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Writing A Strong Literary Essay The Thesis An essay without a thesis is like a car without a driver…it goes nowhere (and let’s be honest…it crashes and.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing A Strong Literary Essay The Thesis An essay without a thesis is like a car without a driver…it goes nowhere (and let’s be honest…it crashes and."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Writing A Strong Literary Essay The Thesis

3 An essay without a thesis is like a car without a driver…it goes nowhere (and let’s be honest…it crashes and burns) The thesis is your argument: – The entire essay is about that argument. The thesis is the message of your essay (the bumper sticker); The thesis needs to answer the question if you have an essay topic. A simple way to put together a thesis is Subject + Claim/Opinion points of support (how did you come to this conclusion or why should the reader believe you?) – Simple examples (without the support): People should start eating cockroaches. Golding argues that humans are naturally happy all the time. The message of Flowers for Algernon is that mice are the best friend a person can have. Contrary to popular belief, Spanish art in the Renaissance heavily influenced that of Italy and France.

4 The Thesis In a literary essay, your evidence comes from the book. Thus, your thesis must mention the book, the characters or the author. – In Flowers for Algernon, Keyes argues that mice will take over the world. – The message of Mr. Chapman and the Roman Holiday is traveling is one of the best ways to satiate one’s soul. – In Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick is actually less of a friend than someone who holds Spongebob back. Not: – Girls are better than boys. – Friendship is the most important thing in the world. – Bears are one of the most cuddly animals

5 The Thesis In a literary essay, your evidence comes from the book. Thus, your thesis must mention the book, the characters or the author. – In Flowers for Algernon, Keyes argues that mice will take over the world. – The theme of Mr. Chapman and the Roman Holiday is “traveling is one of the best ways to satiate one’s soul.” – In Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick is actually less of a friend than someone who holds Spongebob back. Not: – In the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Mark Bean argues that girls are better than boys. – According to Charlie Gordon, friendship is the most important thing in the world. – Based on the book Bears Are Our Friends, it’s clear that bears are one of earth’s most precious resources.

6 The Thesis Stay away from general theses that are really obvious or are, in a sense, almost impossible to “prove”—at least in an 800-word essay: – Humans are always going to change. – There are good and bad parts to every person. – Based on the novel, the reader can see that humans are evil. – Based on the novel, Charlie is amazing. Don’t use the phrases like “I think” or “In my opinion” or words like “possibly” or “might” in your thesis—they weaken it – I think the theme of Flowers for Algernon is that mice should rule the world. – The theme might possibly be that six-year-olds should rule the world.

7 The Thesis Stay away from general theses that are really obvious or are, in a sense, almost impossible to “prove”—at least in an 800-word essay: – Humans are always going to change. – There are good and bad parts to every person. – Based on the novel, the reader can see that humans are evil. – Based on the novel, Charlie is amazing. Don’t use the phrases like “I think” or “In my opinion” or words like “possibly” or “might” in your thesis—they weaken it – I think the theme of Flowers for Algernon is that mice should rule the world. – The theme might possibly be that six-year-olds should rule the world.

8 The Thesis Stay away from general theses that are really obvious or are, in a sense, almost impossible to “prove”—at least in an 800-word essay: – Humans are always going to change. – There are good and bad parts to every person. – Based on the novel, the reader can see that humans are evil. – Based on the novel, Charlie is amazing. Don’t use the phrases like “I think” or “In my opinion” or words like “possibly” or “might” in your thesis—they weaken it – I think the message of Flowers for Algernon is that mice should rule the world. – The message might possibly be that six-year-olds should rule the world.

9 The Thesis Stay away from general theses that are really obvious or are, in a sense, almost impossible to “prove”—at least in an 800-word essay: – Humans are always going to change. – There are good and bad parts to every person. – Based on the novel, the reader can see that humans are evil. – Based on the novel, Charlie is amazing. Don’t use the phrases like “I think” or “In my opinion” or words like “possibly” or “might” in your thesis—they weaken it – I think The message of Flowers for Algernon is that mice should rule the world. – The message of Lord of the Flies might possibly be is that six- year-olds should rule the world.

10 The Thesis Don’t say in this essay: “In this essay I’m going to talk about…” – JUST TALK ABOUT IT!!

11 The Thesis Which theses are appropriate? Which ones aren’t? – In the book Charlotte’s Web, White argues that Charlotte’s model of friendship is one that everyone should follow. – In the book Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur is a great character. – A lot of people died in World War II. – The effects of World War II are still with us today. – Space is great! – Space needs to be explored further. – Space is a limitless place where anything is possible.

