Argumentative Writing: Writing Introductions

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Writing introductions for argumentative essays is so important for students! Once they've nailed a few easy steps, writing argument gets so much easier. If you want students to have a clear roadmap to a great paper, this curriculum set will give it to them. Why leave them guessing?

After teaching all the high school grades, I've found that when kids can write a clear introduction with a clear hook, thesis, and organizing sentence, their papers get SO MUCH BETTER. And so does grading them.

By taking the guesswork out of the structure, students quickly find that writing a paper isn’t the terrifying walk in the dark they once thought it was. They simply write the introduction and then follow their own blueprint for the paper.

Here, you'll find the resources you need to help them solve the introduction puzzle. Once they have this foundation, they can begin adding more complexity to their writing and structure.

From the Reviews:

"I wish you had been my writing teacher back when I was a student!"

"Wow. This is going to save me so much time."

"A wonderfully scaffolded set of handouts that was effective in getting my kids started. This is a great way to build momentum for the rest of the paper."

"Love it!"

"Helpful resource for my 10th honors students."

What's Inside:

“The Four Pieces”: This handout clarifies the four elements that must be in every introduction: the hook, mention of the author and title, a strong thesis, and an organizing sentence.

“Putting the Pieces Together”: This handout gives clear examples of two introductions that incorporate the four introduction puzzle pieces.

“Identify the Pieces” (with key): This handout gives two examples of introductions and asks students to identify the hook, mention of author and title, thesis, and organizing sentence for each.

“Strengthening Your Thesis”: This handout explains the purpose of a thesis, shows several “empty” theses and asks students to practice creating a thesis with a full argument.

“Where does the Organizing Sentence come from?” : This handout explains how to create an organizing sentence, starting with a search for three relevant quotations from the text.

“Craft your Own Organizing Sentence”: This graphic organizer, which you can use again and again with students, guides them in finding three pieces of text to support their thesis, drawing three main points from these quotations, and summarizing these into an organizing sentence.

“Write your Own Introduction” (to be used again and again): Students use this graphic organizer to write down the four elements of their introduction and then link them together into an introduction.

“Topic Sentences”: This handout reinforces the connection between the organizing sentence and the three main points of the paper, showing students that once they have completed their introduction, they have also virtually written the first sentence (and main point) for each body paragraph.

“From the Introduction to the Paper as a Whole”: This handout shows a breakdown of what goes into each part of the paper, and how it is all linked to the introduction.

“Moving Beyond the Blueprint”: This handout shows students new directions for the structure of their analytical writing once they have mastered this basic blueprint.

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Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Lifelong tool
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


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