Presentation on theme: "English 105: Week 2 Thesis statements, body paragraphs, introductions and conclusions, and narratives."— Presentation transcript:
English 105: Week 2 Thesis statements, body paragraphs, introductions and conclusions, and narratives.
Thesis Statements: Chapter 2 (review of homework) What is a Thesis? What does a Working Thesis do?
What makes a good thesis? States the writers clearly defined opinion on some subject Asserts one main idea Has something worthwhile to say Limited to fit the assignment Clearly stated in specific terms Easily recognized as the main idea – Located in the first or second paragraph
Common errors to avoid Dont make oversimplified or irrational statements Dont just state a fact Dont use a question – When your thesis takes the form of a question, it leaves the reader unsure of your authority as a writer. Your task in writing is to answer a question, not to leave the reader confused. Dont announce – Your reader will know its your essay because its got your name on it. You dont need to say I believe, or Im going to discuss.
Practice: Are these thesis statements adequate or inadequate? I think Schindlers List is a really interesting movie that everyone should see. Which cars are designed better, Japanese imports or those made in the United States? During the fall term, final exams should be given before Winter break, not after the holidays as they are now. People over seventy-five should be required to renew their drivers licenses every year.
How can you make these statements more clear? Applying for a job can be a negative experience. There are many advantages and disadvantages to the countys new voting machines. Bicycle riding is my favorite exercise because its so good for me. In my opinion, Santa Barbara is a fantastic place.
Using the Essay Map While I agree with the author that the essay map is a useful strategy in the beginning of the writing process, it can also be a pitfall for many writers.
When to use the Essay Map Use techniques like the map only in the early stages of drafting – By outlining all your major supporting points in your thesis statement of a final draft, you give away all of your points, making it less interesting for the reader. After your first draft, you should be able to firm up your working thesis to remove the map and use the clear thesis strategies outlined earlier.
Quick group activity Get into your peer response groups. Follow the instructions to the assignment on page 43. The groups will do the following numbers: – Ace=1, 7, 13, 19 – Two=2, 8, 14, 20 – Three=3, 9, 15, 21 – Four =4, 10, 16, 22 – Five=5, 11, 17, 21 – Six=6, 12, 18, 22
Thesis Statement Summary (pg 46) A thesis statement declares the main point of your essay Everything in your essay should support your thesis statement A good thesis statement asserts one main idea, fits the assignment, and is stated in clear, specific terms A good thesis statement makes reasonable claims. Thesis statements are presented near the beginning of an essay. A thesis statement is not stuck in place once you develop it. It can change as you develop your ideas. An essay map can be helpful working through the process.
The middle paragraphs – the body – support the thesis statement Each paragraph should have its own central idea that supports the thesis statement – Topic sentences contain the topic/subject, and a controlling idea – The supporting details in the paragraph support the topic sentences
Informal Outline An informal or working outline gives you the space to start playing with your supporting details and organization See page 48
Focusing a Topic Sentence (pg 53) A topic sentence will: Support the thesis by clearly stating a main point Announces what the paragraph will be about Controls the subject matter of the paragraph.
Paragraph Length (62) A paragraph has no set length, but 6-10 sentences is a good range if you need a number Do the Practice on page 63 (choose 1 from A and B)
Driving tests do not adequately examine a persons driving ability. Usually the person being tested does not have to drive very far. The test does not require the skills that are used in everyday driving situations. Supervisors of driving tests tend to be very lenient.
Too many products today have expensive advertising campaigns but simply dont live up to their claims. For instance,
Paragraph Unity (65) All ideas in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence (which in turn supports the thesis statement).
Paragraph Coherence Coherence means that all the sentences flow together to make a clear, logical point about your topic. Ordering information in a recognizable or logical pattern Using transitional words and phrases Repetition of key words – Using pronouns Parallelism Avoiding whiplash
Paragraph Sequence Keeping things in a logical sequence Sometimes the pattern of development will suggest its own sequence
Chapter 3 summary Each body paragraph contains one major point in the discussion promised by the thesis Each point is presented in the topic sentence Each paragraph should be developed with clear supporting detail Every sentence in the paragraph should support the topic sentence There should be an orderly, logical flow Sequence of essays paragraphs should be logical and effective Smooth flow from paragraph to paragraph Body paragraphs should persuade the reader that the opinion expressed in the thesis is valid.
