How do I give a vague introduction to the grotesque without giving away information needed to be used later in my essay?This essay topic is about describing the groteque in the film Frankenstein...

How do I give a vague introduction to the grotesque without giving away information needed to be used later in my essay?

This essay topic is about describing the groteque in the film Frankenstein and Edward Scissorhands. The question above is derived from a possible format of my essay (given by instructor). In the format, the first paragraph is obviously the introduction paragraph. Well, in the intro the first suggested part is to give a vague intro to the groteque. I cant think of much other than the definition to write down, that's where the issue evolves.

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shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Your instructor is probably asking for a “vague” introduction so that you won’t simply repeat yourself when you transition from the introduction to the body of your essay. Too many students are taught early in school that they should use the introduction to tell the reader what they are going to write about, and then spend the body of the essay writing about what they just told you they were going to write about. B-O-R-I-N-G.

You said that beyond the definition of “grotesque,” you were stuck. Well, a definition is a good thing to have, but keep in mind that almost all words have more than one definition, depending on how they are used. Could you work in some different shades of meaning of the word in your introduction?

Also, definitions are often unclear until they are supported with examples. Since you are writing about Frankenstein and Edward Scissorhands, why don’t you give some other examples (not from those movies) in your introduction?

Perhaps, after giving your definition(s) you could say something in your introduction about how people typically react to the grotesque.

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think you may be making a mistake in trying to be vague in an introduction. Instead, use the introduction to highlight which aspects of the grotesque you will be emphasizing in your paper. You might also try to use some historical research to clarify what it is you mean by the grotesque. For example, doctors have recently succeeded in giving face transplants to badly injured people. In what way is Frankenstein's grotesque appearance different from those of victims of fire or dog attacks who received these transplants? Could you consider how the difference between horror and pity might inform our definition of the grotesque, and use that in your first paragraph to set up your specific arguments about the films.

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