If you are lucky enough to have an audience that only cares about two themes from Tom Sawyer, you could simply write:
Here are two major themes from The Adventure of Tom Sawyer: Blah blah blah....
But life is not like that. Reader's read because they are interested and engaged by a writing piece--which means your writing pieces must be interesting and engaging. That's the hard part.
And the fun part...
There is no law or rule that governs the writing of opening paragraphs. Really. Some of the very best essays I have read reveal their themes in bits and drabs throughout the writing piece, like a slow unfolding of a flower that can't reveal its full beauty until the end. The habit of writing opening paragraphs with detailed thesis statements is more the work of centuries of teachers trying to find ways to keep their students focused on a unified theme or themes--which is massively important in a writing piece. They discovered that by writing a clear and concise thesis statement early in the essay, their students would tend to stay on task and on target as they wrote their essays.
So, the opening paragraph was anointed the holy grail of essay beginnings. Sorry to say, but few of you (and me, too) are adept enough as writers to pull of the "slowly unfolding theme" approach to writing an essay, so we will start by mastering the more traditional and time-tested technique of "setting the scene and stating the theme."
Please read my entry on "How to Write an Opening Paragraph" and choose one of the three techniques to write your open. If you are at all confused, go with number one and open your essay in this step by step way:
- Create a title for your essay that incorporates your two themes in an interesting way.
- Find a scene in Tom Sawyer that effectively captures your two themes in action. Use a part of that scene for a Text support quote above your essay.
- In your opening paragraph, using your own words, describe that scene in vivid detail: images and actions, who what when where why. At least 100 words!
- End your paragraph by transitioning to a stating of the theme that includes the two themes you discussed in your literary analysis paragraphs.
That's all you need to do on your essay.
Now don't forget the blog challenge and the Ewing style entry!