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Quill PenTips for Writers by Brad Hyde

February 29, 2004

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Titles and Introductions: Student Writing Examples

Students wrote a standard five-paragraph essay of 300 words on the topic, "Three activities I do each week." The following is a discussion of titles and introductions from the Advanced Composition classes.

Everyday is the Same (sample title)

First, remember to capitalize the important words. The original title is a sentence and that's a no. How about : Every Day the Same as an improved title. This title made us smile and expect something funny. As one student said, if it is not funny, then that would be a deceit. However, there is some disagreement over the idea that this title shows humour. Warning! Humour is not universal.

Not a Boring Routine (sample title)

It seems clear that this essay will be, probably, about something interesting going on in the student's weekly life.

My Life (sample title)

The title seems a bit general. Perhaps try My Weekly Life. When you write an autobiography, you can use this title.

Sample Introduction for an essay titled "My Weekly Life"

Since I don't work outside the home, I can enjoy many kinds of activities. Besides going to school to study English, I go to my parents' café, cook the dinner, and study programming every week. (35 words; suitable for a 300 word essay)

Every Saturday, I enjoy going to help my parents at a small café. (This would be your first body topic sentence)

This introduction starts by establishing the personal situation of the writer and puts it positively. It also uses a classic three part thesis that allows the readers to understand what will follow exactly.

Activities That I Do (sample title)

Be sure to capitalize the important words in the title.

Without an alarm clock, my body clock wakes me up at the same time every day. I open my sleepy eyes and serve myself a glass of water, then, it's time for my first activity of a day. (38 words; original introduction)

The class revised the preceding introduction as follows:

My body clock wakes me at the same time every day, ready to begin the first of my three favourite daily activities (22 words; shorter introduction OR): reading, practicing piano and picking up my kids at school. (32 words; introduction with specific details of the three activities)

The opening sentence is attractive and shows us something, making us feel that the writer is in control.

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