12 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The theme of The Lion King is “Only by confronting your past can you move on from it.” II.One way the movie shows this is by clearly differentiating between those giving good and those giving bad advice. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer III.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III.Smiles before he roars (“Remember…”) IV.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

13 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The message of The Lion King is that only by confronting one’s past can one move on from it. II.One way the movie shows this is by clearly differentiating between those giving good and those giving bad advice. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer III.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III.Smiles before he roars (“Remember…”) IV.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

14 The Thesis Adding the how/why: – Now that you’re older, a statement is not enough for your thesis. You need to show the how and/or why. In other words, you need 2-3 reasons why the reader should believe you. – Expand these examples: People should start eating cockroaches. (Why do you think that?) Golding argues that humans are naturally happy all the time. (How do you know that or how does Golding show that?) The theme of Speak is that we should have more holidays. (How do you know that or how does Anderson/the book show that?) Contrary to popular belief, Spanish art in the Renaissance heavily influenced that of Italy and France. (Why do you think that?)

15 The Thesis Adding the how/why: – Now that you’re older, a statement is not enough. You need to show the how and/or why. You need 2-3 reasons why the reader should believe you. – Expand these examples: People should start eating cockroaches because they’re plentiful, they have great nutritional value, and they make people more attractive. Throughout the novel Golding highlights the symbols of the crab and Jack’s nose, the contrast between the boys and the beast, and the laughter of Simon in order to argue that humans are naturally happy all the time. The theme of Speak is that we should have more holidays. This is shown by Melinda’s holiday flashbacks, the symbolism surrounding the apple and the easter eggs, and Melinda’s own thoughts. By looking at the brush techniques, use of color, and subject matter, one thing is clear: contrary to popular belief, Spanish art in the Renaissance heavily influenced that of Italy and France.

16 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The message of The Lion King is that only by confronting one’s past can one move on from it. The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. II.One way the movie shows this is by clearly differentiating between those giving good and those giving bad advice. I.: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” II.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy III.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer III.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III.Smiles before he roars (“Remember…”) IV.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

17 Thesis Your thesis needs to pass these “tests” (ask yourself, does yours?): Clarity test: If someone reads your thesis, they should know exactly what every one of your paragraphs will be. In other words, they should be able to outline your whole essay. If you have to explain it orally, it’s not clear enough. Broad test: if 99% of the world agrees with the author’s message, then it’s too broad. Question test: Does it answer the question—all of them? Does it mention the theme?

18 Thesis Clarity Test: Can you outline these essays based on the thesis? – In The Lion King, Disney argues that only by confronting one’s past can he move on from it. The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull.

19 Thesis Thesis: In The Lion King, Disney argues that only by confronting one’s past can he move on from it. The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. I.One way the movie shows this is by clearly highlighting which characters are giving good advice and which are giving bad advice. I.Another way Disney stresses this is by showing that Simba is more confident and happier after confronting his past. I.Finally, Disney does this through the symbols of the fire and the skull.

20 Thesis Clarity Test: Can you outline these essays based on the thesis? – The message of The Hunger Games is that liberty is more important than life itself. Collins shows this by highlighting the misery of District 12, the savagery of the games, and through the symbols of the mockingjay and Katniss’ dress.

21 Thesis Clarity Test: Can you outline these essays based on the thesis? – The message of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is that people should always lock their doors. The author makes this clear this through the devolution of Goldilocks, by highlighting the innocence of the three bears, and through the symbols of the porridge and the beds.

22 Thesis Clarity Test: Can you outline these essays based on the thesis? – By highlighting Wilbur’s negative attitude toward spiders, the loneliness of Charlotte, and the symbols of the egg sack and Templeton, E.B. White argues that friendship is a waste of time.

23 Thesis Broad test: Do you think 99% of the world would agree with these authors’ arguments? – Golding argues in Lord of the Flies that humans are both good and bad. – In Speak, Anderson asserts that girls are superior to boys. – Disney’s The Lion King attempts to convince us that murder is bad. – In “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Grimm declares that generosity is an important quality. – In “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Grimm declares that generosity is by far the most important quality one can have.

24 Writing A Strong Literary Essay Outlining Your Essay/ Writing Effective Topic Sentences

25 Outlining/Topic Sentences Activity: – In your groups, sort the strips into a 5-paragraph essay: intro, conclusion, and 3 body paragraphs

26 Outlining/Topic Sentences Students crying. Mountains of homework. Heaps of unfairness. This is what happens in Mr. Chapman’s class. Mr. Chapman is the worst teacher in the world for many reasons. One reason Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher is that he locks kids in the closet. For example, one time Justin sneezed without covering his mouth and Mr. Chapman locked him in the closet with no food or water. Another time Antonio dropped his pencil and he was sentenced to three hours in the closet. Finally, when someone mentioned Justin Bieber she got locked in the closet all day. Another reason Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher is that he gives too much homework. One time, for example, he gave twelve hours of reading in one night. Another time he gave us so many books to read that Vasilios collapsed from all the weight in his backpack. Finally, he makes us write four hundred pages a week in our writer’s notebooks! Lastly, Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher because he plays favorites with his students. For example, one time he gave Ryan twenty gold cards because he said “bless you,” but he took away all of Daniel’s when he didn’t say “bless you” loud enough. Another time he made Isadora stand on one foot the whole class because she read only 44 minutes, but when Paloma read only 30 minutes he gave her a homework coupon. In conclusion, Mr. Chapman is the worst teach in the world because he throws kids in the closet, he gives way too much homework, and he’s unfair to students. He needs to be fired right away.

