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Example Intro Paragraph

Symbols are an older form of communication than written language, and it is arguably human nature to seek
them out. However, the things people choose to attribute meaning to are often insubstantial, and can be limiting as
often as illuminating. In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, symbols are used
throughout the novel to shape the main character, Junior. Junior is an adolescent who is torn between his life on an
Indian Reservation (where his family and peers are all poverty-stricken alcoholics), and his life at an affluent school in
a neighboring community. Junior continuously struggles with what going to a white school represents, and what that
choice implies about him, his family, and his future. At the start of the novel, Sherman Alexie uses symbols to create a
caricaturized portrait of Junior, which he himself accepts, but as the story progresses Junior comes to reject the
fatalistic expectations that have been set in place for him, and to identify with new symbols, symbols of hope. The
symbols in the story establish Junior as a dynamic character.

Topic Sentence: A general statement about your Attribute. Do NOT include specific characters, or specific details
about your text. Keep it “bigger picture”

Symbols are an older form of communication than written language, and it is arguably human nature to seek them
out.

Introduce Author and Title: This should flow within your paragraph; do not just stick in a random sentence that has
the author and book! Incorporate this information!

However, the things people choose to attribute meaning to are often insubstantial, and can be limiting as often as
illuminating. In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, symbols are used throughout the
novel to shape the main character, Junior.

Brief Summary/context: You need to give just enough information to introduce the relevant characters and relevant
plot. No more than 3 sentences!!!

Junior is an adolescent who is torn between his life on an Indian Reservation (where his family and peers are all
poverty-stricken alcoholics), and his life at an affluent school in a neighboring community. Junior continuously
struggles with what going to a white school represents, and what that choice implies about him, his family, and his
future.

Thesis Statement: The one sentence that 1) Answers the question, 2) is Debatable, 3) Is supportable, 4) outlines
your paper. There should NOT be specific plot in your thesis! It should be your opinion!

At the start of the novel, Sherman Alexie uses symbols to create a caricaturized portrait of Junior, which he himself
accepts, but as the story progresses Junior comes to reject the fatalistic expectations that have been set in place for
him, and to identify with new symbols, symbols of hope.

Any necessary Transition Sentences: These can be anywhere in your paragraph and should help the flow of your
ideas.

However, the things people choose to attribute meaning to are often insubstantial, and can be limiting as often as
illuminating. / The symbols in the story establish Junior as a dynamic character.