I am sure many of you have a problem in starting your essay. Many of my students take a long time to start their introduction or worse, they use the overused intro.:
Everyone in this world has a friend......
Everyone in this world love to watch television..
Your introduction must be something that grabs people’s attention. Use the following ideas:
1 Use some startling information or fact
Start with a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. Then, elaborate with a sentence or two.
Topic: Teenagers and their problems
o A recent survey on teenagers provided some food for thought for parents. It was found that about 70 per cent of them smoked, 40 per cent watched pornographic videos and 14 per cent took drugs.Several factors have been identified as contributing to these problems.
2 Use an anecdote
An anecdote is a short story that illustrates a point.
Topic: The loafing syndrome among teenagers
Raj and his friends do not go home after school. They hang out daily at a shopping complex to while their time away. There, they join many other students from other schools. Sometimes, they play some video games or just enjoy each other’s company. Raj and his friends are just the tip of the iceberg of the loafing syndrome among teenagers.
Use an appropriate dialogue to start your story or convey a point. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point.
Topic: An unforgettable incident
“Help! Someone just snatched my purse!” The screams shattered the still of the night. Suddenly, lights were switched on and heads popped out of doors and windows. “Hey, what’s the matter?”
4 Use a question
You can also use a rhetorical question which jolts people into attention.
Topic: Reduce, reuse and recycle
Did you know that Malaysians throw away 1.2 million tonnes worth of newspapers daily? For every ten newspapers bought, only four are recovered for recycling. Thus, the government spearheaded a recycling campaign to encourage Malaysians to separate their waste.
Topic: Coping with peer pressure
What choice do you have if your friends are pressuring you to do something which you think is wrong? Would you walk away? Are you able to say ‘no’?
5 Use a definition
Define your topic.
Topic: Gawai Dayak Festival
In Sarawak, the word Gawai is the equivalent to a Festival. Numerous Gawais are celebrated throughout the year by the State’s indigenous people but Gawai Dayak marks the end of the harvest season and heralds a new year.
6 Use a quotation
Topic: How to save water
It is better to be safe than to be sorry. That is the message of the environmentalists to those who take water for granted. For one day, we may be faced with the situation whereby there is not enough water for everyone. Thus, we should take steps to save water.
7 Use a general statement
Use a general statement about your topic, then narrow it to a specific point of view.
Topic: Ways to reduce pollution
Of late, there has been increasing concern with the impact of pollution on the environment and our society. The public outcry over the various environmental disasters in our own country should be lauded. How do we resolve these problems?