27 Outlining/Topic Sentences Students crying. Mountains of homework. Heaps of unfairness. This is what happens in Mr. Chapman’s class. Mr. Chapman is the worst teacher in the world for many reasons. One reason Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher is that he locks kids in the closet. For example, one time Justin sneezed without covering his mouth and Mr. Chapman locked him in the closet with no food or water. Another time Antonio dropped his pencil and he was sentenced to three hours in the closet. Finally, when someone mentioned Justin Bieber she got locked in the closet all day. Another reason Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher is that he gives too much homework. One time, for example, he gave twelve hours of reading in one night. Another time he gave us so many books to read that Vasilios collapsed from all the weight in his backpack. Finally, he makes us write four hundred pages a week in our writer’s notebooks! Lastly, Mr. Chapman’s the worst teacher because he plays favorites with his students. For example, one time he gave Ryan twenty gold cards because he said “bless you,” but he took away all of Daniel’s when he didn’t say “bless you” loud enough. Another time he made Isadora stand on one foot the whole class because she read only 44 minutes, but when Paloma read only 30 minutes he gave her a homework coupon. In conclusion, Mr. Chapman is the worst teach in the world because he throws kids in the closet, he gives way too much homework, and he’s unfair to students. He needs to be fired right away.

28 Outlining/Topic Sentences An outline is like a skeleton. Yes, there are other points that are important, but without an essay your essay is likely to look like a blob. – In other words, 5-10 minutes of planning saves time (you don’t have to think about how to organize after you start) and saves your essay from being a disgusting blob. An outline should contain at the very least your thesis and your topic sentences.

29 Outlining/Topic Sentences The topic sentence is like the thesis of your paragraph: – Everything in that paragraph needs to be about that topic, and support that topic If I say, “One reason the kids go over to Jack is because he instills fear in them,” what will that paragraph be about? What do I need to prove? If I say, “One way Anderson furthers this theme is through the symbols of trees and mirrors,” what will my paragraph be about? What do I need to prove? At the same time, your topic sentences must support your thesis! The topic sentence is the first sentence in your body paragraph 95% of the time.

30 Outlining/Topic Sentences Your thesis is “In the novel Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte represents the epitome of friendship.” – Which of these topic sentences support it? Charlotte also does almost everything Wilbur requests. In addition, Charlotte is a great writer. Finally, Charlotte saves Wilbur’s life. Charlotte asks for very little in return from Wilbur. Charlotte once sang Wilbur to sleep.

31 Outlining/Topic Sentences One of the ways to think of topic sentences is to think about why you believe in your argument/thesis or how the author accomplishes that theme. – How does the author further that theme? or – How do we know this to be true? or – Why do you think that? How do we know the message of The Lion King is that the past will always be with us? – One way is… – Another way is… – Finally…

32 Outlining/Topic Sentences One of the ways to think of topic sentences is to think about why you believe in your argument or how the author accomplishes that theme. – How does the author furthers that theme? or – How do we know this to be true? or – Why do you think that? How do we know the message of The Lion King is that the past will always be with us? – One way Disney argues this is by showing which characters to trust. – Another way is by highlighting which characters and advice are untrustworthy. – Finally, this message is furthered by the symbols of fire and the skull.

33 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The message of The Lion King is that only by confronting one’s past can one move on from it. The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. I.One way the movie shows this is by clearly differentiating between those giving good and those giving bad advice. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer II.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. III.Finally, Disney does this through the symbols of the fire and the skull. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III., united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

34 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The theme of The Lion King is “Only by confronting your past can you move on from it.” The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. I.One way the movie shows this is by clearly highlighting which characters are giving good advice. I.The movie also makes clear which characters’ advice is not to be trusted. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer II.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. III.Finally, Disney does this through the symbols of the fire and the skull. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III.Smiles before he roars (“Remember…”) IV.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

35 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The theme of The Lion King is “Only by confronting your past can you move on from it.” The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. I.One way the movie shows this is by clearly highlighting which characters are giving good advice. I.The movie also makes clear which characters’ advice is not to be trusted. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer II.Finally, Simba is more confident and happier after confronting his past. III.Finally, Disney does this through the symbols of the fire and the skull. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.(“Remember…”) III.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) I.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

36 Writing A Strong Literary Essay Adding Clear, Strong Evidence

37 Outline for a Solid Body Paragraph 1.Topic Sentence 2.Evidence/Specific Examples/Quotes Before and in between the evidence, make sure you give context to the evidence if need be 3.Link it back to the thesis. Now that you’ve given me all this evidence, so what? Why does it matter? What does this evidence have to do with the thesis?

38 Body Paragraphs This is where you need to prove your case: – Pretend the reader doesn’t know you and they’re saying, “I don’t believe you. Prove it.” All evidence needs to support your topic sentences Use quotes when possible (I’d say 1-2 per body paragraph), but make sure you explain the quotes if they’re confusing – You don’t need to use the whole quote!

