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Chapter 10. Making Your Bones > Body Talk - Pg. 112

Making Your Bones · · · · · · Essay tests Letters to the editor News stories Persuasive essays Research reports Speeches 112 Following is a sample opening from a news story about the damage caused by major storms. Notice how the writer used statistics to help readers grasp the extent of the damage: Every year, storms kill and injure thousands of people around the world and cause billions of dollars worth of damage. Storms account for nearly all the most expensive America disasters. The costliest disaster in American history is Hurri-cane Andrew, the storm that ravaged Florida and Louisiana in 1992. Hurricane Andrew left $15.5 billion in damage. The Xenia tornadoes that occurred in 1974 in the Midwest left $1.3 billion in damage. Tsunamis have also caused con- siderable damage. The worst floods of the century struck the Midwest in 1993. At times, as much as one inch of rain fell every six minutes. Floodwaters rose up and down the Mississippi River basin. Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa were the hardest hit. Thou-sands of families were forced to flee their homes. More than eight billion dollars worth of property was damaged. So many choices, so little time! How can you decide which type of opening to select? Your choice goes back to the basics you learned in Chapter 3: audience and purpose . As you plan your opening, always keep your audience and purpose firmly in mind. Consider your audience:For example, are you writing a letter to the editor or a science paper? Each offers a different set of possibilities. You might open a letter to the editor with a statement of the