3.1 Master Technique F1 (Say what you’re gonna say before you say it)

This technique is akin to the adage from an anonymous speaker of tell ’em what you’re you’re gonna tell ’em, tell ’em (then tell ’em what you told ’em).

This is commonly achieved with a ‘topic sentence’ at the start of a paragraph that sums up the whole paragraph. Below is an example from the Discussion section of a published paper.

If our findings stand, coastal communities worldwide must prepare themselves for much more difficult futures than may be currently anticipated. Recent work has suggested that, even in the US, sea-level rise this century may induce large-scale migration away from unprotected coastlines, redistributing population density across the country and putting great pressure on inland areas. It is difficult to extrapolate such projections and their impacts to more resource-constrained developing nations, though historically, large-scale migration events have posed serious challenges to political stability, driving conflict. Further research on global-scale modeling of the timing, locations, and intensity of migratory responses to increased coastal flooding is urgently needed to minimize the potential human harm caused by such threats.

Kulp SA and Strauss BH Nature Communications 2019 New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding

Photo by Robert Bahn on Unsplash

Do you see how the Authors used the first sentence of the paragraph to get you thinking about an unexpectedly difficult future as well as the need to prepare for it? That way, when the Authors started listing off examples later in the paragraph of things that may make life difficult in future, as well as possible preparatory actions, you didn’t have to feel confused or disoriented. Instead, you knew that these divergent-sounding things were all just part of the category of abating a difficult future with prior preparation.

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