When organizing your ideas, consider starting with a broad claim about your topic in the world and then moving towards your most specific idea this paper's goal.
A grabber is the first sentence in an introduction paragraph designed to introduce the essay topic and capture the reader's attention.
Review the following grabber styles that could be used to start a paper about college students' mental health and therapy dogs.
When students begin college, they face many new challenges and stressors that can negatively impact their mental health.
In 2019, the American College Health Association surveyed just over 55,000 Canadian students who revealed that their anxiety had been overwhelming during the past twelve months (American Health Association, 2019, p. 14).
Individuals who are diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders are often told that they must simply be strong and get over it, just as they would with a cold. Depression and anxiety, however, are far from being minor ailments; they are major mental illnesses that many college students experience.
The transition to college can be stressful, but do schools offer enough supports to alleviate this stress?
American College Health Association. (2019). National college health assessment [Report]. https://www.cacuss.ca/files/Research/NCHA-II%20SPRING%202019%20CANADIAN%20REFERENCE%20GROUP%20EXECUTIVE%20SUMMARY.pdf
The background section of your introduction paragraph provides your reader with the knowledge needed to understand the rest of your paper and identifies the topic's significance in your field.
In this section, we recommend that you
|Sentence from the Introduction||Purpose|
|Colleges try to support students by offering mental health services like counselling and peer support groups, but there is so much demand for these services that it can take a long time for students to get the help they need (Colleges Ontario & Council of Ontario Universities, 2020, p. 3).||Identifies a problem or gap at many Canadian colleges|
|Conestoga College is facing the same problem and needs to expand its mental health supports.||Narrows this problem to Conestoga College|
|One promising type of mental health service that some other Canadian colleges are implementing is therapy dog programming.||Introduces a possible solution|
|In a typical session, a therapy dog handler welcomes students to drop by to visit with their therapy dog and other students in a relaxed, social setting (St. Johns Ambulance, 2021, para. 5).||Defines key terms|
|Other Ontario colleges such as Centennial, Humber, and Geroge Brown have reported benefits to students after implementing this initiative (Geremia, 2014, para. 4; ETC Staff, 2017, paras. 1-2; Barber, 2014, paras. 4-10).||Summarizes what others have said about this topic|
Barber, B. (2014, December 1). Take a paws from class to pet a therapy dog. The Dialogue: George Brown College Student Newspaper. http://dialognews.ca/2014/12/01/take-paws-class-pet-therapy-dog/
Colleges Ontario & Council of Ontario Universities. (2020, February). In it together, 2020: Foundations for promoting mental health wellness in campus communities [Report].
ETC Staff. (2017, April 13). Percy the therapy dog provides stress relief to students. Humber EtCetera. https://humberetc.ca/percy-the-therapy-dog-provides-stress-relief-to-students/
Geremia, A. (2014, October 16). Therapy comes on four legs at Paws Your Stress. Centennial College. https://www.centennialcollege.ca/centennial-college-blog/2014/october/16/therapy-comes-on-four-legs-at-paws-your-stress/
St. John Ambulance. (2021). Therapy dog program. https://www.sja.ca/en/community-services/therapy-dog-program
In an argumentative paper, you will be given one task where you must create an argument and persuade your reader to adopt your point of view. Your argument will typically be the last sentence of your introduction.
Some other types of analytical essays like process essays can use an adapted version of this type of thesis; they do not require an argument but have a clear focus instead.
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming to help students emotionally, socially, and academically.
Topic: Conestoga College
Focus: Should implement therapy dog programming
Main Points: to help students emotionally, socially, and academically.
Due to the emotional, social, and academic benefits, Conestoga College should offer therapy dog programming to support student mental health.
Main Points: Due to the emotional, social and academic benefits
Topic: Conestoga College
Focus: Should offer therapy dog programming to support student mental health.
Choose a manageable topic: a 5-page paper will need a more specific topic than a 20-page paper.
Conestoga College (specific)
Canadian colleges (a bit broader)
Canadian schools (very broad)
Make sure someone could disagree with your argument.
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming. (Debateable)
Therapy dog programming has many benefits. (Not debatable)
List points in the same order they appear in your paper.
If the first point in your thesis is 'emotionally,' the first section of your paper will explore the emotional benefits.
Limit to 3-4 main points. In larger papers, combine similar paragraph topics into one main point in your thesis.
This sample paper has two paragraphs grouped together under the main task called 'emotionally.'
Body Paragraph 1: How Therapy dog programs reduce stress and anxiety.
Body Paragraph 2: How therapy dog programs help students access other mental health supports.
Ensure that your points are all different.
The points 'make friends' and 'be social' are too similar in the following thesis because 'make friends' could be an example in the 'be social' section.
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming to help students make friends, be social, and improve mental health.
Be careful that none of your points contradict your argument.
An argumentative essay is meant to persuade your reader. The point 'it is expensive' in the following thesis would not convince your reader to agree with your argument to start a therapy dog program.
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming because it offers students emotional support, social support, and it is expensive.
Keep the list of points grammatically parallel .
Everything in your list should be the same type of speech (e.g. noun or verb) or use the same grammatical structure.
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming to help students emotionally, socially, and academically.(Parallel)
Conestoga College should implement therapy dog programming to help students emotionally, socially, and with their school assignments. (Not parallel)
Papers that have more than one task and do not require an argument typically use a statement of intent. This is often seen in reports or papers that require you to answer a list of questions. The statement of intent maps out the order of the paper for your reader and is usually the last sentence of your introduction.
*use task words from your assignment instructions
This report establishes a need for expanded student mental health programs at Conestoga College, assesses the benefits and drawbacks of therapy dog programming as a possible solution, and offers recommendations for the program's implementation based on this analysis.
Stem: This report
The purpose of this report is to discuss why more mental health services are needed at Conestoga, analyze the strengths and weakness of therapy dog programming, and provide recommendations to successfully implement this type of programming.
Stem: The purpose of this report is to