Attention getter for definition essay
5 Types of Attention Getters in Essays
Did you know that not all college admissions counselors can guarantee that they’ve read applicants’ essays? Whether it’s because there simply isn’t the time or the decision is already made beforehand, that essay you’ve worked so hard on, unfortunately, may not be read at all. That being said, if admissions counselors are not yet sure about your acceptance, that same essay could be ultimately be used to make or break their decision. Therefore, you need to be able to get their attention right from the beginning of your essay, by using a strong attention-getter. An attention-getter is at the beginning of your introductory paragraph and it’s used to draw your reader in with the ultimate goal of making him want to continue reading.
An anecdote is a story that relates to your essay in some way. By starting your essay with an anecdote, you engage the reader on an emotional level by drawing her into your essay through the story. Your reader will try to relate to the story, which means she will also try to relate to your essay. If your reader can relate to your essay, she is more likely to enjoy it.
Using a question as an attention-getter engages your reader and gets him thinking. Don’t ask a “yes” or “no” question because the reader can answer the question and won’t have the need to read further. Ask a question that gets your reader thinking about the topic. If your essay explains something, you can ask a “why” question to lead into your thesis. Your reader will be thinking about the “why,” and your essay will give him the answer.
Using a quote as an attention-getter can lend credibility to your essay. For example, you could find a quote by an expert on your essay’s topic and use it to support your thesis. This will show that you’ve done research for your essay as well as indicate to the reader that your stance is valid since experts in the field support the main points of your essay. A quote can also capture what you want to convey eloquently. Usually quotes become famous because they’re truthful and are written in a way that moves or speaks to people. You can use that emotional factor to start your essay off strongly.
Starting your essay off with a joke can engage your reader and put him in a positive mindset for reading your essay. This can be especially effective if your essay covers a lighthearted topic. A joke will also keep your reader from taking your essay too seriously. Be careful not to use a joke that might be offensive to readers. Good, clean humor is what works best for essays.
One way to grab the attention of your reader is by implementing a statistic that’s relevant to your essay’s topic and is rather surprising to your reader. Shocking statistics can be effective in persuasive essays when readers may not have thought about all aspects of one side of the argument. They can also be very effective in informative essays or essays with a lot of technical information.
About the Author
Nicole Palmby began writing professionally in 2007. She has written for MacMurray College and has experience writing about education, sewing and crafts, health care and religious topics. Palmby holds a Bachelor of Science in English (creative writing) from MacMurray College.
Attention getter for definition essay
Most people might think that a feminist is just a man hater with short spiky hair that goes through the streets protesting every insignificant instance of possible sexism or misconduct. However, a more accepted version of feminism is simply any person, man or woman, who believes that women have the right to be equal with men. If this were better understood amongst the general population, more women would undoubtedly embrace this controversial term. To be a feminist means to not be a second class citizen and to be an intellectual equal on par with the rest of humankind…
The word intelligence brings visions of Albert Einstein or other smart men or women of science. However, I would more readily argue that intelligence should be measured in different areas and ways. It is not only important to be the smartest kid in class. It’s also important to have common sense as well as street smarts and social skills together with book intelligence. All of these key areas affect everyone’s life. Therefore, I would argue that schools and universities should not only be developing their students’ minds intellectually, but they should be building it within all of these other important spheres….
What are some examples of attention getters for an essay?
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Best attention getters are those that make your reader confused, have questions or emotionally engaged.
There are different ways to get your reader to that state of mind, like
- Quotations (literary, of famous people, etc.)
- Life stories
- Interesting statistics, facts
- Controversial statements
- Vivid comparison
Which is better to use? I’d say it depends on several things, like
- Your topic
- Style of your writing
- Your sense of humor
The best way to go is the one that is most comfortable for you.
You can’t expect to hit the reader’s heart from the very first try. Essay writing demands a lot of work and experience.
If you are a beginner in writing, try to be honest and sincere. Practice a lot, and read loads of works from other writers.
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Related QuestionsMore Answers Below
Whatever you begin with needs actually to be generated by the topic of your essay.
And please please PLEASE don’t begin with a question! That format is so trite as to be off-putting.
Also, expository essays on serious topics (whether literary, historical or other) really don’t need “attention-getters” per se.
Good first sentences will encourage your audience to read further, so craft them with your audience in mind. (No, it really shouldn’t be just your teacher! Perhaps you’re writing for a literary magazine? Smithsonian Magazine? This is a question you might want to raise in class: for what audience are you writing?
So, for an essay on Romeo and Juliet about the role of fate versus free will, you might want to say something like
Although Shakespeare’s play of young love begins with a Chorus calling the lovers “star-crossed,” Shakespeare actually lays the burden of responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the characters themselves.
For an essay in a history class on the whether the conspirators were justified in killing Caesar, one might want to say something like
As many as sixty highly-placed Roman senators stabbed Julius Caesar. Most of them did little damage to his corpus, but their actions killed what was left of the Roman Republic. (Note unrelated to the purpose of this response— Seutonius says a physician said only a couple of the blows were fatal!)
I hope these examples give you some idea of how to engage your audience without using a flash-bang device.
Many people don’t like to read essays because they aren’t engaging. A lot of essays are full of dry facts and statistics, and people can’t always relate to them. One way to help engage readers and make them want to read your essay is with a strong attention-getter. An attention-getter is at the beginning of your introductory paragraph. They’re used to draw your reader in, and get him to want to keep reading. Here some example for you to get the attention of the reader:
1. Ask a Question
4. Use Comparisons
Don’t just aim for an attention-getter. The real goal is to pull the reader into the essay, to engage the reader.
Some people like to use anecdotes, though I feel that anecdotes often are overused. To be effective, an anecdote has to relate to the theme of the essay, and engage the reader in the first sentence. It can’t meander. Later on in the essay, you can use looser anecdotes, but not at the beginning.
Some writers will begin with a question. That’s very dangerous if you’re not sure that the vast majority of your readers are going to: (1) answer the question the way you anticipate, and (2) find the question engaging enough to continue reading.
What I’d suggest is read the opening lines of some famous novels. No, they’re not essays. But they’re written not just to grab attention, but also to pull the reader into the story. Get a sense at how these authors engaged readers from the first sentence.
- It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
- Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. —Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)
- 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. —J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
- I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. —Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (1911)
- The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. —L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)