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I am trying to start this ten page informative essay on abuse in the Foster Care system but I'm having a hard time?


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We are not sure if you are having a hard time deciding how to start your essay in terms of figuring out the introductory paragraph or if you are having a hard time deciding where to start your essay on abuse in the foster care system and how to organize the material.  We are going to address both issues in our answer.

If you have gathered all of your information and facts and organized the rest of your essay, but are wondering how to actually begin the essay, what you are looking for is a powerful hook.  A hook is a sentence or a group of 2 or 3 sentences that provides that grab-you-by-the-throat information and compels the reader to keep reading your essay.  For an essay about abuse in the foster care system, you could keep the hook fact-based and still be very effective.  Just a quick review of research revealed estimates that 25% to 40% of children in foster care experience abuse in their foster homes.  Selecting the resources that you want to use and presenting their statistics in your opening paragraph should serve as an effective hook.  You could also be more personal and actually present an individual in foster care’s personal story of abuse in your opening paragraph as your hook.  There are tons of stories available from reputable sources to use. 

If you are having a difficult time beginning with your essay, here are some easy steps to follow:

  1. Pick your topic.  You already have your broad topic, but it is a very broad topic.  Do you want to focus on the foster care system in a particular area; a specific type of abuse; contradictions between official reports of abuse and what agencies report?  Narrowing your topic will help you write a more effective and powerful essay, but can make finding data more difficult.
  2. Do your research.  It is easy to get lost in this step.  For a 10-page paper, look for 7 to 10 reliable resources that you could use for writing and then stop researching and start writing.  You can always go back and find more resources once you have written your first draft, but you want to keep yourself from getting lost in the research.
  3. Figure out your thesis.  You may go back and tweak your thesis statement, but use it as a map for your essay.
  4. Outline your paper.  You do not have to write out a formal outline (though it can be a useful guideline for your writing), but knowing the points you want to make and how you want to organize them can make writing much easier.
  5. Start with the body paragraphs.  Make the points you want to make, then move the paragraphs around to present the most coherent and cohesive essay.
  6. Write your introduction and conclusion after you finish the rest of your paper.  Instead of trying to fit the body of your paper to your introduction and conclusion, you can tailor them to be roadmaps for your paper.
  7. Revisit your thesis.  Does your paper actually support it?  If not, tweak it. 

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