How can I start my introduction paragraph for my debatable essay regarding the following statement below?"Los Angeles Comunity college should ban smoking in campus."

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think it might be a good topic for a statistic. You can use either specific statistics about smoking in your school, or general ones regarding the dangers of smoking in general. It is the secondhand smoke argument. Address a counterargument, such as the idea that people have a right to smoke somewhere.
booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

To write this essay, I would not only choose your perspective, but do enough research about your topic to anticipate a counter argument to your viewpoint. When writing your introduction, I would probably present the general statement about the debate over allowing smoking at the college. I would follow with a sentence that generally states that some people are opposed with serious concerns while others see that smokers can be accommodated.

I would then decide which order to present my two-sided argument. I would write about opposing viewpoints and the specific reasons you have discovered with regard to the other side of the issue. In the next paraphragh I would probably state my viewpoint, with supporting details. You could include a separate paragraph that considers the the pro and con for each. And then write your concluding paragraph.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree that you need to figure out what you are saying before you write your intro.  I've always hated the idea of "hooks" though because they just seem silly to me.  But I know most teachers demand them.

I'll give you what my intro paragraph for this topic would be.

In America, we generally have the right to behave as we like.  We do not have a government telling us exactly what we may or may not do.  However, these rights can be taken too far and must sometimes be abridged so that others are not hurt by our actions.  Community colleges in LA County should ban smoking because it hurts people other than the person who is exercising his or her right to smoke.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Contrary to popular belief, when writing an essay, you should not actually begin by writing the introduction.  Before writing an introduction, you must complete a few very important steps.  Planning, pre-writing, and organizing.  If you have completed these steps, your introduction should be very easy.

An effective introduction should contain at least three pieces:

  1. A "hook" to get your reader interested.
  2. Your thesis statement.
  3. The basic organization of your essay (a list of the broad sub-topics of your argument).

In pre-writing for this essay, create an extensive list of reasons why smoking should be banned.  Go back and add to the list any actual (facts) examples that help support your reasons.  Then, categorize your reasons into 3 or more groups.  Examples of group categories might be: health, financial, and social reasons for banning smoking.  Using these categories, outline your essay to make each category the topic sentence of each body paragraph.  Next, organize the points and examples that support each topic by listing them underneath.

Once you've done these things, the pieces of your introduction should be fairly simple.  Your thesis and organization will be clear.  As far as a hook goes, you can pose a thoughtful question, include a short anecdote (short story) about smoking bans or smoking on a college campus, find and include a thought provoking quote on the topic, or simply define some technical terms your paper may cover.

I hope this helps.

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