Introductions and Conclusions
What is the purpose of an Introduction? An introduction is the first thing people read when they read your essay. It should get the readers attention It should give the reader an idea about the topic of your essay. It should connect to your thesis statement.
Okay, so how do I start one? My big tip for introductions is to leave them for the end of the process. – I cant tell you what Im going to write about until after Ive written it, so my introduction is always the piece I end with.
Narrative You can always begin with a narrative or story, drawn from your experiences, or something seen in the news or other media. On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists crashed two airplanes into the twin towers at the World Trade Center. Ignoring the danger to themselves, hundreds of firefighters rushed inside the buildings to try to save as many lives as possible. Their actions enabled thousands of people to get out, but half the firefighters – over three hundred– died when the twin towers collapsed. Although I have never faced a catastrophe like the one in New York, as a volunteer firefighter I am read – day or night, whenever an alarm sounds – to deal with a dangerous situation. Thesis statement
Begin with a question Asking a question can be useful, because it will keep the reader reading, expecting you to answer the question you pose. Imagine this scene: A child is sitting under a Christmas tree opening her presents. She laughs and claps her hands as she gets a doll, a pair of shoes, and a sweater. What could spoil this picture? What information could cause the childs parents to feel guild? The answer is that children from developing countries probably worked long hours in substandard conditions so this child could receive her gifts. Be careful with questions, though; try to avoid posing a you question (like have you ever wondered…?) because youre not addressing a specific audience, and we try to avoid using 2 nd person in academic writing.
Begin with a background statement A broad statement that provides some background to the topic can catch your readers attention and focus them immediately on your topic. English is the most widely spoken language in the history of our planet, used in some way by at least one out of every seven human being around the globe. Half of the worlds books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English. English is the language of over sixty percent of the worlds radio programs, many of them beamed, ironically, by the Russians, who know that to win friends and influence nations, theyre best of using English. …
Start with an interesting quote Some witty or related statement by someone else can catch your readers attention According to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld, When youre single, you are the dictator of your own life…when youre married, you are part of a vast decision making body. In other words, before you can do anything, you have to discuss it with someone else. These words kept going through my mind as I thought about asking my girlfriend to marry me. The more I thought about Seinfelds words, the more I hesitated. I never suspected that I would pay a price for my indecision.
In my day, only sluts had tattoos, Lizs mom said to me on our first day back at college our sophomore year. I had gotten a tattoo over the summer, an outline only, feminine stamp of a bee circling over a flower on the inside of my left ankle. This was her way of telling me she didnt approve of my ink. Since then, Ive gotten a second tattoo, an Amy Brown fairy on my right shoulder, and am considering a third on the inside of my right wrist, to read in script not all who wander are lost, a line from Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. My parents do not understand my desire for ink, the need to express myself through modifying my body. To them, tattoos are something for thugs or lower-class people, not a college professor, a middle-class white lady, a straight A honor roll student. What my parents fail to realize is that the presence of ink on my body doesnt discount all those parts of my personality; it is simple another facet of it. This sample incorporates both a quote and a shocking statement.
Using a surprising statement Start with something that takes your reader by surprise. Some of the smartest people I know never went to college. In fact, some of them never finished high school. they still know how to save 20 percent on the price of a dinner, fix their own faucets when they leak, get discounted prescriptions, get free rides on a bus to Atlantic City, use public transportation to get anywhere in the city, and live on about twenty-two dollars a day. These are my grandparents friends. Some people would call them old and poor. I would call them survivors who have learned to make it through life on nothing but a Social Security check.
Practice: which of these is the better introduction?