39 Evidence Every one of your paragraphs is an argument. It’s a court case. Ask yourself, what do you need to prove to the jury in this paragraph? – One way Disney shows this is by highlighting that Simba is happier after confronting his past. – In addition, Ralph maintains power through democracy. – Finally, the Charlie of the movie is much more aggressive than the Charlie of the book.

40 Evidence Your goal is to convince the jury, to prove each one of your paragraphs.

41 Evidence Ladies and gentleman of the jury…

42 Evidence Today I’m going to show you that the message of The Hunger Games is that liberty is more important than life. This is your thesis.

43 Evidence One way Collins shows this message is by stressing how miserable life is for the people of District 12. What am I trying to prove here?

44 Evidence One way Collins shows this is by stressing how miserable life is for the people of District strong examples later… Now I’ve proven that the people of District 12 are miserable. So what? How does that show the message that liberty’s more important than life?

45 Evidence One way Collins shows this is by stressing how miserable life is for the people of District 12. Because Collins paints such a clear picture of their hopeless, painful lives… Connecting back to thesis.

46 Evidence …the reader can see that sacrificing their liberty to The Capital in exchange for peace wasn’t worth it for District 12—it only made things worse. Connecting back to thesis.

47 Evidence One way Collins shows this is by stressing how miserable life is for the people of District 12. In other words, without freedom, the citizens suffer a fate that is even worse than death. Connecting back to thesis.

48 Evidence Don’t summarize the evidence in your body paragraphs: give specific events and evidence – Again, think about a court case. If I were trying to convict someone of murder, I wouldn’t say, “He’s murdered a lot of people” or “She’s been planning to rob the store for a long time,” and leave it at that. I’m going to give all the people he’s murdered; I’m going to give evidence that shows he’s been planning to rob that store. – Not: One way this theme is shown is through all the times Charlie is treated poorly. For example, the people at the bakery bully Charlie a lot. His mom also abused him. One way this theme is shown is through all the times Charlie is treated poorly. For example, the people at the bakery bully Charlie a lot. At the Halloween party, Joe tricks him into getting drunk and keeps tripping him when he’s dancing. Another example is… His mom also abused him. For example…

49 Lion King Outline I.Thesis: The message of The Lion King is that only by confronting one’s past can one move on from it. The movie makes this clear by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of fire and the skull. II.One way the movie shows this is by clearly differentiating between those giving good and those giving bad advice. I.Mufasa: representing responsibility, always helping others—”you must take your place…” II.Rafiki: friends with Mufasa, old, wisdom and tradition: “can either run…” III.Timon: “When the world turns its back on you…”; often wrong, shown to be crazy IV.Scar: “Run away…” evil, Nazi march, murderer III.Another way is by demonstrating the change in Simba’s confidence and “happiness” when he finally stops “running” from his past and when he confronts it. I.Seems happy, clearly sensitive: gazing at stars; II.Yelling at the stars III.Smiles before he roars (“Remember…”) IV.Seems relieved, united…doing the right thing clearly brings prosperity to him and his family (lion cub at end) IV.Finally, Disney stresses this through the symbols of the fire and the skull. V.In conclusion, the movie repeatedly drives home the point that facing one’s past is the best way to move past it.

50 What’s wrong here? On the other hand, the movie makes clear which characters are giving bad advice. For example, after murdering Mufasa and placing the blame squarely on Simba, Scar tells his nephew to “’Run away! Run away and never return!’” Similarly, Simba’s friend Timon tells Simba after their first meeting that “when the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world.”

51 What’s wrong here? On the other hand, the movie makes clear which characters are giving bad advice. For example, after murdering Mufasa and placing the blame squarely on Simba, Scar tells his nephew to “’Run away! Run away and never return!’” The reader knows not to believe Scar not just because he’s a murderer, but also because he has a secret, malevolent agenda behind his instructions: to take over the throne. Similarly, Simba’s friend Timon tells Simba after their first meeting that “when the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world.”

52 What’s wrong here? On the other hand, the movie makes clear which characters are giving bad advice. For example, after murdering Mufasa and placing the blame squarely on Simba, Scar tells his nephew to “’Run away! Run away and never return!’” The reader knows not to believe Scar not just because he’s a murderer, but also because he has a secret, malevolent agenda behind his instructions: to take over the throne. Similarly, Simba’s friend Timon tells Simba after their first meeting that “when the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world.” Timon is clearly unreliable as well. For one, he takes credit for Pumba’s idea that “maybe [Simba] can be on our own side” after dismissing it as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” In addition, he arrogantly says he knows that stars are really fireflies stuck in the sky, and chides Pumba for thinking they’re actually “balls of gas.” Notice: I explain evidence that needs to be explained. Ask yourself, how does this evidence support your topic sentence?

