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How important is the first paragraph of a thread?

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posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:24 PM
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Do you want to captivate a reader? or so you just want to get your point across? I want to know how much importance [you] place on the first paragraph of a thread. How much of what's stated there in decides weather or not you choose to respond. And If you take an interest in a given thread how much of your interest is sparked by that notorious first paragraph or less.




posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by alyosha1981
 




I want to know how much importance [you] place on the first paragraph of a thread.


If somebody spends their first paragraph apologizing or giving irrelevant background information, I skip ahead. If the first three paragraphs are same, I press page-down a couple times to see if anything cathes my eye. If not, I move on.



If you take an interest in a given thread how much of your interest is sparked by that notorious first paragraph or less.


It's usually thread titles that catch my interest. But the content has to hold it. Unfortuantely a lot of people seem to be embarrassed of their opinions...or something...and feel the need to babble about nothing in particular for an entire paragraph for every single sentence of actual idea they'd like to convey.

I don't read threads like that.


Also, generally I take note of threads that have links and videos. Presentation counts for something. I figure a person who takes time to embed links and provide sources probably took more time to think about their idea before they posted it than someone who throws a block of text at me without so much as a carriage return.

[edit on 26-10-2009 by LordBucket]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by alyosha1981
 


IMHO, as with any "formal" type of presentation, the first paragraph should clearly state your thesis of the thread, as well a summation of the subject matter you are presenting, as well any other relevant information, but it should not be too long.

Personally, I like to to make the summary of the case or topic I am presenting as entertaining (but brief) as possible, while still staying away from inflationary methods. All in all, the first paragraph is probably the most important aspect of a thread, as it is really what will draw the reader in (and without the reader you might as well not write it
). Another important point to remember is to always use a picture to accent the opening (When possible), the imagery helps A LOT.

Hope that helps...


[edit on 10/26/2009 by jkrog08]



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by alyosha1981
 



I would say a first paragraph is important. But if you don't have a title that provokes interest; the rest of the thread might not be read no matter how well written.

I'm sure I miss a lot of good stuff but I just don't have the time to sample everything.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 12:05 AM
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I generally read the first paragraph, and choose whether to read further based on that. Too much stuff on this site to read everything.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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I don't have a lot of time on my hands. If the purpose seems vague or indeterminate in the first paragraph of anything, I move on to something else. There's a lot to learn in this world, and it doesn't bother me to allow some potential knowledge to fall by the wayside, if I can attain greater knowledge elsewhere. I'll always opt for for brevity, simplicity, and efficiency in presentation over anything else.

-FT.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 04:59 PM
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I'm an English major and it was drilled into us that the 1st paragraph should convey ALL that a written material was to convey. The rest fills out the 1st paragraph.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 07:01 PM
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reply to post by alyosha1981
 


How important is the first paragraph of a thread?

Very important. I know for a fact that there were some quality posts that have fallen by the way side becuase the poster made one long giant unbroken text post. Sometimes if the topic is worthy enough I'll copy and paste it into word and break it up so I can read it comfortably.

Most of the time I'll just give up and nurse the nose bleed it caused trying to read it.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 07:19 PM
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It's very important, ideally it should also be brief, as others had said I would prefer the first paragraph to be an interesting summarised overview of what is to follow.



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 11:26 PM
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I dont know about may ATS'ers but I like some specific subjects and even some specifics members.

Is like buying something...there are ATS members that distinguish themselves for the quality of their threads, the subjects they bring to the site and their knowledge or opinion on the subject.

I don like members that take stance on the issues and set up their thread for a good debate, I might not agree with them but will comment on the subject and thats how the exchange of ideas begins.

I'm not that big into the hole grammar thing as me myself I'm not a native english speaker as many members arent either so grammar itself is not a tool to measure someones knowledge or intelligence on a particular subject, instead I look to the message the person is trying to convey.



posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 03:20 PM
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I look down at other posts first off and see if anyone posts an explanation.
I figure if they can understand the content there might be hope for me.
Also if there is a glint of my contribution in anyway I'll figure out something.
I usually go beyond two lines unless they are that good.
However I do go back and read the OP.
ED: I don't like following posts that break up posts and give separate
answers. We should digest where ideas are coming from in a entire
rhetoric.


