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How To Craft A Killer Essay Introduction (V)

How To Craft A Killer Essay Introduction (V)

Written by: Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin*

Crafting the introduction to an essay for most people is at best a daunting task and at worst a stumbling block – a notorious excuse why many conceive ideas but grow shy to write. This shouldn’t be. The art of writing a powerful essay beginning has been learnt and mastered by many. You can, too.

Like it was from the onset, the purpose of this series is clear – to learn how to rob the reader of his time and the examiner his marks. Relax, it’s nothing illegal. It’s a theft even the reader or examiner who’s the victim would consent to and appreciate. You need his marks, so entice him with what’s irresistible – a mesmerizing essay intro…one that’s like the pleasurable fragrance diffusing out of a perfumery. Imagine how inviting it is to passers-by who are tempted to soon become paying clients of the perfumery!

This is the last part in the series, “How To Craft A Killer Essay Introduction”

Earlier in the series, we analyzed how a striking contrast, an important statistics, a mind-boggling question, a weird assertion, a definition of keywords, a powerful illustration, a relevant quotation, an apt proverb, or line(s) excepted from a poem, song or novel can help you achieve this great purpose.In this final part, we want to see how a brief story or a recent incident can be a powerful essay introduction.

1. A Brief Story: this should be short, relevant, punchy and catchy. It must be a story which demonstrates the problem or a part of the problems the essay seeks to address. Let’s make the point clearer with some examples:

A. Balancing Work and Family Interests

Tomison is a very busy man. He works very hard and gets little rest. He mixes no pleasure with business and when he decides to give himself a break, his idea of fun is to sit with his PC surfing the net. His idea of family time is to ask his kids on the go what they did in school and write cheques after cheques for his wife to cover the household needs.

Tomison’s case isn’t an isolated case. Such persons unconsciously sever their familial bond and leave a void in their stead as the heads of their families.

Source: Juggling It All: Love, Work And Family.

B. Making Nigeria’s Youthful Population Productive

It was with utter astonishment that the audience at Kofar Sauri Sharia court in Katsina on that fateful afternoon earlier this month, listened to the 12 year old pupil, Sani Musa, charged with theft, tell the court that he had to steal some metal scrap, in order to get money to enable him continue with his studies. He shocked the court further by producing the books, schoolbag and other school materials which he bought with the money obtained from disposing of the scrap metal. Family members testified to the court that Sani had been complaining over a lack of school materials and acknowledged him to be “hardworking, intelligent and… the best student of his school”. The court subsequently acquitted Sani Musa and resolved to shoulder his needs in school henceforth.

Now this situation of a promising pupil, keen and eager to learn but left in want of necessary school materials is one faced by thousands of young people in Nigeria.

Source: Managing the “Youth Bulge” in Nigeria (I).

2. A Recent Incident: this intro tactics leverages on a topical and relevant happening to take-off the discourse. The incident should be one which reveals or exemplifies the problem the essay wants to discuss. See some examples:

A. Safety Tips for Social Media Users

The recent cruel murder of the daughter of a retired Nigerian general, Cynthia Osokogu, by persons she allegedly met on Facebook has once again brought to the fore, the pervasive risks and threats affiliated with the usage of social media. Many observers, especially those who – or whose friends of relatives – have fallen victims of the inherent hazards and clandestine criminality to which the potent potentialities of the social media can be put, have called for a boycott of the now ubiquitous media

Source: Social Media: the Pains and the Gains

B. Harnessing Our Diversity for National Integration

The fresh waves of controversies and ethnic acrimonies that trail the release of Chinua Achebe’s book, “There Was A Country” in October 2012, have once again brought to the fore the long-drawn, avoidable and unpalatable distrust, unwarranted suspicion and ill rivalry which continue to render peaceful co-existence among the many ethnic groups in Nigeria a mirage.

This marks the end of the series. In case you’ve missed any, please use the “related posts” links below this piece to locate it. While there may be many other good techniques I’ve not treated, the ones I analyzed in this series are those whose effectiveness I can guarantee…they’re those I’ve used to bag laurels and seen many reputable writers use.

What writing difficulty would you like to overcome next?

It’s been fun all through, hasn’t it? If you’ve studied all these techniques and the copious examples buttressing each, you shouldn’t be stuck again in starting an essay with a bang. Now what else would you like to learn in-depth? Please have your say in the comment setup banner

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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