Presentation on theme: "How Not to Fear Writing …and other tips and tricks to get you through ELA 3-4H."— Presentation transcript:
How Not to Fear Writing …and other tips and tricks to get you through ELA 3-4H
AP means answer the prompt Pro tip: 1.) Annotate your prompt, highlighting directional words/phrases. 2.) Turn the prompt into a question. 3.) Answer the whole question. Essay terms explained here BTW, the “meaning of the work as a whole” = theme.
2009 Form B prompt: Many works of literature deal with political or social issues. Choose a novel or play that focuses on a political or social issue. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author uses literary elements to explore this issue and explain how the issue contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot. Pro tip: Often, the directives in a prompt will help you to organize your essay. More later… theme
In a question… How does the author use literary elements to explore political or social issues, and how do those issues contribute to the theme of [work of literature]? But Gordon, what if I get asked about an author’s style or voice? What does that even mean? Go here. This guy knows.
Now, the planning Chickenfoot Chickenfoot No, seriously. Click on the link and watch the video.
A good thesis… Makes a claim: it is debatable, strong, well-phrased and precise. Focuses your argument: it sets parameters for the depth and breadth of your argument. Organizes your argument: it signals to the reader (either directly or indirectly) the evidence you will use to prove your claim.
A sample thesis: Shakespeare portrays both the hostility and despair of Wolsey's reaction through dramatic diction, figurative language, and a shift in tone. Depth and breadth of thesis set up here Structure of your argument set up here: how the author is going to prove the claim about how Shakespeare creates Wolsey’s reaction
Paragraphing Body paragraphs should be voluptuous. I won’t impose a sentence minimum, but I will demand more than an anorexic argument. Pro tip: In general, a good body paragraph will contain a topic sentence (which should have commentary in it ancillary to the claim), at least 2-3 pieces of solid evidence, and commentary/analysis.
I need help with… Organizing a paragraph Making my topic sentences NOT sound repetitive while supporting my thesis
Introduction FAILS… DEFINITIONS: “Webster’s dictionary defines love as…” SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS: “Since the beginning of time…” AUTHOR LOVE FEST: “In Edgar Allan Poe’s amazing masterwork ‘The Raven’…”
So what do I do in an intro? Author & text (punctuated correctly)punctuated correctly Author’s ideas and/or purpose Context (if needed) Thesis
Writing pet peeves Don’t talk about how an author ‘uses’ (or ‘utilizes,’ fancy pants thesaurus kids) a literary device. They’re literary devices, not power tools. No ‘this shows that.’ No, no, no. Too much potential for antecedent confusion. Don’t stack prepositional phrases. From the bottom of my heart and in all seriousness, if you go beyond the standard number of prepositional phrases in one sentence you will get crazy wordy. (See what I did there?)
Writing pet peeves No ‘There is/there are’ as the beginning of a sentence. Nope. ‘There’ is nonspecific. Eliminate ‘in conclusion’ from your conclusion. Too obvious. Don’t let your organization show too much. It’s like letting your underwear show, and nobody wants to see that.
Rid us all of these words… Stuff, things, very, a lot (especially when you spell it a lot, which is not a word, btw), really, cuz, cray-cray (I had a student put that in a paper once and part of my soul died, no joke)or any slang ….actually, anything on this list. anything on this list Also, copula. That’s a fancy way to say “to be” verbs (is, am, are, was, etc.). You can find some alternatives here.here
For the love of all that is decent, honest and true in life…. Proofread. Click the pears for common errors in grammar, spelling & mechanics.
Wrapping it all up… In your conclusion: DO restate your thesis without being formulaic. DO connect what you’ve read/written about to bigger ideas and universals…the “so what?” factor applies here. Why is the topic even important?
More pro tips… I need another walk-through on how to analyze a writer’s style. I need help embedding quotes. I need help making my themes not sound like fortune cookies.
One last thing… How do I make sure my whole paragraph isn’t just plot summary? Click below…
RUBRICS WE USE The AP rubric The AP rubric The AzCCRS rubric The AzCCRS rubric