The following article was written as an assignment for the Analytical Reading and Writing class.
In-N-Out Burger and Fast Food Nation must have strong hooks at the beginning since they were both New York Times bestsellers. Although they both focus on fast food industry, there is quite a contrast in the ways they are written. In the prologue of In-N-Out Burger, the author Stacy Perman writes not about the hamburgers or the company, but mainly about the phenomena that the burgers caused. On the other hand, in the introduction of Fast Food Nation, the author Eric Schlosser splits it into two different parts, a story about Cheyenne Mountain Base and a quick overview of fast food industry. Throughout the prologue of In-N-Out Burger, Perman successfully gets the attention of the readers by describing the facts in detail, which makes them want to turn the pages for further reading. On the contrary, despite Schlosser's concise and precise narrative, the introduction of Fast Food Nation does not seem to make the readers want to read more due to his unsuccessful analogy of the base and burger and awkward composition of the chapter. The introduction of In-N-Out Burger definitely draws more attention of the readers than that of Fast Food Nation due to the rhetoric, reading strategy, and composition.
Perman successfully starts the story with many details and hooks, whereas Schlosser fails to motivate the readers to go on to the next chapter because of an inadequate analogy and quick summaries of the whole book. Perman leaves many mysteries and secrets about the burgers and company to the readers at the end of the introduction to motivate them to step forward, whereas Schlosser finishes his story there and does not give enough incentives to the readers to read more. Perman also quotes many interesting episodes to invoke readers' attention, but Schlosser displays the facts only to persuade the readers. For a book, especially for a non-fiction book, an introduction always plays a very important role to catch the readers' attention. It is a good strategy to leave them a little unsatisfied so that they will look for more and turn the pages. These two introductions are perfect examples of what is effective and ineffective.