Writing Catchy Introductions
As a writer, your top objective in the introduction to a personal narrative should
be to catch the reader’s attention. After all, if the introduction DOESN’T get the reader
interested, he or she is unlikely to continue reading.
These techniques are especially helpful when writing an introductory paragraph. You
1. begin with a funny story to set a humorous tone
2. begin with an anecdote that reveals some key trait of your character
3. start with a simple fact that will be important later
4. set the mood with vivid, specific details; in other words, add a snapshot
5. draw your readers into your writing with a question or two
6. gain your reader’s attention with a startling fact, a confession, quotation, or hint of
what’s to come
7. start out with dialogue
These introductory paragraphs grab the reader’s attention. What strategies do they use?
“Two cups of coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, and a hot pretzel.” It was a typical order
at the snack bar at the citywide garage sale my parents helped run every April. The event was
supposed to raise enough money to make some improvement. This was my first year at the snack
bar, though, and I was worried that instead of raising money, I would end up owing it.
I was only eight, but I remember it like yesterday. I was sitting in doctor’s office when
they gave my parents and me the shocking news. “I am sorry to tell you this, but your daughter’s
condition is getting worse. The only way to fix it is by surgery.”
No one expected such a tiny girl to have a first birthday. In Clarksville, Tennessee,
in 1940, life for a baby who weighed just over four pounds at birth was sure to be limited.
But most babies didn’t have nineteen older brothers and sisters to watch over them.
Most babies didn’t have a mother who knew home remedies and a father who worked
Most babies weren’t Wilma Rudolph.
Have you ever imagine