Writing Better Essays - A Rhetorical Guide to Writing and Revision (Second International Edition) - David L. Rogers
David L. Rogers [+]
Kingston University, London
Chapter 8 offers students another paradox of essay writing: the best time for them to write an introduction for an argumentative essay is after they have revised their paragraphs and thesis statement and reiterative conclusion, not when they start to write their essays. It supports this claim by reference to traditional rhetoricians and explains that effective introductions should lead coherently and seamlessly to the thesis of an argumentative essay while demonstrating that the writer is knowledgeable about the topic and so has some credibility. It then identifies and explains the characteristics of the four types of introductions first identified by the eighteenth-century rhetorician Richard Whatley: preparatory, corrective, narrative, and inquisitive (or a combination of two). The chapter exemplifies each type with a professionally written introduction and explains how each example demonstrates the qualities that characterize its type. Its first exercise asks students to carefully read all of the models of good practice for each type and combination of types and to try to imitate one or more. In the final exercise students return to any draft they are working on or any past essay and add an appropriate introduction, which, given the usual overall length of in their essays, will probably consist of a single paragraph.