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How do I write an introductory paragraph on Trifles that includes author's name, the...

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babsp24 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM via web

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How do I write an introductory paragraph on Trifles that includes author's name, the title of the play, and ends with a thesis statement, which also identifies the observation/evidence I will dicuss (like the kitchen). Thank you.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM (Answer #1)

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Begin with

"The evidence collected from Minnie Foster's house is the primary factor that moves the plot forward in Susan Glaspell's play, Trifles."

This introductory statement not only gives the name of the work and the author, but also will help you introduce your thesis, which is about the evidence that is found throughout the home. According to your question, you may or may not focus on the evidence found in the kitchen. Hence, be specific in that introductory statement as to which particular evidence you will talk about. If you are going to talk about all of the evidence, then leave the introductory sentence as is and keep it general.

Your second sentence should support the introductory statement. Therefore you may want to start pointing to the evidence and the fact that it was considered as non-important to the males in the play. It could be something like this:

Although all the items throughout the Fosters home held a lot of significance and meaning, the male characters in the play considered them to be mere "trifles", given that the Minnie Foster, whom they investigated for the murder of her husband, was a simple country woman.

This statement is clean because it focuses entirely on one faction of the play: the male characters, and their reaction to the evidence. Use the sentence after that to focus on the contrasting reactions of the women. 

In contrast, it is the women who give validity to the evidence, as they commiserate with Minnie who, in their final assessment, may have snapped as a result of ongoing domestic violence.

The final part of the paragraph should focus on what these contrasting reactions mean to the play, and how they explain the main idea of the play: that men and women are judged based on their gender primarily, and everything else is taken for granted.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 14, 2013 at 2:33 PM (Answer #2)

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An introductory paragraph like the one you are describing can be written in any number of ways. Opening lines often contain the seed of the thesis along with the title and author of the work. 

We might begin with a line that broadly identifies the theme that the thesis will address and also identifies the title and author of the play. 

In Susan Glaspell's play, Trifles, men and women stand on opposite sides of the human spectrum. 

From here, we might move directly to a thesis statement.

The differences between the two sexes ultimately functions as the central drama and drives the conflict as the play unfolds, as seen in [insert details you will include regarding the kitchen, etc.]. 

If you are accustomed to opening an essay with the thesis and prefacing the evidence/arguments you will use in the body in separate sentences, I hope you can see that adjusting to this method is not too different.

The biggest challenge will be to conflate and simplify your ideas so that your thesis sentence does not become to loaded, bloated, or long. To do this, I suggest being brief in your descriptions of the evidence you are prefacing. 

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