How Do We Start To Write An Essay

Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a story about a young man who kills an old man who cares for him, dismembers the corpse, then goes mad when he thinks he hears the old man's heart beating beneath the floor boards under his feet as he sits and discusses the old man's absence with the police.

The introductory paragraph includes a paraphrase of something said by a famous person in order to get the reader's attention.

The second sentence leads up to the thesis statement which is the third sentence.

The thesis statement (sentence 3) presents topic of the paper to the reader and provides a mini- outline. The mini- outline tells the reader that this paper will present Poe's use of imagery in three places in his writing: (1) description of static setting; (2) description of dynamic setting; and (3) description of a person.

The following material is adapted from a handout prepared by Harry Livermore for his high school English classes at Cook High School in Adel, Georgia. See, first, Writing Introductory Paragraphs for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay.

The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about.

The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.

The first paragraph of the body should contain the strongest argument, most significant example, cleverest illustration, or an obvious beginning point.

The first part of the second sentence provides the topic for this paragraph--imagery in a static scene.

Then a quotation from "The Tell-Tale Heart" is presented and briefly discussed.

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