Several months, ago, I was teaching my fifth-graders how to compose a good essay, and any good essay needs to start with a solid introduction. The only way I was able to get their attention was by telling them the story of the poodle poop paper. It went a little like this:
Imagine, if you will, you are walking home from school and your paper–which you worked so hard to complete–flies out of your backpack and lands right in the middle of the crosswalk. Along comes a little old man, cane in one hand, leash in the other with his poodle on the far end. Right in the middle of the crosswalk, Fluffy decides to take a big dump, and gramps realizes he has nothing to use to pick up the mess. The old man doesn’t want to leave the mess in the middle of the crosswalk, so he looks around for something to use as a pooper-scooper. There, a few feet away, is your essay. He picks it up, and before reaching down to pick up the offending turds, the old man reads the first few lines of your essay. Now, will he find it interesting enough to keep reading and want to show others your wonderful piece of writing, or will the paper’s beginning make the old man feel the essay has no other purpose than to scoop Fluffy’s lunch off the crosswalk?
Make your intro interesting lest you want your work to become a Poodle Poop Paper!