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A Writer's Handbook

Opening Sentence

This sentence will make or break your paper in a reader’s mind.  If you do not make it interesting enough for a reader to “want” to read it, he or she won’t!

  • Interesting or surprising fact – not a boring everyday fact that everyone knows; something quirky or interesting, and something that might even startle the reader to know
  • Anecdote – tell a short story to set a mental picture in a reader’s mind
  • Emotion – if relevant to your subject, a sad or humorous story can help your argument
  • Relevant quote – a saying or short blurb from a known source (NOT a support quote for your body paragraphs)
  • Ask a question – interest the reader with an intriguing idea that he or she wants to find the answer to, but not a silly rhetorical question