What are conclusions supposed to do, anyway? Your conclusion is the last thing a reader sees, and therefore, the last thing they are likely to remember. It should be a full paragraph It should, in some way, restate your main idea/remind the reader of your main point Give the reader a sense of closure, and not leaving them hanging like the end of a bad movie.
Ending with a narrative Ending with a narrative or story can be particularly effective if thats how you began. – After twenty years, the tree began to bear. Although Grandfather complained about how much he lost because the pollen never reached the poor part of town, because at the market he had to haggle over the price of avocados, he loved that tree. It grew, as did his family, and when he died, all his sons standing on each others shoulders, oldest to youngest, could not reach the highest branches. The wind could move the branches, but the trunk, thicker than any waist, hugged the ground.
Concluding with a prediction Ending with an idea about the future can be especially effective in certain types of essays, particularly arguments. – On that little street were the ghosts of the people who brought me into being and the flesh-and-blood kids who will be my childrens companions in the twenty- first century. You could tell by their eyes that they couldnt figure out why I was there. They were accustomed to being ignored, even by the people who had once populated their rooms. And as long as that continues, or cities will burst and burn, burst and burn, over and over again.
Concluding with a recommendation Once youve convinced readers that theres a problem, its sensible to put your solution or recommendation into the conclusion. – Every effort should be made to ensure that the yew tree is made available for the continued research and development of taxol. Environmental groups, the timber industry, and the Forest Service must recognize that the most important value of the Pacific yet is as a treatment for cancer. At the same time, its harvest can be managed in a way that allows for the production of the cancer drug taxol without endangering the continual survival of the yew tree.
Wrap up with a quote A well-chosen quote and be effective, depending on the type of essay. – If youre writing an argument or analysis, you dont want to end on someone elses words. A narrative, however, would be an appropriate place to use this technique. It was 4:25 am when the ambulance arrived to take the body of Miss Genovese. It drove off. then, a solemn police detective said, the people came out.
Tip! Its always a good idea for your conclusion and introduction to reflect on each other. You dont have to use only one of the above methods of development.
Samples IntroConclusion In my day, only sluts had tattoos, Lizs mom said to me on our first day back at college our sophomore year. I had gotten a tattoo over the summer, an outline only, feminine stamp of a bee circling over a flower on the inside of my left ankle. This was her way of telling me she didnt approve of my ink. Since then, Ive gotten a second tattoo, an Amy Brown fairy on my right shoulder, and am considering a third on the inside of my right wrist, to read in script not all who wander are lost, a line from Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. My parents do not understand my desire for ink, the need to express myself through modifying my body. To them, tattoos are something for thugs or lower-class people, not a college professor, a middle-class white lady, a straight A honor roll student. What my parents fail to realize is that the presence of ink on my body doesnt discount all those parts of my personality; it is simple another facet of it. As Ive been on the job market since finishing my MA in 2008, my mother constantly reminds me that I need to cover up my tattoos when I go in to an interview. Lately, my response has been why should I? I dont have to take out my 5 piercings in each ear. I dont have to necessarily hide the fact that I dyed my hair bright pink or purple (well, now I do, since I work at a technical school with a dress code). I am by far the least inked member of the faculty at several schools I have taught at, and my tattoos are nothing that I am ashamed of. Yet, people still dont understand the drive some people have to need to outwardly modify their body as part of self-expression. As Ryan quotes in her essay the last taboo is the body, and some people just arent ready to accept that artistic canvas goes beyond paper and clay.
IntroConclusion When I was a junior in high school we read The Grapes of Wrath in my Junior Literature and Composition class. As part of our months long assignment, we were required to interview someone who had lived through the Great Depression. Instead of calling up my grandparents (who were only in their mid 60s at the time and therefore were very young children during the Depression), I interviewed a co-worker of my mothers, a man in his 80s, who gave me a lot of good information about what it was like in California at that time. His experiences showed me, like the old family photos in Josh Rittenbergs essay Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day, that although hardship may befall a generation, subsequent generations can move forward and survive new trials and horrors and become great because of the successes of those who came before them. I agree with Rittenberg that the current generation of young people of the world will help shape the world into a better place than it is today. As Rittenbergs dad liked to tell him tomorrow will be a better day. I believe that, given all the advances that humans have seen in the past three decades of my life, that this is absolutely true. Even out of the horror of the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Japan came the ability to power homes and business through harnessing that power. The horrible destruction of Chernobyl in Russia from nuclear melt down at a power plant led to greater safety standards world wide. I believe that the current generation will make advances that mine hasnt even conceived of yet, which will lead to a better life for future generations.
