I have to write an essay about Othello.  I wanted to known what I should write for my general opening statement.I know that, for the general opening statement, you have to rewrite it for the...

I have to write an essay about Othello.  I wanted to known what I should write for my general opening statement.

I know that, for the general opening statement, you have to rewrite it for the conclusion but in a different way.  How would I rewrite it without saying the same thing?

Asked on by mharilal

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lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Usually, there is a distinction between a general opening statement and a thesis statement.  Most teachers recommend that the thesis statement be the last sentence in the introduction.  This is something that you can clarify with your teacher, but in the meantime, we can certainly talk about both kinds of statement.

An opening statement for an essay, as the teacher above noted, is often meant to capture the attention of the reader.  However, sometimes we use what is called the "funnel" approach, in which we begin with a very general statement that helps the reader see what "world" we are in as we begin to write.  For example, if I were writing an essay about The Great Gatsby, I might begin with a general statement about the American dream or about the Roaring Twenties, depending on what the focus would be on in my essay.  Either of those would help the reader to begin to see what my focus is.  As you write about Othello, think about what your main focus is.  Are you writing about how jealousy can destroy lives?  Are you focusing on the character of Iago?  If you are, what kind of general statement might you make about this kind of person?  The idea is to start broadly, like a funnel, and then narrow down to your thesis statement.

A thesis statement is meant to be a preview of your main idea and the points you will make to support that idea.  Let's suppose for a moment that you have chosen to focus on how jealousy can destroy lives.  What points are you making to support that?  The general idea is to say "Othello shows that jealousy is an emotion that can destroy lives because ...."  The "because" part of your thesis statement needs to list the points you make to prove that.

So, in summary, there is a difference between an opening statement and a thesis statement.  One usually begins an introduction, and the other ends it.  Both are quite important, the first because you want to draw the reader into the world of your essay and the second because you want your reader to know what your main idea is and how you will support it.

Top Answer

jenniferhays's profile pic

jenniferhays | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Greetings,

Opening statements can come in a variety of forms.  They may ask a question, give a statistic, make a startling statement, or even provide a definition.  However, whatever opening statement is used, the intent is always the same: to capture the reader’s attention. 

In your question, you asked how you can avoid repeating the same information in your opening and closing statements.  This can be achieved by re-wording.  For example, if your opening statement asked a question related to your topic, or thesis statement, then that question could be answered in the closing statement. 

Good luck!

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