2 Overview Introductions Thesis statements Quoting information ExplanationsTopic SentencesConclusionsToneParaphrasingWord Choice
3 Introductions Should… Get your reader’s attentionIntroduce your topic so the reader knows what to expect.Mention the title and author of the work you are analyzing.Give a specific THESIS STATEMENT, telling the reader exactly WHAT you will discuss in the upcoming body paragraphs.
4 Hook/Attention-Getters DON’T begin by telling us what your paper is going to be aboutDO think of an interesting and creative way to begin discussion. Try not to be cliché.
5 BAD: There are many symbols used in The Lord of the Flies. SO-SO, still not GOOD: Webster’s Dictionary defines a symbol as “something used for or regarded as representing something else.”BEST: Love is a difficult concept to define, but everyone understands what a big red heart means when presented on a Valentine’s Day card. Symbols help individuals define and understand vague ideas.
6 Love is a difficult concept to define, but everyone understands what a big red heart means when presented on a Valentine’s Day card. Symbols help individuals define and understand vague ideas. So it is in William Golding’s novel, The Lord of the Flies. Symbols explain and define the theme of man’s capacity for evil. The fall from innocence to evil is symbolized through the conch, the fire and the pig’s head.
7 Thesis Statements Ask yourself: What is the main subject that you are going to be discussing in your paper? A character? A mood? A setting? A theme?What are you SAYING about that subject? What is your point?
8 You should consistently be returning to your thesis statement in your paper. All of your information should directly support what you say in this statement.After you finish each body paragraph, ask yourself, “Does this paragraph support my thesis statement?”
9 SUBJECT: Fall from innocence to evil WHAT AM I SAYING? Three symbols of change: conch, fire, pig’s headHow can I put this into one sentence?Note: your sentence will probably end up being long. That’s okay! Just try not to put unnecessary information in there (that information goes in the body paragraphs).
10 The boys on the island show man’s capacity for change as they fall from innocence to evil as demonstrated through the symbols of the conch, the fire, and the pig’s head.
11 Think of your thesis statement as an outline for your body paragraphs: The boys on the island show man’s capacity for change as they fall from innocence to evil as demonstrated through the symbols of the conch, the fire, and the pig’s head.Body Paragraph #1: Discuss symbol #1: the conch.Body Paragraph #2: Discuss symbol #2: the fireBody Paragraph #3: Discuss symbol #3: the pig’s head
12 Quoting Information How do you, as a writer, decide what to quote? Find quotes that say things in a particularly new and interesting way.No need to quote the obvious or boring. For instance, don’t quote something like, “Ralph held the conch.”Find quotes that support your thesis statement,
13 Quote it fully: “Ralph grasped the idea and hit the shell with air from his diaphragm. Immediately the thing sounded” (Golding 17).Partially: “Ralph grasped the idea and hit the shell with air from his diaphragm” (Golding 17).In a sentence: Ralph sees the shell and “grasped the idea and hit the shell with air from his diaphragm. Immediately the thing sounded” (Golding 17).Chop it up: Ralph sees the shell and “grasped the idea …. Immediately the thing sounded” (Golding 17).
14 Punctuating QuotesPut quotation marks before and after the DIRECT quote (that means word for word).In parenthesis, put the author’s name (only the first quote) SPACE page number: (Golding 17). All other times: (17).The punctuating period goes LAST: “Blah blah blah conch” (26).
15 ExplanationsNo quote can stand alone. It is your job as the writer to weave the quotes into your argument. That means, YOU MUST EXPLAIN why you chose the quotes and how they relate to your thesis statement. If you can’t do that, you’ve chosen an insignificant quote.
16 Quote: “Ralph grasped the idea and hit the shell with air from his diaphragm. Immediately the thing sounded” (Golding 17).Explanation: Golding introduces the shell early in the novel. At first, Ralph, like a child, is just delighted by the noise it makes. He soon realizes the power of the conch to call the children together.
