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Writing Secrets: Learning Different Ways to Start an Essay

No matter how a student starts an essay, a few things will always be the same. One will still pick the topic by the “KIR”s; what the student Knows the most of, what the student is most Interested in, and how readily it is to find the Resources to back up the student’s work. Once this has been determined, starting the essay can take different paths. This is what will be covered here.

  1. Thesis Statement
  2. Catch Line
  3. Delay
  4. Offset

Thesis Statement

In a thesis statement, the student will explain the topic that they are going to write about. It is point on, and informative, leaving nothing to the imagination. Many academic papers are started this way, and is a strong start, but then so are others when done right. This is the point with any starting line or introduction; they have to be done right. In a thesis statement, explain what the topic is, and how it is being defined. Just a quick brief statement, that can be expanded on, with the rest of the introduction.

Catch Line

A catch line, is a dramatic entrance. It deals with the topic, but not always directly. What it does do, is just give enough of a hint to the topic, but grabs the attention of the prospective reader, to make them want to find out. The rest of the introduction will tell what the topic is about fully. This is done by taking something fantastic, or hard to believe, but real. Then expounding on it, with just enough information to give an idea of what the topic is.


A delay, is postponing the topic information until later. This can be done by giving a historical view of an aspect, without giving the topic away. Or other ways, that delay telling the reader what the topic is, but getting their interest to find out. As such a student, who is writing about a species of fish, might tell how he loves scuba diving, and seeing all the wonders in the ocean. Then go into the other sections of the introduction, easing the reader into that they are writing about Groupers.


An offset, is a thesis statement that starts out sounding like something else, then ends with what the topic actually is. Going back to the grouper topic, one might start out talking about the Blackfoot Mythology of Dakwa and the Fish. Being that Dakwa was swallowed by a giant fish in the river of life, then bring it to the grouper in the end.


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