Presentation on theme: "SHORT ANALYTICAL ESSAYS Strategies For Success. Formatting Your Paper Format papers according to MLA guidelines. Your first sentence should be your thesis."— Presentation transcript:
SHORT ANALYTICAL ESSAYS Strategies For Success
Formatting Your Paper Format papers according to MLA guidelines. Your first sentence should be your thesis. No introduction is necessary. Likewise, an extended conclusion is unnecessary. Pay attention to word counts. It’s okay to go a little over, but you should never be under. Include a title. This is your first opportunity to show how smart you are.
Written Expression (Voice) Write in present tense. Avoid personal pronouns like “I” and “my.” Avoid opinion statements like “I think” or “I believe.” ▫I think that Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is a symbol of goodness and purity. Instead, state your opinions as facts. ▫Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is a symbol of goodness and purity. Then follow-up your statements with evidence from the text to support your claim. Use professional, academic language. No contractions.
Thesis Your thesis should make a claim about the story that your classmates might argue against. Begin by forming an opinion based on evidence from the story. ▫Dorothy is a symbol of goodness and purity. Some might argue that she is childish or selfish. Some might argue that, while she is good, she certainly isn’t pure. Etc. Then create a blueprint. In which specific scenes does Dorothy exhibit her goodness and/or purity? Can you find a trend or any commonalities among these scenes? ▫In her interactions with strangers—specifically the cowardly lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow—Dorothy shows she is a symbol of goodness and purity. This is a good start, but you’re not done yet.
Thesis Cont. So far you’ve only pointed something out. Now you must say why this is important or what it teaches us about the story. This is the “so-what” of analysis, which is essential to make an A. Ask yourself, “Okay, but why does this matter?” Why does L. Frank Baum need a symbol of purity and goodness in his book? What does is the effect of this symbol on the book?
Thesis Cont. In her interactions with strangers—specifically the cowardly lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow— Dorothy shows she is a symbol of goodness and purity, positioning herself in direct opposition to the Wicked Witch and showing readers how truly evil the witch is by comparison. Or... E. Frank Baum portrays Dorothy through her interactions with strangers as a symbol of goodness and purity in order to juxtapose the evil of the wicked witch. Without Dorothy, the witch does not seem quite so evil; likewise, without the witch, Dorothy is merely good, but not necessarily pure.
One more time Filmmakers use black-and-white sequences in addition to color sequences. ▫Here you’ve really only noticed something about the text (or movie, in this case). You need to make a claim with which one of your classmates might disagree. The black and white sequences in The Wizard of Oz show the harsh reality of Dorothy’s life in Kansas. ▫Good. Here you’ve got a blueprint (Kansas black-and-white sequences) and you’ve made a claim (harsh reality). Now you need a so-what. The black-and-white sequences, which show the harsh reality of Dorothy’s life in Kansas, cause readers to empathize with Dorothy, and, therefore, root for her when she begins her journey. Without the black-and-white scenes, readers may not fully understand the depth of Dorothy’s unhappiness. Here, you’ve explained WHY these scenes are important to the movie as a whole and HOW they contribute to our understanding of Dorothy as a character.
Avoid excessive summary Remember, I am your audience, and I have read the story. Briefly locate your reader in the story. ▫Near the beginning of the story... ▫When the tornado strikes... ▫When Dorothy meets the Tin Man... If you find yourself including more than one sentence of summary to set up an example, you’re doing too much. Remember, these papers are short. Don’t waste your words on summary. Instead, analyze. Focus on the how and why.
Citations Dorothy comes to realize that “there’s no place like home” (Baum 192). Notice how my words flow directly into Baum’s words. Notice that the period still goes at the end of the sentence. Notice that the citation goes BEFORE the period but AFTER the end quotation mark. If you mention the author’s name in the sentence itself, you only need the page number.