2 Two prompt choices:Option 1: Choose ONE character from a novel or short story we have read in class, and write an essay on 2-3 character traits s/he possesses. In that essay, use quotes to prove whether those character traits have a positive influence on other characters OR a negative influence on other characters.Option 2: Choose ONE trait and 2-3 characters that exhibit that trait (the characters can come from any texts we have read this semester). Write an essay that proves whether that traits causes the individuals to have a positive OR negative influence on other characters.
3 The Introduction Start with an attention getter Quote Question (rhetorical and does not use the 2nd person)Extreme statementDefinitionIntroduction to the topicFact or statisticAnecdoteMost likely your attention getter will not directly discuss a text. You are merely introducing the topic of your paper in an engaging way.Before you start writing, you need to know what claim (the argument you will prove). Think about the topic on which you are writing. You attention getter must connect to that topic!
4 Transitional/Background Info Discuss the attention getter and introduce the main topic/s discussed in your paper.Do not summarize the book and do not spend too much time talking about a text. That is what the body of your essay is for.Since you will be discussing character traits, start talking about the characteristic instead of text. For example, if your claim is In Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, Crooks and Curley’s Wife are lonely and, therefore, are a negative influence on those around them then your attention getter and background information could discuss reasons why people are lonely and the effects of loneliness without directly discussing the book.
5 The ClaimThis is the last sentence in your introduction and essential to setting up a strong essay.A good thesis statement must do the following:State the main idea of your essay.Be arguable and controversial ( The thesis “George is nice but sometimes mean and is a positive and negative influence” does not take a position and is, therefore, not arguable. Remember you are supporting an ARGUMENT, that is what a claim is. Take a side!)For this essay you must state the title/s of the text, the traits and the characters, and whether the traits make the character a positive or negative influence.
6 Example ClaimIn the novels Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, curiosity causes Lennie, Victor, and the monster to negatively influence others.Possible attention getters for this claim:Define curiosityProvide examples in society of curious people with negative or damaging resultsFind a quote about the possibly harmful side affects of curiosity
7 The BodyTopic Sentence: This states the main idea of the paragraph and links to the thesis.Incorporate 2-3 examples to support the thesis.Include at least one quote for support.Concluding Sentence: This recaps the paragraph and links back to the thesis. The concluding sentence should offer slightly different insight than the topic sentence. You are summarizing the main idea and clarifying how the main idea of the paragraph supports the thesis.
8 The Body: Incorporating Quotes Incorporating a quote requires 4 parts: stating the topic, provide background, the quote, and an analysis of the quote.Smoothly incorporate the quote (in the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence).Upon seeing his reflection in water the monster explains to Victor how his curiosity and thirst for knowledge damages him. He says, “Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was” (Shelley 111). It is only after the monster finally sees himself that he understand why others shun him. His curiosity and desire to understand more about himself, ultimately destroys his hope for acceptance. Once his hope is destroyed, he resolves to destroy those who hurt him. Mankind is potentially harmed by the monster’s only desire of knowledge.
9 MLA Citation“ here is a quote you are choosing from a novel. Remember a quote does not need to be from dialog. A quote is any line from the text” (author’s last name page number).Quotation marks go around the quoteParentheses frame the citationA period goes OUTSIDE of the parenthesesIe: “He says, “Increase of knowledge only discovered to me more clearly what a wretched outcast I was” (Shelley 111).
10 Sample Body Organization Paragraph 1: Examples that prove that Lennie is curiousThis paragraph should include analysis of the examples, not summary of the book (I have read it!)Paragraph 2: A discussion of how Lennie’s curiosity negatively influences those around himParagraph 3: Examples that prove how the monster’s curiosity and how at times he is like Lennie.Paragraph 4: A discussion of how the monster’s curiosity leads him to commit terrible acts and therefore destroys not only others, but himself.Paragraph 5 & 6: Focus on Victor’s curiosity like you did with Lennie and the monster
11 Sample Body Organization #2 Using the previous example you could combine paragraphs 1 & 2, 3 & 4, and 5 & 6 (therefore 6 body paragraphs would become 4 body paragraphs. In total the essay would be between 6-8 paragraphs).Maybe you cut Victor from the essay completely and then you would have 2-4 body paragraphs (That essay in total would be between 4-6 paragraphs).
12 The Conclusion Do NOT overlook this paragraph! Start by restating the claimAdd insight to the discussion of the character traits and their affect on othersDraw your own conclusions about this topic in our society (not in the context of the literature).
13 Intro Conclusion Start a general discussion of the topic As you move toward your thesisGet SpecificConclusionBe specific by recappingthe thesisEnd with general comments aboutthe topic in our society