Explain how to write a good introduction for a persuasive essay on the topic of whether new technology is harmful, beneficial, or both to human beings. Use Fahrenheit 451, The Matrix, and Utopia as sources.

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It seems that the goal of the essay is to persuade your reader whether or not new technology is beneficial or harmful to the human species. You could write a paper that says it is both beneficial and harmful; however, I strongly recommend that you not do that. You are being asked to make a persuasive argument, so coming right down in the middle of the two sides comes across as weak and indecisive. Even if you believe that technology is equally beneficial and harmful, I still strongly advise you to pick one side of the issue. Your teacher (hopefully) doesn't care which side of the argument you pick. Your teacher cares about whether or not you can make an argument and adequately defend it.

The first thing that you need to have for the introduction is a thesis statement. It doesn't have to be the first sentence in the essay, but it needs to be the first thing that you think of. The thesis statement is your argument, and it will guide the entire writing process. Since the initial setup is an either/or situation, use a thesis statement that reflects the either/or scenario. For example,

Although many people tend to believe that new technologies are beneficial to humans, the truth is that new technologies are far more harmful than helpful.

Flip the statement around if you believe the opposite.

Once you have your thesis figured out, the next thing to do is figure out how to hook your reader. You need a way to grab the reader's attention right from the very first sentence that you write down. Asking your reader a question is always effective and easily done; however, considering the eNotes prompt provided, I would recommend that your attention-getting hook is a quote from any of those three sources. Quotes are good at grabbing the reader's attention because the quotation marks call special attention to the words themselves. The other reason I recommend using the quote as a hook is that it alerts your reader to the fact that you will likely use that source material later in the essay.

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