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Organizing an Essay First Timed Writing: Wednesday, October 7 th.

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1 Organizing an Essay First Timed Writing: Wednesday, October 7 th

2 Framework of an AP Essay Assertion-  Evidence and Application-  Conclusion Assertion=Intro. Paragraph which includes the full thesis with the “answer” in it (topic + opinion about topic+ elements that will support/prove opinion)

3 Evidence: concrete details, examples, reasons, facts from the work (quotes, paraphrase, etc.) Application: commentary on how the assertion and evidence connect/are appropriate/work in the literary piece (Commentary is the heart of the paper because it’s there that students demonstrate their understanding of the literature and their analytical skills.)

4 Conclusion: insightful, strong ending made up entirely of commentary; definitely NOT a boring summary of the literary work itself or of the essay Concrete Detail (CD): specific details that prove or support the point of your body paragraph. Other common names for concrete details are fact and, most often, examples. Commentary (CM): your opinion or comment on a subject or point. It is not a concrete detail. Other common names for commentary are opinion, insight, and analysis.


6 Thesis Thesis: a sentence with a subject and an opinion that usually comes at the end of the introductory paragraph; it also conveys the point of the entire written piece. An effective thesis statement has two parts. One part presents your paper’s limited subject; the other presents your point of view, or attitude, about the subject.

7 Writing a Thesis Statement 1983 Open-Ended Essay Prompt: From a novel or play of literary merit, select an important character who is a villain. Then in a well- organized essay, analyze the nature of the character’s villainy and show how it enhances meaning in the work.

8 Example Thesis: Things to Include Literary Work: The Scarlet Letter Villain: Chillingsworth Nature of villainy: secretive, deceitful, vengeful Meaning/theme: Hidden guilt destroys; public penance purifies How enhances: He contrasts Hester; echoes Dimmsdale Thesis Statement: In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Chillingsworth, who is secretive, deceitful and vengeful, contrasts Hester and echoes Dimmsdale to show that hidden guilt destroys and public penance purifies.


10 Building the Essay Carefully read the prompt. Underline words which give specific, direct, important instructions/topics to address. Pull out and bullet words/directions underlined. Brainstorm answers for the bullets. Use these answers to develop the thesis. Based on the prompt, you decide how many paragraphs to use to address the prompt. Pre-write (no more than 10 minutes) Begin Writing

11 Introduction Includes an “attention grabber” and a thesis statement Make sure you include the name of the work and the name of the author. Body Paragraph Topic Sentence Concrete Detail #1-Commentary-Commentary Concrete Detail #2-Commentary-Commentary Concrete Detail #3 (optional)-Commentary-Commentary Concluding Sentence- the point of this sentence is to go back and wrap up the point of the topic sentence without repeating the same words; reiterate the subject.


13 Conclusion – Use all commentary. Keep it short. – Address a real world application with a broader sentence. DO NOT REPEAT THESIS! – Do not use: “…Shakespeare is a great author…”, “This essay uses great diction…”, “I have told you all about…”, etc.

14 Pre-writing The process of getting your concrete details down on paper before you organize your essay into paragraphs. There are many types: bubble map, outline, columns, or listing.


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