Grabbers or Leads

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Grabbers or Leads

  • Leads are the “G or L” in your outline
  • Think about how you are going to wow your reader right from the start
  • Grabbers/Leads should be the most unique part of your writing
  • Grabbers/Leads are found in the introduction and can be one sentence or a few
  • Use grabbers/leads before you tell the reader your topic
  • You want to HOOK THEM!

When to use grabbers (write this in the Cornell slot of your notes)

  • No matter what you write, no matter how many paragraphs, the first sentence of the entire piece is your grabber.
    • 5 paragraph essay: Beginning with a grabber.
    • 1 paragraph (on its own): Beginning with a grabber.

Grabbers or leads can make or break a paper.

  • Grabbers or leads can make or break a paper.
  • Sound too dull, you lose the reader.
  • Sound too silly or childish, you lose the reader.
  • So, what do great leads sound like? Let’s look at… GRABBER EXAMPLES
  • “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” The Outsiders S.E. Hinton
  • “I was six years old when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength.” Amy Tan
  • “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

A formal definition of a term: define a word easiest if “stuck” - grab a dictionary and you are ready to go!

  • The definition of “gross” is something that is mentally or physically disturbing. Like when you are devouring dinner and you are watching a show when suddenly something gross happens. Immediately your appetite flies out the window like Babe Ruth hitting is 610th homerun. I do have to admit though that I love gross things, especially gross pranks. A few I have personally pulled are “the milkshake from hell,” sour soy sauce surprise (ssssurprise) and the almighty fart spray.

How you felt: feeling words another easier type - use a few descriptive words and you are set!

  • Disgusted, sickened, horrified. These are the emotions that someone will express after being grossed out. There are many ways to make people squirm. But a few of the best, and my personal favorites, are messing with their food, showing them something disgusting, or making up some nasty story. If done correctly, any one of these can make someone sick to their stomach.

Personal Anecdote: story not so hard since we all have stories, can fake write too – make it unique

    • Vomit spewed across the room, a chunky projectile, a creamy bullet, a smelly- SPLAT! The bile collided with the wall, splashing everywhere. Chaos ensued, and questions arose as to where the puke came from. The source was a nightmarish mixture of a plethora of disturbing things. Toe jam, belly button lint, spittle, nose hairs, boogers and some scabs for good measure. All of these combined caused a blurry brown liquid to majestically soar across the room as if it were a graceful eagle. Only it was not a graceful eagle, in fact, vomit is quite the opposite. You may be wondering, “What demented individual would enjoy such horrifically grotesque antics?” The answer? Me. I am a sick, twisted psychopath for saying so, but these very “grotesque antics” are what entertain me most (next to video games of course). Pulling pranks is actually quite compelling. Disgusting pranks. Pranks like showing off sickening pictures or animals. Pranks like poisoning refreshments with unpleasant items (as you saw above). Pranks like exposing innocents to injuries or bodily functions. Disturbing people is my favorite past-time, and even if you start to gag, I’m going to tell you why.

Emotion - Imagine: others’ feelings a bit harder to write, think about how world or others might feel

  • Adolescence is a battle that no one can win. Imagine never knowing a friend from a foe, or being the single opponent against a sea of others pushing you to make the same choice as them. Everyone plunges into this battle, and those who survive have changed entirely. Peer pressure, stress and insecurities are common enemies in this war. Teenagers often fight this battle unarmed. Sometimes, conquest is virtually impossible.

Scenarios (make believe anecdote): “imagine if” statement harder to make interesting - create something unique when imagining the situation

  • Imagine if ulcers began to take over the teenage population. A deep increasing pain in the pit of your stomach as the days goes go by. No one notices until it is to late, another friend stuck in the deep of depression and problems. Now another victim in the world with a problem as a teenager has entered. The pressure of school, life and even your own peers, is like have a thousand pounds on your chest every day of your life. That very same pressure is the one that makes you feel like giving up, no longer continuing and to top it off, it is very hard to get rid of. All this goes on in 89% of the teenage population.

State an Amazing or Startling Fact: Real statistics challenging to do this well – make sure it relates and is important

  • Fifty-nine percent of brothers admit to annoying their sisters on purpose- my brother is a part of that percentage. This shows just how annoying brothers are, and that they do it on purpose. I do like my brother- at times. I don’t like him so much when he is as hostile as a terrorist and obsessed with his girlfriend. He has redeeming qualities though, he is sweet and caring. I love him; he is my brother, it’s just that sometimes I don’t like him. Oh, brothers!

A short history/riddle on the topic: mysterious story more sophisticated and challenging – need to fake write and offer something unique/mysterious

  • Here’s a riddle. What is one thing that can always change, but everyone has no matter what? What is one thing that could ruin your day, or add a little excitement instead? The answer is problems. As a teen, I know how problems can really affect me. There are many different kinds of problems, which have to do with school, socializing, and responsibility. In the unlikely event that you DON’T know what it’s like to have problems degrading your teenage life, then listen up, because teenagers have severe problems that infect their lives.

A quote from a well known person or expert on the topic: use quotation marks hardest unless know an amazing quote – can use sayings from families, famous people etc.

  • A wise person once said “To have siblings is never-ending annoyance, but to have none is never-ending loneliness.” Which to you is more desirable? To me I would choose annoyance, which is lucky because that is exactly what I have. Sometimes. But other times I’m glad my sister is there and there are a few rare times I realize just how much I appreciate being the youngest in the family and having her there beside me.

Now, it’s your turn.

  • Pretend you have to write an expository essay about your favorite color. Practice using different grabbers for that topic. Turn into your teacher when done.

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