Do not list characters or specific events of a story until you have introduced the story/book/poem and the author



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Introduction Paragraphs
Introduction paragraphs are the most important part of your essay. The introduction pulls the reader in and establishes a purpose for the essay. Your first sentence should grab the reader and capture his or her attention. Your next couple of sentences should include a few details about the book or the point of the essay (make sure it is relevant to the POINT of your essay, not just random thoughts or a summarization). You should always include the title and author of the work you are writing about. The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis statement (the point of your essay). Your thesis statement should have three clear points in ONE well-structured sentence.
A few things to note when writing an introduction paragraph:

  1. Do not list characters or specific events of a story until you have introduced the story/book/poem and the author.

  2. Never say “I will tell you,” or “this essay will explain,” or anything of that nature. Show the reader through quotes and supporting details don’t tell!

  3. Remember that the introduction is not a summary of the story. Your essay has a specific point; discuss how the literature relates to the point of the essay.

  4. The NEVERS:

    • Never use first or second person pronouns (I, me, my, we, our, us, you, your, yours)

    • Never use contractions (don’t, shouldn’t, isn’t, etc.)

    • Never use the words paper, paragraph, or essay

    • Spell out all numbers under one-hundred

You were given an assignment to write about one major theme in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” You were asked to include how the theme relates to the text as well as historically and present day. Here are a few of the introduction paragraphs I received.


Using just the paragraphs above, jot down the problems with the below paragraphs:
In the Lottery they lived in a crazy place. They made sacrifices to harvests gods. It about following the crowd. Also someone gets stoned. And everyone joins in.


  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • Who are “they”?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why?

I read “The Lottery.” A excellent book with awesome themes or lesson. One theme of this book is, to give up stupid traditions. I think thats a lesson many of us need to learn. Maybe not exactly but, I know everyone needs to let go of some things.



  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why?

Tessie Jackson should have stood up against the crowd. It isn’t that hard to do. If she would have taken a stand and did the right thing she would still be alive. She followed the crowd and died. This is the whole theme of the story.

  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why or why not?

  • What will the three body paragraphs discuss

“The Lottery” is a great book. It is about a town that practices human sacrifices. Now, like a black dot on a spot of paper, Tessie Hutchinson must stand up against the crowd. “The Lottery” teaches many lessons that apply not only to the story, but also to the world both past and present.



  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why or why not?

  • What will the three body paragraphs discuss?

Examination: an eleven-letter word essential to life. In the short story, “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson expresses the desperate need to examine practices and traditions. She shows the potential for destruction and even murder if people do not put their beliefs in check. Through a small town ritual Jackson brings the true meaning of her work into the light. She forces the reader to realize the devastating consequences that will occur if beliefs and traditions are not thoroughly examined. When all is done in the end, the reader realizes what is important: self-examination.



  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why or why not?

  • What will the three body paragraphs discuss?

Christmas elves, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy are all common day traditions that initially fill children with happiness and excitement. They are seemingly harmless traditions, but when examined closely it is evident that there is nothing harmless in deceit. Lies told by the people children trust, lies shared by an entire community, lies used to deceive. So why do these lies continue? Shirley Jackson explores this question in her nationally acclaimed short story “The Lottery.” Through a fictional town steeped in tradition, Jackson uncovers the horrific lies shared by a community. These lies may be considered tradition, but there is no truth, no proof, and no meaning in the annual collective murdering of an innocent townsperson. Jackson forces the reader to see the flaws in holding on to jaded traditions not just in her story but in the real world. Through her chilling tale, Jackson encourages readers to examine their traditions and be cautious of practices that are not warranted. Her cautions are not only seen in her fictional story, but they are also echoed in history and even present day.



  • List the grammatical errors.

  • Does the first sentence pull you in?

  • What is the point of this essay?

  • Are you confused? Why or why not?

  • What will the three body paragraphs discuss?

Even though society as a whole tends to follow the masses, it is disastrous to follow the crowd because it destroyed people throughout history and present day and tragically led to murder in Jackson’s fictional story.

The Family is the Tie That Binds

Throughout the history of human struggle for survival and happiness,



there has been one consistent factor guiding human nature.  This factor

transcends all culture differences, language barriers, and different time periods of history.  This one constant, indelible need of all humans is to love and belong to a family.  The love we share for our families can bring out the best and the worst in all of us.  This love causes us to feel a whole spectrum of emotions, sometimes all in the same day.  Love, sorrow, anger, and hate are just a few of these emotions.  This extraordinary love we possess for our families can cause us to perform extreme sacrifices.  It can also cause us to accept new ideas that could result in upheaval or serious change in our lives.  The three literary works, “Green Chile,” “Roselily,” and Oedipus the King exhibit the struggles, sacrifices, and limitless depths of emotions that exist between family members.          
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