In the Written Communication examination you have half an hour to convince the examiner that you have the qualities necessary to gain a good mark. In order to achieve this objective you have to be interesting enough to read, and this means that you have to do what all successful writers do, which is to engage the reader. (The exam is called written communication for a reason!).
There are many aspects to the art of reader communication and managing reader response, but probably the single most important skill is to capture the reader’s attention at the outset. If your introductory remarks are poorly focused on the topic, or approach it from a predictable or unimaginative standpoint, then the reader will quickly become bored and alienated, and it will be very difficult for the essay to recover. The opportunity will be lost. The function of the opening sentence is to make the reader want to read the second sentence, and the function of the second sentence is to make the reader want to read the rest of the essay. The introduction must therefore capture the reader’s attention by taking up a well focused, meaningful and preferably memorable stance towards the essay topic ( which means among other things that the essay must be thought through as a whole before the introduction is written ).
This is a skill that must be practised, and the following exercise is designed to get you started. You are invited to consider six essay titles, think through your response and write out your opening sentences. You will then be able to compare your openings with some suggested introductions.
To read the titles, click here…