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Chapter 10. Making Your Bones > Start at the Very Beginning: Introductions - Pg. 109

Making Your Bones 109 "The most important sentence in any article is the first one," writer William Zinsser claims. "If it doesn't induce your reader to proceed to the second sentence, the article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn't induce the reader to continue to the third sentence, it is equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until he is safely hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit: the opening paragraph" ( On Writing Well). Hit the Funny Bone As with an anecdotal opening, a humorous opening can be an effective way to spark your reader's interest as you introduce your topic. Humor works best in "lighter" writings, such as ... · · · · · · · Autobiographical writings E-mail Personal and informal letters Speeches Oral histories Personal narratives Short stories Following is a humorous opening for an essay about dealing with "empty-nest syndrome," when the kids grow up and move away, leaving Mom and Dad alone. Writer's Block