How To Smash Your Paragraph’s Opening Statement

Paragraphs in an essay needs to be strong enough to withstand sledgehammers, Ultron, and even marking by your teacher. Here’s how to Smash your Paragraph's Opening Statement.

State Your Business!

The Question You Have to Answer:

Imagine you have to write an essay on this question:

 Which member of the Avengers contributed the most in the fight against Ultron?

Cool question, hey? Although I’m going to answer this question in the rest of the article, your question could be anything from “How has the author of your chosen text presented THIS topic?” or “What are the macroeconomic implications of THAT policy?” or even “Is it ever justified to provide medical treatment to a patient without their consent?”

No matter what, you will always need to write an awesome statement.

Let’s get back to my example to see how.

The first part of this scaffold is easy. Your first sentence needs to respond to the original question. I know you hear that all the time, but the first sentence – your Statement – is the argument you will make for the rest of the paragraph. Take a look at mine:

The Hulk is the most valuable member of the Avengers in the final battle against Ultron.

Answer it straight up, just add in your twist.

See what I did there? I answered the question directly, but I gave it a little twist in two places: can you spot where?

First, I added in the word valuable, and second, I added in final battle.

This is called Qualifying. I didn’t just answer the original question, I narrowed it down just a little, and gave the reader an indication of what specifically I’ll be going on to talk about.

Here are some other examples of Statements I could have used, see if you can spot the changes to the question:

Although there were many characters who were important in final battle against Ultron, Nighthawk’s contribution earlier in the film had the most important long term impact.

The character who played the most significant role in stopping Ultron was not present for the final fight; without Nick Fury Ultron would never have been defeated.

Ironman would stop at nothing to reverse the damage that his creation, Ultron, had wrecked in his final battle, and this dedication makes him the most valuable member of the Avengers.

Statements are important, not impossible.

Crafting Statements might seem like an exercise in mental gymnastics: there’s so many different ways you can go about answering a question and making a point that it can be hard to think of one.

If you’re having trouble check out our article on Statements here.

Well, what are you waiting for? go and write a Statement you can stand by in battle!