[edit on 10/29/2009 by TeslaandLyne]



posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 05:06 AM
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Yeah, you need to catch the eye of a potential reader quickly..

The thread title should be the essence.

The first paragraph a potted summary of the topic.

Then the body of the post fills in more detail still.



posted on Oct, 31 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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I like to consider myself a detective of sorts. If the clues aren't obvious I don't give up on the case.

Some of the least intelligent people I have ever met have been known to say some of the rarest most brilliant things I have ever heard.

I don't mind sifting through the haystack to find the needle.

If no needle is there I usualy will provide ample needling to the person who wrote the Post!

There are some truy brilliant and learned people on ATS, some self taught gifted people on ATS, and some functional illiterates here on ATS and from time to time they all have something relevant in my humble opinion to say.

For instance I had no idea Intrepid is a Major in the English Army and they drilled his excellent writing skills into him!

Who would have thunk it!



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by alyosha1981
 


The first paragraph matters to me. When I read threads that include "mods please move this thread if you need to thanks" or "i searched for this topic but I could not find it" or apologies if this topic has already been posted"----these sentences are turn-offs.

Whats even more powerful than the first paragraph are pictures. People love pictures.



posted on Nov, 2 2009 @ 12:03 AM
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If the opening is clear and properly formatted, there is a higher chance that other ATS members will consider reading the rest of the article. It sets a good impression. If the opening is very badly worded and the grammar is mostly poor, many people will be put off by it and probably decide not to read further.

Sounds strange, but it can sometimes be better to write an introductory paragraph at the end. Get all of your ideas down, structure paragraphs and group ideas accordingly, and then make an opening paragraph after establishing which information you want to include. This really does work wonders for some people.

The first paragraph is not the be-all and end-all that many people claim it to be, but the potential to captivate and attract uncertain readers is better if yours is of high quality. Do remember that the middle paragraphs are usually seen as the "meat" of the pieces, and thus more time and effort should be placed on these. It's all good and well to have a strong intro and conclusion, but if the body is weak, then this detracts from the overall quality of the article.


Originally posted by wiredamerican
The first paragraph matters to me. When I read threads that include "mods please move this thread if you need to thanks" or "i searched for this topic but I could not find it" or apologies if this topic has already been posted"----these sentences are turn-offs.

Whats even more powerful than the first paragraph are pictures. People love pictures.

Same. I get pretty annoyed when I see people say stuff like that. It is a weakness of mine where I lose patience to read the rest. There is a difference between stating "Warning, graphic footage to follow" and "If the mods want they can move it..." The first is courteous and necessary for the T&Cs, but the second is simply stating the obvious!

[edit on 2/11/2009 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Nov, 2 2009 @ 05:13 AM
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I think it's very important. The opening paragraph for me is the determining factor on how much attention a thread receives. There are numerous examples on the site of members going to huge lengths to collate information and research before posting. To pick out a few, Skyfloating, Internos, Easynow, Jkrog08, Zorgon (and many others) all provide detailed research and links to sources when posting. This enables one to read the outline of their case or point of view and then draw one's own conclusions based on the detail and/or sources outlined.

On the flip side I would like to refer you to this thread that was started on the Alien & UFO board recently:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

(Disclaimer: This is not a mud-slinging exercise, nor a slight on the author of the above post, I am just using it to illustrate my point).

Although disclosure will always be a difficult topic to obtain any concrete information on, the real problems lie when people start a thread with one or two lines then ask other members to fill in the gaps. If you read an OP with minimal information the impetus to carry on reading that thread are immediately diminished by the lack of detail.

I'm not suggesting that ATS is somewhere where people should not be allowed to ask questions, but a little forethought and research go a long way in determining a successful thread, in my opinion.




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