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Writing: Introductions — Video lesson

Writing: Grammar

Video transcript

- All right, we are looking at this question, question number 34, which is an introductions question. You can see that the entire first sentence is underlined. And we have this telltale question, "Which choice provides the best introduction to the paragraph." So in order to answer this question, we're going to need to figure out the main idea of this initial paragraph. So this is from a passage called "Sharing for Success," which is about job sharing. Skip the underlined sentence, and begin with the second sentence of the paragraph. Read the whole thing. "Both Julie Levine and Julie Rocco desired a healthier work-life balance, but they were hesitant to give up their managerial roles, overseeing the production of new vehicles. In order to retain these top engineers, the company proposed a creative solution: job sharing." That is a weird use of a semi-colon. I would use a colon to introduce the idea of job sharing. (chuckles) Sorry, just going out of my way. Back to 34. "Which choice best provides the best introduction to the paragraph?" So what's the main idea of the paragraph? Well, it seems like Julies Levine and Rocco are both engineers at a vehicle company, and they want to have a different relationship with their work, but they don't want to stop being managers. So maybe they're full-time, they want to go to part-time, but they want to both remain managers. So the company decides they're going to share the job of manager. So it sounds like we're introducing a problem for these two engineers, and then a solution from the company. So we're going to be looking for a choice that introduces these two women and their problem. So, I'm gonna write, what's the main idea? And then what's the purpose? Now we don't have the rest of the passage here, but we do have its title, which is "Sharing for Success." And that tells me that this passage is going to be about job sharing. So I think the purpose of the information in this first paragraph is to introduce us to the idea of job sharing, and show how it can solve problems in the workplace. Let's take a look at the choices. So choice A, the 21st century has presented both unique challenges, and innovative solutions to work-related issues. That's true. That feels a little vague to me, and maybe this is our best answer, but right now it feels a little non-specific, like it doesn't introduce the idea of Julie Levine and Julie Rocco. Who are these women? What do they do for a living? You know, we're looking for a sentence that brings their problem to the fore, and introduces who they are, and the kind of work that they do. Choice B, "Companies are always searching for new and innovative ways to recruit the best employees." I can cross this one out, because this isn't about recruitment. They're already managers, right. So they're not being recruited. They already work at this company. Choice C, "In 2007, two highly full-time engineers at a U.S. car company faced the same dilemma." Ooh, I really like that, because this kind of raises the curtain on introducing these two characters. They're full-time engineers. They want a healthier work-life balance. They work at a U.S. car company, and they're facing the same problem, the same dilemma. So it begins by introducing these characters. I think this is our answer, but let's check choice D. "According to one national survey, the average full-time U.S. employee works about 1,700 hours per year." I'm sure that's true. But the question is, what does that have to do with the rest of the paragraph? You're looking for something that's going to focus your attention on the information to come, and not distract with information that is only tangentially relevant, because this passage isn't really about full-time employees. It's about full-time employees that become part-time through job sharing. So I'm going to get rid of this vaguer option, that's just about unique challenges and innovative solutions. I'm going to instead go with the more specific one that directly relates to the context of the paragraph. You'll notice all of these choices are grammatically correct. That's the kind of question this is, as opposed to this punctuation error in question 35, because you are being asked to evaluate how relevant these choices are, not how grammatically correct they are. I should've said this at the beginning. You're gonna see one to two of these questions on your exam, where you have an entire sentence underlined, and you'll see questions about introductions to paragraphs. You'll also see questions about conclusions to paragraphs, and I'll demonstrate how to do a conclusions question in a separate video.