I need help with this introduction paragraph based on "The Scarlet Ibis." What are ways that I can improve it?
What is the joy of having a sibling? Is it that you always have somebody to play around with? Or is it that you always have someone to talk to about anything that’s on your mind? Siblings are always there for you, for anything that you may need. Siblings are supposed to get along, but there are a big handful that don’t. Many siblings fight over the silliest things, such as who gets a bigger slice of cake, or who gets the better toy. Usually, the younger siblings get whatever they want. Moreover, younger siblings get most of the attention. Younger siblings really annoy older siblings at times. Older siblings usually boss the younger around, which causes even more problems. Parents sometimes cause problems in sibling’s relationships. For example, parents give more attention to younger siblings, which causes extreme envy to grow in older siblings. Therefore, the envious siblings treat their younger siblings badly. A common action in a large amount of siblings is taking for granted the gift of having a sibling. Richard, for example, takes for granted his younger brother and doesn’t realize how important he is to him until it’s too late. Richard is a teenage boy who has a weak brother, Doodle, that can barely even walk. Doodle wants to be just like his older brother, which really annoys Richard. In the short story The Scarlet Ibis, by James Hurst, the author illustrates how more harm than good is caused by selfish pride.
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Well, I think you have made a really good start, and a lot of the issues you raise about having siblings can be related to the story. However, my central problem with it as a teacher is that I can't really tell what the essay question based on this story is from your introduction, and I am not too sure that you have created an introduction that tells me how you are going to answer the question.
Let us recap for one moment: an introduction should rewrite the essay question in different langauge, and then also make it clear what your own idea about the answer is before going on to breifly map out how you are going to answer it. I don't think your introduction does this clearly enough. You spend a large amount of space waxing lyrical about the joys or otherwise of having siblings that could be more usefully spent focusing on the issues that I have written about above. If I were you, I would cut down a lot of the stuff you have written about siblings, maybe just leaving an opening sentence or two, before getting down to the question that you are supposed to be answering. One of the biggest problems with essays is that students aren't focused enough on the question that they are given, and lose marks as a result.
I hope this helps and gives you some ideas!
Is this an introduction to an essay? If so, would you be able to post the question? Anyway, just some general tips on essay writing:
1. You need a thesis. A thesis is your understanding of the question and what you believe to be the answer based on information within your source/text. Eg. Simply put, for the question 'How does Richard's character make an impact on the audience?' you may choose to say 'Through the characterisation of Richard as a selfish and proud boy, The Scarlet Ibis highlights the importance of gratitude and love within a family,' as a simple example. This makes up the first part of the introduction to your essay. What point are you trying to make and what is the purpose of your essay? More importantly, how are you going to answer your question?
2. Briefly introduce the themes, values and ideas that you wish to discuss in your essay. Basically sum up the points you will be making.
3. Once you have done this, follow this simple essay structure to explain the points you made in your intro: Point- what do you wish to say in this paragraph, or 'the moral of the story', Evidence- include a quote which highlights your point. (make sure you reference the technique present in this quote and explain its effect), Explain- Explain how this effect and quote shows your point and relate back to question always make sure that you sum it up to relate it back to your question. (Are you answering the question?).(PEER)
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