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Informative Essay Using the Surprise-Reversal Strategy Professor Xinia Foster John A Ferguson High School ENC 1101 Writing and Rhetoric I Allyn and Bacon,

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Presentation on theme: "Informative Essay Using the Surprise-Reversal Strategy Professor Xinia Foster John A Ferguson High School ENC 1101 Writing and Rhetoric I Allyn and Bacon,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Informative Essay Using the Surprise-Reversal Strategy Professor Xinia Foster John A Ferguson High School ENC 1101 Writing and Rhetoric I Allyn and Bacon, Chapter 13 Pages

2  This type of essay is commonly found in magazines and newspapers.  It is assumed that the reader of this type of essay is browsing —hence, it is the writer’s task to arouse the reader’s curiosity about the topic of your essay and keep the reader’s interest. Informative Essay Using the Surprise-Reversal Strategy I

3  Writer Must: Hook the reader and then provide a surprising thesis.  Thesis Must: Give shape and purpose to the information being presented Informative Essay Using the Surprise-Reversal Strategy I

4  Surprise Reversal: Thesis pushes sharply against a counter thesis.  Pattern Used: Whereas some scholars say X, I am going to argue Y. Here are some examples of Surprise-Reversal thesis statements: ‣ You may think a tarantula bite is a death sentence, but in fact a tarantula bite can’t harm you. ‣ Although most people believe Native Americans lived in harmony with nature, many Native American tribes altered their environment aggressively, burning down forests to make farming easier and hunting some animals to the edge of extinction. Source: Surprise Reversal

5  In a Surprising-Reversal essay, your first paragraph should arouse the reader’s curiosity by posing an interesting question.  The next paragraph should first summarize a common or expected answer to the question, then present your thesis—your surprising answer to the question.  Then, in two or three paragraphs, provide new, surprising information that reverses or modifies the common view. (Imagine readers who hold a mistaken or overly narrow view of your topic; your purpose is to give them a new, surprising view.)  In your final paragraph, summarize your main points and clearly present the significance of your new perspective. Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence. Source: Surprise Reversal Outline for Surprising-Reversal Essay

6  Introduction (1 paragraph) ‣ Engages the reader’s interest in the writer’s question. ‣ Provides background and context.  Common View (1 paragraph) ‣ Presents the common or popular answer to the writer’s question. ‣ Provides delayed thesis—the writer’s surprising answer to the question. Surprise Reversal Outline for Surprising-Reversal Essay

7  Surprising View (2-3 paragraph) ‣ Develops and supports the thesis with information from personal experience and research.  Conclusion (1 paragraph) ‣ Makes final comments about the significance of the writer’s new perspective on the question. Surprise Reversal

8 Turn to page 321, “Reefer Madness” to read an example of a surprise reversal text. Surprise Reversal

9 As your read “Reefer Madness” consider and answer the following questions as a group. Discussion Questions: 1.How does the title hook the audience? 2.What is the thesis of this article? 3.What research evidence is provided to support the thesis? Is it effective? Validate your response. 4.How does this article assert a surprising position? Surprise Reversal

10 Goal:  As the writer of an informative surprise reversal essay your role is to educate, inform, in other words, you are the expert in the subject you are presenting.  Your goal is to inform those who are less informed than you on the topic you are writing about. Surprise Reversal

11  Think of a location in South Florida, possibly even right here at Ferguson HS. If you were to write about this location, how might you make it spring to life for your reader? What rhetorical choices might you employ? As you are brainstorming, keep in mind the most vital part of the assignment: the surprising reversal. Is there anything you know about this location that your audience might find surprising? Assignment

12  Consider the following questions to help you think about what you need to include in your essay: 1.What question does my topic address? 2.What is the common, expected, or popular answer to this question by my imagined audience? 3.What examples and details support this audience’s view? 4.What is my own surprising view? 5.What examples and details support this view? Why do I hold this view? Why should my audience believe me? 6. What is the significance of looking at this topic in this new way? Surprise Reversal


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