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Writing your Response to Literature Essay English 9 Honors January 2011.

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1 Writing your Response to Literature Essay English 9 Honors January 2011

2 Writing Applications 2.2 Write Responses to Literature : Demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the significant ideas of literary works. Support important ideas and viewpoints through accurate and detailed references to the text or to other works. Demonstrate awareness of the author's use of stylistic devices and an appreciation of the effects created. Identify and assess the impact of perceived ambiguities, nuances, and complexities within the text.

3 What is a Response to Literature? Your purpose in a response to literature essay is to analyze (break down) characters and/or literary devices, and interpret the meaning of a piece of literature. Usually, it focuses on one passage or one element (like a literary device or character) in a piece of literature. It is not a summary of the piece of literature Let me make myself really clear: IT IS NOT A SUMMARY OF THE PIECE OF LITERATURE!!!!!

4 Organization of Your Essay Introduction (hook, TAG,thesis) Body Paragraphs Reason #1 (to support your thesis statement) should include a quotation from the piece of literature Reason #2 (to support your thesis statement) (should include a quotation from the piece of literature) Reason #3(to support your thesis statement) (should include a quotation from the piece of literature) Conclusion Rephrase Thesis Statement Wrap up your thoughts If you feel confident enough, say something deep about the literature

5 Framing Your Essay Introduction Body Paragraphs (3) Conclusion

6 The Introduction Paragraph Brings the reader into your essay Introduces your ideas to the reader Gives the reader reasons to continue reading the essay Should be 4-5 sentences

7 Your Introduction Should Include: A Thesis Statement Example: The tunnel symbolizes Jerrys transition from childhood to adulthood through a challenge to be overcome. The thesis statement must include: Topic-characters, symbols Statement-Your Opinion or assertion about the topic Reason- reasoning behind your assertion Function: The Thesis Statements anchors your essay to one big idea.

8 Your Introduction Should Include: A Hook Kinds of Hooks: Quotation (related to topic) Anecdote(related to topic) Rhetorical Question (related to topic) Surprising Fact (related to topic) Ancient Words of Wisdom (related to topic) Definition (related to topic) Example: When Jewish children come of age, they participate in a bat mitzvah or a bar mitzvah when they turn thirteen. This signals to friends and family that they are ready to take responsibility for their religious rituals, laws and traditions. Which kind of hook is used?

9 Your Introduction Should Include: Title-Author-Genre A TAG Example: In the short story, Through the Tunnel, Doris Lessing uses symbols to describe a little boys rite of passage. Function of TAG: The TAG contexualizes your ideas into certain arenas; the TAG tells your reader what you are referring to.

10 3 Body Paragraphs that support your Thesis Statement Each paragraph should: Support the thesis statement Include a topic sentence to introduce the idea Have at least one sentence with evidence (paraphrased part of the story or quotation; a quotation is always better) Analyze the quotation and interpret the meaning of the quotation in minimum of 3 sentences Be at least 6 sentences in length- 10 would be great if you can stay on topic and not add fluff!! Have a concluding sentence Support the thesis statement/ stay on topic/be connected to the main idea of your essay (your thesis statement) etc…can I make myself more clear?

11 How to Quote Literature Use a lead in Jerry says that... Lessing describes Jerry as… In his mind, Jerry thinks… Put the quote in quotation marks Note the author and page number (author #) Put a period after the parenthesis (author #). Special Note: A quote does not have to be dialogue, its just actual text from the piece of literature Example: Jerry decides that he must find his way through that cave, or hole or tunnel, and out the other side (Lessing 405).

12 Example Body Paragraph One way the tunnel symbolizes the challenge that will allow him to transition from childhood to adulthood is through the determination that Jerry has to accomplish his goal. Jerry decides that he must find his way through that cave, or hole or tunnel, and out the other side (Lessing 405). There is no doubt in Jerrys mind; he feels that he must get through the tunnel. He doesnt mention trying to impress anyone, so his motivation is only for himself. He has set a goal and determines to accomplish that goal. The next day, Jerry goes on to exercise his whole lungs as if everything, the whole of his life, all that he would become, depended upon it (Lessing 405). In his determination, he throws himself completely at his goal of swimming through the tunnel. As a child, he would only be playing around in the water, but the challenge of meeting a goal that he made for himself shows his desire to take himself more seriously. This determination to complete the goal symbolizes the desire to become more grown up.

13 The Conclusion Paragraph… pulls all of your ideas together-revisit the Hook. subtly rephrases your Thesis Statement in a more insightful way. brings resolution to the examples you have used to support your Thesis Statement. should be 4-5 sentences.

14 Your Conclusion Should Include: …a revisiting of your hook When Jewish children come of age, they participate in a bat mitzvah or a bar mitzvah when they turn thirteen. This signals to friends and family that they are ready to take responsibility for their religious rituals, laws and traditions. Just like Jewish children become responsible for their religious standards after their bar and bat mitvahs, Jerry becomes responsible for achieving his own goal for himself that he created. Function: Revisiting the Hook bring continuity and frame of reference to the end of the essay that was established at the beginning.

15 Your Conclusion Should Include: … resolution Example: Jerry is not an adult at the end of the story, but has begun his journey toward adulthood by achieving his goal of swimming through the tunnel- a goal that he made for himself and decided by himself to achieve. Function: The resolution reminds readers of the purpose for your essay and leaves the reader with an important idea about your topic.

16 Your Conclusion Should Include: …a subtle rephrasing of the Thesis Statement The tunnel symbolizes Jerrys transition from childhood to adulthood through a challenge to be overcome. Jerry sees the tunnel as a symbol for his transition from childhood to adulthood through the determination he brings to his goal. Function: The rephrasing summarizes the new understanding of the topic based on evidence provided in the essay.

17 Color-Coding for Response to Literature Writing Thesis/Topic Sentences – They are like bricks – providing the foundation or structure for the essay. Plot Summary – Retelling or restating important events from the literature. *Its like the sun – providing light, helping the reader to see what it is you are talking about. Supporting Detail – Quotes from the literature to back up your commentary. *They are like the roots or the branches of plants providing support. Commentary – your opinions, interpretations, analysis which develop your claims about the literature. *Its like the sky or the sea – providing depth to the essay.


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