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Expectations for Writing For American Literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Expectations for Writing For American Literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Expectations for Writing For American Literature

2 Name Date Class Period Title of the Composition (standard capitalization: centered, no underlining, no quotation marks, no bold) The term “composition” is a generic term that can refer to any type of writing assignment, regardless of length. The term “essay” should only be used to refer to a multi-paragraph composition that has an introduction and a conclusion.

3 All paragraphs have a topic sentence—this is the first or second sentence of the paragraph. It states the main idea of the paragraph by giving the simplest ‘answer’ to the question that the rest of the paragraph will develop. There shouldn’t be any unidentified pronouns in the topic sentence. (For example: Why is the location of Dr. King’s speech significant? An inadequate first sentence of the paragraph would be “He gave the speech when he was protesting there.” An adequate topic sentence could be “Dr. King gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech when he was protesting in Washington D.C.”)

4 All paragraphs have a focus sentence—this sentence wraps up the paragraph. In a one paragraph composition: the focus sentence clinches the main idea by stating its importance or rephrasing the idea in a clever way. In a multi-paragraph essay—the focus sentences should show the connection of the paragraph to the overall point of the essay.

5 Support your ideas with specific examples—for reading assignments, in any subject, use a direct quote (a sentence taken exactly from the reading enclosed in “quotation marks”). For a general answer based on class discussion or lesson summaries use at least one specific example, explanation, date, or statistic.

6 Compositions should include topic specific vocabulary to show a mature understanding of the course material. (Make use of those Word Walls!)

7 Don’t use texting, Facebook, IM, or lingo— although these shortened words and code phrases are convenient and quick for electronic communication, they are inappropriate in written compositions.

8 Indent five spaces at the beginning of a paragraph. (usually hitting the “tab” button will do this)  If the composition is typed, use a 12 point font and double space the lines throughout, including the header.  I expect “Times New Romans” as the standard font for all typed compositions unless otherwise noted. Do not skip lines between paragraphs.

9 Do not refer to famous people—authors, historical figures, scientists, athletes, musicians, etc—by only their first name. For example it is acceptable to say Shakespeare or William Shakespeare, but not William. Nor is it okay to write Ludwig when researching the life of Beethoven. If you are going to use only one name, make it his or her last name.

10 Spelling does matter.

11 1. Thesis stem 2. Parameters to support the thesis stem 3. Thesis statement: thesis stem plus parameters in one sentence Parameter One Topic sentence: states only the parameter of this paragraph, not the thesis stem The main points of your explanation of this parameter. Keep in mind that your explanation should clarify the parameter and discuss why and how this parameter supports your thesis stem. Supporting details direct quotes — sentences taken word for word from the text. OR anecdotal evidence — plot evidence (situations or events that occurred) that is not word for word. Focus sentence — includes the parameter of this paragraph only and thesis stem. It explicitly shows HOW this paragraph connects to the overall point of the essay. Parameter Two Transition/Topic sentence: states only the topic of this paragraph, plus states last paragraph ’ s parameter using a transition word. The main points of your explanation of this parameter. Keep in mind that your explanation should clarify the parameter and discuss why and how this parameter supports your thesis stem. Supporting details 1.direct quotes — sentences taken word for word from the text. OR 1.anecdotal evidence — plot evidence (situations or events that occurred) that is not word for word. Focus sentence — includes the parameter of this paragraph only and thesis stem. It explicitly shows HOW this paragraph connects to the overall point of the essay. Parameter Three Transition/Topic sentence: states only the topic of this paragraph, plus states last paragraph ’ s parameter using a transition word. The main points of your explanation of this parameter. Keep in mind that your explanation should clarify the parameter and discuss why and how this parameter supports your thesis stem. Supporting details direct quotes — sentences taken word for word from the text. OR anecdotal evidence — plot evidence (situations or events that occurred) that is not word for word. Focus sentence — includes the parameter of this paragraph only and thesis stem. It explicitly shows HOW this paragraph connects to the overall point of the essay. Conclusion Paragraph: should repeat the thesis statement but in a modified form; should state the overall significance of the work, the time period, the culture, the author — something along those lines; can make connections to related, current ideas.

12  Thesis Stem: Point to make, opinion to defend, or position on an issue. ◦ Develop this first ◦ Make it short and clear  Parameter: Supporting point for Thesis Stem. ◦ Usually 3 parameters for an essay ◦ How are you going to prove your point?  Thesis Statement = Thesis Stem + Parameters ◦ One sentence ◦ Should end the Introductory Paragraph

13  Topic sentence: States only the parameter of this paragraph, not the thesis stem.  The main points: clarify the parameter and discuss why and how this supports your thesis stem. ◦ This is the meat of your paragraph ◦ These are your words explaining your position on the topic.  Supporting details: to back up your opinion. ◦ direct quotes—sentences taken word for word from the text. (Not necessarily what a character says.) ◦ anecdotal evidence—plot or textual evidence (situations or events that occurred) that is not word for word.  Focus sentence (final sentence in paragraph)—includes the parameter of this paragraph only and thesis stem. It explicitly shows HOW this paragraph connects to the overall point of the essay.

14  Attention Getter ◦ Possible beginnings:  Startling Statement  Anecdote  Description  Analogy  Question  Quotation  Direct Statement  Taking a Stand  Addressing the Reader  Introduce topic ◦ Give the author, title of the work, and the genre if appropriate  Thesis Statement should be the last sentence in Introductory Paragraph

15  Repeat the thesis statement but in a modified form.  State the overall significance of the work.  State significance of the work, the time period, the culture, the author, etc.  Make connections to related, current ideas  Possible concluding tactics ◦ Restating Main Idea ◦ Summarizing ◦ Predicting ◦ Quotation ◦ Call to action ◦ Generalizing ◦ Pose question ◦ Anecdote

16  Organizer: ◦ Choose a Thesis Stem ◦ Choose Parameters to support Stem ◦ Write out the Thesis Statement ◦ Write a Focus Sentence for each Parameter  Outline: ◦ Write the Parameter for this paragraph ◦ Write out a Topic Sentence based on the parameter ◦ List the main points (with sub-points if possible) ◦ List supporting details from various sources, identify which point they support. ◦ Re-Write focus sentence (adjust if necessary)

17  Use your Organizer and Outline as a rough draft  Begin with Parameter (body) paragraphs.  Create the Introductory and Conclusion paragraphs after Parameter paragraphs  EDIT!!! ◦ Read through, does it make sense? ◦ Spell check and grammar check ◦ Proofread ◦ Have a classmate, parent, friend, etc. read through ◦ Repeat!

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19 Based on your reading of The Scarlet Letter, what was Hawthorne’s view of Puritan society and how does this book speak to American society today? Respond in two well-written paragraphs.

20 In one to two well-written paragraphs, explain what three things are unique to you and set you apart from others around you.


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