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Essay  Writing Basics

                              Types of Hooks

A hook is another way to say attention grabber.  It is the unique style you use to peak or captivate your readers.  

The introduction should wet the reader’s appetite and tell them where you wish to take them. Below are a list of ways a student can begin an essay.  



 Anecdote (narrative vignette)

I walked proudly through the hallways of AMS, my new blue mohawk glistening magnificently in the florescent lighting of the hallway, but then I saw Mr. Caruthers.  I felt the wax in my hair start to melt.


Do schools have the right to tell kids how to dress?


For the past 300 years in this country, schools have been crushing the artistic freedom of students with oppressive dress codes!


At Centerville Middle School, a controversy is brewing.  Walk down the hallways, and amidst a tranquil sea of khaki pants and navy blue polo shirts, the blades of a fuchsia mohawk cut through the peaceful learning environment.        



“Give me liberty or give me death.”

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When was the last time you walked the streets in the early hours of the morning and felt safe doing so?(hook) Junkanoo, a Bahamian festival held every year on Boxing and New Years Day allows you to do just this.   It’s a celebration that dates back to Africa when according to legend, John Canoe an African tribal chief demanded the right to celebrate with his people even after being brought to the West Indies. (Background) Junkanoo has survived from slavery until now and Bahamians can be proud of these historical roots. (thesis)

Introduction Sample

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                                                  Rules for writing the Thesis


1. Include a part of the topic

2. Use one of the following words like because, by, is, as a result, are, that

3. Include three discussion points

4. Use at least one sentence


                                                     Sample Thesis 1

The Urban Renewal program is attacking crime at the root, by giving financial support to families,  developing adult community leaders and increasing police presence in the inner city.   

                                         Transitioning into the Body of the Essay
What is the body of the essay?  The body paragraphs  in your essay should is there to support the discussions points in your thesis.  It is your gps or guide which tells the reader what you will be talking about. 
                                                       The Introduction 
                                                        Thesis Sample 2
Although some folks may disagree with me, the trumpet, guitar and drum are the best instruments for leading a band.

                                                      The Body - Paragraph 2
The trumpet is one of many instruments that can lead the band. 

                                                             The Body- Paragraph 3 
The guitar is another instruments musicians can use to lead the band. 

The Body- Paragraph 4
Did you know that the drum is used by most musicians to lead the band?


                                       A sample body paragraph


Directions:  Using the color key, shade the parts of the body paragraphs below.

Color Key:      Blue = Topic Sentence

                        Green= Transitional words or phrases

                        Red=  Supporting Details

                    Types of Supporting Details Used 

  1. example 

  2. Personal experience

  3. Fact 


                                     The effects of smoking

There are many reasons why people should not smoke marijuana. In the first case, chronic smokers often end up with lung cancer, a smoker’s cough or dying early. (example)  My uncle John, smoked five joints a day.  He never talked; he just smoked. Sometimes he even misses work. As a result, when it is time to pay the light bill or buy groceries, he never has any money to give.(personal) experience) People smoke often ;neglecting their family.  Lastly, leading doctors claim that people who smoke often neglect their hygiene. (fact) Clearly, because smoking has so many negative benefits smart people do not partake in it.  


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