53 What’s wrong here? On the other hand, the movie makes clear which characters are giving bad advice. For example, after murdering Mufasa and placing the blame squarely on Simba, Scar tells his nephew to “’Run away! Run away and never return!’” The reader knows not to believe Scar not just because he’s a murderer, but also because he has a secret, malevolent agenda behind his instructions: to take over the throne. Similarly, Simba’s friend Timon tells Simba after their first meeting that “when the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world.” Timon is clearly unreliable as well. For one, he takes credit for Pumba’s idea that “maybe [Simba] can be on our own side” after dismissing it as “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” In addition, he arrogantly says he knows that stars are really fireflies stuck in the sky, and chides Pumba for thinking they’re actually “balls of gas.” This shows that even though these two characters tell Simba to run away from his past, because of their unreliability, the reader can presume they’re giving bad advice; in short, Simba should follow the opposite. Notice: Finally, I connect the whole paragraph/all the evidence back to the thesis.

54 Examples - What’s wrong here? Finally, the movie makes clear that Simba is happier after he confronts the past. For example,. in the final scene, when all the animals have gathered for the presentation of his new son, Simba is clearly smiling. He’s also surrounded by his family and friends—Sarabi, Nala, Timon, Pumba and Rafiki. Even before that, immediately after Scar is killed and Mufasa lets out a “Remember!” from the sky, Simba lets out a small smile.

55 Examples - What’s wrong here? Finally, the movie makes clear that Simba is happier after he confronts the past. For example,. in the final scene, when all the animals have gathered for the presentation of his new son, Simba is clearly smiling. He’s also surrounded by his family and friends—Sarabi, Nala, Timon, Pumba and Rafiki. Even before that, immediately after Scar is killed and Mufasa lets out a “Remember!” from the sky, Simba lets out a small smile. While it looks like a smile of relief more than happiness—showing that the pained past will always be with him—it’s still shows he’s moving on.

56 Examples - What’s wrong here? Finally, the movie makes clear that Simba is happier after he confronts the past. For example,. in the final scene, when all the animals have gathered for the presentation of his new son, Simba is clearly smiling. He’s also surrounded by his family and friends—Sarabi, Nala, Timon, Pumba and Rafiki. Even before that, immediately after Scar is killed and Mufasa lets out a “Remember!” from the sky, Simba lets out a small smile. While it looks like a smile of relief more than happiness—showing that the pained past will always be with him—it’s still shows he’s moving on. On the other hand, when he’s with Timon and Pumba, it seems that he’s all “hakuna matata”—”no worries”—but in reality he’s riddled by guilt underneath. When Timon and Pumba accidentally make fun of his dad when they’re talking about stars, for example, Simba laughs nervously, then goes off alone. When Nala runs into him and says his mom will be surprised to know he’s alive, Simba responds timidly with “She doesn’t have to know.” He later snaps at Nala when she prods him to return, showing how his nervousness turns to anger.

57 Examples - What’s wrong here? Finally, the movie makes clear that Simba is happier after he confronts the past. For example,. in the final scene, when all the animals have gathered for the presentation of his new son, Simba is clearly smiling. He’s also surrounded by his family and friends—Sarabi, Nala, Timon, Pumba and Rafiki. Even before that, immediately after Scar is killed and Mufasa lets out a “Remember!” from the sky, Simba lets out a small smile. While it looks like a smile of relief more than happiness—showing that the pained past will always be with him—it’s still shows he’s moving on. On the other hand, when he’s with Timon and Pumba, it seems that he’s all “hakuna matata”—”no worries”—but in reality he’s riddled by guilt underneath. When Timon and Pumba accidentally make fun of his dad when they’re talking about stars, for example, Simba laughs nervously, then goes off alone. When Nala runs into him and says his mom will be surprised to know he’s alive, Simba responds timidly with “She doesn’t have to know.” He later snaps at Nala when she prods him to return, showing how his nervousness turns to anger.

58 Comparing If you are comparing or mentioning two concepts in your topic sentence, you need to give examples from both in your evidence: – If my topic sentence is “One way Anderson shows this is by stressing that Melinda is much more confident at the end of the book than at the beginning,” what two things do I need to mention? Examples from his past, and his present (and how they connect) – “Roger becomes more savage as the novel progresses.” What two things do I need to mention? How Roger was at the beginning, and how he is different later on

59 Symbols If you are going to use symbols as evidence (as you should), you can’t just list them. You need to answer: – What do you think it symbolizes? – Why do you think that? (2+ examples would help!) – Why is it important? (How does it support your thesis/topic sentence?)

60 Symbols The various symbols in the movie also convey that the pain of the past can only “wash away” when one confronts it. For example, as Simba is walking up Pride Rock to finally take his place as king, the frame jumps to a skull of a wildebeest washing away with the rain. The skull symbolizes the pain of the past washing away, not only because it happens as Simba is walking up Pride Rock to finally accept his past and his responsibilities as king, but also because it’s a direct reminder of his father’s death—skulls are a universal symbol for death—and the wildebeest stampede that precipitated that death. Since this skull only washes away once Simba has faced his guilt, admitted his perceived mistakes and accepted his responsibility, Keyes reinforces the notion that one can only move on from the pain of the past when one faces it.

