For me the hardest part of an essay is the first paragraph. In my AP Lang class we are doing an essay on a genocide, so I chose the Holocaust. Well, this is what I have so far for my first paragraph;
Animosity. Disgust. Unadulterated, genuine barbarism; the psychopathic foundation on which the Holocaust and its' perpetrators were based on. By dehumanizing large masses of people, entire religions and to just a few words- it, them and they- it allowed 8.5 million Nazi soldiers to annihilate, exterminate and decimate two-thirds of the European Jewish populations, committing the worst genocide the modern world has bared witness to.
Any tips to help me continue?
In my experience, the hardest part of an essay is the main body. Once that section takes shape, the introduction and conclusion can be written almost by osmosis.
Animosity, disgust, and unadulterated, genuine barbarism: these are the primary components of the psychopathic foundation on which the Holocaust
and its' perpetrators werewas based on.
I would detail in your introduction even more specifically what the Holocaust was in terms of who, what, where, why and how. If you have a specific aspect of the Holocaust that you want to focus your essay on, use your introduction to hone in on that.
Hope this helps!
Also, try being a bit more insightful in your intro. All you are really saying at the moment is that he Holocaust was horrible, its architects evil. This is perfectly true, but it's not exactly a stunning revelation. Most people agree that slaughtering over six million people just because of their religion is a Bad Thing. It doesn't help that the Holocaust is the single most overdone topic when it comes to discussing genocides, either. If you are going to add yet another paper to the pile of literature already produced on this topic, you need to find an angle that will defamiliarize the subject for your readers. Hannah Arendt did a great job of this when she wrote about the banality of evil, arguing that the Holocaust wasn't carried out by psychopaths or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who were mostly just indifferent to what their government was doing. They just went along with whatever the authorities told them to do, and what authority told them to do was to kill Jews. This was an interesting insight, because it went against what most people thought about the Holocaust. So, what you need to do is think of something like this, something that takes an element of your topic and provides a fresh view of it.
the psychopathic foundation on which the Holocaust and its' perpetrators were based
For helping you to write this in a way that captures the awful lesson taught to historians by the Holocaust, you might add the word "we" here:
just a few words - it, them, we - we allowed...
... and in this way you can expound the holocaust as a reminder about our collective responsibility to act against evil. Evil occurs when good people do nothing, as the saying goes. That is one of the awful morals behind the story of holocaust history.
I'm not an expert just to let you know ahead of time but I am also taking an Ap english class. I always think of my introduction as drawing the people in, getting them interested in what they're reading or hearing. I thought you did a great job of that, but Cody made a good point of one word sentences being a big no-no in the first paragraph.
My greatest advice to you is to not get discouraged, and maybe don't even worry about the the intro, just start writing a couple good paras when you get into that "writing mood" and let the words flow, your vocabulary.
Good luck, you'll do just fine :).