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Why we read literature?This my topic for my essay, it is very broad and I am trying to...

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thesalonica | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM via web

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Why we read literature?

This my topic for my essay, it is very broad and I am trying to get a point for my introduction. I can discuss all the good stuff with in the body of my essay but having a hard time for my introduction thank you for all your help...

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tsjoseph | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM (Answer #2)

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The first step is to come up with your thesis--the claim or argument you are making.  It should be specific and debatable.  "We read literature for a variety of reasons" is not a thesis, for instance.  It's just a broad statement that does not need to be proven.

As far as constructing the intro, once you have a thesis statement, think of your introduction as an upside-down triangle.  Begin with general information (the broad part of the triangle) and then get more and more specific (as you work down the triangle and narrow your focus).  The tip of the triangle is your thesis.

The big thing is getting that very broad topic narrowed down to something workable.  That's why I think you need to start with what kind of claim or argument you want to make.

Here are some examples:

http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/thesis_statement.shtml

 

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted May 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM (Answer #3)

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The introduction to your essay will depend very much on the reasons you advance for reading literature.

I personally read literature for the pleasure I derive from reading it. Of course, frequently a part of what you read remains in your memory and can become a source joy forever - like that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude, mentioned by Wordsworth in Daffodils.

Reading literature can also add to your knowledge, which is an added advantage like the bye-products in a manufacturing process.

So If I was writing an essay on "why we read literature" perhaps I would start by declaring in one or two sentence the joy of reading literature, and then subsequently expand on the concept of what is literature and how people enjoy it.

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted May 27, 2009 at 7:53 PM (Answer #4)

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You should concentrate on thinking about a general attention-getting statement that will help you clarify some ideas about what you are writing. After that, include  a sentence of background information followed by a thesis. You can have a great 2 or 3-sentence introduction unless your teacher has particular requirements.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 28, 2009 at 6:44 AM (Answer #5)

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I'd like to offer an "opposite" viewpoint on developing your thesis. You mention that you can discuss "all the good stuff" within the body of your paper, which leads me to believe that you may already have brainstormed several ideas that you want to include in the discussion.

If this is the case, then you can take those ideas and jot them on a page, then look at them to see if any common themes or threads emerge. THIS will form the substance of your thesis statement, and your introduction will write itself. If you'll post again with those ideas, if I'm on the right track here, we can help you identify the common thread(s).

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 17, 2011 at 2:56 AM (Answer #6)

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You need to answer this question for yourself, first.  Why do you read literature?  What impact does it have on you?  Even if you read only because something is assigned, you are still getting something out of it.  I would focus on that to create your argument.

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