Just one more… IntroConclusion I rely on strangers every day. Strangers deliver my news, make my coffee, and accompany me on my 150 mile round trip commute on I-5 and I-80 on Mondays. Strangers also rely on me every day. I teach at a couple of different colleges, and in some cases, that education is funded by federal or private loans, and as a taxpayer, Im not only helping to pay for that education, but Im responsible for making sure that other taxpayers get their moneys worth out of my students. I expect everyone, from my students, to those I share the road with daily to have a certain amount of personal responsibility to ensure they do what theyre supposed to be doing, from homework to obeying the traffic laws. In his essay A Shared Moment of Trust, Warren Christopher, former Secretary of State, writes about how he not only believes in personal responsibility but also to believe that there are moments when one must rely upon the good faith and judgment of others. Quite frequently in our daily lives, people must have faith that those around them will make the right decisions to allow for cooperative decision making, whether its on the road during a commute, or as Christopher points out, during tense negotiations to release hostages. Warren Christopher, with the aid of the Algerian foreign minister, safely brought home 52 American citizens who had been held hostage by the Iranians. Throughout this ordeal, Christopher had to rely on the good faith of the Algerian foreign minister to relay messages accurately in order to secure the lives and safety of those hostages. While there is nothing I do on a daily basis that is as high stakes as these negotiations that took place in the 80s, I rely on others to act similarly. If a fellow driver chooses not to use a turn signal, for example, lives are put at risk. If I do not adequately prepare a lesson plan, I am wasting the money of taxpayers who are funding student loans and ultimately paying my salary. In the end, as Christopher states we must recognize that our fates are not ours alone to control, and in this increasingly globalized society we live in, this grows more and more true. The college I attended had this motto: Not unto ourselves alone are we born. None of us live in a vacuum, and we all rely on the good faith of those around us.
Narrative Essays (chapter 12)
What do I mean when I say Narrative Essay? Most often we think narrative means a story, or fiction. In this class, were focusing on the idea of using a expository narrative – telling a story to explain or prove a point. – Extended narrative – a long episode that by istelf illustrates or supports an essays thesis – Brief narrative – a shorter incident that is often used in a body paragraph to support or illustrate a particular point in an essay.
Writing an Effective Narrative Essay Know your purpose Present your main point clearly Follow a logical time sequence Use sensory details to hold your readers interest Create authentic characters Use dialogue realistically
Common Problems Choose your subject carefully Limit your scope Dont let your story drag on too long or wander away from yoru point
Practice Activity In your peer response groups, you are going to write a brief news story using details and information provided. You will have 25 minutes. Make sure your group name is on it You will receive participation points for this exercise
Topic Proposal Please submit a proposal for your essay topic. – Answer the questions on page Please use MLA format
Wait! I dont know what MLA format is!! MLA (Modern Language Association) is the formatting guidelines used by most of the humanities. Basics: – 1 margins all around – Last name and page number in upper right – Full name, instructors name, class, and date on left See Handout
Rest of Class Period You have until 12:50 to work on beginning your Narrative Essay assignment If you leave early, you will marked down for leaving early. Please see me if youre not sure where/how to start or if you are having trouble coming up with a topic.
Homework Continue working on your narrative essay assignment – you need a working draft (mostly complete) for Friday (2 copies) Read chapter 5 (pg ) Read 38 Who Saw Murder Didnt Call the Police pg 679 Read Arrival at Manzanar pg 684. – Complete the narrative reading journal for one of the book readings – Complete the vocabulary journal handout 10 words