Why answer thoroughly? The thorough answer demonstrates your ability to provide a more complete, thoughtful response. The TA can be short with only a few sentences, longer, like the 11 sentence paragraph, or eventually expanded upon to create a more formal essay. This model allows your to grow in your ability to develop multiple supporting points. Note: In this class we use the “RSE” (Reason, support, explain) format
General Notes: A Thorough Answer… …stands on its own. …includes the title of the work being discussed. …has a formal tone. …does not include abbreviations or symbols (b/c, &, etc.). …includes proper grammar and spelling (including character names). …is sure and strong.
5 Parts To A Good Answer 1. The Question 2. The Basic Answer 3. The REASON = R 4. The SUPPORT = S 5. EXPLANATION = E
1. The Question In order for the answer to stand on it’s own, the question asked must be included. Simple Example: Question- What is a major theme in The Lord of the Flies? Answer- A major theme in The Lord of the Flies is…
2. The Basic Answer The straight answer to the question Question- What is a major theme in The Lord of the Flies? Answer- Man is inherently evil and needs the structure of civilization (laws and order) to control him.
3. The Reason (R) WHAT in the text makes you think this is the answer? WHY is this the answer? Question- What is a major theme in The Lord of the Flies? Answer- Without adults or laws to protect and direct them, the boys revert to theft and murder while on the island.
4. The Support (S) Use specific examples from the text to prove your answer. Often this will be a quotation Question- What is a major theme in The Lord of the Flies? Examples- Even though it leaves Piggy near- blind, Jack’s group steals his “specs”. In the heat of a celebration of the hunt, the boys murder Simon as they murdered the pig. During an argument between Ralph and Jack at the Castle Rock, Roger kills Piggy with a large boulder. The rest of Jacks’ group then hunts down Ralph in an attempt to murder him.
5. The Explanation (E) A statement of analysis or interpretation that shows the link between the reason and the support
The Final Product A major theme in The Lord of the Flies is that man is inherently evil and needs the structure of civilization (laws and order) to control him. Without the structure of adults or laws to protect and direct them, the boys show their inherently evil nature when they revert to theft and murder while on the island. The first evidence of this evil nature is when Jack’s group steals Piggy’s “specs”, even though it leaves him near-blind. The boys’ motivation is to start a fire, but instead of asking for fire, Jack’s group decides theft is the best answer.
Without supervision, the boys move from theft to murder when, in the heat of a celebration of the hunt, the boys murder Simon on the beach as they murdered the pig. Although some think this murder is accidental, the next death is clearly intentional. During an argument between Ralph and Jack at the Castle Rock, Roger kills Piggy with a large boulder. The rest of Jacks’ group then hunts down Ralph in an attempt to murder him. Because the boys are left on this island alone, without laws or order to provide repercussions for their actions, the boys revert to their inherent evil nature, which includes theft and murder.
Class examples When Lennie kills Curley’s wife. The climax of Of Mice and Men is when Lennie kills Curley’s wife by shaking. The climax of the novel, I believe, was when Lennie kills Curley’s wife because that was the height of the story with the most action.
The best one so far… The climax of this novel is when George kills Lennie. Lennie killing Curley’s wife, and all the events preceding Lenny’s death are leading up to that moment.
Practice – in a pair, thoroughly answer your assigned question QA: In Of Mice and Men, who is the loneliest character in the story? QB: In Of Mice and Men, why might John Steinbeck have chosen to NOT NAME Curley’s Wife?
Score it! + 1 = The Question + 1 = The Basic Answer + 1 = The “Why” + 2 = Support (look for quality, pg. #s) = __ / 5 Provide: 1 suggestion for general improvement of the answer 1 specific detail from the text that would strengthen the “support element” of the answer.
Expanding into 11 sentences Sentence 1 = Topic Sentence (Introduces the main idea that will be discussed in the paragraph) Main Point A –Sentence 2 = Reason –Sentence 3 = Support –Sentence 4 = Explanation Main Point B –Sentence 5 = Reason –Sentence 6 = Support –Sentence 7 = Explanation Main Point C –Sentence 8 = Reason –Sentence 9 = Support –Sentence 10 = Explanation Sentence 11 = Concluding Sentence – (This should sum up all ideas and leave your reader with something to consider.)