How can I improve my intro paragraph, make it more focused?

Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 03:01 pm
[I've been criticized by my professor many times that my essay intros are not focused and clear enough on what my topic is. I've also been told I need to use more examples. How can I improve my essay with these guidelines.]
My intro is as follows:
Society is continuously bombarded with advertisements for enhancing beauty such as make-up commercials, billboards advertising plastic surgery and diet pills in grocery stores offering a quick way to lose weight. The bloated abundance of beauty ads is clearly the result of a society that cares about appearance and views outer beauty as being essential. People in multiple positions, groups, careers and even children will treat people differently based on their perceived aesthetic beauty.
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Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 03:18 pm
If that's everything, you definitely need more, specifically an argument; that's non-negotiable if you want to get a good grade.

What's the point you're making? You seem to be saying society is too focused on beauty, but you haven't explicitly said why that's bad. All you've done is give examples of how society is too focused on beauty. If you wanted to highlight the ways that society reflects a focus on beauty, then those examples could be worked into a thesis. But I don't think that's what you're arguing.

So if you are indeed trying to say society is too focused on beauty, you need to clearly say why you think that.

For example,

Society's obsession with beauty is bad because people are treated differently based on their looks... you might add more to your argument; it places unreasonable expectations on people, etc... whatever reasons you think there are for it being bad.

You also might want to think a little bigger. Instead of saying "because people are treated differently" you might say "because it promotes inequality."

Hope that helps.
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Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 04:17 pm
Loner above seems to have a handle upon it. However, I've done a little editing just for fun:

Society is continuously bombarded with advertisements for beauty enhancement such as the makeup commercial; billboard advertising plastic surgery; and in the grocery store, diet pills offering quick weight loss. This bloated abundance is clearly the result of its caring about appearance and outer beauty as essential. People in multiple positions of influence, of many social and economic groups and careers--but even children--will treat one another differently based solely on their own or the others' perceived aesthetic beauty
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Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 04:29 pm
I think the point your professor is trying to make is that the purpose of the introductory paragraph is simply to state what your argument is about and not to make the argument. Think of the first paragraph as a sort of outline of what is to follow. Then each paragraph makes the argument.
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 05:58 pm
What you've described isn't an outline of what's to follow; it's a hook. An outline of what's to follow would be a thesis statement. The OP shouldn't jump into the body paragraphs without stating the argument.

I guess it's possible that the professor wants the introductory paragraph to just be a hook, but I think it's unlikely. And if that were the case, the OP's introductory sentences aren't unfocused. They get an idea across. I don't see where the lack of focus is unless the professor expected an argument in the first paragraph.
cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 08:04 pm
Image result for how to write good essay intros
Part 1 Building a Concise Introduction
Start with an example. ...
Hook the reader with a great first sentence. ...
Give your argument some context. ...
Preview the structure of your paper. ...
Craft a unique, arguable thesis. ...
Transition into your first paragraph to wrap everything up.
How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Sample Intros) - wikiHow
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Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2016 12:53 pm
You guys re all so much deeper than I
cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2016 01:01 pm
Don't dispair; I read your posts. Wink
Reply Fri 4 Nov, 2016 01:25 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Why thank you Cis, considering transferring you from Not List to Good Guys
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