61 Symbols In your groups, using the book, write a paragraph about one of the symbols in your book, explaining how it could support a theme: – 9 th Grade: the tree/seeds, mirrors, Scarlet Letter/Hawthorne, snow/winter, Maya Angelou – 10 th Grade: the conch shell, Piggy’s glasses, Jack’s spear, Simon

62 Brief Introduction to Quotes Choose quotes that are appropriate—you have a whole book of quotes there to draw from! Use a quote to explain/as evidence less to explain it after. If you’re quoting a character speaking, you need to use nested/double quotes – Charlotte is the only character who has this enthusiastic benevolence: “Charlotte grinned. ‘I’ll build a web for you’” (93).

63 Brief Introduction to Quotes Quotes should be transitioned into. – This is not okay: Scar says a lot of things to Simba. “Run away.” The hyenas: “’If you ever come back, we’ll kill you!’” That’s really dirty. If you’re taken short you go right along the beach to the rocks” -Ralph (86). – This is: This is made clear when Scar tells Simba to “run away!” (40:10). Similarly, the hyenas shout to him, “If you ever come back, we’ll kill you!” (41:58). Ralph repeatedly prods the littluns to follow the rules: “If we don’t follow the rules, we’ll never be rescued!” (183).

64 Final Thoughts on Evidence All these things I’m teaching are meant to be guidelines. Once you start to master them, you can experiment with twisting them. – You can’t speed until you learn how to drive (hopefully) – Picasso learned to paint “realistically” before he experimented with Cubism.

65 Transitions Review Writing A Strong Literary Essay

66 Transitions A transition is like a bridge in between your examples and your paragraphs. 95% of examples will have a transition between them (basically, every time you have a new piece of evidence, you need a transition).

67 Transitions Transitions make the reader happy and prevent them from getting wet! I want to cross the river to eat that yummy meat but there’s no bridge!  2 nd paragraph! 3 nd paragraph! Finally, … Yum! Thank you, friend! Aren’t I so cute?

68 Transitions Transitions make the reader happy and prevent them from getting wet! 2 nd paragraph! 3 nd paragraph! Finally, …

69 Writing A Strong Literary Essay Common Errors

70 Past vs. Present When you’re talking about the events in a fiction book, use the present tense—it’s happening now, whenever the reader reads the book, it’s happening now. When you’re talking about something that happened before the timeline of the book, use the past. – In the beginning of the book, Ralph grabs the conch shell. Heather “dumps” Melinda. Mr. Freeman paints. – When Melinda was a kid, her dad took her apple- picking. Piggy constantly mentions that his auntie told him not to run.

71 Common Errors Formal: – Don’t use “you” or give your opinion “I think” Using “you” is like going to a formal prom in a ripped Hawaiian shirt. Prepositions: – On (top of) the island; not in(side) it – On (top of) the page, not in(side) it – In the book… Which = cual Who=quien – Jack, who is corrupt, holds onto power with fear.

72 Writing A Strong Literary Essay Introductions

73 Think of your introduction as a movie trailer, giving a quick preview of the text and making us excited about it. An intro has a: Hook: A question, an image, a quote or a general/”many” statement. Background/Summary of Problem: Give just enough background—introduce the question: What do you think the reader needs to know about this topic? Thesis: Your argument.

74 The Hook You can often hook in your reader with a question, a quote, a general/”many” statement or an “image”. An image or general statement are usually the most advanced of hooks. What causes people to run away from their past? Like many people, Simba in The Lion King runs away because he’s afraid of his past. John Quincy Adams once said, “Who we are…is who we were.” This statement is applicable to the movie The Lion King, where Simba tries but fails to escape his past. [the quote could also come from the book!] All people have events in their past they are not proud of, that they’d like to forget about. This idea is very present in The Lion King. A murdered father. A guilty conscience. A constant echo of the past. In The Lion King, the character Simba has to deal with all of these. – For the image, think of the results that would show up if you “Google Imaged” your topic.

75 Background (Summary of Problem) You’ll want to describe the problem in a sentence or two, but no more (details go in your body paragraphs). Ask yourself, what extra information does your reader need to know? – Mention the author and the title of the book (if you haven’t already) – Introduce the topic/question. What aspect of the book will you be focusing on?

76 My Lion King Intro All people have events in their past they are not proud of, that they’d like to forget about. This idea is very present in Walt Disney’s The Lion King. Overwhelmed by guilt from the death of his father, Simba leaves Pride Rock to find solace in physical escape. In the end, though, he only discovers that the pain—and even people—from his past keep appearing. In The Lion King, Disney argues that one can’t move on from their past until he confronts it. He does this by differentiating between characters giving good advice and bad advice, by comparing Simba’s happiness at the end with his sadness in the middle, and through the symbols of the fire and the skull.

