Presentation on theme: "BODY PARAGRAPHS Body paragraphs in a argument essay should include three parts: 1. A topic sentence 2. Concrete details (from the text) to support the."— Presentation transcript:
BODY PARAGRAPHS Body paragraphs in a argument essay should include three parts: 1. A topic sentence 2. Concrete details (from the text) to support the topic 3. Original commentary that explains how the chosen details support the topic sentence and tie back to the thesis (your argument)
TOPIC SENTENCE A topic sentence is a one-sentence summary of the main idea of the paragraph. It functions like a mini-thesis within the body paragraph. In an argument essay, it identify a specific aspect or portion of the argument you are making, OR it should clearly articulate the counterargument.
CONCRETE DETAILS “Concrete details” are also known as examples or specifics from the original text. They serve as the evidence to prove that the position (or argument) you are making is correct. They can appear as direct quotes or indirect references to the text being analyzed. In order for them to be used effectively, they must be put into context before commentary about them is offered.
ORIGINAL COMMENTARY Original commentary is the explanation provided by the writer. It takes the concrete details and explains how they prove the topic sentence is correct. For this essay, the commentary is where you set out to prove your argument. The more specific your original commentary is, the more effective and convincing it will be.
ASSEMBLING THE PARTS When you have articulated a topic sentence, included the concrete details smoothly and correctly, and provided commentary that explains how the details prove your topic sentence and thesis to be correct, you have assembled all the parts of a complete body paragraph. A transition to the next body paragraph will be necessary, and may appear as the last line of this paragraph or as the first line of the next paragraph.
Embedding Concrete Details
Each piece of quoted material in a paragraph must have a transition that gives the context and background for that quote. Embedding quotations using transitions helps quoted material flow naturally and coherently into your paragraph.
When written properly, the reader should not be able to hear where the quotation marks are when the sentence is read aloud. A properly embedded quotation creates a seamless transition from the background information to the quoted material. Example (transition is in bold): As narrator of the novel, Nick assures the reader that he is “inclined to reserve all judgments,” thereby validating his reliability.
When done poorly, the transition is choppy, incomplete, and predictable. Poor example: Nick refers to this when he says, “and it occurred to me that there was no difference between men.”
The prior example does not make sense when read aloud. Every sentence in a paragraph must make sense, regardless of whether or not it contains quoted material. You may need to change words within your quote so that the sentence is grammatically correct and is coherent.
When changing words in a sentence indicate the change by placing brackets [ ] around the change in the word or the changed word. To omit words in the middle of a long quote, use ellipses (…) Example: Nick realizes that Gatsby’s life “had been…confused and disordered since [the time he first met Daisy]” to the point where he is stuck in the past (Fitzgerald 117).
Notice, any time you change or add something in a quote, you must use a bracket to indicate your change. Original CD: “had been so confused and disordered since then” In this case, the original “then” became [the time he first met Daisy] to further explain the context of the quote. Also, the word “so” was omitted because it was unnecessary.
How to create a good transition into a quotation: 1) give background and context for all quoted material -- what is happening, who is speaking 2) only use the most important part of the quote (for a short paper, ideally less than 10 words) 3) read your sentence aloud--can you “hear” the quotation marks? You shouldn’t. 4) change word tense if necessary, and omit unnecessary words and phrases; use ellipses and brackets to indicate your changes
Example of embedded quote: No one is a complete hero, but some actions may be seen as heroic. As a whole, the play centers on human whims when confronted by hysteria and how easy it is to mobilize the masses. However, some characters like Rebecca Nurse, stand out as slightly more morally sound. Rebecca refuses to confess (thus adding to the hysteria) and assures John that “another judgment waits [them] all” (144) to try to get him to do the same. Despite sacrificing herself, Rebecca does little to save others. It’s almost as though she’s doing it for herself, so that she doesn’t have to feel like a liar.
Practice – Which needs to be embedded? 1. Nick is a reliable narrator and this is shown when he says, “I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.” (64) 2. Among the theories postulated about Gatsby, he is called a “bootlegger”, a murderer, and “second cousin to the devil” (Fitzgerald 65). 3. For instance, “’Gatsby bought a house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.’” (83)
At the beginning of her speech, Birch establishes an ethos while addressing the group of church members. At the time of the speech, Birch was the director of a national nonprofit organization called the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). She notes how the Human Rights Campaign is “America’s largest policy organization for gay men and lesbian women.” By stating her position as the director, the audience can trust the words they hear. The audience respects her position as head of national organization and listens to her message in a serious manner. By being a high- qualified speaker, Birch creates an authority figure for herself and acts as the voice of the LGBT community. She also exhibits knowledge of the people she represents when she notes how she “work[s] with them” and “worr[ies] with them.” By sharing the same struggles, Birch shares similar experiences as the members of the LGBT community. She faces the same adversity and has withstood the same unwelcoming, disapproving glares. By sharing information about her background and her familiarity with the subjects she speaks about, she builds her creditability. Being credible ensures she can speak with confidence and clearly state her intended purpose to bridge the gap between religion and homosexuals.
Practice – Edit your CDs Look specifically at the concrete details in each of your body paragraphs. Do they follow the guidelines that we learned? Copy EACH concrete detail from your draft onto a separate sheet of notebook paper (in spiral, for example). Read the detail. Can you “hear” the concrete detail? If not, then your CD is embedded. Move on to the next detail. If you can hear the detail, use some commentary to seamlessly embed it into your sentence.