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The Writing Prompt: Writing About a Quote Catherine Wishart Literacy Coach Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "The Writing Prompt: Writing About a Quote Catherine Wishart Literacy Coach Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Writing Prompt: Writing About a Quote Catherine Wishart Literacy Coach Copyright © All rights reserved.

2 Responding to a Confusing Quote

3 Sometimes quotes are difficult to fully understand: Sometimes quotes are difficult to fully understand: – “Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?” George Eliot Writers need a strategy when a quote is confusing. Writers need a strategy when a quote is confusing. Re-read the quote again carefully. Decide which ONE word is the most important word in the quote. Re-read the quote again carefully. Decide which ONE word is the most important word in the quote. Decide how you can write about that ONE word. Decide how you can write about that ONE word.

4 Planning a Response to This Quote: The Introductory Paragraph State the quote and the author in the first sentence. State the quote and the author in the first sentence. Point out that this quote means different things to different people. Point out that this quote means different things to different people. Ask, “But what does this quote mean to me?” Ask, “But what does this quote mean to me?” Think about your thesis statement. Which word in the quote is the most important word in the quote? State which word you think is most important. Think about your thesis statement. Which word in the quote is the most important word in the quote? State which word you think is most important. – You can start this sentence with: “As for me….” Try to list two ideas in your thesis statement that will help you talk about the word you chose. These two ideas will be your outline for your essay. Try to list two ideas in your thesis statement that will help you talk about the word you chose. These two ideas will be your outline for your essay.

5 A Sample Response to This Quote: The Introductory Paragraph According to George Eliot, “ Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?” Of course, this quote means different things to different people. But what does this quote mean to me? As for me, the most important word in this quote is the word “inspiration.” The person that I think is inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim.

6 The Second Paragraph: Answering the First Part of the Thesis Statement Thesis statement: The person that I think is inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim. Thesis statement: The person that I think is inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim. This paragraph should talk about my mother going back to school. This paragraph should talk about my mother going back to school.

7 A Sample Response to This Quote: The Second Paragraph My mother is very inspirational to me because she went back to school. When my mother was eighteen, she quit high school and got married. But Mom never felt good about not finishing high school. So when she was thirty years old, Mom went back to school and worked to get her high school diploma. She told us how hard this was, and we saw her studying every night. She still made dinner and took care of us, but she always had to run off to class or to the library after dinner was over. Mom told us, “All of my kids will graduate from high school on time!” She wanted us to make better choices than she made when she was younger. Even though the work was hard, Mom finished her program and graduated from high school. She is inspirational because she was willing to work hard to get her diploma.

8 The Third Paragraph: Answering the Second Part of the Thesis Statement Thesis statement: The person that I think is inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim. Thesis statement: The person that I think is inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim. This paragraph should talk about learning how to swim. This paragraph should talk about learning how to swim.

9 A Sample Response to This Quote: The Third Paragraph Going back to school isn’t the only thing that makes my mother an inspiration because she also learned how to swim. Mom had a big fear of the water. But one day we visited a friend’s house and they had a pool. My sister Debbie sat in Mom’s lap and wouldn’t go near the water. Mom said, “Debbie, what’s wrong?” Debbie answered, “Mommy, I don’t like the water just like you don’t like it!” Mom looked upset. The very next day, she called the local YMCA and signed up for swimming lessons. At first, Mom went by herself. She took beginner classes and learned how to doggie paddle and float on her back. When she became an advanced beginner, Mom let us come and take lessons, too. Finally, Mom made it to the senior swimmer class. When she climbed up on the diving board and dove into the pool, we were all very excited. Debbie yelled, “I’m going to jump off that thing just like Mommy did!” We were very excited and happy. Mom inspired us to try things were afraid of.

10 Planning the Conclusion Start out with “In conclusion,” and then write that the author’s use of your word is important. Start out with “In conclusion,” and then write that the author’s use of your word is important. Explain why the author’s use of that word is important to you. Explain why the author’s use of that word is important to you. Restate your thesis statement. Try to use different words to say the same thing. Restate your thesis statement. Try to use different words to say the same thing.

11 A Sample Response to This Quote: The Conclusion In conclusion, George Eliot’s use of the word “inspiration” in his quote is important to me. This word is important because it reminds me of my mother. My mother is inspirational because she decided to get her education and she worked hard to get over her fear of water.