77 More Complicated Intro Categorizing the way one sees the world is part and parcel of being human. Before the Crusades, the Jews of Christian Europe lived as a minority classified predominately as a theological outsider, one blind to the truth of Christianity. Theologically aberrant but capable of “enlightenment”; a small annoyance for some, but a close associate, if not a friend, to many. Then there was a change. After the First Crusade, however, a massive deluge of antagonistic sentiments and repressed anger clouded the popular Christian mind’s attitude toward the Jews, as made clear by the artwork and contemporary accounts of this period. No longer were they just harmless, no longer were they just theologically aberrant. Due to increased religious fervor and the ruthless demonization of the Jews after the Crusades, by the end of the Black Death anti-Judaism as a theological construct had been superimposed by a racially constructed anti-Semitism.

78 More Complicated Intro “The treatises of Aristotle on logic…are to be read in the regular and not the extraordinary courses. The two Priscians [works of a Roman grammarian]…are also be read in the schools in the regular courses. On the feast-days nothing is to be read except philosophy, rhetoric [and the] quadrivialia [arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music]” (Wiesner, 119). In this selection of a few of the edicts issued for the University of Paris, a preoccupation with classical works and modes of thinking is more than evident. Yet this was written long before the supposed “rebirth” of Greek and Roman ideas. In the midst of the so-called “Dark Ages,” three hundred years before Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine ceiling signified the peak of the High Renaissance, scholars, monks and intellectuals pored over countless ancient texts. Many of the institutions and ideas that are staples of modern society were forged in this era. The Middle Ages brought upon further fundamental changes in politics, economics and theology, changes that would radically and forever alter the European landscape. Contrary to popular belief, the Renaissance was not a rebirth of classical ideas, but rather a continuation of advances made in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, advances that would lay the early foundations of a modern Europe.

79 Writing A Strong Literary Essay Conclusions

80 Your conclusion is where you summarize your main points, make connections to the outside world, and drive home why this information is important. You don’t introduce any new evidence from your book. In a sense, it’s like an upside-down introduction – Restating the thesis (in different words!) – Briefly recapping what was discussed in the topic sentences (in different words!) – Making a connection to the reader or world in general – The clincher (often a part of making a connection)

81 Restate the Thesis (in a slightly different way) In The Lion King, Keyes argues that one can’t move on from the past until he confronts it. – In conclusion, Keyes stresses that only by facing one’s past demons can one truly look to the future. While the character Charlotte is the epitome of friendship, the character of Wilbur represents cowardice and inaction. – In conclusion, Wilbur, with his indecision and spinelessness, is lucky to have such a helpful and diligent friend. The theme of The Princess Bride is that to be successful, one must always follow one’s dreams. – In conclusion, Goldman argues that one can only achieve happiness and fulfillment when he commits to his goals.

82 1)One way Keyes accomplishes this is by highlighting which characters are giving good advice. 2)On the other hand, the movie makes clear which characters are giving bad advice. 3) Finally, the movie makes clear that Simba is happier after he confronts the past. He drives home this point with symbolism, by differentiating between good and bad advice, and by highlighting that Simba is more fulfilled after facing his traumatic childhood. Restate Your Reasons (in a slightly different way)

83 Make a connection. How does this apply (or how is relevant?) to the world in general? Why is it important? What can the reader do with this information? (Don’t use “you”) – How can the theme “One has to confront your past before you move on from it” be applicable? This movie is a perfect wake-up call to the millions of people who continue to be stunted because of trauma or guilt from their past; therapists’ offices are full of people who are now just finally dealing with their past. With this movie, Keyes asserts that it’s important to deal with it right away, instead of the increased pain that comes from running away from it. Make a Connection

84 Clincher/Final Sentence It’s hard to explain how to do a strong final statement. Much of it is just being able to “hear” the sound. The statement needs to leave a strong “taste” in the reader’s “mouth.” Just like a chef learns to figure out just what a recipe needs by practice, you’ll learn as you mature what will make the best final statement. Ask yourself, what do you want to leave the reader with? What does the theme of this book or the way these characters act say about how we should live? Like a hook, it can be a rhetorical question, a quote, or an optimistic or pessimistic broad/general statement—often considering what lies ahead for humans (one of “hope or despair”). What will happen if we don’t take heed of the author’s theme? or What will happen if we do take heed of the author’s theme?

85 Potential Clinchers (and some connections) To quote John Quincy Adams, “who we are…is who we were.” The more people accept this, the healthier we’ll be as a society. Society as a whole would be a lot healthier if people accepted, to quote John Quincy Adams, that “who we are…is who we were.” In a sense, Simba becomes a metaphor for all people who are dealing with past pain, abuse, and guilt—and a pathway for those who want to move on from it. Those who, like Simba, run away from their past would be wise to learn from the movie, lest they not only continue to suffer, but even worse pass that same suffering onto others. As George Santayana aptly said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Perhaps by heeding Simba’s example, people as a whole will stop taking their anger, their fears, and their guilt out on others. What a wonderful world that would be! By ignoring Simba’s example, people are much more likely to take that past anger, fear, and guilt out on other people.