17 Be careful that your explanation isn’t just a summary of what your quote says. That becomes repetitive and unnecessary.Your explanation should say HOW the quote relates to your paper and your thesis statement. (Notice I brought that thesis statement up again.)
18 Topic SentencesA topic sentence should indicate the MAIN IDEA of the paragraph. If you will be discussing the conch, make sure that you mention the conch and what you are saying about it.The conch starts out as a symbol of the power of order but later shows the power of destruction.
19 The topic sentence should never just be the next chronological event: BAD: Ralph and Piggy found a conch.The topic sentence should never mention the new paragraph:BAD: This paragraph will show how the conch symbolizes power.The topic sentence shouldn’t be Captain Obvious:BAD: The conch is important.
20 Each of the body paragraphs should begin with strong topic sentences that guide the entire paragraph toward the thesis of the paper.The conch starts out as a symbol of the power of order but later shows the power of destruction.When the boys let the fire go out, the hope for rescue dies; the fire is a symbol of life on the island.The pig’s head on the stick is the symbol that represents the most destructive side of the boys.
21 Format for each body paragraph Topic sentenceExplanationDocumented quoteTransition
22 Body ParagraphThe conch starts out as a symbol of the power of order but later shows the power of destruction. Ralph is very excited when he sees the boys coming to the call of the conch. Golding states “Meanwhile Ralph continued to blow till voices shouted in the forest” (Golding 18). The conch symbolizes a call to order. As the novel progressed and ultimately the shell was broken, order turned to chaos and the initial comfort of the conch was gone. Golding uses a similar approach with the symbol of fire.
23 Conclusions Should…Re-state the thesis, but not word-for-word. Please don’t worry about sounding repetitive. It is important that the reader be reminded about what you were explaining.Take the idea one step further or come to some sort of conclusion about a theme, character, etc.Have a clincher statement. End on a powerful, confident note. Don’t just tack something on the end to make it sound “done.” HINT: Good clinchers are often short.
24 ToneYou’ve been told many times to sound “formal” and not “casual,” but what does that mean?Avoid slangAvoid words that have little meaning: really, a lot, just, kind of, maybe, I think, I mean, like, well, stuff, things…Never sound unsure. Be confident in your ideas! As long as you back them up with support, you will not be docked points for an idea.
25 Don’t repeat yourself. Please do not say the same thing three times just because you don’t know what else to say. It gets annoying to read the same repeated thing over and over again. Repeating things is not good. Don’t repeat things. I got it the first time, you don’t need to repeat it. Instead, explain your ideas.Don’t wander from your thesis (Dang! The “t” word again)! Keep on track!
26 Remember: you are a scholar Remember: you are a scholar! Whether you believe it or not, by reading a book and writing your comments and analysis, you have something to add to the academic world! That’s exciting! Write like a scholar would– like you have valuable ideas, because you do!
27 ParaphrasingParaphrasing means putting something from the book into your own words.Often, with narrative texts, it is more effective to paraphrase than it is to directly quote something.Paraphrasing events still counts as textual evidence or support.
28 Quote: “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill” (143). Paraphrase: Simon hallucinates while looking at the pig’s head and realizes that the beast cannot be hunted and killed because it comes from within each individual.
29 Word ChoiceContractions are just casual shortcuts to more formal words. ALWAYS USE THE FORMAL WORDS IN FORMAL ESSAYS.Ralph couldn’t get along with Jack.Ralph could not get along with Jack.
30 Avoid repeating the same words over and over again Avoid repeating the same words over and over again. Either use synonyms or find a different way to phrase it.Never use empty words or clichés: good, nice, bad, “good as gold,” “heart of stone,” etc.
31 Final Thoughts Five paragraphs: Introduction with thesis 3 body paragraphs with quotesConclusion re-stating the thesis3rd person (no “I” “we” “us” or “you”)MLA formatMust contain at least 3 correctly documented quotationsPaper must be submitted to me and turnitin.com on due date