Beginning, Middle and End
Today's Snack: Microwave a hot dog. Put it in a bun. Add ketchup,
mustard, maybe some pickle relish or shredded cheese . . . mmmmmm. Now here's
the question: which part of your hot dog did you enjoy eating the most? The
beginning? The middle? Or the end? You might enjoy a cup of cold apple cider
with your "dog," and you might enjoy drinking it without a pause from start to
Print out the
assignment at the end of this Treat
(Topic #1 and Topic
#2) for each student
No. 2 pencil
get confused and unhappy when a piece of writing doesn't have a good
organization. Readers like to be led from the start to the finish. They like to
know exactly what's going on so that they feel comfortable and can read and
of your writing as being like an invitation to a party:
you first see it, you get excited to be invited - that's the beginning.
time, date and place of the party, and the theme, and what you're going to do
at the party, and maybe what you should wear, are usually listed on the
invitation, giving you the facts you need to know about the party - that's the middle.
when you actually arrive at the party, and the door opens up and lets you in,
and closes behind you, and you feel happy, because after all, it's a PARTY,
then that's the end.
can look back to the beginning and see how the middle got you to the end. You
feel happy and satisfied!
talk a little more about the three key parts of a piece of writing:
Beginning: get the
reader's attention and introduce the topic.
that make it interesting and informative.
End: summary of the important points that makes the reader
the reader something, compel the reader to take action, feel emotions, feel
say you have to write a report for school. After you've done your research, you
should be able to come up with a thesis
statement (pronounced THEE-sis). That's your main point. You could also call it
your starter statement.
thesis, or starter statement, might be the first, second or third sentence in
your introductory paragraph. Somehow, you need to relate your ending paragraph
back to this thesis statement. That will remind the reader of what your main
point is, and show how you proved it.
opening paragraph should give a clear idea what your story or report is going
to be about. But it also should say something interesting and "catchy." The
idea is to "hook" the reader into reading all the way through your story or
that you're trying to catch a fish with just a metal fishhook - no bait,
nothing attractive on there for the fish to eat. No wonder you don't get any
"bites." To hook 'em in, you need to capture their attention and hold it!
writers wait until they've written the body of a report, and the ending, before
they go back and write the introduction. That way, they know what would be the
best opening sentence that will connect with the reader the best, and connect
with the ending of the report.
the main goal of your beginning is to make the reader want to read more!
heard of the old expression, "save the best for last." Well, when it comes to
report-writing, you probably should save the best for FIRST!
introduction should lead smoothly into the body of the report, where you will
"prove" your thesis statement.
One of the most important tasks of writing is to decide
what to leave out - not what to put in. That's because most of us collect 'way
more information for a report than we really need.
always include lots of detail. You need to include enough facts and details to
make your points clear to the reader. With practice, you'll learn how to
include enough information to prove your point without drowning your reader in
too many words, ideas and facts. It's like putting seasoning in food: too much
ruins the taste!
crucial to your success that you leave out obvious facts and knowledge that
people already know, while not making what you include too off-the-wall and
unusual. A general rule of thumb is: "If in doubt, leave it out!"
Here are some ways that you can organize information for
the body, or middle, of your report:
order - historical; the order in which things happened
importance - from most important to least important, or vice versa
Order of location
- where the things happened or are found
Cause and effect
- answering "why" things happened
Now you sum up what you have taught the reader with your
writing. But you don't just repeat the introductory sentence. It's no good to
just restate something you said in the beginning. That's dull!
You want your ending to be lively - to end with a "bang"!
Give your reader something to think about . . . and a strong, clear message to
don't want your story to end too quickly or abruptly. Have you ever been riding
in a car when the driver had to suddenly slam on the brakes? The car stops, and
you lurch forward. It doesn't feel good, does it? It's the same way with a good
piece of writing. It should come to a satisfactory ending - not too sudden, but
not too long and drawn out, either. It should feel "finished."
the main thing about endings: it's the place where you should get to the point.
Now that you've told your reader these facts and information, why should the
reader care? What action might the reader take? What difference should this
report make in the reader's mind? What do you want the reader to think, and
you want to sum up what you've learned and tell how it guides you to take a
stand - express an opinion - predict what might happen in the future - evaluate
the value of what you've reported. Go ahead and show those strong feelings you
have! That's what makes writing a good conclusion so much fun!
a great idea to relate the ending somehow back to the introduction. You might want to repeat one key word or
phrase from the introduction, and use it again in the ending.
Now, here are three sentences that might form the
framework for a Beginning, Middle, and End of a report on which is scarier, an
eagle or a cobra:
Beginning: Eagles and cobras are both impressive,
eagle's sharp talons, crushing beak and fast flight speed make it a bird of
prey to be feared. The cobra's gruesome fangs, poisonous venom and slithering
movements are very intimidating.
eat mice, and if I were a mouse, I'd be more afraid of an eagle because it can
swoop down from the sky and snatch you away, and I hate surprises more than I
Now it's your turn!
First, think of 2 topics. Write a beginning, middle
and end for each one.
Maybe you would like to tell why your sport is better
than another sport, or tell what you did during the best recess of your life.
The more you practice thinking about beginnings,
middles and ends, the better-organized your writing will be, and the faster you
can get your assignments done!