86 Conclusion Don’ts! Don’t introduce new evidence from the book in your conclusion. A new connection is okay, but you shouldn’t introduce new evidence from the book. -I should never see “for example” in your conclusion Don’t contradict what you said before. – If you’ve said in your body paragraphs that “Golding argues that humans are savage” or that “The theme is the past will always be with us,” don’t say in your conclusion, “Maybe he also thought humans were good” or “He’s saying sometimes the past isn’t always with us.”

87 Potential Conclusion In conclusion, Disney stresses that only by facing one’s past demons can one truly look to the future. He drives home this point with symbolism, by differentiating between good and bad advice, and making clear that Simba is happier after confronting his traumatic childhood. This movie is a perfect wake-up call to many people who continue to be stunted because of trauma or guilt from their past; therapists’ offices are full of people who are now just finally dealing with their past. To quote John Quincy Adams, “who we are…is who we were.” The more people accept this, the healthier we’ll be as a society.

88 Sample Conclusions Though not an exemplary example of Northern technique, Bouts’ Virgin and Child Enthroned easily contrasts in many respects with Tomasso’s Virgin Adoring the Christ Child with Saint John the Baptist and Two Angels (Wall Panel, LACMA). Both Northern and Italian styles evolved separately in accordance with the ideals and values their respective people held dear in paintings. The Flemish were more interested in artistic dexterity while the Italians focused on humanistic ideals. However, as the Renaissance progressed, these styles and ideas intermixed in a conglomeration of artistic talent. Neither painting is a pure unblemished example of either style, but they need not be. The true masters of the Renaissance were able to combine the best of both worlds.

89 Sample Conclusions Both “Young Goodman Brown” and Frankenstein utilize the basic elements of literature to deliver their themes to the reader, yet each author is inherently distinct in his approach to this task. Multiple elaborate themes are compensated in the novel by more abundant plot twists, plastic characters, embellished details and an overall greater length. Because it is more succinct, the short story is also more efficient in its recounting of action. On the other hand, a novel can enthrall the reader for hours at a time in a realm where genuine characters interact with three-dimensional people in well-described settings. It is an ephemeral world where plot, personalities, tone, themes, and environments constantly change to maintain the reader’s attention and to relate the more complicated tale. However, the writer of the short story is as much a genius in his own fashion as the novelist is. Both are masters of the English language, both weave a fictitious tale and both have a common purpose: to enlighten the masses with their pen, to teach the world with their voice, to light the fire of knowledge in the hearts of mankind with their words. For all intents and purposes, the writer is more of a “Modern Prometheus” than Victor Frankenstein ever was.

90 Sample Conclusions Roth does not necessarily attack religious ceremony, and by no means calls for an end to religion. Nor does he condemn a kosher diet (being Jewish himself). Instead, he warns against taking such religious traditions (not just those of Judaism) too far, where they harmfully and unfairly encroach on the lives of others. Most of Grossbart’s requests, which might initially seem innocent, become condemnable both because the non-Jewish privates apparently do not receive the same privileges and because a world war is still raging. Grossbart himself puts it best when he writes in his second forged letter, “the religious thing to do—what God Himself would want…—would be to suffer the pangs of religious remorse for the good of…country and all mankind” (129). Faith is a mindset, not dependent on superficial ceremony. A state, however, is a physical, secular entity with the charge of physically protecting its people. As witnessed by those alive when this story takes place, all the praying in the world will not stop a tyrant’s military machine, but a state that has the full faithful backing of its citizens at the least has a prayer.

91 Sample Conclusions In pitting the external and internal beauty of Tess against human brutality, Hardy progresses his own belief that nature—both human and otherwise—is unresponsive to human desire and vicious to any and everyone, without regard to past, class, or character. A pristine appearance and personality is readily cursed and corrupted by a world that fosters brutality from all sides, from the Alec’s to the Angel’s. Bad things can happen to good people, and, as Hardy explains, no explanation exists for such common circumstances. As the dark flag rises in the closing pages, signaling Tess’ death, the reader sees the tragic end to a beautiful and innocent maiden who has been violated, abandoned and finally executed by a world that has no sympathy for her cause, nor that of any other human. As Tess cries toward the end of the novel, “Once the victim, always the victim—that’s the law!” (326). Unfortunately for this descendant of the d’Urbervilles, this law was rigidly upheld. Thesis: By depicting the clash between Tess’ internal and external beauty and a truly brutal world, Hardy portrays nature as utterly savage, fate as randomly destructive and brutality as overwhelmingly victorious.

92 Sample Conclusions With careful manipulation, Owen presents a gruesome image of a war that shattered traditional perceptions of honor, tainted the idealization of battle, and laid waste to a country’s youth. Once death becomes routine, it is no longer a war: it is a senseless slaughter. When the true motive behind the war is forgotten, it becomes a war that need not be fought. His disillusionment with such conflict reflected the sentiments of a generation rapidly stripped of its innocence. Unfortunately, Wilfred Owen would never live to see his work published. Instead, he became another casualty in a war of epic human proportions, and epic inhuman loss. Thesis: By relating the enormous casualties, savagery, and “demented” (line 7) aural hell of the trenches, Owen condemns war as inglorious and inhumane.

93 Good Luck!


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