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Steps Students Need to Write Creative Introductions
Teaching students how to begin creative writing can be hard. Here are introductory paragraph skills that school students can use to make essay writing easy and fun.
Learning solid essay writing skills while in school is the foundation for even the most basic education. So many students don’t have the slightest idea of how to begin creative writing. Too many English teachers assign a topic and assume students can organize their thoughts, logically, and maybe even with a little flare.
Unfortunately, without a clear-cut set of steps to follow, what teachers will get from a classroom of essay writers who have just received a creative writing assignment is blank stares and a bunch of “I don’t know what to do” statements. Teach students these steps for writing a creative introduction, and never look at blank stares during a writing assignment again.
Teach the Skill of Writing Creative Attention-Getters
Most students know they need to get their reader’s attention right from the start. What they don’t realize is that there are many creative ways to start an introduction beyond the traditional rhetorical question. The following six choices make great creative attention-getters for an introduction to a descriptive essay.
- Use strong visual imagery. Teach students to paint a picture with their words right from the start so readers will immediately begin to form a picture in their heads.
- Use dialogue. Teach students to begin with a conversation.
- Use repetition of verbs. Teach them to select a verb they feel is appropriate for their topic and then begin the first three to four sentences with that verb.
- Use a personal story. Students love to tell stories in their writing, but stories are rarely appropriate in a descriptive essay except as the attention-getter.
- Use a rhetorical question. Yes, the rhetorical question is acceptable, and still a valid choice for a creative lead. Be sure to teach students that if they are going to start with a question, to make it rhetorical, they can’t answer it for their reader in the next sentence.
- Use a simile or metaphor. This often ends up being the favorite choice. It is quick and to the point, and it doesn’t take students long to think of a good smile. Even the most basic writer will excel at thinking of a simile.
Teach the Skill of Setting a Purpose for the Essay
After the creative attention-getter is in place, the most fundamental part of the introduction is setting a purpose for the writing. Teach students that the last sentence of the introduction for their essay should tell their reader exactly what they are writing about. To set the purpose of the essay, teach students to do the following things.
- Tell the reader what their essay is about.
- State how they feel about what they are going to describe.
- Avoid using “I” and “you”.
Have students combine their purpose with their creative attention-getter, and they will have a solid beginning to their descriptive essay.
The Skills to Teach Students for a Great Introduction to a Creative Essay
To avoid confusion, frustration, and an “I-hate-writing” attitude, from both the teacher and the student, English teachers need to give students a set of skills they can use to write introductions quickly and with ease. Teach them to begin with a creative lead, and provide them with a list they can choose from. Also, teach them to set their purpose for their writing.
Armed with those two fundamental skills, students will feel confident and smart as they easily begin each writing assignment, and their descriptive writing will begin to mature beyond their years, which will set them up for writing successes for a lifetime.
Need more ideas? Find additional resources that can easily be adapted and implemented in the classroom to meet students’ writing needs.
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