Saturday, June 16, 2012

Inspiring Introduction

Read this introduction to a 900-word essay by an 11th grader and consider what works and doesn't work for you:
Coiled about the globe, a conglomeration of desktop computers, mobile devices, wireless signals, cables, and data centers form the complex, interconnected network known as “the internet”.   By seamlessly streaming information to over 2 billion of the world’s population, this mammoth machine has snaked  its way into nearly every aspect of our lives.  According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, over 80% of American adults use the internet and another 80 % of that utilizes  it daily (Trend Data [Adults]).    The primary appeal of the internet rests in the convenience of being able to access endless information at the tap of a finger.  However, this mass accessibility and abundance of information has been detrimental to society by catalyzing the propagation of plagiarism, pirating, and porn.  (Nathan Wakefield)


The alliteration at the end is obvious and memorable, and it would be especially effective in a speech. It might not be quite to your taste, though. And yes, the paragraph has a few errors, especially in subject/verb agreement. But let's look at more . . .
What about that opener?  "Coiled about the globe."  You can visualize that, can't you? Does it fit what it's talking about -- the internet? I think so.  What "coils?"  A snake, of course.  Look at the next sentence, where the "mammoth machine has snaked its way" into our lives.  And of course most of us* have visceral negative reactions to snakes -- theological ones, too.  So it's pretty clear that this writer intends to say negative things about the internet, as those three P's at the end confirm.
The overall effect is a vivid, energetic image that binds the assertions to our minds in a persuasive way.  This is an effective introduction.  And a great conclusion would remind us of the snake image, and probably the P's as well. Although the author has another metaphor in his title and conclusion, he does link the conclusion to this intro with the idea that the internet is an agent of temptation. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

*Our family members actually like snakes.

1 comment:

Quotidian Life said...

Very nice, and I agree, very effective.