Attention Getting Devices
The first thing you want to do is to capture the reader's
attention. You also want to set your essay above the norm with a
moving, gripping opening. You can't do this by just regurgitating
the thesis. So, what is an Attention Getting Device (AGD)?
It can be anything (keep it PG-13 for class work) which grabs
the reader's attention, sympathy, emotions, or logic which can
then be used to set up the rest of the essay. The key is to make
the writing vivid and detailed. Put the reader inside your head.
The following examples are very brief illustrations of what you
can do with an AGD. You own AGDs should be much more developed
than these examples.
What can be an AGD???:
- Personal Story -- When I was a little
boy, my father often told me.....
- Startling statistics -- Over the next
few months, over twenty percent of Americans will die
from malnutrition. Twenty percent dead of malnutrition in
the most advanced country in the world...
- Examples from Current Events -- The
International Olympic Committee has been caught accepting
bribery from cities interested in hosting the Games. Even
an event as sacred as the Olympiad is not immune from
human vices and weaknesses...
- Examples from Literature -- In
Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida" the reader
is shown, through the antics of Pandarus, that people are
never who they seem to be. Cressida is hardly the pure
little debutante that she wishes Troilus to see...
- Examples from Film -- In
"Bladerunner" we see a future where human life
has little or no meaning....
- Examples from Sport -- At 12:41 am,
local time in Boston, the world froze for a moment as a
baseball hung deep in left field right on the line
between fair and foul ground. It was the thirteenth
inning of the sixth game of the world series between the
Red Sox and the Reds....
- Sad stories -- Little Suzy was a
promising child until....
You get the idea. But the key is to be vivid and creative. It
is a good thing to make the reader laugh, cry, or be moved by
your words. Feel free to drag in things from your "walking
knowledge" or what you are learning in your classes. It is
amazing how much of this information can be used as an AGD.
Return to Organizing