12 Putting It All Together “Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?” According to George Eliot, “Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?”Of course, this quote means different things to different people. But what does this quote mean to me? As for me, the most important word in this quote is the word “inspiration.” The person that I think are inspirational is my mother because she went back to school and learned how to swim. My mother is very inspirational to me because she went back to school. When my mother was eighteen, she quit high school and got married. But Mom never felt good about not finishing high school. So when she was thirty years old, Mom went back to school and worked to get her high school diploma. She told us how hard this was, and we saw her studying every night. She still made dinner and took care of us, but she always had to run off to class or to the library after dinner was over. Mom told us, “All of my kids will graduate from high school on time!” She wanted us to make better choices than she made when she was younger. Even though the work was hard, Mom finished her program and graduated from high school. She is inspirational because she was willing to work hard to get her diploma. Going back to school isn’t the only thing that makes my mother an inspiration because she also learned how to swim. Mom had a big fear of the water. But one day we visited a friend’s house and they had a pool. My sister Debbie sat in Mom’s lap and wouldn’t go near the water. Mom said, “Debbie, what’s wrong?” Debbie answered, “Mommy, I don’t like the water just like you don’t like it!” Mom looked upset. The very next day, she called the local YMCA and signed up for swimming lessons. At first, Mom went by herself. She took beginner classes and learned how to doggie paddle and float on her back. When she became an advanced beginner, Mom let us come and take lessons, too. Finally, Mom made it to the senior swimmer class. When she climbed up on the diving board and dove into the pool, we were all very excited. Debbie yelled, “I’m going to jump off that thing just like Mommy did!” We were very excited and happy. Mom inspired us to try things were afraid of. In conclusion, George Eliot’s use of the word “inspiration” in his quote is important to me. This word is important because it reminds me of my mother. My mother is inspirational because she decided to get her education and she worked hard to get over her fear of water.

13 Can I Choose the Wrong Word? Look at the same quote again: Look at the same quote again: – “Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?” George Eliot This time, let’s say the writer decides that the word “noble” is the most important word in the quote. This time, let’s say the writer decides that the word “noble” is the most important word in the quote. The writer decides what that ONE word means and plans an essay. The writer decides what that ONE word means and plans an essay. NO!!!

14 Planning Another Response to This Quote: The Introductory Paragraph State the quote and the author in the first sentence. State the quote and the author in the first sentence. Point out that this quote means different things to different people. Point out that this quote means different things to different people. Ask, “But what does this quote mean to me?” Ask, “But what does this quote mean to me?” Think about your thesis statement. This time, we will decide that the most important word in the quote is “noble.” Think about your thesis statement. This time, we will decide that the most important word in the quote is “noble.” – You can start this sentence with: “As for me….” Try to list two ideas in your thesis statement that will help you talk about the word you chose. These three ideas will be your outline for your essay. Try to list two ideas in your thesis statement that will help you talk about the word you chose. These three ideas will be your outline for your essay.

15 Another Sample Response to This Quote: The Introductory Paragraph According to George Eliot, “Isn’t a noble thought a type of inspiration?” Of course, this quote means different things to different people. But what does this quote mean to me? As for me, the most important word in this quote is the word “noble.” Two things that make a person noble are being honest and unselfish.

16 Paragraphs 2 and 3 Paragraph 2 will discuss a person who is honest. I might tell about a friend who told the truth even though it meant getting into trouble. Paragraph 2 will discuss a person who is honest. I might tell about a friend who told the truth even though it meant getting into trouble. Paragraph 3 will discuss a person who is unselfish. I might talk about a famous person like Martin Luther King, Jr. who was unselfish. Paragraph 3 will discuss a person who is unselfish. I might talk about a famous person like Martin Luther King, Jr. who was unselfish.

17 Planning the Conclusion Start out with “In conclusion,” and then write that the author’s use of your word is important. Start out with “In conclusion,” and then write that the author’s use of your word is important. Explain why the author’s use of that word is important to you. Explain why the author’s use of that word is important to you. Restate your thesis statement. Try to use different words to say the same thing. Restate your thesis statement. Try to use different words to say the same thing.

18 Another Sample Response to This Quote: The Conclusion In conclusion, George Eliot’s use of the word “noble” is important to me. This word is important because it makes me think about what really makes a person noble. Truthfulness and generosity are ways that a person can be noble.

19 Make a Choice You May Choose This Quote: “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well” (Rene Descartes). “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well” (Rene Descartes). Or You May Choose This Quote: “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” (Anonymous). “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” (Anonymous). Read both of the quotations below. Decide which quote you would like to write about. Try to use the formula for “Answering a Confusing Quote” to write a response to this quotation.

20 Sources of Quotations Easy Literacy. Friendship Page. Quoteland. Quotes Daddy.


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