This I Believe: How to Write a Smashing Introduction

tumblr_miep1inH9e1qhr28do1_500→ I believe people should watch less TV and read more books.

→ I believe that electronic readers are just as satisfying as a paper book.

→ I believe that saying No is difficult in our say Yes society.

Greetings North High students! And to the rest of you: welcome to our This I Believe Monologue project whereby students will write a 3 – 5 minute monologue about something that illustrates their credo for life. The monologue must be backed up with a true, personal story. Because it’s a high school theatre class, students will perform their work with a small group. Think cool performance art piece with lights, movement and sound.

So you have selected an appropriate belief statement for your monologue in Theatre class. Now you need to write that intro. Ummm, how should you start?

I am mindful of the Spongebob episode when he had to write the essay and spent all night, ending up with that beautiful calligraphied word, “The.” Yep, we know writing can be extremely difficult, and all the ideas in world can’t help when you have the dreaded writer’s block. But deadlines loom, and you absolutely need to get started.

Here are some tried and true ways to get that first paragraph out of your way. Remember, you can’t start your monologue with your belief statement, you need to warm up to it.

  1. Start with an interesting, yet relevant to your topic, statistic. It only takes 7 pounds of pressure to rip your ear off. The average talker sprays about 300 microscopic saliva droplets per minute, about 2.5 droplets per word. Be sure your statistic directly relates to your topic or we will not think much of your credibility. It’s like when you see the word “Free” but know you will really need to fork over some cash…
  2. Ask an intriguing question. Don’t select something lame [Do you have beliefs? Do you believe in butterflies?] Again, make sure your question is connected to your topic. Did you know that most people…
  3. Define a key word. Under no circumstances should you use the word credo or belief. We don’t want to be bored. Also, asking us to sit through a definition we already know is insulting. Heck, we know the definition of the word hero and can call up a ton of examples while you ramble on from dictionary.com. Define a key word that has multiple meanings. Cancer survivor: the agreed upon definition of the term is someone who has been cancer-free for five years. My definition: anyone who has kicked cancer’s ass, period. I can’t afford to wait five years to think in terms of survivor. Of course your word/term is relevant to your topic.
  4. Starting with a shocking statement is another tried and true way to begin your monologue. Sometimes the statement is surprising because it is disgusting. Sometimes it is joyful. Sometimes it is surprising because of who said it. “60 Seconds That Could Save Your Child’s Life.” Of course your story must be about whatever shocking statement with which you start your monologue…
  5. Tell us what Brad & Angelina would do. Most people are up on their celebs. If your topic is something celebs talk or tweet about, use them to start your monologue. Again, make sure it relates directly to your topic.

We will be posting more examples and methods to start your “This I Believe” monologue, so stay tuned.

What’s the best way to start your monologue? Don’t wait, tell us here & now!

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23 replies

  1. I put in many hours into this project

  2. I think that this project is a way of expressing yourself

  3. i agree with hunter the article gives good tips

  4. In my intro I learned that something that worked well for me. I used a quote and it was easy to follow up on it. So use a quote it will help your monologue become better.

  5. I love writing my credo, both last year and this year. One thing that could also be used to create a very good intro would be to use an expletive sentence where you shout it out and make the audience jump. (I’m not going to do that. Or am I? lol)

  6. My intro turned out way better after using these tips thanks

  7. I am eager on how this assignment will go. The idea of speaking in front of a crowd about your beliefs appears to be intimidating, but i’m sure everyone will do excellently in this project.

  8. Jesus 5:
    Good point. Plus, I almost forgot that we can’t use the words ‘credo’ or ‘belief’ in our monologue. I’ll have to remember that.

  9. jesus5:
    I agree with what you said but people should also know, just because someone believes something doesn’t mean everyone has to believe in it as well.

  10. This article was really helpful for me to get my intro started, I’m sure many people will find this helpful as well.

  11. I wasn’t sure how to begin my intro, but after reading this article it was very helpful. Thanks!

  12. Jesus5: I agree; however, I don’t think it’s always necessary to stand up for *everything* you believe in and tell the world your opinion. Sometimes people are too assertive and loud about their beliefs, don’t you think?

  13. I agree with jesus5 that you can believe in whatever you want but the hard part is to actually demonstrate how much you believe. The hardest part is to choose the best story to back up your credo.

  14. I didn’t know how to start my intro but after I read this article it was really easy. Thanks Mrs. Rillingale for taking the time to write helpful tips for us.

  15. I agree with Hunter, the article gives good tips on how to write the introduction, not many people are good with starting an intro and this helps a lot!

  16. Jesus5:
    I agree with what you have to say, and I think this article gives good tips of how to write a introduction to a credo, and how you may begin to explain your belief

  17. Believing is easy but actually doing what you believe in takes heart, pride and actually backing it up will make followers

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