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Understanding the Essay Paragraph One… is called the introduction. is where your thesis statement appears. Your thesis statement tells the reader what.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Essay Paragraph One… is called the introduction. is where your thesis statement appears. Your thesis statement tells the reader what."— Presentation transcript:


2 Understanding the Essay

3 Paragraph One… is called the introduction. is where your thesis statement appears. Your thesis statement tells the reader what you will prove in your essay. You cannot write an essay until the thesis statement is known.

4 What is a Thesis Statement? It is a sentence that contains a subject and one specific opinion. It has an opinion that is specific, so that it is easier to prove. It is your central argument and every word you write should be one that is helping to prove your thesis statement.

5 Examples of Thesis Statements [Subject] Elie Wiesel, the author of and main character in the novel Night, survives the Holocaust and informs others through his book of the dangers of genocide. [Opinion] Because of this, he must be considered a true hero. [Subject] “The Legend of Buddha” is a short story [Opinion] that demonstrates the importance of honoring one’s inner voice or intuition so that one can have a happy and meaningful life. Note: Keep “I think,” “I feel,” and “I believe” statements out of your essay.

6 More Thesis Examples [Subject] The Odyssey [Opinion] is an epic poem which symbolizes the journeys – both inner and outer – that one must undertake to achieve true and lasting happiness. Note: Keep “I think,” “I feel,” and “I believe” statements out of your essay.

7 Now, you write a thesis statement. When finished, call me over so I can check it. Remember, it’s an opinion about a specific subject. Subject + Opinion = Thesis Thesis Statement

8 Body Paragraph Needs Supporting pieces of evidence, or facts, that help prove your thesis Explanations regarding the meaning of each piece of supporting evidence A minimum of three concrete details. Each detail is a new and unique fact that supports – helps prove – your thesis statement. commentary! Concrete details!

9 Thesis Statement [Subject] The novel Night, written by Elie Wiesel, [Opinion] is a story that demonstrates how people can lose their humanity during times of war. Your mission? Come up with one concrete detail – piece of evidence – that supports this thesis statement. I’ll come around and check. Concrete Details

10 Commentary (Explaining the Evidence) Once you’ve written your concrete detail, you have to explain the detail’s significance. In other words, why is this detail important; what does it show in relationship to what you are trying to prove? After each concrete detail, there should be at least two or three sentences to adequately explain the detail’s meaning; you know, break down each detail’s importance.

11 One Concrete Detail Typically Requires Two Commentary Sentences I.First half of sentence explaining what the concrete detail shows. “This shows that…” II. Second half of sentence explaining why concrete detail shows what you have said it shows. “This shows that… because…” III. Second sentence is usually used to further explain why concrete detail shows what you say it shows and to clarify your commentary from your first sentence more specifically.

12 [Concrete Detail] For example, Goodenow’s mother allowed him to sleep in the same bed as her until he was twelve-years old. [Subject] The novel Bless the Beasts and Children, written by Glendon Swarthout, [Opinion] is a story that illustrates the dangers of poor parenting. [Commentary] This is an excellent example of poor parenting because when a mother allows a son to do this beyond the age of a toddler, she is unknowingly creating an overly dependent child, a child that will have difficulty separating himself from his mother. Further, such a dependency – as psychologists will tell you – causes the child to have great difficulty functioning in the world without the presence of his mother, thus crippling him when he tries to make it on his own.

13 Transitions are the first part of your Concrete Detail help you to go smoothly from Topic Sentence, or previous sentence, to Concrete Detail examples of Transition starters: Though, Consequently, Even so, In fact, Furthermore, In addition, For example, Therefore, Still, On the other hand, Of course, Moreover, Further, Likewise, etc.

14 The Introduction [An Outline] Attention-Getter [AG] (See Handout) Response To Attention-Getter  Answer Question  Comment On Attention-Getter  Explain Meaning Of AG Transition From AG To Thesis Thesis Statement

15 Pre-Writing Outline & Body Paragraph Extras III.Pre - Writing A.Select Topic B.Write Thesis C.Write Intro D.CD Selection E.CD Commentary F.Outline IV.Body Paragraph Extras A.Topic Sentence B.Transitions C.Concluding Sentence D.Body Paragraph Visual

16 IV - A. Topic Sentence is the first sentence of a body paragraph provides bridge from previous paragraph to next paragraph, makes change smooth is the sentence that you organize your entire paragraph around Example: [Bridge] Though the Finch Family provides excellent examples of courage, [TS] there are others from the novel who give us a splendid depiction of courage.

17 IV - C. Concluding Sentence is(are) the last sentence(s) in a body paragraph briefly summarizes your key pieces of evidence gives the paragraph that finished feeling Example: Both Atticus and Jem responded with courage despite the fear-inducing obstacles that confronted them. In their hearts, they wanted only to right what to them was an obvious wrong.

18 IV - D. Body Paragraph Visual 1.Topic Sentence 2.Transition 3.Concrete Detail 4.Two Sentences of Commentary 5.Transition 6.Concrete Detail 7.Two Sentences of Commentary 8.Concluding Sentence(s)

19 Beginning the Body Paragraphs 1.Write down the three (3) concrete details you will use to help prove your thesis statement. Skip a few lines between each one. 2.Now, below each concrete detail, write two sentences that explain the importance of the concrete detail and how it relates to your thesis.

20 V. The Conclusion Paragraph The Resolution to the Essay Starts off with a Topic Sentence that somehow connects back to the Introduction Follow TS by briefly summarizing your evidence (each Concrete Detail and the Commentary used to explain CDs relevance). After brief summary, quickly explain again how your evidence proves what you said you’d prove in your Thesis. Near the paragraph’s end, restate your Thesis. But, word it somewhat different from original.

21 VI. Reminders & Helpful Hints For each CD, your Commentary must explain how the CD helps prove your Thesis. For example, if you’re trying to prove that a character is courageous, start your CM sentence by saying, “This shows that the character is courageous because …” Or, for “TTT” essays: “This symbolizes childhood because …”

22 VI. Reminders & Hints ( continued) Typically, you want to organize your CDs to make the most powerful piece of evidence occur last so it’s fresh in the readers mind at the essay’s end. Or… Organize CDs chronologically so they are in the order that they occurred in the text.

23 What’s the most important thing to do after you’ve completed your essay? Read it out loud, at least twice. In this manner you will catch many errors, both grammatical/technical errors and errors in logic. VI. Reminders & Hints ( continued)

24 Reminders & Hints (continued) Finally, as you’re reading through your essay, ask yourself repeatedly if your CDs and CMs are connecting back to your Thesis. Are they helping to prove what you said you were going to prove in your Thesis? One More: Keep CDs short and specific, Write a TS that is broad in its scope.

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