Blog #5: Leads that Light

Today in class we were asked to write three possible leads to our ten page paper. Our rough draft for this paper is due by Tuesday, the 14th, and I have not even begun to think about such a daunting task. And as the wise Julie Andrews said in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” So as I began trying to figure out where to start, I flipped to a dogeared page in my English 102 textbook, The Curious Researcher, that gave me some wonderful ideas. Ballenger disclosed “Openings to your paper might sound hard, but consider all the ways to begin:

-Anecdote….

-Scene….

-Profile….

-Background….

-Quotation….

-Dialogue….

-Question….

-Contrast….

-Announcement” (163-164).

Also divulged in The Curious Researcher is the concept that, “Leads… are flashlights that shine down into the story” (Mcphee qtd in Ballenger 161). What is meant by that quote, is that our introduction needs to be captivating and give our readers an insight as to what the rest of the paper will be on.

Here go my quick attempts as I sit in class for a few more minutes:

Anecdote attempt 1:

When I was in high school I met a girl named Kathy and we were fast friends. She was very warm and inviting with a huge smile. What I remember most about Kathy was that she always had a boy named Eric on her arm. They would kiss in the halls and frequently pass notes between each other. Kathy would proudly read the love notes from her man to us during lulls in our choir class. All of the girls in our class who had the privilege of reading the love notes felt special.

And the day after their graduation, Eric asked Kathy to marry him. She was so excited! And we were all excited for them too.

A few years back, I ran in to Kathy while we were both visiting our old school. I asked her about her husband, as they had tied the knot the year prior. Kathy got a solemn look on her face and confessed that she and Eric had split. They were getting divorced and she was currently single.

Scene attempt 1:

The Blue House. Those words haunt me even to this day. As a child, I was raised in a fairly large, split level 2 story house with my mother, 3 siblings, and her husband and his 4 kids. The Blue House. Imagine yelling, food throwing, tears. The Blue House. Every nightmare that I have starts within those 4 walls or the cracked gray concrete walkway that leads to the front door. And even as I aged and all of my siblings moved out, I remained. A lonely child with a mother and a stranger daddy.

Now, the scene that I’ve just described is not uncommon. Most children today are raised by adults who are not their birth parents.

Quote attempt 1:

Nicholas H. Wolfinger discussed the abomination that is the divorce cycle when he explained, “Many families have more than 1 child; having grown up in divorced families, these children will be more likely to end their own marriages. Thus, divorce can affect many future marriages. The transmission of divorce between generations, in short, can be thought of as a cascade. Ending a marriage starts a cycle that threatens to affect increasing numbers of people over time, a sobering thought in an era when half of all new marriages fail” (4-5). Wolfinger is the Assistant Professor of the Department of Family and Consumer Studies at the University of Utah. He is also the Assistant Professor of Sociology at the U of U who has spent his entire career researching the “intergenerational transmission of divorce.”

I’m not really a fan of any of these leads and I will work on finalizing a beginning with the few remaining days that I have left. I really liked the example by Ballenger’s student, Ashley, on page 265 of The Curious Researcher that started the story with a scene lead. Ashley brought to life the characters in the pub and how the bartender’s face paled at sad news. I was thoroughly captivated by her writing on a subject that I wouldn’t usually have been interested in.

Scene leads seem to be a great way to pull readers in who may not initially feel connected to your topic. I imagine that if I were to start my essay from the scene of a broken home, maybe that would spark a memory for my reader. Or maybe if I were to start my essay with a scene of a wholesome family, that might spark a sense of desire for my reader. That sense of desire is why I am writing my essay! I what my readers to spread the word that divorce should not be a norm anymore!

I think I will focus my energy on writing a better scene lead.

Happy writing!

❤ Siarra

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4 thoughts on “Blog #5: Leads that Light

  1. Hey Siarra!

    I’ve thinking a lot about the questions and research you have been posting in this class and I am a little surprised at how you had expected kids who have divorced parents to be “desensitized” of marriage. You yourself say that you want a lifetime with your husband (good catch by the way :P), and you have lived in a (remarriage I think?). Just like you I have also lived in a devorced family, my dad is jerk haha, but I absolutely love the idea of marriage. I was also a little bit astonished by the statistic where its a 50% chance of getting a devorce if you’ve lived under a devorce. Reading your fast write sparked my own feelings up. At the end of class today, remember how I had said that I was too young in my opinion to get married this weekend? Well I’ve been thinking a lot about the family members around me who mainly have had quite short marriages because they either didn’t fully understand the other person, or they figure out that they can’t live with certain traits. Interesting how people may say they love each other, but find out that the person they love later on don’t actually match them. In this way perhaps the “falling out of love” may look more like “if he doesn’t treat me very nice when I’m just getting ready, why should I spend the rest of my life with him (a little dramatic and exaggerated but you get the idea)? Oh and one more thing: I plan on getting married soon as well, not right after high school, but in about two years. Wish me luck 😛

    1. Archon is Jacob, right?!
      Jacob, thanks for your thoughts!
      I feel similar to you in your astonishment at the 50% divorce rate for children of divorce. The concept of desensitization is mine and I am still working out the kinks. Truth be told, yes, I was a children of remarried parents (on both sides! several times) and I don’t feel like I will ever get divorced. However, I do feel like divorce wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world. And THAT is what I meant by desensitization to divorce. I wouldn’t say children of divorce are always desensitized, but I am saying that watching your parents separate, and survive, and then watching thousands of celebrities do it too, we are more likely to think of it.
      ❤ Siarra
      PS
      Good luck!

  2. Hi Siarra

    I haven’t read to much of your blog but I know you have been commenting on my blog. I would say hi and i’m very interested in your topic. I had a great class Wednesday. I am hoping to start my research paper tomorrow. Also it’s been a struggle up tell last week with figuring out my class for this summer term. I just keep running around finding more ideas for my topic by reading how others are going about doing their research.

    Hope you can figure out your research and be successful with it just as much as myself. =)
    Well, I’m tired and getting down to business for my paper, so I will leave off with a goodnight and hope to hear more from others on my blog posts so that I can also get ideas for my sources and topic.

    Peace.
    David Lowry English 102

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