter not only grabs our attention, but it also sets the mood for the story being told.

Happy Writing!

Dr. Ursula S.


Ursula S.

Effective and Attention-Grabbing Writing and Speaking

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