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Chapter 10. Making Your Bones > Start at the Very Beginning: Introductions - Pg. 106

Making Your Bones 106 Start at the Very Beginning: Introductions First impressions matter, whether you're meeting someone new or opening an essay. If you can win over friends at the beginning, they'll probably stick with you over the long haul. It's the same with readers--catch 'em early, and they're yours for the duration. There are many different ways to open your writings, depending on your audience, purpose, and genre. Stay tuned: more on that later. Right now, let's discuss your options. You can open your writing with one or more of the following seven techniques: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Statement of purpose Anecdote Humor Quotation Question Description Statistics Here's how to master the magnificent seven, one at a time. Just the Facts, Ma'am If you want to begin a composition, essay, or article clearly and directly, you can't go wrong with a straightforward statement of purpose. In fact, the majority of your writing--especially expository essays, e-mails, and business letters--will start this way. A direct opening is also well suited for the following types of writing: · · · · · Essay tests Letters to the editor News stories Process analysis essays ("how to" do something) Research reports Write Angles Study opening paragraphs in newspaper and magazine articles. You might be surprised to discover that topic sentences such as statements of purpose often appear in the middle and end of paragraphs as well as in the beginning. Three different factual openings you can use as models for your own writing follow. Notice how each writer states all the relevant information right up front. From a business letter ... Dear Ms. Algieri: