Practice Opening- runnerd4

Based on the happenings in Nigeria, it is clear to see that polio will never fully be eradicated from the world. The misleading and false rumors about the vaccination in Nigeria lead to conflict and many people deciding not to get vaccinated. Some of the rumors include that the vaccination can cause many diseases, including AIDS and HIV, and that it can cause infertility. Although Muhammad Ali Pate has been able to make some serious progress with the relatively low polio cases in Nigeria, the standing conflict over the vaccinations will never allow the case number to be zero.

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1 Response to Practice Opening- runnerd4

  1. davidbdale says:

    You show good instincts here, runnerd4, to provide specific details. Every Composition instructor LOVES specific details. But yours don’t help readers understand the story you’re telling because you don’t tell the story. You only provide the details.

    Here’s what I mean:

    Based on the happenings in Nigeria, it is clear to see that polio will never fully be eradicated from the world.

    We don’t have a clue about the “happenings” in Nigeria. And while I agree you can’t tell readers EVERYTHING in the first sentence, I would counter by suggesting that if you don’t tell them SOMETHING, they won’t read the second sentence. The delicate balancing act is to tell readers ENOUGH to COMPEL them to read on.
    [Grammar Note: Eradication is binary, never partial. They’re eradicated or they’re not eradicated. “Fully eradicated” just means “eradicated.”

    The misleading and false rumors about the vaccination in Nigeria lead to conflict and many people deciding not to get vaccinated.

    Again, your technique [Start broad, then narrow the focus, then get REALLY SPECIFIC] is a common one known to most composition students (called the “funnel approach”), but it requires extreme reader patience. Give them MORE and they may stay with you to the end. WHAT rumors?

    Some of the rumors include that the vaccination can cause many diseases, including AIDS and HIV, and that it can cause infertility.

    YES, you delayed these details by just ONE SENTENCE, but that delay can make all the difference. And delaying earns you nothing. Consider: “Based on Nigerians’ refusal to be vaccinated because of a fear that they might contract HIV, we must conclude that polio will never be eradicated.” THAT bold claim distills your first three sentences into a real HOOK.

    Although Muhammad Ali Pate has been able to make some serious progress with the relatively low polio cases in Nigeria, the standing conflict over the vaccinations will never allow the case number to be zero.

    Your readers are not familiar with Pate, and they have no reason to believe that a setback in Nigeria will forever condemn the polio eradication effort to failure. You would have to convince them otherwise.
    My overall impression is positive, runnerd4, especially for a first draft. I encourage you to post a rewrite if you feel motivated to make improvements. If you do that, please publish a brand new post titled “Practice Opening Rewrite—runnerd4.” I’d love to see it.

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