Introducing and Concluding Paragraphs

Kristin Fracchia
Lesson by Kristin Fracchia
Magoosh Expert
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This lesson is about the questions on the test that ask you how you should effectively introduce or conclude a paragraph or an essay. So let's go straight into a couple examples and walk through what you should be looking for on these types of questions. So here is an example. Given that all the following choices are true, which one best introduces the paragraph?

Now you'll often see this phrase in that, so you don't need to think you need to deciding whether or not the content is factually true or anything like that. Assume it's all true, we're looking for which one best fits with the main idea of the paragraph, and that is key. A good introductory sentence as far as the test goes is one that introduces the main idea, the content of the paragraph.

So, let's go ahead and look at the paragraph so you can actually answer this question. So here's the paragraph. Here is where we're adding our introductory sentence, this highlighted part right here. So go ahead and pause the video, read the rest of the paragraph, and we will go back to the question.

All right. Back to the question. Given that all the following choices are true, which one best introduces the paragraph? Now this passage tells us about the Hilltop Singers performing, I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke, in the 1979 commercial featuring the young fan giving Pittsburgh Steeler, Mean Joe Greene, a bottle of coke.

Marketing campaigns in the 1970s. Coca-Cola commercials are still aired today. So this is about marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola, primarily in the 1970s. So let's take a look at our answer choices. We wanna be watching out for answer choices that are too vague or are too specific to enco, encapsulate the paragraph.

And A is a good example of something that's pretty vague. Truly rose to prominence in the 1970s. We could be more specific about that. We were specifically talking about marketing and commercials. So that can be eliminated. As television increased in popularity, Coca-Cola concentrated its marketing strategy on feel-good television commercials.

Now that sounds pretty good. Feel good television commercials, have a Coke and smile, give a coke to a Steeler, sounds pretty feel good to me. Coca-Cola commercials today reflect a carefully-crafted brand. Now this one has a flaw in it, and that is that word today. Remember, this commercial is primarily about the 1970s, so make sure that you are looking and checking that every single word in the answer choice is correct.

If you find a word that gives it a flaw that makes it incorrect, the whole thing is incorrect. Now D, Coca-Cola began competing with Pepsi in the 1930s, and this is reflected in its commercials throughout the 20th century. 'Kay, well. Didn't talk too much about Pepsi, but also we have a flaw here, throughout the 20th century.

We were just talking about 1970s, and had a little reference for today, so that is too broad for this answer. And so that means that our answer is B, which we thought looked, or at least I thought anyway, looked pretty good. So let's look at another example. Given that all the following choices are true, which one most effectively concludes the paragraph and the essay by emphasizing the long-term success of the Coca-Cola brand?

Now this one has the added, the addition of the essay so this, we would need to consider the entire essay in context. So that's important to note, it's not just the paragraph, we need something that is all encompassing. But let's go ahead and go back to the paragraph. So we have a no change option here, so now this last sentence is underlined.

So this is one of our options for a concluding sentence, though these marketing campaigns began in the 1970s, Coca-Cola commercials still, are still aired today. Now remember, we want to be emphasizing the long-term success of the Coca-Cola brand. The specific language that the test uses is really important here, we need something that indicates long-term success.

So let's look at answer choice B. These campaigns reflect the effectiveness of the original campaign that the founders of Coca-Cola began over 100 years ago. That sounds like some long-term success there. That sounds pretty good to me, let's leave it in. The Mean Joe Green commercial in particular was the most popular in America.

This is an example of an answer choice that is too specific. That doesn't emphasize the long-term success of Coca-Cola, it just picks up on one example, that's an illustrating example in that paragraph. And answer choice D. The original founders of Coca-Cola would be impressed by their progress, their work initiated over 100 years ago.

Well, that indicates something long-term, but it doesn't necessarily indicate the effectiveness. And it's, it's pretty vague. It’s not really specifically referencing the campaigns or the commercials that are talked about in that paragraph. And so B is a better specific choice for that.

And so that makes it our it makes it our answer. So, let's go over some tips for introducing and concluding paragraph questions. First of all, summarize the main idea of the paragraph in your own head first before you figure out what should introduce or conclude it. That helps make sure you have the proper focus and don't pick something that's too specific or too broad.

And, you need to know the main idea of the essay if the question asks about that too, asks you to introduce or conclude the entire essay. Make sure that the answer you choose references the main idea. That is super crucial. If it doesn't do that, it's not the answer. And be careful not to pick an answer choice that is too broad or too specific.

And that's it for introducing and concluding paragraph questions, hopefully these tips help you out.

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